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'Twas the Night Before Penn State Football

A poem for the restless.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

'Twas the night before football, when all through State College,

There were parties and laughter and lots of lost knowledge.

The jerseys were washed and hung in lockers with care,

In hopes that Nittany Lions soon would be there.

* * *

The Penn State fans were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Hackenberg gunslinged in their heads.

Franklin in his track suit and Hand with a chef hat,

Had just settled down for a nice 4 AM nap.

* * *

When on the roof of their building arose such a clatter,

James sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

To the window he sprinted, like Sam just drilled a kick,

He ripped open the Philly windows that probably stick.

* * *

The moon covered gently by east coast pollution,

Gave the luster of mid-morning to speakers of great elocution.

When, what to Franklin's wondering eyes should he see,

But a blue bus with Penn State icons as lively as could be.

* * *

With a team of bus drivers, whose vehicle approaches,

James knew very quickly it was the old Penn State coaches.

Faster than Moo Moo, the bus inhabitants they came,

As JoePa, he yelled and he called them by name:

Now Blackledge! Now Mauti!

Now Connor and Still!

On Cappy! On Royster!

On, Collins and Hill!

Now run! Run away! Run to Holuba Hall!

Find all the Penn State fans who need hope, find them all!

* * *

As if being chased by Derrick Williams, they flew,

Through the streets of Erie and Scranton and even West View.

Spreading tales of their triumphs in seasons of old,

To instill feelings of hope of which they helped mold.

* * *

And then, with a crash, James heard something strange,

It sounded somewhat like a firing range.

He ran down the stairs, and what did he see,

But LaVar, Ham and Poz running tackle drills with glee.

* * *

They were dressed in all white, from their heads to their toes,

Except the black shoes, the basic ones, you know.

Their backs had large numbers, and no names to be found,

An idea on which James had finally come 'round.

* * *

They said, "James, take a seat, we have something to say,"

LaVar stepped forward, with a message to convey.

"As a coach you have passion and fire, that's clear,"

"But now the time to put everything together is here."

* * *

Ham took his turn next, Jack Ham of course,

And like everything he did, he spoke with great force.

"James," he declared, "you're a really swell guy,"

"Leave teams in your dust this year, without saying goodbye."

* * *

Last up was Poz, who could now barely see,

He'd been bleeding profusely from his nasal cavity.

"HEY JAMES," he exclaimed, "LET'S GET THE JOB DONE!"


* * *

And with that, a whistle, pierced the night air,

The players were done, they had shown that they care.

So off they went sprinting, back to the bus blue,

To avoid being last, that person has push-ups to do.

* * *

James walked back upstairs, and snuggled in bed,

With a extra boost of confidence, placed in his head.

Bill O'Brien just whistled, sensing they did their part,

He turned to the bus and said, "we're off to a good start."