Mike and Kevin are on the road, so let's take this Nitt Picks thing out for a spin.
Naturally, the big news for Penn State fans is Joe Paterno's appearance at Big Ten Media Da...oh, let's just get to the drunken rampage at the Lasch Building. For those about to be expelled, we salute you.
In his statement to police, Costenbader said he began his birthday celebration by drinking at his friend's University Terrace apartment, then at the Phyrst and Bill Pickle's, where he consumed several shots and pitchers of beer. Police recorded Costenbader's blood-alcohol content as .18 at the time of his arrest, according to court documents.
Costenbader told police he left the bars and began to jog to his Toftrees apartment -- about four miles away -- but diverted to jump the fence onto the football practice field, according to court documents.
Once on the field, Costenbader stripped to his boxer shorts and hit tackling dummies, then headed toward the Lasch Building when he saw an open gate, according to court documents.
I remember a few things from my 21st birthday -- a summer birthday spent in lovely northeastern Pennsylvania. I threw back 25 shots, a feat which ended in the form of a sidewalk puddle when #25 turned out to be a Prairie Fire. I clumsily assaulted a cigarette machine. I loudly questioned the sexual orientation of two 250-pound muscleheads. However, I can absolutely guarantee there was no jogging involved, and most certainly not four miles of it.
My favorite part of Costenbader's romp, outside of the apparent fact that he believed ditching his pants might result in shaving 0.2 seconds off his forty time?
He had retreated to the women's bathroom -- still wearing a Penn State football helmet -- when police arrived, according to court documents.
A warrior to the end, indeed. Next time, the intruder may want to divert the police's attention to somewhere that, you know, isn't right next to the Lasch Building. Officer! They're looting the Entomology building! Killer butterflies everywhere!
And no, we don't get Fulmer Cup points for this.
Joe Paterno, reached for comment in Chicago, said, "My wife was all upset, because the windows were broken. I guess there’s a sizable amount of damage. It’s unfortunate. It’s so unnecessary."
Speaking of Paterno, FightOnState has free video of the post-press conference scrum in which reporters corralled the coach for roughly ten minutes of additional badgering. Among the topics covered by Paterno is Chris Bell's guilty plea to terroristic threats, which is also nicely skewered by the guys over at The Nittany Line.
Elsewhere around the internets, Happy Hour Valley partially laments the addition of new scoreboards at Beaver Stadium. Like HHV, I'm trying to reserve judgment until I see it for myself in a few weeks. The addition of bells and whistles to the gameday experience is a tricky one. I'm 100% in favor of additional replays, out of town score updates, and increased availability of statistics. Constant advertising and drowning out the Blue Band at the expense of lame 1990's techno music? Not so much.
Bobby Bowden is hunkering down for the final leg of his run at the all-time wins record.
'Tis the season for duplicative and occasionally unreasonable pre-season rankings. TheSpread.com has Ohio State at #2 and Wisconsin at #10.
Finally, the long-dreaded and awaited "Outside The Lines" piece will air on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, and on ESPNEWS at noon:
Penn State president Graham Spanier, interviewed for the "OTL" piece, said he was dismayed by the recent misconduct by players.
"They're staggering numbers," Spanier told "OTL." "They're very high and they shouldn't be that way.
"It might often be the case that there is an initial overreaction as evidenced by the dismissal of so many charges. But never mind that; it's still the case that many of these charges have stuck."
Also taking a swipe at the situation was Paul Clarke, a Penn State professor of labor studies and employment relations, as well as the chairman of the Faculty Senate Athletics Committee.
"Penn State's a great university in a lot of respects - outstanding faculty, exceptional students, a great tradition," Clarke told ESPN. "But this is really a black mark. It diminishes all of us."
According to Fight On State, ESPN will attempt to attack Penn State by insinuating that the football program has lowered its recruiting standards by taking players with dubious backgrounds, as a response to the losing seasons between 2001 and 2005. Unless they can prove that these players had long histories of trouble prior to enrolling at PSU, that's probably going to be a tough case to make. They'd be much more effective by arguing that a sizable number of players turned into knuckleheads once they were on campus for a while.
Outside The Lines interviewed Paterno, as well as team captains A.Q. Shipley and Anthony Scirrotto for the story. It also talked to several reporters, Scout.com recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels and at least one former player (Michael Haynes), as well as school president Graham Spanier.
We'll have a summary of the ESPN piece at BSD on Sunday. As background reading, you may want to take a look at my analysis of the fradulent "Players Arrested Since 2000" list that can be found all over the internet, and has been sloppily cited as God's Honest Truth by Stewart Mandel and local newspaper sports editors who really should know better.