Dreams came true on Saturday when a nor’easter brought snow to State College on a football weekend when I was in town and not on the road with volleyball. I didn’t believe for a second it would actually snow until I woke up Saturday morning to snowflakes outside my window. It turned out to be the start of a really great day.
After dropping my roommate and friend off with another group of friends for tailgating, I headed out in search of some super cute rain boots. Three stores later, I had a pair of polka-dot boots and a nice pair of nude heels. I have a weakness for shoes. Sue me 🙂
I got ready for work and soon realized that these boots would not look good with my outfit or just any particular jacket. I ended up wearing my “for skiing only” Burton coat and headed to campus and Beaver Stadium. The following are all cell phone photos, so the quality isn’t so great.
I arrived in the press box, and while the rest of my coworkers weren’t enjoying the weather much, I was in heaven. I immediately headed down to the field for some photos.
I ran into the famous Jeff Fisher who posed for a nice photo in the snow.
Below are a few more photos from before I headed back up to the press box to warm up and get to work.
In my four years as a Penn State student, there was never a snow football game. There had been two in the last three years, but I missed both. I was so glad to finally be able to be at one, especially one that turned out to be so special.
The Nittany Lions were scheduled to play Illinois, a team that had been ranked until losing their last two games. When I left the game, neither team had scored. Eventually it was 7-3 in favor of the Illini. By then I had been at Rec Hall for quite some time and had finished setting up for volleyball. I was chatting with some coworkers when one of my players ran by yelling something no one understood. We did finally figure out she had yelled, “Touchdown!” That meant Penn State had a 10-7 lead.
A few of us headed to the equipment room to watch a really fuzzy TV screen with a radio broadcasting the game in the background. The clock was so close to running out, but it was plenty of time for Illinois to get a few necessary yards to be in good position to kick a field goal. With less than 10 seconds left, the Illini used a timeout and got ready to kick a field goal. We all gave up trying to watch the TV and sat around the radio (does this sound like the 1940s or what?). Steve Jones was doing the radio broadcast and he walked us through those final seconds, “The Illini are lining up. The ball has been snapped. The kicker kicks the ball…” Not his exact words, but that gives you an idea. After the kicker kicked, Steve starts reacting and none of us can figure out what he’s shouting. All we hear is, “Upright” and we realize the ball hit the upright. We put it altogether and realize we just won the game! More importantly, JoePa had won his 409th game as head coach to become the winningest coach in Division I Football history! My special snow day just became much more memorable. We all let out a cheer of complete disbelief.
What a great feeling to have heading into one of our toughest volleyball matches of the season. The team was set to take on Nebraska, the newest member to the Big Ten. They were ranked No. 1. A spot familiar to the Nittany Lions for the last three years. We were ranked No. 8. Before the match our assistant coach said she had a good feeling. Saturday night was one of those times where I had no feeling at all as to how the match may play out. I guess I was more worried about the crowd not being very big with the weather.
Her good feelings weren’t unwarranted, however, as the team came out on fire and won the first two sets convincingly. Now, Nebraska did come back to take set three without too much effort, but the Lions rallied to win set four in commanding fashion. As Coach Rose would later say, “It was a statement win.” The crowd, which filled in slowly throughout the match, was into it the whole time. Like with many sports, I believe our crowd really helps the team, and they didn’t let me down Saturday night.
What a great Saturday. It’s definitely one I’ll remember for some time. It’s not often you get to be part of history. Where were you on Saturday? Maybe you weren’t out in the snow, but I hope you were watching. Not just watching the game, but watching one more piece of history fall into place for a man who is truly irreplaceable.