In the early 2000’s the Penn State football program feel on some hard times. In 2003 they finished the year 3-9. They followed the 03 performance up with a 4-7 record in 2004. The calls for Joe Paterno’s job became louder and more frequent.
Despite the records in 03 and 04, Joe was still able to land some top recruits including Derrick Williams and Justin King. A winning record and a bowl game was predicted in 2005 but not much else. Penn State began the year beating South Florida, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan. They needed a comeback and a 4th and 15 conversion to beat Northwestern and remain undefeated. That set up a matchup with undefeated and #18 Minnesota. Minnesota had a rushing attack of Marian Barber and Lawrence Maroney. The talk all week was about how is Penn State going to contain the Gopher offense. The game was over about 5 minutes after kickoff…Penn State 44-14.
All of that leads to the topic of the conversation; Ohio State and Penn State. The win against Minnesota set up a showdown with the undefeated Lions hosting the undefeated and 6th ranked Buckeyes. A group of friends and I decided to make the journey to Happy Valley to live up the big game, the first in over 5 years in State College. And what a weekend it was. The atmosphere was electric and the beers were flowing like H2O. The Lions were back. That game set up the annual tailgate.
We carried the tailgate tradition on for the next 5 years. One weekend and typically the biggest home game would be the date circled on the calendar. Everyone had there role and each role was carried out. We would all roll in on Friday and get the weekend started at Café 210 drinking Long Islands until no one knew there name as we listened to JR and Natalie. Somehow, someway everyone knew the lot opened at 8:00AM to begin the tailgate and somehow someway everyone was there promptly. I am not saying anyone looked good from the night before but everyone was there performing their roles.
For 5 years this happened. For 5 years Penn State delivered…..covering the spread.
We are all old now and have a lot of stuff going on in our lives. PSU’s record never mattered and just as the calls for Joe Paterno’s job became louder and more frequent, the calls for a reunion- another tailgate are getting louder. So here it is…. the official statement its coming back next year!!! It began in 2005 and its being revived in 2015. I miss those weekends to much. See yall at Café 210
Which leads to this weekend
Ohio State @ Penn State
Ohio State -14
Ohio State 23 Penn State 16
Lean Penn State +14