I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome back all of our fair-weather fans! I mean it! There’s no sarcasm or ill will here. After a huge upset of Ohio State and a stat-boosting route of Purdue, how could I be feeling anything other than happy to see you all? Nittany Nation is richer and fuller when we’re all here and it’s nice to feel that again.

Watching the second half of the game on Saturday was a lot like the gloriously warm, sunny, breezy, fall day that followed it. Watching the game was like taking in a deep breath of fresh air, looking around at the leaves ablaze and feeling, at least for this moment, content. No angst. Just fun. Aaaah. It feels so good!

I recently saw this quote: “Rock bottom is always the beginning of newness. It hurts and it’s painful, and then there’s the waiting - where you don’t know what the heck is going on and you don’t think any of it is going to make sense and then, there’s the rising.”


The problem is that you almost never know you’re rising. It’s not a logical progression: hitting bottom, waiting, rising. Sometimes hitting bottom involves bouncing off it for a while. Sometimes waiting has parts that feel like rising and then parts that feel like sinking again. Sometimes the real rising is only rising in hindsight.

My friends, we have hit rock bottom for sure. We’ve bounced off of rock bottom for a while. We’ve done more than our fair share of waiting and watching and working. I believe we’re now finding ourselves in a rise and sink situation.

We rise in victory on the field. We sink as we realize our University practically handed over over $6 million to McQueary so as not to spoil the storyline on which they’ve already spent upwards of $150 million.

We rise in solidarity and tenacity in honoring our legacy brick by brick. We sink as the Board of Trustees demonstrates their commitment to removing transparency by cutting the live streaming of the public comment portion of their public meetings.

But it’s these glimpses of rising that give us hope. We still have a long way to go. We will rise higher. And we will fall. And to the fair-weather fans, when we lose again, because we will, I truly hope you’ll stay.

Is this our metaphorical rise from the ashes? We’ll see, probably only in hindsight, but until then I’m going to revel in every moment of victory.