Monday, October 16, 2006


I really couldn’t think of a better way to end an era than taking a road trip to Happy Valley, where the Nittany Lions hosted the Wolverines.

My car failed inspection a week ago. As per Virginia State law, I have 15 days before operating my 1995 Chevy Lumina (complete with 130,000+ miles and a dead hooker in the trunk) becomes illegal. Recently I spent $440 replacing the coolant pump, which is more than the actual car is worth. Now, the tail break-lights don’t properly function and I refuse to dump more money into it. If I can’t fix it, sadly, it’s goodbye to my first car and love of seven years.

The community cares about Penn State football, that’s for sure. Penn State white and blue abounded at a supermarket an hour-and-a-half away (we got we over a pound of sandwich supplies) just as frequently as the local favorite of Yuengling near the cover band that performed amidst tailgaters. Team support was reflected in scalper ticket prices. The cheapest I witnessed a ticket sold was $60, but every other ticket was between $150-250. As one scalper told me, “tickets sell for pretty much anything you want.”

(I am taking this as an opportunity to point out female Penn State are hot in a down-to-earth sort of way. They accept their natural hair color and apply make-up to accentuate beauty rather than hide their flaws... big difference. If that isn't enough, they also understand football at a higher level than most males do on a national scale. Impressive.

Now that Im already off topic, I’ll continue to my sole complaint of the weekend. Route 322 is likely the worst engineered highway I've ever used. It's a two lane highway that uses one lane to merge traffic. Absolutely terrible considering this game's attendance was the second largest in team history, at over 110,000. The police clearly directed traffic by doing what was easy for them at parking lots with no regard for how their directions affected congestion.)

My original priority was to tailgate and get banged up. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time watching DJs spin at 2:30 PM in a parking lot while drinking with old faces, but my personal highlight was getting to my seat.

We got there with the game just underway because we still needed to pound a few great tasting, less filling brews. This proved difficult after eating all the meat, bread, SVC’s and close to a full a pie between two. Anyway, two strangers were in our seats (which Kenny Bloggins got for $44 a piece because he’s not an idiot) and wouldn’t move. The section began yelling at my 6’4” frame to “SIT DOWN” to which I replied, “HE’S IN MY SEAT!” while pointing directly at the Michigan fan sitting who was in fact sitting in my seat.

The entire section rode him with “GET OUT OF HERE” or “BYE YELLOW” or “SECURITY IS COMING” until he and his 136-proof breathing tush, complete with yellow Michigan apparel, moved along with his counterfeit ticket. This perplexed everyone as how could a counterfeit pass through the scanner? I told everyone he likely purchased a real ticket and made a fake to get good seats cheaply. The regulars mostly agreed. The true irony he was sloppy-drunk and stumbled into the wrong seat.

If you can’t get a sense of the Penn State football community from that anecdote of an entire football section looking out for my—a stranger’s—football viewing enjoyment, seriously, practice your reading comprehension skills because there is definitely room for improvement.

I couldn’t ask for a better potential good-bye to my horseless sleigh, the sweet '95 American chariot with high mileage. If you ever have an opportunity to watch a game or even just tailgate at Penn State, stop whatever you are doing and go immediately.

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