My first thought was WHITE OUT until I was quickly jolted back from temporary normalcy. With much respect to what could have been during any normal year, the fact that our date with Ohio State was set to take place on Halloween night led to a devilish grin. It was a small consolation compared to 110,000 all decked out in white with tremors vibrating underneath the Beaver Stadium turf. But with the current situation we are in, I took it and ran.
To add fuel to an already blazing primetime, Halloween fire, the game will be played under the second full moon of October, which by tradition makes it a ‘blue moon’ in astrological realms. It is an occurrence that only happens once every two-and-a-half years and in 2020, we take what we can get. Penn State versus the Buckeyes, under the Nittany blue moon? Please, as if I needed any more motivation than that to become overflowing with excitement! To tell you the truth, after the third schedule came out, it was almost a week before I actually paid any attention to our season opener and almost mid-week of game day before the obligatory James Franklin ‘Indiana, Indiana, Indiana…’ tweets started catching steam. Too little, too late.
As we try to make sense of what happened on the road, a wise old adage popped into my head, 'You’re never as good as you think you are when you win, and you’re never as bad as you feel when you lose.’ As if he could sense we needed a reminder, on Thursday we celebrated the nine year anniversary of JoePa’s 409th victory, a snow driven, toe-to-toe, old fashioned Big Ten battle with Illinois under blizzardy conditions (literally). Leave it up to Joe to provide the perspective that one week does not define a season.
In a perfect world, the Hoosiers caught us looking ahead. This world is anything but perfect at the moment, I suspect that old quote from Joe fits us to a T. After all, statistically we waxed the floor with them, despite a myriad of offensive troubles; except of course where it mattered most, the final score.
As usual, the Buckeyes will roll in on their pedestal, high and mighty, without the distraction of rabid fans like us to contend with. Well, I’ve got news for them. There may not be a blizzard in Happy Valley on Saturday night, but the aura will never fully go away. Under the Nittany blue moon, not to mention the watchful eye of Joe, you heard it here first: Penn State 31, Buckeyes 17. LET’S GO LIONS!