Well here we go again….
The Beast From the East….the dreaded home of so called Happy Valley…..what a name….the only place on Earth you can go and find 110,000 fans dressed in white….during a white-out ……in a bad snowstorm and feel as if your at the Weather Research Station on Antarctica ……happy valley indeed…..we for the sake of decency won’t go into the whole disgusting sequence of events that caused it to become UN-HAPPY VALLEY and the removal of the Joe Paterno Statue from the stadium and several court trials and arrests and subsequent convictions of some of the staff at Penn St.
Anyway….on to better things…..first a few quick fun facts about Penn.St.
1) When Penn St decided to play intercollegiate football back in 1887 their first team went undefeated that first season….. hooray for them…….only trouble is they leave out the part about that first season where they only played a
2 game season……..lol
2) The 2nd Most Photographed place in Pennsylvania is the statue of the Nittany Lion…..only thing is the Nittany Lion does not exist in the real world !….it seems the Artist who sculpted the statue used photos of 2 lions to come up with the Nittany Lion….an African Lioness was used and a North American Mtn. Lion…..
3) Penn St. Original Mascot was a Mule used to haul big blocks of limestone from Coal Mines..it’s name was Coaly the Mule
4) In 1925 Penn St. Purchased 2 pair of Grey Squirrels in an attempt to have them populate the campus giving it a more Neighborhood homey feel…they cost the school $32.00
5). Penn St is reported to be haunted by no less than at least 2 ghosts the most recent was a female student Stabbed to death in 1969….her murder remains unsolved and her ghost is reported to wander the “Stack’s” the spot she was stabbed, looking for the guilty.
Well there you have 5 fun facts about PSU….there are others but these above seemed to me to be the top 5.
Now…Most of you know I have a list of schools I most likely NEBRASKA to beat up on….
now it’s changed some due to us switching From Big 12 to Big 10 Conference but there is one school that has been on my list for years and has flip flopped between #’s 1 & 2 several times…..yeah it’s Penn State…..see it all goes back to the game in 1982 when Coach Osborne took the #2 ranked Cornhuskers to State College and Happy Valley to play the # 8 ranked Penn St.
In order to save time here we had, Turner Gill, Mike Rozier and Irving Fryar…..they had Todd Blackledge and Mike Mckloskey ….Penn State scored first and after that it was back and forth until the 4th quarter when We took the lead…..well On a 2nd down play just past midfield Blackledge threw up a pass that Mckloskey came down with but way outside the sidelines and the Referee who was right there called it a complete pass…..!…..well the Blackshirts Argued but their pleas for fairness fell on deaf ears….Penn State went on and scored but we blocked the kick and on the following kick off we could not get past our own 35 yard line before time ran out preserving the win for them placing a loss on that teams season…the only loss I might add.
Anyway….that always bugged me as a young kid who grew up playing neighborhood football and High School ball dreaming of one day maybe getting a chance to wear that Helmet with the Bright Red Block “N” on it……..fast forward some years and sure enough I had indeed made it to UNL to play Football for Nebraska..well one mid-week night a group of us Players and Girlfriends of Players got together at Valentino’s Pizza and somehow that 82 game came up during our meal time conversations…..and while we were talking the play out of bounds one of the Guys at our table who was the little brother of a players girlfriend pipes up and says “Hey I know where the complete Broadcast Film and our own Audio Visual Dept film of that game is at as we speak”….you can guess that the small rusty, grease starved, gears in my head came clunking and squeaking to life with one purpose…..revenge….. Well I sat quiet for a few moments as my brain now humming along like Grandma’s Singer Sewing Machine 2 weeks before Christmas sewing together my plan with great speed and refreshed motivation….Well I grabbed the kid from the Audio/Visual room and explained what I wanted to do using those 2 tapes to create my revenge against Penn St.
We devised our dastardly plan to meet the first day of spring break and get this put together and when I arrived to meet him he was not only there but there were 2 other students….a guy from Jamaica who I knew was in the Drama Dept and a skinny little guy with thick glasses and after introductions we proceeded to produce our masterpiece of game film highlights focusing on that one play where we used every angle available and showed VERY CLEARLY I might add that Mckloskey was indeed a little more than a clear foot out of bounds when his own momentum and desire to complete the catch took him there. Several shots clearly showed that the only Referee in the area wasn’t even glancing down but kept his eyes fixed on the Ball and that Mckloskey had indeed caught the ball but he was a foot in the air with both feet and already past the sideline before he came down again no matter what shot or angle you look at it from….
Clearly out of bounds !…..well the Drama Student from Jamaica lent his vocal talent to the film as narrator because he sounded very much like a Jamaican version of James Earl Jones…..and the little guy with glasses he was a wizard with copying and adding the appropriate back ground instrumental music as well….when we were done we had a roughly 25 min long master piece of cinematography that was absolutely the coolest thing I was ever a part of…..well long story short we made and mailed out copies to ESPN, ABC CBS and NBC Sports departments along with several copies to Penn State…..their Campus News Paper, the Athletic Directors Offices and yep…..Joe-Pa himself…..man to have been a fly on his wall on his office when they popped that tape into the VCR….!!!!!
Sadly the only response we ever heard about was an official inquiry from Penn St to Nebraska Sports Information Dept. Asking about the game tape…..and what it’s purpose was…..I was told our response to them was it wasn’t from the University and was most likely some Kidd’s looking for justice…..and that was the absolute end of my video creation days…..as per my promise to Coach.
So in closing here is to the 82 team….Gill, Rozier and Fryar….the entire team and my 1982 Blackshirt Brothers..here is to a damp soggy night in Miami and a Coach who wouldn’t compromise and went for 2 in that fateful endzone of the Orange Bowl….where their hard fought dreams came to an end……and here is to a chunk of painted Sandy turf and soil in a big zip lock bag in my Deep Freezer that I ripped from that same exact end zone at the last Orange Bowl Stadium game ever because they tore it down after this game where as a Freshman celebrating with my teammates in the end zone we re claimed and gained back what was lost…..our first National Championship.
Here is to Cory Schlesinger who’s 2 Tenopir Fullback Trap plays resulted in 2 quick scores that Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson who while gasping for relief on one knee helmets off looking like they had been drug through the muddy Sandy soil and relentlessly hammered on for all 4 quarters and took back what was ours to begin with……so tip your hat or raise your glass because Huskers all…..we showed class in taking back a patch of Grass.
So here’s to us all short fat and tall…..were all Huskers most of all.
Go Big Red
Go Big Red
Go Big Red……