Holding Out Hope

Holding Out Hope

Well, that didn’t go as I’d hoped. I’m sure I’m just as bummed as you are today. Losing to Ohio State feels terrible, especially after that third-quarter run. I was losing hope at the start of the second half. Then, hope came rushing back with seventeen points! Alas, it was not meant to be.

No one really thought we would win anyway, I guess. Not that it makes me feel any better but at least it wasn’t a shock. At least we knew losing at the horseshoe was a real possibility. Still, we hoped for the best. What we got was the best our players and coaches could do that day. I do believe they gave it all they had because why wouldn’t they?

I am not angry that we lost. How could I be angry at a team of college kids playing a game? It’s disheartening to me to see so much anger flying after a loss. I’m not talking about the death threats; obviously, it is beyond outrageous to be so angry about a game that you threaten another person. I’m just not sure those of you, those of us, who rip players apart in the ugly comment sections of the internet are that far from outrageous either. At the end of the day, it’s only a game. Grips need to be gotten. I’m over “winning above all else” in all its manifestations. Is the point of the game to win? No.

Yes, you read correctly. I did just write that winning is not the point. The purpose of the game is not winning, it’s competition. It’s preparation and sportsmanship and battle. You cannot win a game every time. If you’re playing only to win, you’re missing out on the essence of the whole contest.


I’ve quoted Joe Paterno’s graduation speech before and I’ll quote it again as a reminder of what Penn State Football is all about:

“We set high goals for our people… We strive to be No. 1. We work hard to achieve our goals and when Saturday comes and we walk on the grass in this stadium, we stand as a team. We tighten up our belts. We look across at our opponents. We say, “Come on, let’s go. Let’s see how good you are. Let’s play.” We are ready... If we win, great, wonderful—and the alumni are happy for another week. But, win or lose, it is the competition which gives us pleasure.”

I KNOW it’s awful to lose. We can all agree on that. Feel your feelings, please. Feel your feelings instead of bashing players, coaches, and other fans. Don’t erode our Success with Honor by behaving dishonorably when success is not found. Sometimes the other team is just better. And that really is ok. Take pride in the competition.

I believe in our program. I believe in the kind of person James Franklin is and the standards he sets for his players. I believe we will win again, against Ohio State even! I’ll always hold out hope for that well-seasoned dish of success with honor.