Twas some time before Christmas and all through the Nation
Penn State fans would dream of a New Year's vacation.
Paternoville tents line the campus with care,
In hopes that their namesake will always be there.
The team and their followers waited for news
Of the bowl bid announcement, then cheers, and not boos
The Lions and Gators are chosen to go
To a gridiron in Tampa away from the snow.
The Florida matchup, a dream game for some
As news-making coaches have headlines become:
A young man who's leaving the school that he loves,
And a legend whose life fits the game like a glove.
A fourth time the Outback Bowl summons the Nits
Whose coveted fan base just loves to take trips.
They'll come in their planes, buses, campers and cars
For fun in the sun, and to watch college stars.
The brightest among them is Joe Pa himself,
A leader as Santa would be to an elf.
With coke-bottle glasses and higher-hemmed pants,
Recognizable even with only a glance.
Four-hundred-plus victories under his name
And national titles just add to his fame.
His wins, how historic, his values, how upright
His news conference always elicits a sound bite.
For decades he's strived for good men to grow,
Success trimmed with honor as a gift with a bow.
The Hall of Fame honors are not pre-mature,
The winningest coach ever, his legend's secure.
And now to a thirty-eighth bowl game he goes,
With post-season prowess that only Joe knows.
Reward for the regular season, they say
Of another big bowl game on New Year's Day.
Sparked by their seniors, like Stupar, Gbadyu,
Wisniewski and Moye, Astorino and Ogbu.
While Royster set records, and Zug hauled in passes
Walk-on McGloin thrilled the lads and the lasses.
Through highs and through lows, they'd keep hope alive
And post a respectable 7-5.
The campaign extended, it's time to rejoice
With 15 more workouts the method of choice.
From freshmen to seniors, all south they will trek,
With helmets and sunscreen, their luggage to check.
A last senior triumph: their final ballgame
A springboard to next year, will others proclaim.
They'll work hard and play hard, whatever the reason
And look for a positive end to the season.
The sunshine state beckons as game time draws near,
And Lion fans hope they'll have reason to cheer
When Penn State does battle with Meyer and crew
Just look for a white-out in place of the blue.
So hail to the Lion, and strike up the band,
With a drum major flip and salute to the stands,
The cheerleaders, dance team and fans young and old,
Take the show on the road, let the story unfold.
The Lions victorious will elation create,
Happy Holidays to all: We are . Penn State!
Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Kellie@BedfordCountyChamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.