Holiday ode to the Nittany Lions

This particular holiday being the Big Ten Championship Game:

‘Twas some time before Christmas, and all through the Valley

The Lions of P-S-U prepped for a rally.

Their jerseys were hung in the lockers with care

In hopes that a championship soon would be theirs.

A journey to Indy they readied to tread,

While Big Ten supremacy danced in their heads.

A national title is still on their minds,

But set it aside….one game at a time.

Brave students would camp-out, their tickets to buy

For the Badger-filled title game … electrified.

The Nation of Nittany scrambling to plan

For planes, cars and buses in line they will stand.

To be part of history, that is the goal,

The greatest of all college football’s their show.

Once discounted underdogs, ready to roar,

Their coveted place in the realm to restore.

They’ve already tackled so much, as you know,

From preseason rankings that put them below

At least 20 others throughout this great nation,

They’ve climbed up to eighth, to their fan’s fine elation.

So far they have come from those first, early outings,

When toppled by Pittsburgh, some fans were heard shouting

Another direction they needed to go,

Put pressures on coaches, and dealt them a blow.

Then with a tough loss on the Michigan road,

The Lions their character needed to show.

The Gophers, once golden would put up a fight,

But Penn State, in overtime, set the ship right.

In a pivotal moment, this team would decide

To take themselves on an incredible ride.

So they rolled over Maryland, anxious to meet

The number-two Buckeyes, they aimed to defeat.

In a wonderful white-out played under the lights,

With millions more watching on TV’s so bright,

They’d rise to the challenge, their rivals would fall,

With highlight-reel plays on both sides of the ball.

The fourth quarter comeback, amazing, but true,

Would satisfy all of the White and the Blue,

Propelling the Lions to national fame,

No longer an underdog, they would exclaim.

They beat up the Boilers, the Hawkeyes, the Hoosiers,

Then Rutgers was added to the list of their losers.

In the season finale, the Spartans were humbled,

While Wisconsin advanced, and Michigan crumbled.

And now to their first Big Ten final they go,

With their eyes on the prize, for world to know,

That this noble of programs, once beaten and bruised

Has returned to its glory, its pride has resumed.

One stripe on their helmets, no names on their backs,

Their old-school style footwear, in signature black.

You’d know them from anywhere, heard their full story,

The college, this football team, all “For the glory….”

They’ll take to the field and start at the whistle,

At their talent and heart, the Badgers should bristle,

Win over Wisconsin, and spark the debate,

Restore the roar, and fight on, Old State!

Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Her column appears on Tuesdays.