Posts tagged ‘Blue-White Game’

The Penn Stater Daily — April 14, 2014

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Why yes, that is campaign chair Peter Tombros in a DeLorean… Photo by Tina Hay

The future is now: Seven years, 600,000 donors, nearly $2.2 billion raised, and an immeasurable impact on the university. Those are the (almost) final numbers from For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which was celebrated this weekend at University Park. The fundraising total for the campaign, which officially wraps June 30, stands at $2.158 billion, making Penn State one of just 12 public U.S. universities to exceed a $2 billion goal. As you can see from that shot of campaign chair Peter Tombros ’64, ’68g, the “future” theme allowed for some fun during Saturday’s unveiling of the campaign total. Our Tina Hay ’83 was there and will post some photos from the weekend celebration later today.

A beauty for Blue-White: The Happy Valley weather was glorious this weekend, which was good timing both for the campaign celebration, but also for the return of Penn State football. More than 70,000 fans made their way into Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Blue-White Game. The game coincided with at least one national recruiting service elevating the Nittany Lions to the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation based on oral commitments for 2015, and with the announcement that John Urschel ’12, ’13g has been named the 2014 winner of the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete. All in all, not a bad weekend for our football program.

Feeling a draft: Maggie Lucas and Ariel Edwards, two standouts from the Lady Lions’ terrific senior class, will be hoping to hear their names called Monday night at the 2014 WNBA Draft. Draft coverage kicks off at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Triple-threat Lionettes: The Penn State Lionettes dance team returned from Daytona Beach over the weekend with its third straight national championship. The Lionettes edged Louisville and Virginia Tech to earn the Division I-A title at the NDA Collegiate Dance Championships for the third consecutive year.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 14, 2014 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 11, 2014

A generous parting gift: President Rod Erickson and his wife Shari on Thursday announced a $1 million gift to the university. The donation, which coincides with this weekend’s celebration of the closing of the “For The Future” capital campaign, will benefit the Arboretum, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and the Smeal College of Business. Erickson is set to retire from the university next month.

Klosterman on ethics: I wandered over to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Thursday to hear Chuck Klosterman speak at the “Religion, Ethics, and Choice” symposium hosted by Penn State’s Center for Ethics & Religious Affairs. I met Chuck a decade or so ago through our mutual friend (and occasional Penn Stater contributor) Michael Weinreb ’94; if you know Chuck’s name, it’s probably from his books, his writing for the likes of Esquire and Grantland, or more recently, his role as the Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine. Based in Brooklyn, he generally makes a handful of college speaking engagements each year, but this was the first time he’d been invited somewhere specifically based on the Ethicist gig.

Speaking to a small room—a mix of students, faculty, and campus and community religious leaders—Chuck was, like his writing, often funny and always thought provoking. He read from his latest non-fiction book, I Wear the Black Hat, in which he uses real and fictional villains to grapple with the idea of good v. evil. But for this crowd, the insights into his Ethicist gig were especially interesting:

* He opened by saying he’s not remotely qualified for the job, then added that, in his opinion, “no one is.” (The Times‘ first Ethicist, he noted, was Randy Cohen, a former writer for David Letterman.)

* He was only half joking when he said that, due both to the nature of the job and the reactive tone of so much of modern culture, he’s certain “I’m going to get fired at some point.”

* He said he receives about 100 submissions each week, and that the correspondents are most likely to be “lawyers, new mothers, and academics. Also, a lot of atheists.”

* In helping people solve their ethical quandaries, Chuck says he aims to be “hyper-rational … almost Spock-like” in his responses: “I’ve advised people to do things I’m not sure I would do in my own life.” As for his process: Once he and his editor have chosen which letters to run, Chuck said he thinks about the dilemma, composes a response, and then “I spend two days thinking about all the ways I’d disagree with that response.” He then edits it accordingly. It’s a unique gig, and qualified or not, I think he’s as right as anyone for the job.

Football is back: The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 60s and blue (and white) skies—a perfect day, in other words, for the Blue-White Game. There’s all sorts of fun stuff scheduled in and around Beaver Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is at 1:30. Hope to see you there…

Ryan Jones, senior editor

 

April 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and welcome back from spring break. We enjoyed a couple of sunny, warm, spring-like days in Happy Valley last week. Today, it’s 21 and overcast. Oh well.

Still hoopin’: The Nittany Lion basketball team lived to play another day, accepting an invite Sunday to play in the College Basketball Invitational. Penn State will host Hampton at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the BJC. The Lady Lions, meanwhile, will learn their NCAA tournament fate tonight when ESPN airs its “Selection Monday Special.”

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A harvest of sticky & sweet: This weekend marks the annual Maple Harvest Festival at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, the Penn State-run nature center about 12 miles from University Park. As the father of young kids, I can say this is an event we look forward to every year: Fun educational activities in a beautiful setting in the Central Pennsylvania hills, and the annual pancake breakfast topped with delicious, fresh, locally produced, and 100 percent real maple syrup. As this Penn State News feature explains, it’s also a great exercise for the undergrads who work the event. I can already smell the pancakes…

Kicking off: James Franklin and his staff are set to open up the practice fields today for the start of spring practice, but it turns out the players aren’t the only ones primed to get on the field: Over the weekend, Nittany Lion assistant Josh Gattis decided to see how fast he can run the 40-yard dash. The ensuing video is hilarious.

