Thursday, September 20, 2012

Penn State fans taking smug attitude again

Temple will be seen on ABC TV in all of the blue areas.

For about 20 years, I've had a neighbor who was a Penn State fan.
I always envied him because his football program won all the time and my football program, except for the last few years of those two decades, lost all the time.
The relationship worked this way.
He felt sorry for me.
I envied him.
Then it changed a little bit over the last few months.
I felt sorry for him over the Jerry Sandusky thing.
He envied me because Temple didn't have to deal with all that crap.
Before all that went down, we tailgated together at last year's Temple game, his group welcoming me even though I wore my Temple jersey.
I then extolled the virtues of my favorite player, Bernard Pierce, telling them how good he was, that he was a football player who happened to become the Pennsylvania schoolboy 100-meter track champion while messing around with that sport his senior year.
"The great thing about him," I said, "is that he's got moves like Barry Sanders, but he's not afraid of contact. He runs like a fullback. He can go 70 yards on any given play."
One of the group then said something that pissed me off.
"No, offense, but if he's so good, why is he playing at Temple?" in a matter-of-fact way and not kiddingly.
I just shook my head. Offense taken.

'Temple won't score a touchdown. They'll get two field goals.'
_Philly sports talk radio host
I said there were a lot of guys who played at Temple who were really good, mentioning All-American and All-Pro Joe Klecko, former Heisman Trophy runner-up Paul Palmer, Big East offensive and defensive players of the year Dan Klecko and Walter Washington, former Redskins' Tre Johnson and Leslie Shepard, Jets' first-round draft choice Mo Wilkerson, etc., etc..
Then the game began and it was evident Temple had just as many good players as Penn State and played with a passion and pride Penn State didn't display except for the final drive. When it was over, most of the Penn State fans in the group showed a lot of class.
"You guys deserved to win," one of them said.
"One of these days we will," I replied.
I'm heading up to Penn State with the same group tomorrow. I will bring my laptop and try to find a place to file a post-game report late Saturday night.
There's a lot of that familiar swag among Penn State fans this year, that Temple can't possibly win. Mike Missenelli, the sports talk host in town and a Penn State alum, said today on the radio, "Temple won't score a touchdown. They'll get two field goals. The score will be 20-6." I hope Missenelli gets a lot of calls from Temple fans on his show Monday.
Pretty smug attitude about a Penn State team that lost to Virginia and Ohio. Virginia got smoked by Georgia Tech, 56-20, and Ohio struggled to beat Marshall, 27-24.
I know Temple will score a touchdown and I suspect the Owls will score several.
If that happens, and the Owls win, forgive me for not feeling sorry for Penn State.