5:21 PM: A local radio DJ has mentioned a rumor that Regis Philbin is in State College. Warning: if Regis is here, I'm going to pee. He IS a huge Notre Dame fan, and we ARE only about 5 hours from New York City...it's possible!
5:22 PM: In an effort to hear what's happening at Paternoville (the tent city outside the student entrance gate of Beaver Stadium), my driver Jen and I turn down the radio. There are easily 200 people in at least 100 tents. Many of the students are standing by the road holding signs imploring motorists to honk; if they do not oblige, they are loudly booed. I am giggling.
5:25 PM: Lion spotting! The Nittany Lion is at the Men's Soccer game. We also just heard the Blue Band practicing. This is awesome.
8ish PM: We Are...UNDERWAY! People are going crazy and rec hall is superpacked. It's also about 100 degrees. For some reason Rally in the Valley is in the smallest and hottest venue on campus. Go figure.
8:07 PM: There's been a contest going on this week for "Penn State's Ultimate Fan" and the emcee just introduced him. He ran out trying to get the crowd excited like a real athlete would and the crowd booed him. Mean, but funny. He looks like a tool anyway. (I'm kind of a jerk when I'm hot. I mean temperature hot.)
8:11 PM: I really like Blue Sapphire, the twirler. Aside from having a hilarious name she just jumps around and twirls around and everyone cheers for her. I think she is living out every little girl's dream. Plus, during the Ohio State game my sophomore year she twirled 3 flaming batons. It changed my life.
8:15 PM: Where the hell is the football team plus JoePa? I can hear people complaining about this all around me. The Blue Band is cute until you realize that you're hot and packed in like sardines.
8:20 PM: A boy with a megaphone (so not okay) is trying to get everyone to scream wildly when he says "how is everybody doing tonight?" We're hot and pissy, thanks for asking! WHERE IS THE FOOTBALL TEAM? Here comes the Lion which is funnish because everyone starts chanting, "we want the lion!" and eventually he'll do some pretty intense one-armed pushups
8:21 PM: Prancing
8:22 PM: Skipping
8:23 PM: One-Armed Pushups!!
8:24 PM: This person has got to be HOT (hot hot).
8:25 PM: Steve Jones, the voice of the Nittany Lions! Apparently he didn't get the memo that it's only okay to look tacky if you're a Notre Dame fan. The white sport coat was a poor choice. I know it's a whiteout tomorrow but yikes.
8:26 PM: FOOTBALL TEAM! finally! The crowd awakens from their heat-induced coma and appears to be legitimately excited for the first time since the very beginning of the pep rally.
8:28 PM: JOE PATERNO! I totally got goosebumps when JoePa started talking. I love this man. When he got up the place went berserk. It was awesome. After everyone finally settled down he started talking. I had all intentions of documenting everything he said but i was totally in awe and unable to retain any of it. (Yes!). He did reaffirm why he is the classiest man in sports. He kept mentioning what a fine institution ND is and what a rich tradition they have and he also asked that we cheer on our own team and not boo theirs. Here are some highlights of what I remember.
- "I don't want us to boo the other team. But...ya know...if their quarterback is calling a play and you all want to get loud, that's fine."
- "Ya know, we had some...shenanigans...that happened off the field" (really, shenanigans? oh...you mean when we all thought that the entire starting defense was going to jail...don't we feel silly) "Let me tell a little story. When we...well, we--I mean, it really wasn't a unanimous decision--decided to clean out the stadium..."(crowd goes crazy--there are currently shirts on sale downtown that feature a garbage truck with a silouette of a football player riding on the back and say "big joe's cleaning service" on the back, and "keeping the beaver clean" on the front. Also, the "little" story he wanted to tell didn't make much sense but we all cheered a lot).
- JoePa rambled and we ate it up. He ended with this...a truly Joe Paterno moment. "Well. There's two ways to do things." (Takes off jacket, crowd goes crazy. I don't know what we thought he would do but we were excited about it) Then He turned around, motioned to the football team, and they all just left the building. So weird. So very JoePa.
I am very excited about tomorrow. JoePa said we were going to make it a very special night in Penn State football history and I believe Him. Ooh! Cool shirt sighting: someone had a shirt on that said, "They have Jesus. We have JoePa."
WE ARE! (now is when you scream at your computer, "PENN STATE!")