Having graduated from Altoona High School back in the days when kids walked to school, up hill, both ways, in 3 feet of snow in ratty sneakers . . .what? You had sneakers! We went barefoot! And we were thankful to have our feet! But I digress, and I’m pretty sure I never finished that first sentence, so apparently my days spent in English class were apparently wasted–we used pencils! Not computers! And we researched with the Dewey Decimal System and a card catalog–NO GOOGLE!
Anyway, our school fight song was ON ALTOONA and the music was actually the Wisconsin fight song, ON WISCONSIN. So there’s a certain nostalgia thing going on there.
Getting to the stadium was a challenge. Thanks to ice and unfortunate accidents on I-99, the road past sky top from Altoona was impassable.
So I went off road down the hill, through the grass, to grandmother’s house we go. I went back to Port Waltzing Matilda. Surely I could get there from there. After all, there’s only one traffic light in Port Matilda. More nostalgia–I remember many Saturday’s sitting at that traffic light as 322 merged with old 220. The Fire Company always had a chicken barbecue a block beyond that, if you dared pull off the road and lose your place in line.
But there’s a new traffic light in town. TWO of them. And the second is due to construction on a bridge which is now ONE LANE.
It took us half an hour just to get through the two lights.
The traffic on I-99, though, was still not moving. So I came out ahead.
I got to my parking spot well before kick-off. Unfortunately, the people who were buying four of my tickets (still in my possession) were . . . sitting on 99. I gave them directions, and they waited through two traffic lights . . . with the end result that I missed most of the first quarter including the Badger’s only touchdown. So I had that going for me.
The 22-10 game itself was far from a perfect masterpiece, but apparently the Badgers don’t have much this year. Perhaps outside of Penn State, they are the biggest disappointment in the conference, and perhaps the nation. The AP poll had the Badgers at #4 preseason (already in the play-off picture!) My how the mighty have fallen!
While sportswriters and pundits have unfurled the “back-on-track” and “good solid win” banners, I was not so impressed. We had a field goal blocked and another missed–worse yet we iced our own kicker as we still can’t manage the clock properly 10 games into the season.
And what in the wide, wide world of bloody sports was that play call late in the fourth quarter when all we had to do was run the clock out? It was unnecessary trickeration, and we ended up fumbling the ball back to the Badgers with two and a half minutes left on the scoreboard. We haven’t fared well with on-sides kicks this year, and I had no reason to believe we would do any better.
Thankfully, the Badgers suck, and couldn’t take advantage of our piss poor play-calling propensity (the four P’s.)
The victory did propel us nearly to the top of the three-loss teams–we’re behind Florida at #14 in the play-off rankings, behind Texas and Florida in the AP poll, and behind Texas but ahead of Florida in the coaches poll.
The Badger’s traveled well. Lots of badgers prowling the parking lots that were open.
The tribute to Wally Tripplet, and the history behind the “WE ARE” cheer was emotional.
Penn State will travel to High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ to face the Miss Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. Last I saw, we were 24 point favorites. I’m not expecting much of a fight from them, but they are a “rival.” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more!)
Maybe I’ll do a wrap up. Maybe not. I’ll keep you in the suspenses on that one.