Penn State 56, Illinois 21
The Nittany Lions mercilessly defeated a depleted FFFI squad in whited-out Beaver Stadium before an announced crowd of 37, 56-21. The wild and woolly first quarter entertained us before viewer boredom set in. Thereafter, Chuck accurately assessed the over/under on when I would fall asleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Nevertheless, this was a fitting end to a screwed-up season where what happened on the field was not as big a story as whether they would play at all. Penn State football for 2020 concluded with this game. Thus, my final column of the year won’t be a game recap, but a thank you to all six of my loyal and diligent readers.
No Bowl Game
First, a little business. In case you hadn’t heard, Penn State has opted out of any bowl competition this year. As you know, I had advocated this position. It was the right thing to do. These players and coaches have been cooped up for nine months. Yes, it impacted their play, and it took a while to sort things out on the field. Winning four in a row at the end of the season left a good taste in our mouths and we yearned for more games. However, I just wanted the kids to go home and enjoy Christmas with their families. They have earned that break instead of being incarcerated for yet another week to play a meaningless, second-tier bowl game.
Now, again as predicted by this turkey, the social media comments are buzzing with conspiracy theories. The decision is either attributable to James Franklin, who must go, or Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who is a Communist. However, the official line expressed by Vice President of Ath-o-letical Activities Sandy Barbour is that the players and coaches made the decision together. Call me naive, but I believe that. Furthermore, the ignorant, narcissistic dumbasses of social media just want to blow off about their pet opinions. They are not about the players, though they represent their opinions as “what the players want.” They are just satisfying their own selfish needs for intravenous football as life sustenance.
Social Media Idiots, Continued
Those fools even substantiate their uninformed positions by bitching about the bowl decision costing money for Penn State. Their heads are completely up their asses if they think the likes of the Duke’s Mayonnaise Bowl will do anything but deplete Penn State’s coffers. No live gate (although in a “real” year, there would be scant attendance, anyway) combined with travel expenses mean a financial hit for PSU. Besides, even inveterate Penn State fan ToeJam said, “I prefer Hellman’s.”
The argument that postseason bowl games provide a reward for players is moot, too. Aside from the basic notion that a losing regular season record merits no such reward, being sequestered for a week in a “party town” like Charlotte with no available or permissible partying opportunities is more punishment than reward. With nothing left to prove on the field, their sweetest reward is a joyous holiday reunion with family and friends back home, whom they haven’t seen for a long, long time. That includes head coach James Franklin. Merry Christmas to the players and coaches!
Go Away, 2020!
And so, with this editorial drivel, I sign off after another season of Penn State football. This has been a year we will all remember, an experience I hope none of us will have to repeat. We never could have predicted how this season would work. It broke new ground. Indeed, it was a miracle that the Lions were able to play all nine games. Twenty-twenty has suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked for all of us in many ways, a depressing year. But I have you and my keyboard! My favorite therapeutic measure for mood elevation is writing The Nittany Turkey. I am grateful for the diversion and doubly grateful that we could share some of our thoughts together for yet another year. Thank you very much once again for sticking with me through it all!
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the best of the holiday season. Happy New Year to all from this humble turkey, and may your 2021 be light, bright, cheerful, prosperous, happy, and healthy!
I’ll be back sometime bloviating about something, but who knows where or when?