As If…

As if I know what I’m talking about. Yeah, heading into the football season (can you believe only two weeks away?), this turkey is not ready. I spent far too much time worrying about the stupid lawsuits, Paterno’s legacy, NCAA sanctions, etc., and far too little time with the business at hand: Penn State football.

The colonoscopy was Thursday, by the way, and it came out with typical results for a geezer my age. Thanks for asking, and thanks just the same if you didn’t.

Mounds and mounds of putrid pontification

I burned myself out writing mounds of toilet paper to no end. To employ an oft-abused crappy cliche, it is what it is. Some crusaders out there will never shut up, but this turkey is going to get off of that track. In time, no one will care about the sordid past and that we wuz done wrong; in fact (a nebulous one, which I just made up) I can feel the apathy increasing geometrically from month to month.

Penn State has a more important mission than repairing Paterno’s legacy or firing trustees who agreed with the decision to fire him. (Note no capital “H” there.) There is a university to run, research grants to be obtained, students to be educated, and an unfairly maligned and punished football program rising from the ashes. All the lawsuits and the “fire the board” sentiments place other needs and wants first, vindication seemingly among the foremost of them. Screw dat! Great big fucking waste of time! Let’s get our heads out of our asses here!

We’ll let those rusty, unlubricated wheels turn without us. They might have some minor triumphs here and there. Who knows what will happen to “The Three Stooges” in their trial next spring? Who cares? And Mark Emmert, of sanctions fame, appears to be jumping off the deep end mentally. Aside from all the botched investigations and uneven treatment of investigations and ensuing punishment that seem to be somehow related to schools’ basketball revenue generation capabilities, Emmert is crusading against logo merchandise in the wake of the Johnny Manziel autographed Jersey scandal at Texas A & M. His simplistic, reactionary remedies to save his own ass by trying to make the NCAA appear less hypocritical have done just the opposite — they’ve exposed Emmert as the biggest, most transparent hypocrite of the bunch. So, watching Emmert flame out from the sidelines will be most entertaining. God will punish him eventually without “our” help. As for us, we need to get back to the pernicious culture of football for which we were roundly castigated by Freeh, Emmert, and various hangers on — and their lemmings.

See what I’m doing here? I said I wanted to blow this crap off, but I’m dwelling on it. Actually, I’m just trying to purge the last traces of vitriol about it all by penning it. It’s therapeutic.

For the Paternoists who claim that they won’t attend any more games until the Legend’s legacy is restored, I call BULLSHIT! First of all, attendance was in decline for many reasons before his denouement, and one of the reasons was Paterno himself. I have to say that the price increases were stupidly timed, given that the team’s performance under the old, stale coaching scheme sucked the big one. How the hell do you justify charging more for an increasingly inferior product? You know that “The Dark Years” were merely the harbinger of mediocrity for many years to come, as long as The Legend was running the show. So, cut your crap, already. Between you and our favorite writers (I say that sarcastically) at the Patriot-News, you’ll surely drive O’Brien out of town if you keep up the whining about Paterno.

The king is dead. Long live the king!

End of digression. Beginning of football talk.

We have a season ahead, and we have a coach who far exceeded anyone’s expectations (to coin a phrase) in his rookie season. Even those of you who continue to mop the marble floor of the pantheon of expired coaches past might actually agree with that. Don’t you want to hang your sour pusses at the door and see what the future holds? Let’s enjoy some football, for a change!

To that end it is time for the turkey to do some ridiculously inaccurate prognostication. This year, I’ll be pulling a lot of stuff straight out of my ass (what else is new?), because the whole depth chart is presently up in the air.

Hell, O’Brien won’t even tell us who the starting quarterback will be.  Many pundits believe that Tyler Ferguson is ahead of Christian Hackenberg in practice, but in the end, O’Brien, not they, will make the decision.

