Saturday, November 24, 2012
Still Penn State Proud!
And then there's Sam Ficken. Sam Ficken, the sophomore kicker who was forced to step up after Penn State's kicker left the team and the backup kicker was also dropped from the roster. After a start so shakey that Penn State choose to take a chance on 4th down rather than let him attempt a field goal, it is just poetic justice that it was him that scored the last points, a 37 yard field goal, that Penn State would score this season to win their season finale at Beaver Stadium. He, like the rest of his team, had his own personal resurrection from the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory embodying the Penn State football story of 2012. He was a true inspiration!
As much as has been written of the goings on in our small town, much of it subjective and even fictitious rhetoric that was sensationalized to advance the news media's agenda which ended up damaging and hurting an entire community and a world class university, there is still one thing that needs to be remembered but which will not be written by any member of the news media outside of our charming community. We must take a look back beyond the scandal, the trial, the pending trials, the hiring of Bill O'Brien, and the NCAA sanctions that were pivotal in this whole story.
Those young men whose character, spirit, and fortitude so impressed their new coach were built by the direct influence of none other than Joe Paterno. So even though he was not here to witness the impressive season these young men managed to pull off, it is as much a tribute to him as it is to them. The world can think what they want about this man who became the media's scapegoat but it was his investment in these young men that made them the men they proved themselves to be through all the adversity of this year. To me, it just seems fitting that the last team of young men privileged to be coached by the greatest college football coach of all time would produce perhaps the most amazing accomplishment of any college football team in a very long time.
Congratulations PSU Nittany Lions! You have shown the world what those of us who live and work in this area already understand-what "Penn State Proud" truly means!