If Only

If Only

After all my jabbering about the names on the backs of the uniforms, I can’t let the nameless jerseys go unblogged about. How about that! It was a sight for sore eyes when I first saw them and quickly went unnoticed as it synced up with years of nameless memories in my brain. A little bit like coming home. Paying homage to our history isn’t that difficult after all. If modern football must demand names on the jerseys, I can live with one throwback game a year.

Of course, we’re supposed to win on homecoming. I always feel bad for the team that doesn’t, and it hits hard when its us. (Minnesota 1999, anyone?) Yeah, ok, I hear you on the play calling, the O-Line, the mistakes. We’re frustrated. We didn’t win. We looked like a bit of a mess. After all these years of watching the team, it’s hard not to feel like we have a stake in their play and a spot on the coaching staff, even if its only from our couches.

Nothing makes me more frustrated during a game gone wrong than listening to complaints about the coaching and the players. I have a tough time keeping my sarcasm in check when I would rather grouse about the complainers: oh yes, I bet they all walked onto the field today and said hey fellas let’s not put in our best effort, ok? And the coaching staff definitely came up with a game plan they thought was mediocre. Ugh. Can we not give our Nittany Lions our full support? Can we not, in our frustration and disappointment, keep our commentating to encouragement? Is there perhaps a reason that we are not part of the coaching staff? If we are going to lose, can I please watch in aggravated silence?

I didn’t see enough of Franklin on the sidelines in the second half to see how he handled it. All of us watching on TV saw the heated exchange between Hackenberg and hackenberg and beltonBelton. The talking heads assured us that they had a second, peacemaking conversation a bit later; I hope that’s true. I think you learn a lot about a person by how they act when things are not going their way. The first couple lines of Rudyard Kipling’s poem kept coming to my mind and I couldn’t help but wish them in the team’s direction:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

Maybe it’s a good thing we have two long weeks to work some things out. Saturday was a tough day. Until then, let’s talk about something else.