Wednesday, July 20, 2005
PSU Ftbl Podcast 4 Jul 20 05
Tony Pittman and Phil Collins discuss: Summer preparation, toughest Penn State losses, Is Matt Leinart the best ever?, Zack Mills in the World Series of Poker, Austin Scott vs. Tony Hunt, Names on the backs of Penn State jerseys?
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Posted by Tony Pittman at 7:58 PM
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To begin, I just want to say how excited I am about the PSU footbal podcasts. I also can't tell you how nice it is to be able to hear from two guys that I loved watching at Penn State and to me epitomize what is right about college athletics. Having been born and raised in Scranton, I must say it was freaky to hear you say that you have very few memories that don't include PSU and Joe, because, to be honest, neither do I. Cheers to you both and good luck.
With regard to putting player's names on the backs of PSU's jerseys, I think you both hit the nail on the head. It will never and should never happen. I also have to to echo Phil's comments about what it means to recruit or have current players for whom names on the jerseys is an issue. These types of players are NOT the types of people that I want playing at PSU. Just a bit of trivia you may already know: PSU's original football unis were pink and black. The elements faded the pink to white and the black to blue, and the rest is history.
Additionally, I do think that PSU's recent hard times can be traced to an uneven playing field in the recruiting arena. It is difficult to get the best HS athletes to attend your university if your promise to them is hard work, going to class, not playing as a freshman, and worrying about the NFL only after gaining a degree. This is amplimfied by the fact that the Miamis and FSUs of the world are clearly NOT asking the same of their players. That said, I will go to my grave believing that Joe's way is the better way. However, it can lead to talent voids that other programs don't face. The flip side is those other schools don't get to claim the highest graduation rate for student athletes attending public universities.
I'd like to weigh in on the topic of tough losses as well. Of all the tough losses (and they are all tough to me), the worst in my book was 1993 Michigan 13-21. That was the first PSU game that I attended (I attended at least one game per year from 1984 until 1993) which the Lions lost (And that's saying something considering it took a 70+ yard fumble return by Pete Curkendall to win one of those games. '87 BC??). The two most memorable things about that game for me were: the officals having to stop the game twice because the Michigan QB complained about the noise in the bowl end of Beaver Stadium; and what I thought was an abnormally high number of holding penalties against PSU. The Michigan fan next to me told me that was just Big 10 football, but it seemed to me that the officials might have been trying to make a point (I believe it was PSU's first official Big 10 season.) To be honest though, the toughest game for me to take in recent memory was 1994 Indiana, a game we didn't lose. The fact that we didn't blow them out caused our slip from first in the polls that year and gave the pollsters a reason to give Tom Osborne a gift. How players from that team could swallow that season is beyond me. However, they did follow in a proud tradition of undeafeated untied PSU teams that won bowl games but yet were passed over when the final rankings came out. At the time, I believe that PSU offense was the fastest scoring, if not the most prolific college offense ever.
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