I first went to Penn State in the fall of 2004. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was so proud to take me to his school and I must say that I was instantly enamored. The focus of our weekend was my first football game in Beaver Stadium. I remember being excited to see JoePa - a true coaching legend - in person and proudly reporting back to my dad once I had.
Since then, I have been to more Penn State games than I can count, both in Happy Valley and across the country really. Some of my happiest memories with friends in my post-college years have been tailgating outside Beaver Stadium and enjoying all that PSU has to offer. I have made life-long wonderful Nittany Lion friends and over seven years later, I personally feel a big sense of loyalty toward and pride for the PSU community.
This post is about celebrating a life and not debating the issues. I don’t expect everyone to understand a Penn Stater’s love for Joe Paterno. I know I can speak on their behalf and say that it is about much more than just football.
No one has been more prideful of and giving to Penn State than JoePa. As one friend put it, "He is the honorary grandfather of every Penn Stater" and will truly be missed. I hope his family is able to find peace with their loss.
And to end on a lighter note…check out Joe in his embroidered whale pants circa 1982. Perhaps he was a bit of a preppy cookie himself?!
“Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.” –Joe Paterno