…that Penn State will face the Florida Gators in the Outback Bowl in Tampa on January 1? Kickoff is at 1 pm, which is fortunately two hours later than the old 11 am kickoff of past years. Both teams were mediocre this year, sporting 7-5 records.
Yes, yes. Of course, you all know that by now. My purpose here is to be last on the scene, reporting news you already knew, but with an appropriately turkeyesque slant on it.
The Gators are obviously not Tim Tebow’s Gators, and the Lions are obviously not John Shaffer’s Lions. Hell, they’re not even Danny Wuerffel’s Gators and Darryl Clark’s Lions. So all bets are off.
Nevertheless, the Gators come into this game favored by a touchdown. Figures! Penn State tends to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the NCAA. ????? ??? ????? We ain’t ever gonna get no respect, I tellya.
I’ll be taking a look at this game as the next three weeks roll by, so don’t rush me. For now, a couple of anecdotes to keep you occupied while you’re deciding whether to click on my Google AdSense ads that have enriched the Turkey’s coffers by a grand total of $13.74. (And Google won’t cut me a check until it gets up to $100.)
First, you might or might not know that this Turkey lives in Central Florida, in a suburb of Orlando. That makes it easy for me to get to Florida bowl games, so I’ve been to quite a few. However, for whatever reason, I haven’t been to one of the Nittany Lions’ January 1 appearances here for quite a while. Missed the last Outback, Orange, and Capital One (nee Citrus).
The last Outback Bowl I attended was in 1999. I had pneumonia. Funny thing, I have pneumonia now. Don’t know how I got it this time, but back then I was commuting from Orlando to L.A., and I had thrown in a pre-New Year’s trip to England. By the time I got to Tampa, I was full of damn airplane germs. That didn’t stop the Nittany Lions, though, as they whipped a Tim Couch led overperforming bunch of Kentucky Wildcats 26-14. I went home to Orlando, called my client in L.A., and spent the next week in bed.
Prior to that, I had attended the 1996 edition with a lady friend who would get quite inebriated. She was an alumna of both Auburn (our opponent that day) and Alabama; we, of course, were seated smack dab in the middle of the Penn State section. As Ms. Auburn became quite loud during the game yelling for Auburn, I couldn’t control her mouth and I had to defuse a potential incident with the guys in front of us, who were annoyed as hell with her yelling and screaming. “She can cheer for whoever the hell she wants to cheer for!” I bravely asserted, tensing for the right haymaker that never came. “Yes, she can,” said one of the guys in front. You see, we’re Penn State fans and we’re polite. I was very happy when Ms. Auburn left to visit her son, an Auburn student who was sitting in the end zone way over there. She eventually returned, the long foot journey having sobered her up somewhat. However, that didn’t prevent her from spilling almost a full bottle of champagne in my Nissan Maxima after the game. By the way, Penn State beat Auburn 43-14.
The most recent occasion on which I attended a Penn State vs. Florida game was the 1998 Citrus Bowl, now called the Capital One Bowl. The Central Florida Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association had a nice pre-game tailgate set up in one of the fields close to the stadium. I brought my neighbor, Marcos, with me to this interesting game and its pre-game festivities. His wife, Mary, prepared some chicken and some other goodies. In anticipation of the copious quantities of bloody mary mix provided by the chapter, I brought two bottles of Absolut Peppar vodka. Man, those bloody marys were good! ????? ??? ?????? Before I knew it, one bottle of vodka was done and the other one was half full. I think it was I who drank most of it. Everyone else was drinking beer. Well, booze has a delayed effect on me, so when it was close to game time, we headed for our seats. ???? ???? ??? ????? I promptly sat down and fell asleep. I briefly woke up at halftime when my roommate of the time, Keri, and her friend Susanne were getting up to leave so they could watch Susanne’s Wolverines in the Rose Bowl. I recall goosing each of them as they squeezed by my seat. Then, I fell asleep again.
