Entertainment is a form of escape. It takes on different forms and most of them do not involve work. So, when someone is watching an awesome bowl game between two college teams with as much back story drama as ’50 Shades of Grey’ (I presume…that is not a book I have read), it seems like just another bowl game in the overwhelming field of bowl games. Sometimes you can’t see or don’t know that this game is between Penn State, a school that has overcome incredible adversity to simply make it to a bowl game, much less to win a thriller in overtime against a very good Boston College team. It was an epic comeback story. If ‘The Natural’ has ever happened in college sports, it happened last night in the Pinstripe bowl. Overcoming all adversity to play in a game that matters little on the national stage, but one where you can show what you’re made of. As SI put it, “Penn State didn’t just return to the postseason, it emerged victorious.”
The game comes to life even more when you think of the seniors who chose to stay with the program during its darkest hours. They were all given the freedom to transfer anywhere they wanted, and maintain their scholarships. They could literally walk into any college in America and Penn State had to pay the tab. Many chose to walk away. For those seniors who stuck it out, they now have a place in the lore of college football and certainly will be remembered forever in Happy Valley.
So, I’m not just watching a football game. I’m seeing history in the making. Something that will be forever talked about in hushed tones now has its silver lining. There is no way to repay the debt owed to those families, but there is a new dawn for a program that was in peril of not existing at all for a period of time.
At the holidays, people choose different forms of escape. If you want to go shopping, go. If you want to watch a movie, do it! If you want to play games, awesome. I can do any or all of those things at times…the main thing is to let your spouse have their entertainment in the way they like it without commenting on the usefulness of it. College football isn’t for everyone, but for me last night I remembered that all adversity can be overcome, that the Phoenix can rise from the ashes and that these amazing stories are the basis for any great form of entertainment.