I heard that the team’s motivation this past week was that nobody, not even in State College, thought they could win against Wisconsin. I’m a diehard optimist for our team; I always have that bit of hope that we’ll come out on top. However, I must guiltily admit that I might have been one of those doubters. The Badgers were ranked 15 and we hadn’t won on the road all season. Even I had to admit it looked bleak. I was hoping for a competitive game.
What I got was Penn State football at its best. The underdogs rising to the task. Moments when it looked easy and moments when it was nail-biting. Hoping against hope down to the wire. This team really does have something extra. Angels in the end zone. Magic.
Did you bask in the win all weekend? Did it make you feel a little better about returning to your regular routine after the holiday? Even as we enjoy it there’s that nagging bittersweetness of the season’s end. We’ve certainly been on a roller coaster this fall-- win, loss, win, loss, win. Michigan. Illinios. Wisconsin. Thanks for riding it with me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed all of your positive comments and “likes” on Facebook. So many of you took the time to write things that I will never forget. Thank you.
Writing this blog has made me wonder about the ways we all celebrate football season. It’s made me notice how much Penn State there is in the world. It’s made me brave enough to speak up with the truth about our football program and our university. And now that the season comes to an end, I wonder about all of you going about your business until next fall. What will you remember about this season? How is Penn State part of the rest of your year?
So long. Tootle loo. That’s what my Mommom used to say when we were leaving. The last time I saw her before she died, she didn’t say “so long.” Instead she said good bye. I’ve always remembered that. These days most people I know say see ya. But every now and then someone says it. Good bye. I don’t like it. I can’t help but correct it. No, I say, it’s not good bye. I’ll see you later.
So, that is what we will say to each other. We, the loyal, resilient fans. We say see you later to the players, of whom we will certainly hear great things in the future. We say see you later to the coaches we’ve grown to trust. In the meantime we have bigger battles to fight. Battles off the field and in the courthouse. Battles within our university. Battles in our daily lives, reeducating the general public and undoing the damage done to our Dear Old State. We may see each other again at Thon, at the Blue/White game, at the stadium next September. We might run into each other at parent/teacher conferences and hardware stores. What a delightfully small world. Until then we fight on as one team. Wear your blue and white proudly. We are Penn State.