Not in poem form this time, but just a few thoughts on motivation for tomorrow. Kind of an "open letter to the team," if you will.
It’s been a season unlike any other in the history of football. For over a month, the focus has not been football. We’ve discussed other “distractions” from the game/team. Through it all, there’s still a group of young men; a group of young men who had classes and practices, and now, one more game for the season. They’ve had plenty of distractions, but it’s time to focus and get one more win. Some people wonder if the team is ready, if they have the will and the motivation to win.
I’ve heard many reasons from people saying why they think the team needs to get the motivation and step up and play to win:
Play for the doubters; show them you can rise above the negativity and can focus and win.
Play for those who “passed” you over; show them how a strong, motivated team plays, no matter in which bowl you are playing.
Play for the people for the Ticket City Bowl; show them they made a great choice in picking the Nittany Lions to play in their game.
Play for your school; show that Penn State still has some pride.
Play for your former coach; show that though he is not there in person, his leadership and the lessons he has taught will continue to be with you.
Play for your present coaches; show that while their futures are uncertain, they have remained loyal to you, and you will be loyal to them.
Play for your fans; show them that their faith in you is not in vain.
While that is all well and good, I say, forget all of that. When it comes down to it, you need to play for YOU. If YOU want it, it doesn’t matter what others think. If YOU really want it, then show it, fight to win for YOU.
Seniors: It’s your last game in the blue and white. It’s your last shot at a bowl game win; show that you deserve to be there, show that you want to be there. Show that you are the leaders; step up and make the plays. At 3:00, don’t look back and think about what you could/should have done, look back and say, “I wanted to win and it showed! I played all out and ended my college career doing the best I could. I went out with pride.”
Juniors: you have another year to go; start 2012 off with a bang! Show that you are ready to step up and be the new leaders.
Sophomores and freshmen: you are the future of the team. It doesn’t have to be your “last college game” to go all out for a win. When people talk about the talent we will be losing, show them the talent that is just getting started.
Show the world that the members of the Penn State football team are playing in the Ticket City Bowl because they WANT to be there. Play with heart and pride because YOU want to win.