Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Ugh, Michigan. And, ugh, the guy who had to wear his Michigan sweatshirt to church. In Pennsylvania.

I’ve read a lot of fan reactions the last couple days. Half of us complaining about the coaching, the play-calling, the offensive line, the absolute terribleness of our team. The other half of us complaining about the complainers, imploring all of us to cease the negativity and, at the very least, silently wait this out. Me? I tend to side with the Pollyannas. You know I don’t have much patience for criticizing. Everybody thinks they can be a teacher because they went through school; everybody thinks they can be a coach because they watch the games. No matter which side you tend toward, we are all feeling the same angst.

Through all of the reacting and frustration-expressing, runs a common blue and white thread. Complaining. Ha, I’m just kidding! A poor attempt at comic relief.

It is awful to lose! It’s awful to go up against a struggling Michigan team, have a chance to take the win in the big house, and blow it. That said, I’m going to try not to join in the complaining. I’m going to try to be happy that we have won four games so far. I’m going to try to keep our situation in perspective.

It’s been a long three years. We are exhausted. We have 75 scholarships to everyone else’s 85. Look at the roster. Our team is young, seriously young, and our coaching staff is new. Are these excuses? Maybe. But they are our reality.

We’ve finally come to the season the NCAA and the rest of the haters planned for us. We’re struggling. And that, I believe, is by design. The goal was to cripple our program. The goal was to turn us against ourselves and “fix” our “culture problem.” It’s a sad fact that certain people in power attempted to use our football program to their own gain. Yet, here we are. It’s never again going to be just about football, is it.

When some of the sanctions were finally lifted, did you remember the big wins of last season and embrace our 4-0 start and feel as though at last the clouds were lifting? Now it's raining just when we thought we were going to get some sun.

Our true common ground is this: at the end of the day, we’re all in. All of us. No one threatened to stop watching. Not one person said forget this team I’m done. Nobody’s quitting.

That is the loyalty that defines us. We Are Penn State and we keep showing up through good and bad. Our continued support in the stands and on our couches is the only way we can really help our team this season, the only way we add to their future success.

Chance of stormy weather in effect until January. Batten down the hatches, get yourself some Penn State rain gear, and keep showing up. We will ride this one out together.