As Penn State fans left the stadium on Saturday night the reactions on their faces made one wonder: How blue can you get? While the loss to Michigan State was a shocker for many supporters of the team, it is easy to forget in the moment that we’ve been down harder.
No one wants to hear it, so close to the pain of a loss, but the sun will come up tomorrow. Many fans took to solitude to avoid the certain negativity that would result in online circles, putting it all out of their mind in order to get over everything. I know that when I’m outside in a real good mood you can almost forget about all those other things, like a big old ominous cloud in the periphery. And yet it was difficult to forget how the Lions were out-shined by the Spartans for the second season in a row. The team fell on black days.
The coaches and players tried their best, but I guess their best wasn’t good enough this time. Here we are back where we were before: a loss to Ohio State followed up by a loss to Michigan State. To some it seems as though nothing for the team ever changes, this year they will be playoff strangers. But in the long view progress is clearly being made, and nothing is going to break coach Franklin’s stride as he continues to work toward raising the program to an elite level.
While it is understandable and expected that many were dazed and confused following the second loss of the season, it is in the best interest of everyone that we try to put it behind us. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you might find, you get what you need. This team, and the fans that hope to cheer on a champion, may have needed a little wake up call. The players will have to collect their books and get back to school. The fans may feel a temptation to flee, to steal their daddy’s cue and make a living out of playing pool.
Oh, Penn State football, you stole our heart but we love you anyway.
While we sometimes gripe about the outcome of the games, you know that in our mind you are irreplaceable. We scroll through the negative comments online and just keep swiping to the left, to the left. Everything negative goes in that spam box to the left, the doubts that the team will make it to the elite level some day included. You must not know about coach Franklin.
While it is not healthy to live in comparison to others, the setbacks that the Lions have faced are not as bad as it could get; we have friends in low places, just ask Rutgers or Nebraska. In these tough times we can lean on fellow Penn Staters, and use their empathy like a bridge over troubled water.
We can’t have our cake and eat it, too. If you play the high-stakes game of college football, it is important to go the distance with the team, win or lose. And though it may seem that we are all alone, all alone in a time of need, we are not. We are Penn State fans, we have one of the largest support groups in the country, we are family.
Each week we only get one shot to win a game. What happens over the course of the season will fall into place, but as fans it would be best to lose yourself in the moment and enjoy each game. Bring some of your mom’s spaghetti to the tailgate, pop a handful of M&M’s in your mouth, and take in a double-barrelled nostril pull of that cool autumn air.
The colorful leaves in the trees once fallen, will brown and the skies will grey as winter takes hold. We only have one fall to enjoy in 2018, six more football games; leave the California dreaming, Rose Bowl or bust, for the conclusion of the conference schedule. You never know, there could be unexpected positive surprises remaining this fall.