They always have, and always will.
But it will be those who step back up after falling that will reap the greatest rewards of life.
From my viewpoint, Ohio State out played the Nittany Lions on Saturday. It was an unfortunate result, and somewhat similar to a gut punch.
Because this was supposed to be it, and if you were a fan of Penn State, an alumni of any kind you could feel the town swell with emotion and pride. We were going to show the world what we were a team that floundered early against Ohio and Virginia, but had found it's way to playing some of the best football in the Big Ten, and I would argue, all of the North East.
I believe the team knew it too. That they could never exist in a bubble where the whispers would remain only whispers and they would begin to hear the real, loud talk echoing from local radio sports casters, to columnists, even to the levels of ESPN, that something was happening in Happy Valley. Something that was so positive and good for the players, for the community, for the students, for everyone NOT involved that it begged to be noticed in that light.
And they wanted it. I have no doubt that those players left everything they had on the field that night. They wanted it for the same reasons the fans wanted it.
Perhaps one of only two teams in the country who could identify on any level with what the Penn State football team was going through, was Ohio State. Banned from post-season play for the year after it was found that players had been paid for doing little to no work by an Ohio State Booster.
They met their challenge head on, and succeeded.
It seemed, at least for a moment, that Penn State in any and every context had failed.
But that is not exactly what really happened is it?
Those players played with passion for the game, for the school, for themselves, and for each other. They were a team in the truest sense of the word.
But they're human.
And as humans are not perfect. Strive though we might.
We are prone, at any given moment, to failure.
What seperates each and every one of us, is how we respond to those moments. How will we push, to overcome the obstacles that are before us? Perhaps the very ones that just knocked us down?
The key to overcoming failure, and possibly preventing it, is to readily acknowledge that failure IS possible, to put forth everything in your body and it may still not be enough.
If that is the case, then you must find a way if possible to either improving your limits via training, or adapting to the limits that you have reached.
I was happy to see that players and coaches and fans did not quit on themselves, nor in each other. That the effort was there and should be lauded in spite of the result.
That there were positives in the game, and at every position.
Though he certainly had his mistakes, McGloin played pretty well, throwing for 327 yards, 2 scores and 1 costly interception. He was sacked 4 times, but he dealt with pressure all game and made for the most part, the correct decisions.
Zwinack, while not having the burst to produce long runs, seems amazingly consistent at running between 3-8 yards every time.
Mike Mauti and the defense played as hard as they could, though sometimes it seemed that the speed and physical play of Braxton Miller eventually wore them down. (53 total runs can do that to even the most stout defenses.)
Allen Robinson continued to look the part of a prototype receiver, but could not comedown with a couple of difficult catches to make the big plays down the field.
Today is the start of a new week, and while Penn State may not have accomplished it's main goal on Saturday, today is a day to move forward and reach their goals against a team in Purdue that could be dangerous at home having to respond to their own 4 game losing streak.
The team responded after the opening two losses with six consecutive great efforts. I don't doubt a seventh will be on it's way.