My fascination and addiction to Penn State football began in 1968-69 with the likes of Mike Reid, Steve Smear and Jack Ham.
I and many of my friends and relatives began buying single-game tickets and continued to do so until it became too difficult. In 1978, when the first expansion of Beaver Stadium was complete, I bought season tickets and continued to do so to the present time.
I have contributed what was asked each year with the knowledge that if I did so I could maintain my seats and where they are located. In 1985, the donation - for two seats - went from $50 per year to $100, and in 1998 from $100 to $150 per year and lastly in 2008 from $150 per year to $200 per year.
I felt that these were fairly reasonable requests due to the economics of the game.
But now, from $200 year to $1200 year, this increase is not due to an economical need no matter what the people in power have said or will say.
Why doesn't the university fund sports that don't pay for themselves? How does Pitt pay for their sports program when their stadium is usually 70 percent empty for their home football games?
A 600 percent increase, after approximately four expansions, including club seats, suites and additional funds from the Big Ten Network, is simply the only way remaining for the PSU sports program to financially rape, especially the blue collar fan, who struggles to come up each year with the total $970 for two season tickets (for seven home games).
The pressure from the big-money people who can not improve their seating location as quickly as they desire must be tremendous for the university and the Nittany Lion Club to want to cast the blue-collar fans to the wind.
Sure these blue-collar fans can relocate to worse seats and still pay only a $200 year donation but where is the university's loyalty to its basic fan base? Why should he give up the seats he has had for many years (for me 31)? For many years this blue-collar fan base was what PSU relied upon for contributions to the scholarship program.
This is just the latest example of greed and lack of fan loyalty to which the PSU program has succumbed. The once best example of an NCAA sports program that showed students and parents that one can succeed doing things the right way has succumbed to the almighty dollar.
My best hope is that people who continue to donate their money designate it to be used only for football scholarships and no other sport. Secondly, I hope that Beaver Stadium is occupied on game day only with the big-money donors, in their chosen seats, which should make Beaver Stadium 70 percent empty each game.
BCS protected itself with Iowa
In my opinion, the BCS committee called the shots on the Fiesta and Orange Bowl selections.
I can't believe the Fiesta really wanted Boise State and TCU over Iowa.
And I am sure the BCS mandated that the BCS pick Iowa over PSU because of the differential in BCS standings - No. 10 vs. No. 13.
The first goal of any organization is its own self preservation.
Picking PSU over Iowa invalidates the BCS.
Daryll Clark has his last chance to win the big game, and I think he does. My pick: PSU 27, LSU 23
Laurel Hollow N.Y.
JoePa, Bowden classy
Two fine gentlemen who are both in their 80s will take their teams to bowl games at the end of the current college football season.
Coaches Joe Paterno, the Penn State legend, and Bobby Bowden of Florida State University have led their teams to another postseason bowl appearance.
Bowden and Paterno are good friends. Both inspire admiration among the fans of their teams, and have done much for their schools over the years. Both have been examples of dignity on and off the field.
For those entering the later years of life with decent health, they are prime examples of the abilities and possibilities for senior citizens.
Bowden has coached Florida State since 1976 and has made them a leading national team for most of his tenure. He will be retiring after this year's game though he had hoped to continue for one more year.
It had been noted that perhaps one motivation for Bowden and Paterno to continue was to see who would end up with the most career victories. Paterno will hold that honor as the winningest coach in college football history.
Bowden is also known for his Christian faith and his desire to share that faith with others.
Not only winning coaches are openly followers of Christ, but there have been those who openly express allegiance to Christ who were let go at the end of losing seasons. These people have also shown a poise and dignity in their coaching without as much appreciation.
Likewise, there are those in sports and other aspects of life who achieve great fame in one area of life but are poor examples of how human beings should live.
In the Heritage Hall on the USC campus where many of the sports teams have their offices, there are numerous trophies in the lobby including some from national championship teams. There are also replicas of the six Heisman Trophies received by USC players over the years.
One of those was O. J. Simpson.
At the end of life will it really matter how many wins or losses a coach had? Will the fleeting fame of victory be that important? Or will the lives of people who have been blessed and influenced in a positive way by the individual be more important?
Does God cheer or have a favorite team? According to Penn State fans (which includes this writer), why else is the sky blue and white?
From my perspective, God must be everyone's fan and wants everyone to receive the gift of forgiveness of sins and a place in heaven some day.
Rev. Glen Bayly
Mifflinburg Alliance Church
Lions need offensive changes
After watching Penn State play an uninspired game against Indiana and then watching Iowa and Ohio State play their outstanding game, it is not hard to see why these two teams beat Penn State.
I can not figure out why it is Penn State gets these blue-chip recruits and after a couple of years here they look so ordinary, and even at times unsure of themselves.
Joe can spin this special teams play any way he wants, but they either need more practice or someone to devote more time to this area.
The analysts doing PSU games sometimes speak of Stephfon Green's speed, but then you see him running into the middle of the line. Certainly they could have some plays to take advantage of this speed.
I sincerely hope when Joe's present contract is up he is ready to ride off into the sunset and takes Jay and Galen with him.
A two-QB?system won't hurt, either
Penn State gets great athletes and has very good coaches but will never compete for national titles unless they change their system and the philosophy of their game plans.
They are too conservative and predictable. There are very few blitzes and the pass defense is too soft.
The offense has little variety and zero trick plays.
They only open up against the very weakest opponents. I don't see what's wrong with a two-quarterback system. You gain injury insurance and some very necessary game experience for the future.
Anthony Morelli was a two-season failure. Daryll Clark hasn't won a big game yet. Pat Devlin won the 2008 Ohio State game and then was ignored/mistreated after that. Why?
Are we destined to have only one quarterback in 2010 and 2011?