Saturday, October 14, 2006

NCAA FOOTBALL: Leavin' For Beaver

It's about 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, and I'm once again ridding myself of the zombie-like symptoms that a late night-early(ish) morning can have on you. Today, Supreme Commander and I hit the road for Happy Valley, which is often times made into the biggest production of a 90 minute trip you'll ever see.

The overwhelming thought is on the traffic getting to State College, which should be trivial and meaningless given the nature of the journey. But 90 minutes can easily turn into 190 on a two-lane road that twice merges into a single lane. Not so bad of a thought until you realize that the vast majority of 108,000 fans are taking the very same road on the very same day.

I'm particularly excited because the day is ripe for an upset. Michigan is clearly one of the nation's top five teams, but is coming into a pretty hostile environment without its top playmaker. This will be my first live experience of "whiteout" conditions at Penn State, which unites fans who have been drinking ALL DAY LONG for the same cause.

I think today I'm going to really soak in the tailgating and pregame scene. The area surrounding Beaver Stadium is at no shortage of free space, which means that a.) there is nothing else to do on a Saturday and b.) thousands upon thousands of fans packed in RVs, under tents and on top of a Chevy Cavalier (Supreme Commander and I) have two things on their mind: Booze and football. It's hard to believe that there are two better reasons for which to live, and I'm hoping for lots of good times, poor judgment and vulgar heckling as the Nittany Lions win, 19-17.

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