Before the season began when I was viewing my calendar to see which game would fall on September 16, which is Artificially Sweetened’s granddaughter’s birthday, I saw the entry “Panthers vs. Nittany Lions.” Awwww, hell, I thought. I’ll have to miss the party due to the Pitt game. Well, it turned out to be the Georgia State Panthers, as you know, and the party was cancelled anyway due to Hurricane Irma. That “Panthers” thing had me royally confused.
The Georgia State Panthers (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) meet the mighty #5 Nittany Lions (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) in a prime-time showdown at St. Joe Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Expected weather is late summer in Central Pennsylvania: 80°, partly cloudy, and humid.
Georgia State Panthers of note are Jello-lipped actress Julia Roberts, rapper Ludacris (famous for his album Inconegro), and the late former CBS news anchor Douglas Edwards, with whom I once had a big brouhaha when he was trying to rent an overnight room at the Connecticut hotel I was desk-clerking 50 years ago, which was completely sold out.
OK, I’ll take that amusing (for me) digression. Edwards slapped his CBS News press pass on the desk, as if that would impress me enough to throw someone out of their room so His Royal CBS Highness could stay there. I was respectful back then, but no rooms means no rooms. Fifty years later, I would have said (in a stentorian tone to match his TV news voice), “You can’t squeeze blood out of a fucking turnip, Dougie!”
Back then I had two jobs and I needed the money, so I played it straight. Edwards told me to write up the incident for my manager, and then he added some editorial comments to my well-worded epistle. That was as much fun as I ever had on a night shift at that front desk. Dudes and dudettes, was I ever happy when the late Walter Cronkite took over the evening news from the imperious Douglas Edwards, who went to that big newsroom in the sky in 1990! But I digress.
Back to our favorite Panthers, the most famous Panther of all is “Pounce”, a rare, blue panther who serves as Georgia State’s mascot.
But What About the Football Team?
Hell, damned if I know! Our current cupcake opponent Georgia State Panthers are members of the Sun Belt Conference, which includes former cupcake opponent Coastal Carolina. In their only outing of the year, the Panthers were hornswaggled by the Tennessee State Tigers of the Ohio Valley Conference 17-10. They’ve had a couple of weeks to rest up since then, so maybe they can cure their turnoveritis. The Panthers coughed it up on three fumbles and an interception. Doesn’t look like they have either an offense or a defense, so they suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. They’re going to get hornswaggled again this week.
When at home, the Atlanta-based Georgia State Panthers play in what used to be Turner Field, former home of the Atlanta Braves, repurposed for football. The stadium is now called Georgia State Stadium. The Braves, who also suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, have departed for greener pastures. Their new field of dreams is a white elephant called Sun Trust Field, but I digress yet again, baseballistically.
So, why waste my words writing about this bunch, already? Unless they figure out that there is no Penn State defense for the shovel pass, they won’t be doing much besides basically showing up.
Cut to the Chase, Already!
OK, I will. Jeez, I can sure write a lot of unrelated bullshit! You know that this turkey wants to get this cupcakery over with. I bet the massive crowd of 50,000 in attendance at SJS@B will feel the same way.
Speaking of Ludacris, that homophone aptly describes the line on this game. Penn State is favored by 38 over the hapless Panthers, with an over/under of 55. That would suggest that the gamblers are homing in on a 47-9 final score.
Therefore, it is not a question of whether, but rather, by how much.
Unless the Nittany Lions sleepwalk through this game, and unless the Panthers run the shovel pass on each snap, I see this being an Akron-style massacre. I was impressed with the PSU red-zone defense holding them other Panthers to a couple of field goals last week. (That is, until they figured out the shovel pass and ran through the front seven like a prune through a blue tick coonhound). So, let’s be conservative and say that this week’s Panthers get close once and are lucky enough to kick one through the uprights. I’m going with Penn State 62, Georgia State 3. Take the over.
I’ll be back after the game with my usual, sparkling comments, irrelevant insights, and generalized hornswaggling.