Maybe I'm onto something and maybe I'm off my rocker. Feel free to tell me in the comments. Just my humble thoughts on our future conversations with fans from other schools that bring up "IT" instead of football:
This week, I visited the Syracuse sports blog (TNIAAM that was linked, glad I did, seems like a great blog) several times to read up on their thoughts for the big game today. Many fans were focusing on just the football (and silly Oranges, wins are for Lions). However, eventually the few posters that didn't mention football and instead focused on why the sanctions were not strong enough and that PSU should have lost its football program showed up. At first I was ticked off and wallowing in the possibility of this happening every time we try to talk about football over the next few seasons. Then it dawned on me.....we are STILL Penn State.
This poster brought up "IT" instead of talking about football, not because he is on a one man crusade to condemn child abuse or Penn State. To this man, "IT" is the new "Joe pooped his pants". For years, I have heard Pitt fans bring this point up because they thought they could mock us with comments about Joe's age. They didn't bring up football because quite frankly, they couldn't measure up. Think about it, if you saw an OSU fan on campus they might yell over that they were going to win the game that day. If you saw a Pitt fan somewhere, it'd be a snide comment about a personal issue, not on the field success. What PSU team would have lost to that same season's PItt squad from 2005-2012? The default topic was off the field, because on it our team was better.
This Syracuse fan doesn't want to talk about football because they don't measure up and because we were supposed to have fallen apart by now. It's been almost 2 years and everyone involved is either in court, in jail, or in the ground. Football was finally supposed to be the major issue of conversation. Even ESPN is back to making money off of Penn State Football and not Penn State Scandal. This "fan" went to the bottom of the well on insults or conversational topics because talking about our blue chip freshman QB makes him realize that Penn State didn't crumble under the sanctions, yet. He didn't want to discuss an O Line that is chalk full of experience or the three headed monster that is our backfield. And he certainly didn't want to dwell on possibly the greatest group of receivers and tight ends that Penn State has ever assembled.
This team was supposed to be crushed by the free agency period. Penn State only hired O'Brien because they were a toxic program and surely he wouldn't be the right man for the job. Recruits would never come back to Happy Valley during the bowl ban. This team would maybe win 8 games in 4-6 years, let alone in one season. People wanted us to fall because of jealousy that has been harbored for decades against our program. We were the shining city on a hill (sorry for stealing that Ron) and this was everyone's chance to watch Penn State struggle in football. This was dark years 2.0 and the "haters" as the kids say were ready. They finally had ammo again. The only problem is....we are STILL Penn State. We are STILL graduating players. We are STILL winning football games. We are STILL being led by a decent, devoted man from Brown University who moved to State College from the Northeast and is having the town sink its claws into him. We are STILL Spider Caldwell. We are STILL Lift for Life, THON, RAINN, and #ONETEAM.
So the next time some bozo skips over our strong core of linebackers or our very deep secondary to talk about how the sanctions weren't enough or that our football program should have been decimated, just remember that he's only depressed and afraid and possibly still a little jealous....because We Are STILL Penn State.
Enjoy the game today and WE ARE!!!!!!