I'm obsessing, I fully admit it.
I read everything that I can get my hands on, written about Penn State football. I can't wait for the season to start, so I'm constantly searching for coverage of the team. I will admit to stooping to watching five-year-old football pump up videos and DJ Dozier highlights on youtube.
It also means I've read over one hundred articles that I would be embarrassed to publish under my own name. Since the last season ended, all the essays said roughly the same thing...
- Sanctions should really hurt us this year...really.
- While our first team is as good as anybody in the nation, we are thin after that
- Walk-ons can't play D1 football, even when you call them run ons.
- We only have 66 scholarship players, so we should lose games
- If anybody, even the mascot gets hurt, we'll lose games
- We lost Mauti and Hodges on D - So we should lose games
- We don't have a starting QB - so we should lose games
Naturally, I'm tired of those narratives. And yet, like Charlie Brown to Lucy's held football, I click the links...only to be subjected to the same liberal arts school writers interpretation of one of the above subjects. Surely Juniata College taught you people to write more compelling articles that this.
But we finally have live practices to watch. Reporters are there, at Lasch. Ground Zero for those weary and compulsive readers like myself. We should start to see commentary that is driven by what the analysts see in practice now...right?
You can imagine my delight when BTN had three analysts at Penn State who were going to do a live rundown based on what they saw. I watched it this morning...
Yeah, I'd give it a C-.
It featured lack-luster interviews with some of our players and coaches. The questions asked were dull and not insightful.
While they were, at times, complimentary of our guys, the take away was EXACTLY THE SAME. We are thin. We only have 66 scholarship players. Our best tacklers are gone. We don't have an experienced QB.
We can safely file the BTN story under : "No Shit Sherlock". Talk about a lazy, unimaginative piece of crap show. I learned almost nothing new. We already know about the difficulty of running a top tier program under the NCAA penalty regime. We are living it, right along with the team.
Yes, we know about the limited schollies and lack of percieved depth. Yes, we know Mauti, Hill AND Hodges play in the NFL now. Oh holy shit..."TELL ME SOMETHING NEW!"
I'm embarrassed to admit that I yelled at the TV so loud that the dog hid in the bathtub.
Here's what that show should have featured :
- Zack Zwinack was an unheralded fullback with a total of six yards in his first two years before he broke out for 1,000 yards last season. This kid is a bright star for Penn State. Feature him. He got hurt in the Blue/White Game. How is he now? Will he be the starter at Syracuse?
- Deion Barnes was the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2012. How does he rank against other stand out defensive ends in the NCAA this year? Compared to say, South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who recorded 13.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in his sophomore season. Is Barnes that good? We'll never know, because nobody asked.
- Here's a great story...Penn State has an abundance of outstanding tight ends. We're goddamn deep at tight end. And they are good. Our TE's accounted for 10 of our 24 passing TDs last year. They racked up over 1,000 receiving yards too. That's pretty huge - about 1/3 of our total. They will play a big role in our offense in 2013. You might ask, "How big?" I'd like to know that too. Is BO'B putting in any new wrinkles to take advantage of our clear dominance at that position? Anyone at BTN? Anyone?
- And finally, how about our boy Brandon Moseby-Felder? This talented senior receiver lived in the shadow of Kyle Carter and Allen Robinson last year. You better believe teams will scheme those two guys this year. That means we could see BM-F get a lot of balls this year. At least I think he could. I'd love to know how he looked in practice. As a senior, is he a guy the younger players look to for leadership? BTN sure doesn't know...or maybe they do and aren't telling.
I know, I'm armchair quarterbacking their show. I have no idea how much pressure they were under to come up with segments. Maybe those are questions that only a diehard PSU loyalist Joebot could come up with. Maybe those guys weren't available. Maybe BO'B's a real diva to work with...we just don't know.
I think BTN scripted this show going in and didn't really try to do a good job. They looked past us, to get extra time planning for Ohio State and Michigan. I mean really, Penn State isn't playing for anything this year. And with only 65 scholarship players, they are going to lose games. So who cares, really?