Fritz's World

An exciting and awe-inspiring glimpse into my life: movie reviews (which are replete with spoilers), Penn State football, Washington Nationals, and life here in the nation's capital. Can you handle it?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Penn State reflections as football season approaches

With all that's being going on in the world, be it locally, nationally, even personally, one thing that completely escaped my notice was the fact that we're now less than a month away from Penn State football—the time of year that I most yearn for . . . well, one of them, if you count opening day for the Nationals (which was a real letdown this year, due to the weather).

Lately, though, I've been mentally assessing my role with regard to Penn State, and I find myself at a loss. It's been three years since I stepped down from the board of directors of DC's Penn State alumni chapter. My actual membership in said chapter expired at the end of 2008, and I've been looking back on my time as an active chapter member (a really active chapter member for a while, chairing two committees in 2007), and part of me wonders how so much time has passed . . . how so much of my youth has passed, because it feels like almost a thousand centuries ago that I was regularly editing the chapter newsletter, attending the Social Committee meetings, setting up and attending happy hours, watching the games at the viewing sites, reporting in at board meetings. I've been giving some thought lately to rejoining the chapter, though part of me feels like I've outgrown it, even though I'll always bleed blue and white.

It doesn't help, either, that I won't be going to the games again anytime soon. At the end of last year, my father did what was unthinkable in years past, but I feel is perfectly rational and logical now—he gave up his season tickets, in response to the STEP program . . . a program which, I feel, is little more than a blatant money-grab by the university under the guise of "fairness" to people pursuing season tickets. As a 30+ year season-ticket holder, my father was understandably upset by the dramatic uptick in ticket price, and gave up his seats as a result. I don't blame him one bit for this move; I would have done the same if I were in his shoes. But deep down, part of me is somewhat relived that he did so, because Penn State football Saturdays in Happy Valley have become more intense in the last several years, wearing even me out. Part of me will always yearn for a visit to Happy Valley to see a game some warm September Saturday, and I'll of course miss the great tailgates with family and friends. But since I have Big Ten Network at home now, I'll be able to watch all the games from the comfort of my couch, which is perfectly all right with me.

I don't know . . . am I just getting old? Are all these old Penn State traditions losing their luster for me after all these years? Or will I feel the blue and white course through my veins each fall, and all throughout the year as we promote Penn State pride in the nation's capital? Time will only tell.

But I take comfort in one thing, though: with Nora being an Ohio State fan, who's equally devoted to her Buckeyes like I am to my Nittany Lions, I can always look forward to the Penn State-Ohio State game each year, because we make it as fun and enjoyable as we can for each other, no matter who wins the day.

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