This past Saturday I had the rare (for me) pleasure of actually watching the PSU game as well as being able to follow the open thread. A typical Saturday for me involves work at my job or work at home, so this was a rare treat indeed. While watching the game, I realized that I, as a fan and alumni, have more emotionally invested in this team now than I have in a very long time.
Over the course of the past ten months or so, I have laughed, cried and seethed in anger at the events that have transpired. I have pledged support to RAINN and demanded changes at the highest levels of the state (you know who you are) and University. While I'm sure that has contributed to my renewed emotional investment in Dear Old State, I'm equally positive that a continuous and ever increasing disenfranchisement with professional football has helped as well. A funny thing has happened this season, and I'm overjoyed by my personal awakening.
This TEAM, this conglomeration of men and women (I include support staff as well), has come together as a cohesive unit that has inspired more passion and loyalty from me than ever. I enjoy watching the games like I never have before, and I thirst for news of the team in a similar manner. As bad as IT has been, the STUDENT athletes at PSU have risen above the clamor and clatter to make us all proud of our blue and white lineage, be us alumni or fan. I am proud, perhaps more so than ever, of my diploma and my brothers and sisters that share my allegiance.
Which leads me to the cause for this post. I've realized I do not like professional football any longer. I was once a ravenous follower of all things Eagles, and to a much lesser extent, the Titans. Sunday, however, I sat down to watch the Eagles/Cardinals game with the full intent of not missing a single snap (DVR for potty breaks). Five snaps in and I was not only bored but disgusted. I didn't turn off the television, as that would have forced me to actually accomplish something around the house. Instead I turned to my old friend Netflix and discovered the joys of Wilfred.
I'm sure some self reflection could yield a plethora of reasons for my sudden disenfranchisement with people paid to play the game. To be honest, I'm not terribly interested in figuring out why. I will still follow former PSU players as they progress through their lives, but no more will I show the slightest interest in weekly scores or stats from the NFL. I just don't care anymore. I've given my devotion and fandom to the student athletes, all of them, who have chosen to continue to support and represent PSU. Win or lose, they've earned my respect and admiration.