| || |
September 3, 2014 - Darian Somers
Two words. That's it.
It's been 284 days since we've called the corner of Curtan and Porter home, and three more since the last time they've been heard.
In that time, this university has seen its fifth coaching changes in three years, two victories -- one in Wisconsin and one in Ireland -- and one new president. There have been countless hours of planning, meeting, calling, tweeting, emailing, texting and designing.
All of that sounds like a lot and a long time ago.
It's all to hear two words.
There is no feeling greater than hearing those two words if you're a Penn State student.
Those two words are yelled and celebrated like we are in New York for New Year's Eve every Wednesday and one Monday before each home Penn State game, ringing out at precisely 11 p.m.
Those two words mean just as much as a two-part, two-word phrase -- "We Are Penn State" -- means to this school.
They describe long nights -- some of the chilly thanks to Happy Valley's brilliant fall -- of debating who is the best Penn State quarterback of all-time, where the best place to grab some wings is at downtown and many more endless arguments.
They describe the never-ending childlike wonderment that runs through our little makeshift town that some weeks is bigger than actually towns in the state of Pennsylvania.
They mean visits from idols and fellow classmates that represent Penn State's athletic department. They remind some of simple hellos from various coaches and gestures of free food from strangers. They symbolize four-foot trashcans being beaten on like Blue Band drums with the words of the Alma Mater behind them, and then later turning those same cans into landing zones for leather footballs.
They represent a small home, made of a cot, some blankets, pillows, a few tarps and laptops being used as television screens.
They describe a passion and energy that is a unique college football tradition. Something that a bunch of knuckleheads do weekly, and others that do it because it's on their Penn State bucket list.
The passion returns with two simple words that will be heard tonight: