Friday, February 24, 2012

Bill O'Brien already riling up Penn St. traditionalists.

Oh-no! A Penn St. player with puppy-scruff!
It apparently doesn't get much to rile up traditionalists at Penn State, especially so soon after the passing of Joe Paterno and the Sandusky scandal that led to his ouster as Nittany Lion head football coach. Any sign of visible change beyond coaching styles was bound to get Bill O'Brien in some hot water at sometime or another.

So it came to pass that some Penn State supporters started pressing the panic button when images of football players with very noticeable facial hair (something of a no-no under JoePa) started making the rounds. In the classic Southern Baptist tradition of "sex leads to dancing," old school supporters started questioning O'Brien's disciplinary policies, and even worse - bringing up the idea that he might change those infamously generic Penn State unis.

The Patriot-News' Stefanie Loh commented on Friday about the hub-hub in Happy Valley. 

"Yet, if all the bashing over the weekend was any indication, the mere mention of facial hair on Nittany Lions players was enough to ignite talk about how O’Brien is going to run the program into the ground, change the uniforms and recruit convicted felons.

Can you read? O’Brien has stated, multiple times since he was hired, that he is not going to change the plain blue-and-white uniforms with no names on the back of the jerseys. The question has been asked and answered."

Apparently this isn't enough for Penn State fans who live by the "what would JoePa do?" philosophy. Everything must be done like it has been done since 1966. Any sign of O'Brien not staying the course is a sign that the Mayan Apocalypse has begun, and State College has fallen under the sway of the Antichrist (aka Phil Knight).

The panic is pretty meaningless. It's doubtful that Penn State players are going to be given any less slack than allowed under Joe Paterno (and that was too much to some JoePa critics in the first place). If the real concern is that the Nittany Lions are going to be running out onto the field in neon blue Nike Pro Combat unis with mirror ball-like helmets, then fans should chill out. O'Brien doesn't have enough clout yet to pull that off. And probably never will.

(via The Patriot-News)

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