Generations of Greatness. I wish I had been in the stadium so I could offer a more complete critique of the event, but I will say I found the uniforms amusing. Our uniform has changed so subtly over the years that in order to make a throwback uni look any different, they had to combine several minor changes from different eras. I suspect this was a first foray into alternate uniforms, which are so popular with other schools. It was fun, I think, but maybe let’s not make it more of a thing than this. I’m really not into the alternate uniform idea. Black shoes, basic blues, no name, all game: it’s been great for generations!
In honor of the theme, I poked around the internet to find some interesting Penn State alumni of the past that you may not have known about. There’s Herman Fisher; he graduated in 1921 and he went on to co-found Fisher Price Toys. Betty and Richard James graduated in 1938; they invented the slinky. Guion Bluford, class of 1964 was a NASA astronaut and the first African American in space. And, Margaret Carlson graduated in 1966 and became Time Magazine’s first female columnist. There are so many, many famous alumni it was hard not to write the whole blog about them. I read somewhere that something like 1 in 117 Americans graduated from Penn State.
Some folks are complaining that the win on Saturday was ugly. I think they’re just scared. Scared that we might lose to Michigan or Ohio State. Scared that such a great season is going to tank. I don’t blame them. I’m pretty sure we’re all nervous. It feels great to be doing so well and we don’t want to mess that up. Do we have things to work on? Oh sure. Each player has their faults and as a team there are clear areas that need improvement. I’m choosing to keep my eye on the great.
You know what’s great? Watching Saquon Barkley toss a pass to DaeSean Hamilton to not only score a touchdown but also to break Penn State’s all-time receptions record. Barkley’s 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Saquon Barkley. Period.
Also great? Jason Cabinda’s career high 14 tackles. Nick Scott scooping up a fumbled ball and running it in for a touchdown.
Super great? A 5-0 start for the first time since 2008.
True greatness? Brandon Smith who works with Honduran Soles, a non-profit that collects and ships shoes to needy children. He’s also selected for the All State Good Works Team, a finalist for another award dubbed the “Academic Heisman”, and he’s working on a second degree with a GPA of 3.8.
How about this year’s homecoming Grand Marshal, John Urschel, who graduated in 2012 with a 4.0, retired from the NFL and is now pursuing his Ph.D.
And Devon Still, who founded the Still Strong Foundation, which gives grants to families affected by childhood cancers, in honor of his daughter’s fight with cancer.
Bill O’Brien, Michael Mauti, Michael Zordich and the rest of the 2012 football team, who held us together when it seemed all was lost, or at the very least chaos.
And Joe Paterno, the man who built this great university from cow college to world class institution, a great coach and educator, who raised a great family--all of us included--who embody his ideals and carry his legacy on even while the same great university continues to ignore him. It’s because of Joe that we believe deep down in our Nittany Lion hearts that we’re destined to do great things.