The pregame flyover prior to Penn State’s week three game against Navy was pretty cool, but few images will resonate the way the postgame singing of the Penn State Alma Mater will for me, and I can only imagine that those with much closer ties and bonds to the Penn State community will agree.
One of the new Penn State traditions head coach Bill O’Brien is bringing to the program is the singing of the Alma Mater after each game, althugh O’Brien said in the postgame press conference he would like to keep it to being done after wins rather than every game. He admitted that he messed up after the home opener against Ohio, but made sure that it was done at the end of their 34-7 victory against Navy, his first as head coach.
I should not need to tell you tha the lyrics of the alma mater have brought on new meaning in light of the unfortunate and tragic tale of Jerry Sandusky an the way it was all handled. The line “May no act of ours bring shame,” has been sung noticeably louder since Penn State returned to football last November against Nebraska, and through two home games this season there is no question those singing make sure to emphasize that particular line.
Following the long awaited win Saturday, Penn State’s football players, students, coaches and fans were able to genuinely smile about something for the first time in what seems like forever. As the football team finished standing by Navy during the singing of their alma mater, a customary post game tradition for the Naval Academy, Penn State rushed to the student section, led by O’Brien, for the Blue Band to strike up the Alma Mater. The smiles on the older players and the quiet awe of some of the younger players was quite the scene, and the student section swaying together was amazing.
If this is what Penn State football is really about, there is no doubt that this program and university will get through the turmoil and tough times. It may be rough, but together they will thrive through dark times and good times.
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