One of our other Lion’s Pride writers, Eric Herrold, had this to say in his pregame predictor: “The bandwagon has emptied and what’s left are all of us that are happy and content to just sit back and enjoy the long road as it all unfolds…the bandwagon was too full anyway so I’ll just stick with the ones that bleed Blue and White through thick and thin.” I love that— the heart of a Penn Stater.
Last week I read a story about a woman who rescued a lost Woody doll from outside of Beaver Stadium, and went in search of his “Andy.” She posted Woody’s photo on several Penn State pages and Penn Staters shared the pic over a thousand times until it was eventually spotted by the child’s grandmother. Thanks to kindhearted strangers, Woody was reunited with his kid.
Tommy Stevens has already graduated. He’s been back up quarterback for three years behind Trace McSorley. He could have transferred. He stayed because he loves his teammates and the Penn State program. When he’s needed on the field he does his job very well, as we all saw on Saturday, because he wholeheartedly supports his team.
Amani Oruwariye led the team from the tunnel, proudly waving a US flag that belongs to his mother, Commander Karen Oruwariye. When Coach Franklin recruited Amani, his mom was rigorous with the coach. Now that her son is set to finish his PSU career with two degrees, Commander Oruwariye is all smiles, her full heart evident as she embraced Amani on the field.
Trace McSorley’s dad came down to the railing to hug his son and remind him that he believes in him. After the game an emotional Trace described his dad as his “rock” and explained that his dad’s words were exactly what he needed to hear. Trace came back fighting in the second half with his spirit and heart stronger than ever.
The entire defense, who has gotten nothing but grief for most of this season, worked together to prevent Iowa’s offense from scoring any touchdowns— a wholehearted effort sealed with Nick Scott’s game-saving interception.
Coach Franklin said, “In his schoolwork, his treatment of people, being a leader on this team… To see a guy like Nick, who has done everything right, be rewarded is huge for us. It sends the right message to our locker room, and it sends the right message to college football.”
These are Penn State Hearts. Kindness. Loyalty. Education. High ideals. Family. Our Penn State Hearts are the reason we are still here “bleeding blue and white, through thick and thin.”
This weekend our lionhearted team will stand in the Big House and stare down the Wolverines. There’ll be no bandwagon traveling to Michigan with them, but I guarantee there will be plenty of Penn State Hearts.