That was the game for which Joe Jurevicius and Curtis Enis were suspended, so we didn’t do too well. In fact, neither did I. I vaguely remember the game ending and Marcos getting up to leave. I got up a bit unsteadily, took a step or two out into the aisle, and then my rubber joints gave way. I careened down about fifteen steps and crashed into the back of the exit ramp. Fortunately, I had overslept and our section had mostly emptied out by then. I was also fortunate that I was as loose as a rubber goose. Didn’t even have a bruise on me. Again quite fortunately, as it is not always the case, Marcos was relatively sober and able to drive. However, I recall that when we got out into the field where the tailgate had been, he found a chair to sit me down in for a while, I don’t remember how long, before he deemed me safe to be driven home. When I eventually sobered up, Keri described me as being as drunk as she’d ever seen a person—and she’s Irish.
Oh, the game. Well, as I said, we didn’t do too well. The Gators whipped the Nittany Lions 21-6.
I hope my stories have either entertained or disgusted you. Stay tuned for some further words about the forthcoming Outback Bowl as the month of December stretches on.
The Gators will whip the Lions again this time, I would venture to say the one touchdown they are favored by should be three, as the final score will be Florida 41, Nittany Lions 10.
Since this is a Nittany Lion blog, full of Lion’s fans, I hereby expect and accept the rash of rhetoric sure to be headed my way if my prediction is wrong, but that is not something I am even worried about. As in every year, the SEC teams are always dominant over the other conferences, and this year will be no different, as not only the Penn State team will find out, but so will the upstart Oregon team when they face Auburn in the National Championship game.
The Nittany Turkey says
I’ve been around a long time, and know that when you’re dealing with teams as crappy as Florida and Penn State were this year, anyone can win.
However, when you look back through the years when Penn State faced the SEC, it doesn’t go the way your revisionist approach to history said it did. Last time in the Outback Bowl (four years ago), Penn State beat Tennessee. Last time in the Capital One Bowl, Penn State beat LSU. I believe that both Tennessee and LSU are SEC teams. In fact, since 1991, Penn State is 6-2 in bowl games played against SEC opponents.
Penn State’s last bowl loss was the Rose Bowl two years ago, when they were manhandled by the NFL’s University of Southern California.
Granted, this is no Rose Bowl team this year. In fact, PSU sucked. But so did Florida. I hereby pronounce their suckage comparable. Let the unsuckier and best prepared team on January 1, 2011 win and prove… what?
Get a new calculator, Warren. Three touchdowns plus 10 = 31, not 41.
The Nittany Turkey says
How is “comparable suckage” defined? Both teams lost all their games played against ranked opponents. Both teams lost to one conference patsy (PSU: Illinois; UF: Miss. St.). Both teams had 4-4 conference records.
I think you made a typo. The Outback is in Australia. You must have meant the Outhouse Bowl – and we all know where our contributions to that go.
Just surfing the “Net” as an escape from marking paper and from dwelling on the thought that I wonder if anyone learns anything I teach them!
PS My major shock so far in the spelling department – euthanasia was written as “Youth In Asia!” I though for a minute the writer had sidetracked from the original topic. No wonder my spelling skills have faded over the years.
The Nittany Turkey says
The Outhouse Bowl was essentially my pre-season prediction for Penn State’s post-season destination. Actually, I created the fictitious Kohler Toilet Bowl, in Kohler, Wisconsin long ago for the purpose of signifying a mediocre season. We have so many sucky post-season games that few have any meaning. They’re just cash cows for their promoters, with hired casts of football teams chosen to produce the most revenue. One brash bowl official even stated for the public record, “It’s not about football. It’s about the economy.” In other words he’ll happily select the teams that give him the biggest bankroll.
Interesting developments on the coaching front dictate that I break off this tirade and weigh in on the situation.
Stay warm in balmy Ottawa!
Excuse my typos – maybe that guy I was referring to did the same and I am judging the poor soul.
The Nittany Turkey says
None so egregious as “Youth in Asia”.