The Blue White Game is just 26 days away.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 17, 2014 at 11:53 am 1 comment

Happy Birthday to the All-Sports Museum

There’s no shortage of things to do in Happy Valley this weekend. The annual Blue-White Game on Saturday is the big draw, of course, and on Friday, the university will officially break ground on the site of the Pegula Ice Arena. But there’s also an anniversary to celebrate.

The Penn State All-Sports Museum opened its doors in 2002, and the museum — located at the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium — is celebrating its 10-year milestone this weekend. From 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, the museum will host tours, and feature kid-friendly activities, games, films and refreshments. Click here for more information.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Bill O’Brien Opens Spring Practice

Bill O’Brien was about halfway through his first spring practice press conference Monday afternoon when I got my turn at the mic. Changing the subject from the string of player personnel queries that understandably dominated the media questioning, I asked O’Brien if he’d had a chance to find a routine. It’s been a hectic seven weeks since he took over as Penn State’s head football coach, and I was curious how he was settling in.

“Other than the fact that I’m still in room five—well, I can’t give my room number out, but I’m on the fifth floor at the Penn Stater,” O’Brien said. “But I’m very settled in.”

The fact that he’s still living out of a suitcase speaks to how immersed O’Brien has been in his new role. That immersion goes even deeper this week as the Nittany Lions begin spring practice under their new coach, who will be getting his first live look at his players in actual football drills (winter workouts are limited to conditioning drills only). What has he learned so far, and what does he expect out of the next four weeks of practice, culminating next month with the annual Blue-White Game? Here are some highlights from Monday’s presser:

—The quarterback race is wide-open, with Matt McGloin, Rob Bolden, and Paul Jones currently sharing snaps. “There’s no starter,” O’Brien said, “and there won’t be a starter named possibly until the night before the Ohio game.” Meaning the 2012 season opener on Sept. 1.

—O’Brien hasn’t watched film of last year’s Penn State offense. “One of the things I wanted to do when I got here was start with a clean slate,” he said. “I didn’t want to make any judgments, especially offensively, not really knowing what they were doing scheme-wise. I wanted to evaluate them first on winter conditioning, then on spring practice.” I imagine he’ll learn a lot about his QBs over the next month.

—O’Brien said the team’s new strength and conditioning program, with an emphasis on free weights and the contagious intensity of new coach Craig Fitzgerald, has already paid dividends. He mentioned redshirt junior Adam Gress, a 6-foot-6, 306-pound offensive tackle, as a prime example. “He’s had a heck of a winter, and he’s already changed his body—he’s gone from looking one way to looking like a V-shape. That’s what you’re looking for.”

—Without getting specific, he also confirmed changes in the football support staff, alluding to rumors that have flown the past few weeks about some longtime secretaries, video staffers and others who are no longer with the program. “We’ve made a lot of changes there, and we’re really happy with the changes we’ve made,” he said. “One thing you’ll see with me, I like the phrase ‘less is more.'”

—The offense won’t review its own film until after spring practice. Until then, they’re watching tape of the New England Patriots’ offense, which O’Brien helped coach the past four years. “The basis of the Patriots’ offense will be run here,” O’Brien said, emphasizing that fans shouldn’t expect the Lions’ offense to be as elaborate or explosive as the Pats’ high-powered attack—at least, not right away. “Let’s be real clear: We’ll put in the core, then we’ll build on it in training camp.”

—He got specific about how the Lions will utilize their tight ends the same way the Patriots did—hopefully with a similar outcome. With O’Brien on staff, New England regularly went with two and even three tight ends, creating match-up problems for opposing defenses and leading to lots of touchdowns. “One of the things about the tight end position in our system, second to quarterback, it’s really the hardest position to learn,” O’Brien said. “You can do so many different things, but it’s all up to how those guys learn.”

—Asked about who will be running the offense from the sideline this fall, O’Brien was blunt: “Oh yeah, I’ll call the offensive plays.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Is it Football Season Already?

The annual Blue-White spring football game kicks off Saturday, and while the forecast isn’t promising, there’s plenty worth watching for those willing to brave the cold, wind, and rain—or just watch from the comfort of their living room couch. Key is a quarterback battle that was never resolved last season, and which Nittany Lion fans are hoping produces at least one QB capable of a big season.

There’s also the matter of replacing Evan Royster ’10, Penn State’s career rushing leader, but folks close to the program don’t seem all that concerned. That’s because, as usual, there’s a ton of talent in the Nittany Lion backfield, and none of Royster’s understudies has generated more excitement than sophomore Silas Redd (pictured). The Altoona Mirror today profiles Redd, focusing on his surprising appreciation for running backs who, in many cases, starred in the NFL before Redd was born.

Speaking of old-school greats: for those living in Central Pa., Joe Paterno will appear tonight on WHVL’s Blue-White Tailgate Show. It’s nice to have football back.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

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