Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Penn State challenges Iowa for the title of "most patriotic school in the Big Ten".

Iowa mascot"Captain" Herky Hawk shows his patriotic spirit.
Look out, Iowa. Your title as the most patriotic college football team in the Big Ten is being challenged by Penn State. Under the guidance of the new tandem of Nittany Lion head football coach Bill O'Brien and his strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald, the Penn State weight room is slowly getting a red, white, and blue makeover.

"Though the finishing touches on the weight room -- which will feature custom-made equipment -- won't be finished until early May, Fitzgerald said it might be a good thing, because players are still learning his system and he does not want them to rush into anything and over do it.

Fitzgerald noted that the players on the Penn State roster are a very disciplined group and they are starting to understand the new strength and conditioning program, citing the fact that players are starting to correct other players in workouts as a sign of comprehension.

Players are also giving their own ideas about some of the changes in the weight room. And though Fitzgerald said it was mainly he and the other coaches who came up with the words for the pillars, linebacker Mike Mauti had his own idea on as to put under the word "pride" on a wall.

"We have an American flag [in the weight room], and Mike Mauti said 'you know coach, you should put an American flag underneath that Pride sign,' " Fitzgerald said. "So the next day we had that [flag] laid up, so he's pretty excited about that. I don't think you can have enough American flags in your weight room."

While the weight room's new equipment, along with Fitzgerald's strength and conditioning philosophy, will be a bigger factor in rebuilding a program thrown for a loop by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, a little patriotism doesn't hurt, either. (Save your "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" comments for MSNBC, haters.)

With this gauntlet being thrown by Penn State, Iowa can't simply rest on the laurels of the era of former Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi, whose patriotism remade Iowa into a red, white, and blue bleeding fighting machine.  Kirk Ferentz is definitely going to have to step to meet this challenge.

(Via  The Collegian. HT: SB*Nation)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Until they do this:
They will continue to be unpatriotic in our eyes.