This has got to be the worst time to be a Penn State Football Player.
It's been 6 weeks since your last game - and that was a loss anyway, so the only time anyone ever talked to you about it was to remind you of your mistakes or try to soothe your bruised ego. Just when you think you are over it, you get to watch both NFL teams from Pennsylvania lose big games - one being the Superbowl - in a similar fashion. Don't tell me you didn't have flashbacks to Jan 1 when Big Ben threw that pick-6.
The only thing the college football world talks about is how great the next crop of high school seniors are going to be. You get to watch your fans and coaches chase and drool after them like Justin Bieber fans on meth and have to listen to every a-hole with an internet tell you how they are going to make this team so much better in the years after you are gone --- or worse, listen to how they are going to replace you on the field this year. After LOI day you hope for a reprieve from the onslaught, but you don't get one because everyone and their brother needs to start talking about the 2012 recruiting class. High school juniors are getting more attention than you ---- even if you're a Starter! What the hell is wrong with this picture?
Oh - and it is frickin' freezing outside. It's cold, snowy and so gray it's makes the rainbows look straight, and you have to wake up at 4 or 5am everyday and go outside in that crap to run a few miles. Then you go bust your ass in the weight room for a few hours only to later read some slob tweet on his blog about how much our S&C program sucks --- Like he ever got his ass out of bed for anything half as difficult. Sore and tired, you realize you're still in the middle of the semester and have a shiteload of academic work to do. You can't risk screwing up your grades, because you play for a coach who still believes in giving you the right foundation for your future --- and while that sounds nice - and is the right direction - it certainly doesn't make it any easier.
All the while, the Golden Sirens of State College - cheap alcohol and easy women - continue to call your name from the waves. You've already seen one of your teammates fall under their spell and crash upon the rocks, but it doesn't matter. They smell so sweet and their voices are irresistable. Only one sound is able to drown them out and keep you focused on your dream -- the faint whisper of "We Are" that you swear you hear as you look towards Beaver Stadium.
So back to work you go. Realizing that your adversaries are out there on their campus working as hard as they can to try and beat you. Realizing that your time in this life is short and there are only so many days left to try and make a difference. Realizing that your fans have not forgotton you - they are just asleep - and one night soon under the faint glow of an early September moon you are going to make them and the rest of the world stand up and take notice.