Saturday Morning, the Penn State Nittany Lions roared onto the field to 90,000 cheering fans; the names of each player printed on their backs in commemoration to themselves, the ones whom chose to remain loyal during the most turbulent time in their school’s history. In the midst of the ovation and cheering from the Penn State faithful, a chant ensued through the stadium; ” We are … Penn State!” With that chant, the Penn State was ready to begin a new chapter in their history, one which hopefully can overshadow the one tainted by the sexual abuse scandal that has tainted this once esteemed and admired program.
From viewing this scene myself, I couldn’t feel anything but admiration from these brave players that chose not to turn their backs on this organization, but to remain loyal. After everything that has occurred to this school in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, these players had every right to be bitter and angry towards their school. Rather instead they made the decision to rally around each other as “One Team” , Penn State’s new motto. In all the years of watching College Football, this moment was both the most endearing and intriguing moment I’ve even been lucky to experience.
For the players that took to the field that Saturday morning against Ohio University, these were not just players, they became heroes in my eyes. These players are likely to face scrutiny for the decision to stay with a program that will forever be linked with the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal. Though Coach Bill O’Brien’s debut wasn’t a victory on the scoreboard, their loyalty, perseverance, and presence on the field that day started a healing process which may be the beginning of better things to come for Penn State.