Sweep the Quarterback

I’m late as usual posting this recap. I’m a doctor. I’m always running late. Read some blog articles from 2002 in my waiting room while you wait.

I actually was going to walk away. Completely. Stop blogging forever. I’ve been doing this for over 22 years now. It could be longer but I distinctly remember blogging in 1999 when Penn State defeated Miami on a late touchdown, Kevin Thompson to Chafie Fields.

I started on some platform called Xoom. At some point I blogged on Blogger, and ultimately wound up here. For a brief period of time I blogged on Penn Live, creating the 50-Yard Lion Blog.

And while this loss was one of the most painful I have ever suffered through–losing to Iowa 6-4 in 2004 and then in 2008 on a last second field goal set up by a phantom PI when we were undefeated and ranked #3 come quickly to mind–which reminds me that Iowa is one of those teams–who hasn’t won a national championship since 1960 (pre-modern era–hell Pitt claims tons of championships from back when they kept score on stone tablets!) and has not outright won a Big Ten title (i.e. has not shared a title) since 1958! They are not a team that wins championships; they are the thorn in other team’s seasons to keep them from winning! But I digress and the sentence structure and run-on rambling of this paragraph is enough to give an English teacher a seizure!

Where was I? Oh, this may not have been the most painful loss I have suffered through but it is in the Top 5 for sure. And I don’t care what you think about playing the what if game . . . we don’t know if Penn State would have won if Clifford had stayed healthy. Bull shit. The Penn State offense was putting the vaunted Iowa D to shame. We gave them a pick and prime field position and they were still down 17-3 at the half. Sure Clifford might have thrown some more picks, but he also would have moved the ball and would have scored more points. And maybe Iowa would have adjusted. It won’t happen, but put Kirk Ferentz on a polygraph and ask him who he thinks would have won that game if Clifford had not been unable to return.

Iowa dodged a bullet.

Speaking of dodging a bullet, I was going to walk away from blogging because this loss was just the straw that broke this Lion’s back. Amidst the stress in my own life, personal and financial, this was just too much to bear. But after sulking all day Sunday and watching the Steelers (who maddeningly wear the same colors as the Iowa Hawkeyes) actually win a game, I thought I would throw a few more thoughts out there.

Like this is a touchdown?

How can you review that and conclude that is a score. What part of the Iowa players body is actually IN BOUNDS???? Yes, he hits the magic pylon. But not with the ball! At least Indiana’s QB hit the pylon WITH the ball albeit out of bounds last season. This is simply ridiculous!

Don’t cite me any obscure rule interpretations. IF a player is actually in the field of play, and extends a hand across the goal line–but not the ball–that is NOT a touchdown. Swiping at the pylon as you go out of bounds is NOT a touchdown unless the football is in that hand. The Big Ten refs are a joke!

There was some kind of perverse incongruity in the Iowa fan base. They all wave to the kids in the hospital, then boo injured players (repeatedly) on the field. One fan was caught on camera mocking a shoulder injury. Even one of their coaches flopped to the ground in mockery. It was like some futuristic bizarro world out there.

The loss dropped the Lions to #7, while Iowa’s gift “earned” them a number 2 spot. At least we weren’t Alabama!

But look who also crept back up the charts. Our old nemesis. THE ohio statey buckeyes. #6.

Undefeated seasons, are not uncommon–in most years there are usually one or two teams that emerge unscathed. But multiple clean seasons? Penn State has had 5 since 1968, which is actually one more than Alabama over the same time period. And while there is a lot of football yet to played this year–and plenty more opportunities to see this team lose, it is disheartening to lose one that just slipped through our grasp.

My kingdom for a backup quarterback!

The impact of the transfer of Will Levis is quite apparent. I’m not going to criticize Robeson. He did his best in less than ideal circumstances. Very hostile environment to play in. I did feel the coaches failed him at not correcting the false start problems sooner, but in the end, those penalties really didn’t matter. When he did have the opportunity to make a play, the receivers dropped the ball or Iowa’s defense made the play. And our defense needed to hold them to just one more field goal. Just one more time. Soooo close.

But it was not meant to be.

Football imitates life.

Sometimes they both suck.

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