Friday, October 19, 2007
Homecoming - 2007
Per the tailgating coordinator...
"Bring a towel, scare a badger"
Homecoming weekend began on a chilly Thursday night, with the arrival crew of Chris, Nick, Amanda, and me. Kirsten showed up and we headed to the Darkhorse Tavern for some quick Yuengs and wings. Jessi, Matt and Kevin met us there. After a few quick Tonto's, we headed down the street to the Rathskellar. We played many games of quarters. Jessi and Chris did a few shots before we headed to the Shandygaff. I had a few too many pitchers of Captain and Coke before we headed to College Pizza.
The morning was a little rough. On our way down to Café 210, we stopped by the HUB to pick up some homecoming flair. This year, they were also selling Penn State Tailgate cook books. I jokingly ask if Mad and Suz had a recipe in it. They do! As we were dressed in Steelers Jersey's, they also let us know that Franco Harris (The homecoming marshal) would be at the Alumni center at 1300 hrs.
We got down to the Café for a few quick Teas before it was time to head up to the Alumni Center. Matt, Kevin, Jessi, Nick and I got our picture taken with Franco. We also got some free ice cream before headed back down to Café.
We were surprised by a truckload of cheerleaders. They were cruising up College Ave tossing out white towels (AKA shop towels) for the game tomorrow. While down pitchers of Lager, we ran into Dale Jr. He's getting married to "that's how I roll" girl in February.
We were joined by Shelley and Nick. Around 6, we headed down College Ave to get into our parade viewing spot. We stopped into V&S Sandwiches for some cheese steaks and pierogies. We also jumped back into the Darkhorse for another quick drink before headed down to the corner of college and Shortlidge to watch the parade with Rich, Janelle, and Jaime.
There were many good floats. My favorite was the wedding crashers float. The Penn State Cycling club also had an octocycle out that. It was crazy and always looked like it was going to crash out of control.
After the Blue band closed out the parade, we headed to Saloon for some Monkey Boys. Steve and Todd were playing. We were joined by more of the booze clowns and Bill and friends.
The Saloon was totally infested with Badger fans; Chris almost head-butted one of them. I was "helping" them by suggesting that they try a Monkey Boy or two.
Later, Matt and Kevin headed up to Leslie's apartment for a party; I am sure they did not really need anymore alcohol, but you know how it goes. The rest of us called it a night.
Our morning started at the Nittany Lion Inn. Carter was the first to arrive, followed shortly by Jessi and Matt. Mad and Suz then rolled in. Chris finished up the convoy and we headed over to the stadium under a cloudless blue sky.
Mad and Suz entered us in the 2007 Alumni Tailgating Competition. This tailgate was extra special. We were worried that Vaughn (the person we don't like to mention) would show up and ruin the whole thing. As we rolled up on lot 13, I even surveyed the line of cars with binoculars just to see if he was in line. Luckily, he wasn't. Nick and Amanda tossed the football around while we waited for the lot to open.
The set-up began. Chris cooked Bacon, sausage, eggs and quesadilla wraps for breakfast. Larry brought 2 rings of ring baloney and cheese combo. It was excellent.
The food tables were organized to properly display our assortment of tailgating goodies. There were 2 tables of food and 1 table of drinks and desserts. Jessi helped to put up the decorations, including a blind referee piñata.
The first table was set up for the Nacho bar. You could make your own nachos with a choice of many toppings and cheeses. Chris also made Chili. What wasn't immediately shoved into people's hands went here to add to the nacho goodness. There was also a bowl of show limes.
The second table was for football field taco dip, lemon shrimp, baked chicken roll ups, burnt kielbasa and meatballs with cheese dip. At various time, we also had deep fried turkey, zucchini sticks, corn dogs, butterfly shrimp, breaded raviolis, freedom toast sticks and freedom fries. Rich and Janelle also brought jell-o shots.
The final table housed the stadium cake, lime macaroons, nut bars, badger droppings, cocoa crispy treats, brownies and pretzels, a pitcher of whisky sours and the liquor pump; which consisted of the great Captain Morgan himself. The lime macaroons were my favorite.
Since I was nervous about not getting a group photo this time, we took the first one at 1130 around the dessert table.
Carter did an excellent job with the music. There was a good combination of Rock, Country, Penn State music and even a little bit of jazz. It was a huge hit. People were dancing along. Carter also set up his extreme polish horseshoes uphill of the canopies.
The tailgating judges were supposed to show up between 1200 and 1330. Suz and Carter even set up a signal to queue the Penn State music. Suz would do the safety signal (show picture) when the judges arrived.
Nick put on the Nittany Lion suit from Chad. Amanda had on a Nittany Lion tail. Both of them were whipping people with their tails. Nick got interviewed by the big ten network while waiting in line for the port-o-johns.
As it got closer to game time, the majority of our tailgaters showed up. We took group photo #2 with a lot more tailgaters.
Penn State Wisconsin
People were nervous about the game. Coming into Beaver Stadium, the Badgers were ranked 19 in the AP polls. This was our first meeting with a ranked opponent this season. (Meat chicken and Illinois were unranked when we played them). This year's homecoming contest posted the 6th largest crowd.
The lions quickly took a bite out of the Badgers by capitalizing on a Badger fumble on the 1st play of the game. 3 plays later, Penn State lead by 7.
On Penn States next drive, Kevin Kelly nailed a 30 yard field goal to make it 10 - 0.
Wisconsin answered back with a 77 yard touchdown drive to make it 10 - 7. Penn State was able to drive in 2 more touchdowns before half time.
The Lion returned explosively in the second half on both offense and defense. Morelli lead the first drive of the second half for 74 yards. Golden made a 19 yard completion. Kinlaw made big runs of 19 and 10 yard runs and capped the set with a 2 yard TD run.
Junior quarterback Daryll Clark entered the game in the 4th quarter for the final scoring drive.
It was a very good day for the Lions. Morelli went 16 of 28 and threw no interceptions. Butler led the wideouts with seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.
After the ringing victory bell, the combined Blue Band and Alumni Blue Bands took the field for a recap of the half time show. Official Stats
Total hours: 16.5
Celebrity Photos ops: 1
Truckloads of cheerleaders: 1
# of bomber jackets: 2
"judges" that don't know their @ss
from a hole in the ground: 2
People with lion tails: 2
Big Ten network interviews: 1
People seen riding 1 bike
at the same time: 8
During the game, the tailgaters finished the liquor pump and refilled it. The temperature dropped off quite a bit. After the game, many tailgaters enjoyed sitting around the fireplace.
After the game, Nick fired up some Mexicali burgers with fresh guacamole on the grill.
We had people from many people at this tailgate, in addition to team CT. Kim flew in Colorado. Florida Chad has now moved to Maryland. Kirsten also drove up from Maryland. Steve and Tiffany came in from Atlanta. Jason and Jessi came up from Virginia. As always, we had plenty of folks from all over Pennsylvania.
After 16.5 hours of tailgating, we finally packed up around 2330 and called it a night.
Sunday morning was a cool but clear day to packing up and reorganizing for the ride home. We made went downtown for some last minute flair shopping, had lunch at baby's before taking a Victory Lap through town.
For the Glory,