It's been awhile since I've commented. I've been really busy (as I know everyone is) and trying to get my mind off of all the negativity that has surrounded Penn State, focusing on all of the positives. There are so many. What an amazing place we are apart of, and I hope nobody that really loves Penn State as much as I know I do ever forgets that.
I was born a Penn State fan. Didn't have a choice, as my father played LB for Joe Paterno in the 70's. Even if I had a choice, or if he didn't play at Penn State, I know my father would have been a fan of Joe Paterno and taught me to love Penn State either way. I had a choice once I got older and I never missed a game if it was physically possible (Radio or TV, mostly).
Growing up, I was always bigger than everyone else, told by my pediatrician that I would be 6 foot 8! I'm 25 now, and I'm still "only" 6 foot 2. So that didn't pan out...but the people close to me always thought I'd be the next in line to be an All-American football and baseball player and play football in college and the whole 9 yards.
I got to learn quickly in life that things don't go as planned and the ones that succeed in this world are the ones that are adaptable. Several head injuries later, by my sophomore year in high school, I was instructed by doctors to not play football anymore, as I had several concussions, and it had become life-threatening. So there it went... A 6'2 215 pound LB that could run (ohhhhh I could run back then!) at age 15 was done playing football forever. As you could imagine, I took it pretty hard.
When football was done, I spent a lot of time with my father, (whos career was shortened in just his freshman year at Penn State because of an ACL tear) just talking about how horrible the rest of my life would have been if I had gotten more head injuries. And to this day, I'm grateful for his guidance in the decision to discontinue my football career. To this day, save for one person, I've never told anyone how much of a dream of mine it was to play football at Penn State. I never wanted to hurt those that cared about me.
It was always my dream to play football at Penn State, like my father did. And the timing was right where it would have been on the 2005-2009 teams, for my idol, Joe Paterno.
When I hit that age where you begin to realize the things you were so good at growing up are not your strengths anymore, it was a real bummer for me, like it is for most people. I felt kinda lost, but then that's when I learned a lot about myself.
I can blame the Grand Experiment and Joe Paterno for helping pave the way for my father teaching me how to do the right thing and be tough, although I didn't always do the right thing, and I find we learn the teachings of our heroes and parents at all different points in our life. I thank both of them for teaching me so much.
Turns out I was lucky because I could pitch, and ended up pitching for Penn State!
The reason I am saying all of this nonsense is because we are a part of Penn State. We are a part of this unbelievable university that's been built by students, alumni, faculty, coaches, and fans. This has been a dark time. But we have shown time and time again that we can stand together as a community that is stronger than NCAA sanctions, stronger than biased media coverage, stronger than a monster that tricked the whole community for years. We will be fine. We will keep fighting every day, and we will be better in the end. Penn State will become stronger than it has ever been. This community is just different. A different breed, with different goals and pride. We have to continue the pride in our school, and we have to protect and support each other from the things that aim to take us down. I love this BSD community and I love Penn State. We are...