There have been position moves (Gary Gilliam from TE to OT, Trevor Williams from WR to DB) and lots of significant graduation departures. There were even two significant graduation retentions — WR Brandon Moseby-Felder and TE Matt Lehman both graduated at the end of Summer B. And, of course, graduate mathematician OG John Urschel is still with us this year after a great speech at the B1G Kickoff Luncheon.

You can be pretty certain of a couple of other things, though. One, you’ll certainly be seeing vaunted rookie TE Adam Brenneman, and two, the defensive secondary will suck. As usual, I’m not worried about the linebackers, with Glenn Carson and Mike Hull in there, and the defensive front can hold its own with DaQuan Jones and Deion Barnes. Given all the changes and futzing around with the O-line, I can’t yet form an opinion, but because of all the brain work and synchrnonicity [AS pointed out that there was a misspelling here, but it’s deliberate, a neologistic nominalization of unsynchronized — and if you believe that… —TNT] required of an offensive line, I can safely conclude that they’ll be sucking for at least a few games before they can possibly coalesce into an efficiently functional unit.

Did you know that we’ve got both a DaQuan and a Da’Quan on DaTeam? Or is it Da’Team? Cornerback Da’Quan Davis and DT DaQuan Jones. Both apostrophated and unapostrophated forms. Alas, those are the two most interesting names on Da’Team. There are no superapostrophical names. (Can anyone ever beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson?)

A good receiving corps led by returning junior Allen Robinson and new graduate Brandon Moseby-Felder promises to engage in some interesting gambits this year, if you listen to crap coming out of training camp. Of course, they can’t say just exactly what they’re talking about, but it sounds good to say it. Kyle Carter leads the tight end corps, along with Jesse James, Matt Lehman, and newbie Adam Brenneman. Expect them to be solid in the O’Brien tight end tradition. Their plays are being kept secret, too.

Zack Zwinak and Bill Belton will return at RB, along with redshirt freshman “speedster” (I love that old sportscaster code word — it meant “black guy” back then) Akeel Lynch. Zwinak is persistent, slow, and somewhat hampered by a broken wrist, and Belton had grade issues and an ankle injury from which he never seemed to fully recover, but Lynch could be one significant Lynchpin (I had to work that in) of the offense. He has got the speed and the moves. Now he just needs some space (hello, offensive line?). However, with Mike Zordich gone, there will be a tremendous deficit at fullback. Pat Zerbe is the guy who is slotted in at that position. Time will tell whether he can fill Zordich’s shoes.

So, that’s sort of the team we’ll be watching, possibly, maybe. No, I haven’t gone into excruciating detail about each player’s performance in practice or his girlfriend’s hair color. (Or his boyfriend’s — as a writer, one has to play this politically correctly for equality these days). You can get that elsewhere, and it’ll still be full of shit. I just want to whet your appetite for football with the season looming in TWO DAMN WEEKS!!! I’ll be back with my prognosticatorialistic effort, my fallible forecast, my pretty poor prediction for the season ahead. I don’t want to write too much here, because I’ve put too many of you to sleep already.

One more thing — for those intrepid souls who have read this far. It is clear that your character is strong. So, why not demonstrating the strength of your charitable side by sponsoring this turkey in the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk, a 5K to support research in heart disease and stroke. You know that you’ll feel better when you open your wallet and donate a few bucks. Just click on the brightly colored “SPONSOR ME” button by the red thermometer (that thing better have numbers on it) that can be found on this page. Thanks in advance for your support!


  1. […] In an earlier post, I gave my turkish overview of the team without knowing what the final depth chart will reveal. I restricted my commentary to a pretty good collection of potential starters. If we could count on those guys to play 60 minutes a game from next Saturday through the end of the season, a Phil Grosz fairy dust season could be in reach. You and I know that there is little depth available on this squad — and that’s going to get worse instead of better in subsequent seasons because of the scholarship reduction at the behest of the NCAA’s draconian sanctions. Youth, inexperience, and mediocrity will conspire to lose football games — and that’s the reality of the situation Penn State is in. The second halves of games will be rough sledding, let alone the latter part of the season. […]

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