The eve of the first game is upon us, and I can barely contain my enthusiasm. However, the approach of this season has not been without it’s anxieties.
First and foremost . . . the season tickets. For the last 23 years, these precious little pieces of paper came in the mail in late July.
July came and passed. No tickets.
I got an email. The tickets would be delayed this year. New printer. Blah, blah, blah. Expect them mid-August.
Mid-August came and went. No tickets.
I recently bought a new house and moved. I checked my account. Several times. The address was correct. Even so, the old address was my office address I was using during my divorce. There were no tickets at the office. Or home.
I did not see them here or there. I did not see them anywhere. I would not could not go to the game, if those precious tickets never came.
And then, another email. They have been mailed!
Oh, rapture! Oh, joy!
That was August 22nd.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
It is now August 28th. NO TICKETS.
Am I worried? NO! I was worried back in July. I am way past worried. I am way past panic mode. I am a palpitation away from a stroke or heart attack.
And then they came. Tuesday. August 29th. FOUR days before I actually need them.
True. . . they could have cut it closer. I could be running home to check the mail today like I have for the past six weeks. I felt like Charlie Brown waiting for a valentine.
The whole thing irks me. Penn State has pushed the due dates earlier for donations and ticket payment. I used to get a complimentary extra parking spot (I still paid for the parking spot, but I did not have to increase my donation to get it) but they took that away. And now I have to hope there are no mailing snafus or I might not get the tickets in time at all! It’s just like health insurance! I pay more and get less. And maybe I won’t be covered at all!
But, I digress.
Enough whine. Let’s see what’s on the main course.
Kangaroo kebabs. A little gamy but it should be a nice appetizer before we dive into a big old plate of Panther Puttanesca (smells like victory!). We’ll follow this up with a greasy helping of Southern Georgia Fried Panther. Then, a more traditional serving of grilled Hawkeye (tastes just like chicken!). Some Hoosier Hash. Some Northwestern Wildcat, a little tougher than southwestern wildcat. This will be followed by the main course, Wolverine sauteed in a water Buckeye Nut sauce. Throw in some Husked Corn and Turtle Cake for dessert and you have a veritable gastronomic season of success. No Spartan servings at this restaurant. And NO Scarlet Knapkins!
Are you salivating yet????
Seriously, Penn State opens against the Zips of Akron. I could write a well-thought out preview, analyzing the strengths of each team (all favoring PSU) and their relative weaknesses (only Akron over here,) but what would that accomplish?
Athlon Sports generously ranks the Zips at 109 in the nation. This is one of their better rankings. The Orlando Sentinel has them at 116, whilst Penn State is pretty much a consensual top 10 team across the various polls. And while Zippy could go all Appalachian State over the Lions, keep in mind that Appalachian State had a damned good team that year. Akron this year? Not so much.
I predict a big win, but the point total might be lower if Franklin pulls the starters in the second half. And if it rains. And if Joe Moorhead wants to keep the playbook closed so as not to give future opponents video glimpses of our offensive prowess. And if I’m completely wrong and we end up losing for some unfathomable reason.
The point spread hovers around 32-35. I think we cover that and then some.