| State of the State address
| Tuesday, January 29, 2008
|Bloggers, readers and my fellow Nittany Lions,
Over the last 8 years since the turn of the century, we have endured 4 losing seasons, 2 futile quarterbacks at the helm, and have not tasted victory against our hated rivals up north. Yet we are still here today standing side by side, resolute and determined.
We faced adversity only to rebound with 3 straight bowl wins in the last 3 years, 1 BCS victory over an equally tradition-rich rival in the Seminoles and 1 Big Ten title. This year, in our inaugural State of the State address we also must be aware of the decisive months that lie ahead.
You and I serve our Penn State program in a time of great consequence. We not only have the duty to ensure opponents take a second look just to find out if they are playing in dreaded Happy Valley when facing the Lions, but have the opportunity to save State from the same fate that has befallen our traditional rivals Nebraska, Alabama and Syracuse.
We will do our part in maintaining State's fiscal security, and we will answer every danger and rival that threatens Penn State's recruiting class. The coming months and years will be hard, but we will remain resolute.
During the last three years we have seen what we can do together. Introducing 'Zombie Nation' to the Nittany Nation has in return put fear in our enemies' eyes, trembled the very earth our troops battle on, and returned Beaver Stadium into the top 5 venues opponents fear most.
To protect our claim on ingenuity, we reformed the old unused concept of the 'White Out' into the 'Penn State White Out' marking a new era of prime time college football television with color coordinated fans.
To not only maintain fiscal security for our Nation, but to ensure it will never be threatened by enemies local or regional, we delivered the largest infusion of donations making State the 13th most valuable college football programs headed into 2008.
To most, this might indicate a good record. I call it a good start.
Tonight I ask my fellow Nittany Nation to join me in the next bold steps to serve our good program.
Our first goal is obvious: We must be able to haul in recruiting classes that ensures a stream of quality athletes that fit our program. After the Mills debacle of 2003 and 2004, the inability to win the Big Ten since our inaugural year, our program has rebounded with an Orange Bowl win over the Seminoles and a #3 ranking, the program has shown signs of life once again, and it is recovering. Yet it is not recovering fast enough, or strong enough.
With parity rising, our program needs more elite athletes to carry on our vision, more boosters to invest in our flat lining program and for the offense to show any sign of life against an enemy with a heartbeat. Programs are resurrected with new blood; a stagnant coaching staff breeds still water and still water kills all signs of life. The best and fairest way to make sure Nittany Nation have any sort future is not to allow this program to fall into obscurity.
I am proposing that Joe Paterno announce his intentions for the coming year or years if he plans on coaching any further. There are those among us who believe this is sacrilegious and will only aid to embolden our enemies.
Under my plan, Joe Paterno will be able to decide when to retire, but the key point is that he will have to decide when to retire. A year by year scenario breeds insecurity among the staff, coaches, players and future recruits and insecurity leads to defections. We have already weathered the loss of assistant coaches Fran, and Norwood, and it is time we circle the wagons and protect our home turf.
Our second goal is to reverse the exodus of home grown talent to our enemies.
Pennsylvania is a state of skill, talent and innovation, with enough athletes to satisfy any powerhouse program. Yet for Penn State, these athletes spurn the program for greener pastures across state lines, and many don't bother considering the program at all.
These problems will not be solved by modifying our conference affiliations that many among us have attributed to this increasing exodus. Instead, we must work toward a system in which all high school coaches in Pennsylvania not want to send their best talent to Happy Valley, but feel an obligation as Pennsylvanians to do so. We must renew our commitment for a strong State by providing Pennsylvanians with a sense of civic duty, and pride that has not been seen for too long. Ohio and Michigan can no longer be viewed as just neighbors but a warring rival states. Pennsylvanian parents whose children choose to spurn their Keystone brethren for the despicable and lowly people of our rivals should feel a sense of shame. Fellow Pennsylvanians should react with disgust at people like Chad Henne's parents. At the supermarket, the movies or a restaurant, children and citizens of all ages should feel obligated to gawk simply at the sight of such traitorous people. Within years, a new commitment to protecting our home will be established and our neighboring enemies will no longer be able to count on bleeding our proud state dry of talent. Only when we feel secure within our own borders can we reach from coast to coast bleeding other states of their talent stockpiling what we already have at home. This not only ensures our future, but will determine its growth.
Tonight I'm proposing a two-year 'Protect the Keystone' initiative that will outline the exact steps we as Nittany Nation must do to ensure the success of our state. I call upon the Lion faithful to participate and entrench this state that has provided us with so much over the years. Those of Nittany Nation are a resolute people, who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our state, to our enemies, and to ourselves. The state of the State is weak, but we will strengthen it.
A direct spoof of the State of the Union speech given in 2003.
|posted by Nittany White Out @ 9:54 AM