Just two minutes after waking on July 31 I knew that it was going to be a phenomenal day. The first thing I noticed was my phone making all sorts of weird noises as I passed it on the counter while letting the dogs out. I grabbed it on the way to opening the screen door and saw that out of nowhere tropical storm Emily was going to make landfall within a few miles of my house in less than an hour. There was little to no warning the night before or leading up to the storm’s arrival; it just formed a few miles west of Tampa overnight and headed straight for my home. I live in Sarasota pretty much where the x is on the map.
So a surprise storm on a Monday morning, that’s fine. Then I opened the screen door to let the dogs out and it blew up in my hands. In fairness to the screen door there isn’t much to it, but the nature of the catastrophic failure was surprising. It’s just four thin pieces of aluminum framing with a three foot by six foot section of screen in the middle, with a handle on the left side, a few hinges on the right piece of framing, and a tension rod to pull the door shut that is attached to the top piece of framing.
It would be nice to have an alibi, to be able to say that there were no previous warnings that the door was about to break into several pieces. The upper hinge was getting weak, so for the past month I lifted the door slightly to help the ailing hinge keep the door in position. Had I known the severity of the consequences for letting the saggy hinge go on without a mending things may have been different.
Instead when I grabbed the handle and swung the door open a couple of feet for the dogs, the left and bottom side of the door frame came loose from the rest of the door. This caused the screen and that portion of the door to fall to the ground. Had the event ended there it would have been a rough way to start the day. Only the top and right panels of the door were still securely attached via the two good hinges. The top portion of the frame was in place due to the tension rod that is screwed into it, allowing it to pull the screen door shut.
Without half the door’s weight to slow it down, the tension rod closes much quicker. I know that now. As I watched the door parts that I was holding fall to the ground, the top portion of the aluminum had nothing holding it from swinging shut, which it did, hitting me flush in the forehead. I know it was flush because of the sound it made when it hit my noggin. It was like when you catch a ball on the sweet spot of an aluminum baseball bat and send it off the wall in the outfield; there’s no vibration, only a true, single ping.
The force was great enough so that the door swung back open slightly and then hit me again on the forehead. The second time there was a vibrating sound, not the true ping of the first flush hit. At least I had the satisfaction of knowing I was able to get the screen door to ground out to the shortstop in its second at-bat.
This all unfolded in the first minute or so that I was out of bed on July 31, 2017. On the way back inside my house I remembered that Penn State football was opening preseason camp in just a couple of hours. With forehead ringing and my lips not yet having touched the first sip of coffee, it was already clear. This is going to be a great day!
Penn State Opens Preseason Camp
Leading into the final season of his career at Penn State, DaeSean Hamilton is prepared for a solid showing. He talks about his uneven production in Happy Valley and what this season should bring.
John McGonigal at the Centre Daily breaks down four story lines to watch entering the season for Penn State. Andrew Callahan of 247Sports has his own list of questions heading into camp.
ESPN has an article in which it declares Penn State a ‘legit playoff contender,’ but the article is behind a paywall. So NO LINK FOR YOU!
Here is an in-depth article concerning Joey Julius and his decision to leave the team.
With all the success last season and the expectations this year, Penn State still is not leading the odds to win the Big Ten. With OSU and Wisconsin ahead of the Lions in the projections, and Michigan right behind them, it is nice to know that PSU will have a chance to win its way back to the Big Ten Championship.
Some Penn State players are happy to remain a slight underdog heading into the season. Jason Cabinda also mentions that the rising expectations can aid the team.
As the preseason camps are just now opening for NCAA football, the bowl schedule for the end of the season has been released. With January 1 landing on a Monday this time around, it opens up the scheduling a little bit. There are only five games on New Year’s Day, including the two playoff semifinals. With the NFL playing on Sunday, no college football games are scheduled. That makes Saturday the busiest day, hosting six bowl games. There are three games each day for the most part leading up to that weekend, so viewing should be more balanced than in recent years.