Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life (and football) Goes On

I want to apologize to my faithful legion of readers, small group of readers, some guy in Quincy, MA who actually reads this blog, for the paucity of posts this summer.  I posted a guest column a few weeks ago, but I have not actually posted since May!

In my defense, my dad passed away on July 27th. after suffering multiple strokes.  I have not felt like blogging much.  You can read about my amazing golf ball story on my other blog.

My dad won't be attending games with me for the first time in my life.  He has missed a few games the past couple of years for various reasons.  He pretty much gave up the 8pm games since 2005.  But I always knew he COULD go.  There was a game against Michigan State back in the mid-1990's when we had travel plans to go to Disney.  My dad and I went to the game anyway.  We had to leave before the game was over to make our flight out of University Park Airport.  My daughter asked my wife what would happen if I didn't make it to the airport in time.  She answered, "We're going without him."  When she asked my mom what would happen if Pap Pap didn't make it, my mom replied, "We're going without him."  We did make it.  Barely.

And while I know he will be there in spirit, any son who has lost their dad will tell you it is not the same.

Yet, I find myself looking forward to this season starting.  Perhaps it is the anticipation of James Franklin and the opportunity to see what he can do with this team that many have written off as the "worst year of the sanctions."

Or perhaps it is this article about James Franklin leading Penn State back to glory.
Brick by brick. This is how one of the nation’s premier college football powers will be resurrected. It won’t happen today or tomorrow or even next year, but it will happen. It’s only a matter of time before a small, power-packed foundation grows into something more. You see a family, 16 grown men functioning as a unit. And it’s not just these men. It’s the wives and children who have celebrated the highs and lows in football and in life, at schools and at barbecues. You see this same family expanding, embracing open wounds with open arms, listening to those who have endured unspeakable change before worrying about more pressing football matters. You see a staff that was crafted to work in this very location. It’s as if this group were constructed for this purpose and this purpose alone, and the geographic familiarity is already paying dividends. You see a quarterback with a golden arm, an enormous Band-Aid at a time when it’s needed most. And you see why, eventually, this will all be so much bigger than it is now. You can’t help but admire the bricks being laid, one strategically placed block at a time.
Perhaps it is the news that Braxton Miller will be out for the season.  As if we needed any more of an advantage over those Buckeyes ;)!

Perhaps it is the news that the Holier-Than-Everyone-Else Notre Dame is investigating 4 football players for academic fraud.  Slightly amusing.  Probably deserved.  But after the glass house built by the media and Jerry Sandusky, it's really tough to pick up a stone right now.  But maybe I'll have some fun with this later.

Perhaps it is Penn State's 6th ranked recruiting class (according to Rivals) which beats the nearest Big Ten competitor by 10 slots.  If Franklin can coach half as good as he can recruit . . .

Perhaps it's the report that an Icelandic Volcano could threaten the travel plans for the match-up in Ireland against UCF.  I blame this on Joel Myers.  It's weather related--volcanic ash or some sort of excuse.

Or maybe it's this copy of a letter supposedly written by Peggy Bauer Glaser to Dr. Barron:
Whereas in 2012 the NCAA, based on the flawed Freeh report, criticized Joe Paterno and others for not investigating the allegations of Sandusky's sexual abuse of a child, now the NCAA is saying that no members of athletics should attempt to direct or intervene in a sexual abuse investigation. So now, they have concluded that Joe Paterno was correct in reporting the allegation and then stepping aside. If you will read my letter from 2012, that is exactly what Joe Paterno should have done--and what he did.  So Joe Paterno was fired for doing what he should have done from an HR policy position and from the ultimate position of the NCAA. 
Whereas in 2012 the NCAA, based on the flawed Freeh report, criticized Joe Paterno and others for allegedly covering up Sandusky's abuse, the Pennsylvania state prosecutor Frank Fina addressed the question of whether or not there was any evidence of the involvement of Joe Paterno in a cover up and he replied that no such evidence was found.So Joe Paterno was fired even though there was no evidence of a cover-up. 
Now is the time to formally recognize Joe Paterno. Recognition can be achieved by such actions as: return the statue, name the stadium field Paterno Field, seek the rightful return the 409 record built by success with honor, seek to overturn the sanctions, adopt a culture of standing up for the University, and let the alumni community know the University also believes in success with honor.  Do the honorable thing. . .
Not going to hold my breath on this, lest I turn bluer than I already am.

I don't know what it is, but I am really looking forward to this season!

What think you????

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