Pregame Predictor: Bring Back the Swagger

Pregame Predictor: Bring Back the Swagger

I saw them all this week, unfortunately. All the negative comments, and all the tweets. All the doomsday predictions and all the defiance. Let’s be honest with ourselves, Nittany Nation was a mess this week. It’s hard to imagine that it was just a week ago we were pumping our fists and pleading our case to the court of ‘elite.’ And just like that, back down the roller coaster we went. It was brutal I tell you. If you missed it, I’m jealous. The ugly side of social media struck again inside our little bubble as all those keyboard warriors came out as they always do.

You would think with all the criticism I saw this week that we hadn't actually experienced this before. The fact is, we have. Three years in a row, in fact. Since 2016, we have reached this point in mid-October with the exact same identical 4-2 record that we have today. Has anyone ever heard of the old cliché, “Act like you’ve been there before?” Anyone? By now, we should be well in tune with the fact that seasons don’t end only six games in, so act like it. And while you’re at it, bring back the swagger that makes us who WE ARE, too. I thought we were Lions, not sheep.

Nobody likes to lose, especially when those losses were more than winnable. We know it, the coaches know it, and the players that play the game know it more than anyone. There is nothing that we, as fans, can say that they haven’t already dissected a thousand times on film and at practice since last Saturday. Although that game ended with a monstrous thud, it was not the end all and be all to the 2018 season. Not in any way. Now, all the talk I hear revolves around next year and the expectations that have inevitably risen, but the fact remains we still have six games left and it all begins with a scrappy Indiana squad on the road. Perhaps it’s best our boys leave town for the weekend because quite frankly, our swagger as a fan base has been flat-lining all week long.

For the record, I’m not buying it. And I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid of the people that say there’s nothing left to play for. I remember fondly how we all felt back in early January after snuffing out the Washington Huskies. I was there and lived it live in person. At that moment, those two losses we took on the chin meant absolutely nothing to any of us. As frustrating as it was last week in Happy Valley, our Nittany Lions did not just forget the game of football all of the sudden. So what if we teeter and flirt on the mountaintop a little bit before we finally cross the other side? Instant gratification is great, I get it, but it’s the struggle that really makes it all worth it in the end. They need US now more than ever so put down those pitchforks and bring back the swagger: PENN STATE 37, HOOSIERS 13 as we all get back on track!