This is college football. It does’t matter if it was Penn State or not. This game had everything that is good about college football. It made you feel good. A beautiful early Fall Saturday in central PA is like nothing else. This is why we put up with those ugly Winters. Crisp, clean, bright sunny skies. Magnificent.
Then we had a great atmosphere. It was a patriotic day in the Stadium. We honored our troops. The fly over was very cool and P.J. Byers, a Navy vet and current Penn State player, carrying the flag was priceless. If your patriotic heart wasn’t pumping, you may not have one.
Something has changed here. Maybe this team wasn’t ready for the first two games, it wasn’t time. They wanted it, to be sure, but this time felt different. This time the tip ball fell into Penn State’s hands. This time the defense showed its teeth. This time the offense was moving the ball. This was the time. And, boy did they need it. The amount of stuff that has been thrown at this team is historic. It felt good. The smiles were so nice to see, the relief could be felt. This was due and this team deserved it.
Bill O’Brien got a shower he will never forget. That was so good, because it showed that this is a team. When he was interviewed shortly afterward he talked about how happy he was for the team to win this game. The reporter informed him the team told her they wanted to win the game for him. You could see how much that meant to him. It shot across his face. He was deeply touched. That’s the kind of coach you want to play for. This team needed this win, Bill O’Brien needed this win. They both won.
It was agreed upon, before the game, that the teams would get together and sing the Navy alma mater with the Navy Band. Win or lose, that was going to happen. What other teams do that? Nobody. It’s class, it’s college football the way it should be. It’s a game. Play hard, fight hard, but in the end there are much more important things. Like military service. Class….class….class. Then the new tradition of the Penn State players and their own alma mater. It’s great college football.
Is there work to be done? Sure there is. But on this day, in this place, Bill O’Brien got his first win. This team that has endured more pain, obstacles, sanctions and heartache than we can grasp, won its first game. They won against an opponent that has a greater calling and they stood with them in the end and sang their alma mater. Does it get any better than that? No, my friends, you witnessed what is best about College football. Compassion, courage, admiration, respect and class. That’s why I love college football.