What If

What If

Oh boy it’s been a cranky season, hasn’t it?

When we decided we wanted to try living on one income, so that I could be a stay-at-home mom, cable was one of the expenses that had to be cut. We bought ourselves the modern version of rabbit ears to get the basic channels and set ourselves free from the hassle and cost of the big companies. I really don’t miss it at all until football season comes around. If Penn State isn’t on a main channel, you’re likely to find us camped out on my parents couch watching the game. And that’s precisely where we were on Saturday.

It creates an interesting dynamic--two alumni (my dad and I), one passionate lifelong fan (my husband), one play-with-the-grandkids-in-the-other-room grandma (my mom). This was the scene on Saturday around 4.

My dad, loudly sighing. Me, silently cringing. My husband, vocally strategizing. And, my mom offering a heartfelt, “Oh well.”

I think my mom got it right. We lost. Oh well. It’s not the end of the world. It really isn’t.

Consider something with me for a second. What if we are a terrible team? What if we have an awful coaching staff? What if we keep losing? What if this keeps up for a few years? Oh well. Yep, oh well! It’s OK.

And if it’s not okay, then maybe we really do have a football culture problem.

One of the worst things that could happen to us already happened. We survived. Student enrollment didn’t halt when the Sandusky scandal broke. Not one true Penn State player jumped ship. No true alum quit being proud of his or her university. THON raised more money than ever before. Everyone’s true colors were revealed and we found out who among us was willing to take on this battle. We discovered who would stand up for the truth, who would say the hard things, and who would hold tight to this ship for however long it takes for the storm to pass.

We’re having a rough season, yes. We can be honest that we’re all going to feel a bit relieved when it’s over and we can start fresh next year.

Did you notice the Illinois stands? They were maybe a third full. Illinois had a really exciting game and most of their fans missed it. They’d already given up. That will never be us.

No matter how many complaints and excuses we come up with for this season, we won’t give up. We’ll wait it out. We’ll trust that the future is always bright.

Penn State Football means so much to us. We support our team win or lose. We love our players. But, the football team does not define us. We Are Penn State-- and so much more than one sport.