The Underdogs, named for two famous movie underdogs, are comprised of two polar opposite personalities. One is highly intelligent, and coldly calculating. The other is playful and lovable, but with the intellect belying the inherent X*7 maturity.
They are mutts and nomads. Unloved and abandoned. They are schizophrenic. They often disagree as they both see only in black and white. Without opposable thumbs, they unfortunately still lack the ability to operate a computer and type their collected thoughts arranged into a single, tangent-tripping narrative.
As for their stenographer, the Admin of this site, I was born into Penn State football fandom. One of my first memories of life, let alone Penn State football was attending the 1983 Alabama game at Beaver Stadium. At the time, I was fascinated by the wave. In subsequent years, I recall listening to games against Rutgers and Maryland, et al. on radio. Radio? Who needs a radio?!
DJ Dozier was my favorite player. I remember the Miami's fatigues and the build up to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. It was to be the first bowl game moved off the hallowed ground of New Year's Day. It was the first time I was allowed to stay up past my bed time. You can't say a bad word about my all-time favorite players list: DJ Dozier, OJ McDuffie, Bobby Engram, LaVar, Navorro, Michael Robinson, Omar Easy (if only for the name and Jamaican accent), etc.
After Pete Giftopolous's second, and game-sealing interception, I recall my father tossing me in the air repeatedly. You see, Penn State football was a family obsession, however my siblings and I were the first generation to actually attend the University. My old man became a Penn State fan, not because of bloodlines or geography or championships, but because of Joe Paterno.
As a youngster, I recall him telling me, "Joe Paterno and Dean Smith are good men. You should learn something from them." I have been a Penn State football fan and a North Carolina basketball fan ever since.
Forever on the "Joe has earned the right to leave when he wants" wagon, I fell off it once and only once: after 6-4. You know the game. I know the game. Let's not relive it.
I trace the resurrection of the program to the individual leadership and will of three individuals: Joe Paterno, Paul Posluszny, and Michael Robinson, and the goal line at Indiana. Sometimes all it takes is belief and the the will to overcome the frictional coefficient of diffidence. Would you ever believe you could lose with those guys steering the ship? Add those three together, mix in the pent up emotion of 5 years of frustration, depression, ennui, desire, and malaise and you get 2005.
Since 2002 when I graduated from Penn State, I have been in Dallas, TX where I watched the Ohio State-Penn State 2005 game. The kind of catharsis that comes only through passion sometimes reveals itself in less than desirable actions, at least for building owners with perhaps dubious insurance policies. After the game, I was asked to leave my regular Penn State watching drinking establishment for holding a one-man riot, tossing bar stools into the air. I didn't care. I felt like a little kid without a care in the world and somewhere between twelve and one hundred beers in my belly.
On this blog, I will be focusing on three things: satirical interviews with stereotypical caricatures of rival fanbases (including our own), human vs. computer ranking system where I have constructed this blog's own ranking formula that is based on competition- and tempo-adjusted statistics, and X's and O's: what plays worked, why they worked, and the strengths or weaknesses exploited.
I look forward to chronicling the future of the program on this blog as new players make their mark on my personal Hall of Penn State fandom fame.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org