Shit on Pitt! Shit on Pitt!

October 23, 2009

The Random House Unabridged Dictionary includes two definitions that describe 99 percent of the people that I have meet who have, at the high point of their life, called Happy Valley Pennsylvania home:

Definition 4: a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc;
Definition 5: group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols;

Alumni and their parents always over represent the fact that they are affiliated with Penn State. From those Nittany Lion paw and HV magnets to their Penn State jackets and scarves.

I have a friend whose sister and brother-in-law are both Penn State graduates who meet while attending school. I can only imagine how romantic it was when he held her hair back as she threw up the cheap beer bonged at his frat party. They actually have their email addresses as penestategrad followed by their respective years of graduation. Give me a friggin break: who cares about your central Pennsylvania odyssey? I never bothered to probe these two that deeply about their Penn State pride as we were only together a few times socially; the longest period included good ole boy Dave disappearing for several hours with stripers during a Bachelor party at Bare Extremities in Atlantic City.

AND then there was that Penn State graduate at my last job; He had been out of school for about twelve years. He tried to put on this professional image. He wore ties and slacks the type that are sold by Haband on the back page of Legionnaires magazine – along with a stupid ass, Penn State leather jacket nine months out of the year. He wore this thing if it was 20 degrees; he wore it if it was 80 degrees. I found it funny when he would come in on humid, early summer mornings wearing that jacket and complaining that it was already hot. I asked him about the jacket after I had worked with him for close to a year and noticed how much he wore it.

“Why do you only wear that Penn State jacket?”

“Because I went there.”

“Did you play football for them or another sport?”

He laughed and said “No” with a kind of guteral chuckle suggesting I was not ‘illuminated’.

He said, “You’ve never been to Happy Valley, have you?”

“No, the college is pretty much the town, right? There isnt much ther-”

He interrupted, “Dude, you don’t know what your talking about, you have never been in that stadium when it is filled with over 100,000 chanting fans, stomping their feet”

Another co-worker immediately added, “Yeah, it is an amazing feeling…”

This sets me up for a great response, “Well, I’ve seen the films of a few of the Nuremberg Rallies so I think I have a good idea…”

Dead silence. Come on, this was a great line and you people set it up for me. All I got was a dismissive look that a father usually reserves for the moments that his son says something off color. Needless to say, he didnt talk much to me after that.

I had a bit of a showdown with a Penn State parent at my current job. I was outside enjoying a cigarette with the system architect when a pleasantly rotund blond came out onto the patio. Bob greeted her and asked her how she felt about Penn States chances in the next game. This sweet innocent woman launched into a biting invective, culminating with a chant of
“Shit on Pitt!”
“Shit on Pitt!”
“Shit on Pitt!”
I was shocked, not by her words, but how here eyes narrowed, the whites disappearing and a crimson mask rising in her face and the visceral tone in her voice. All this over a game?

I couldn’t resist. I blurted out,
“Wow, Penn State is a lot like Amway…”

Her squint angry eyes turned and burned in my direction,
“What in the HELL is that SUPPOSED to mean!?!”

What is that supposed to mean? Look at how you responded to it!
I disengage the enraged with “Well, you’re a little excited over a game…’

Her eyes divert and she takes a drag off of her cigarette and in one motion shifts her body so that she is no longer facing me. If this woman would have been a Scientologist the assembled group would instantly dismiss her as a nutty cult member. But because she’s a Penn State parent it is accepted as normal behavior.

The incident with Penn State mom occurred about four months ago. In that time she has made a point to smile at me and great me with pleasantries when we run into each other. The other day I left earlier than usual and happened to pull behind her big ole Olds Ninety Eight. And what do you suppose was on the rear deck? Stuffed Nitney lions and Penn State bears in sweaters… Oh my.

Im not wishing death on the guy but I do know that JoePa is pretty close to a thousand years-old so I know that he has less time then more. When he does pass, I do imagine a scene reminiscent of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini. The sea of black-clad people descending on Tehran by foot replaced with blue and white descending on Happy Valley, reaching a frenzied pitch and dumping the body of Joe Pa out of the coffin. I can almost see the sight of thousands of mourners in Penn States stadium as Joe Pas body is finally load on to a helicopter and lifted away…


One Response to “Shit on Pitt! Shit on Pitt!”

  1. Creepy La Beef Says:

    You said a mouth full! It seems people all over the country have a love affair with their college alma mater. I find most of these folks to be the Momma’s lap children that never had any life before college. These goobers seem to be the late bloomers who never got high, shit-face drunk, or laid till they got to college. They fall into the follow the leader mentality “Go team go” horseshit. As they finally move on they realize the best years of their lives were spent in the sticks binge drinking and date raping, if they weren’t such retards I may have felt sorry for them!

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