Continuing this week's theme of bagging on Michigan State for not being undefeated, and also because they thoroughly humiliated my beloved Penn State Nittany Lions a few days ago, Spartan Stadium was #114 in my ongoing quest to visit all 129 (soon to be 130) FBS stadiums. Fun fact - "Nittany" was added to "Lions" in Penn State's mascot years ago to create a more powerful version of the Big Cat (Nittany Lions are WAY better than just plain old Panthera leos).
But first, here is this week's tangent, b/c if you read my posts you know I always have...several. I used to like Penn State b/c of Joe Paterno, and now I like him even more b/c of how unfairly he has been treated. In fact, I was at the Northwestern game back on Oct. 20, 2001 when he tied Bear Bryant's record with 323 wins (and I still have the ticket stub), as well as the one from game 409 a decade after. I also saw a game at Penn State and got to touch the infamous statue that top men in Washington are now working on (incidentally Coach Paterno broke his leg the week before the Penn State game I attended, so the statue had a bandage wrapped around it in commiseration).
BTW, if not for 9/11, this Northwestern game MIGHT have been (almost certainly would have been) the game when Joe Pa broke the record, which would have been cooler than the record-tying game. But as you know all of the football games were cancelled the weekend of 9/11, so Penn State did not have the chance to beat up on North Nothing-burger State a few weeks earlier in the season, so on October 19th Coach Paterno only had enough wins for this game to tie the record.
Like many Penn State fans I think the NCAA acted ridiculously when they took away his 111 wins. I understand the issues at hand, but the accused was a former coach who was fired over a decade before all of this went down, and was on campus with permission from the school, not Coach Paterno. But my vitriol is too little, too late. The NCAA saw the light a few years ago, and Coach Paterno is back on top. Unfortunately, not so much the football team itself, who got lambasted on Saturday by Sparty.
I did not write an official review of Spartan Stadium for StadiumJourney.com (which is the site I write reviews for), and they should probably be glad about that, b/c I don't have nice things to say about their venue - the place is kind of a death trap, at least the west stands. They have this one ramp on the end, and that is the ONLY way to get up and down on that side! They have lots of staircases if you need to leave in case of an emergency, but none of them allow re-entry (the only exit outside the stadium proper) and several of them ONLY exit to little tiny sections of seats that don't connect to anything else, so you can't use those to get back down either.
Worst of all, their signs are wrong in the stairwells! For example, there are signs that say re-entry is allowed on level 2. So being the literate person I am, I walked down to level 2, only to be told I couldn't get out that way b/c that is the office level. I politely pointed out that the nice sign told me to, and was rudely told the sign was wrong. So I politely suggested that maybe, just maybe, they might want to change their sign. I mean, what the hell? Are you seriously that lazy that you can't point this out to your supervisor?
And do you seriously expect me to believe that in a stadium that was built almost 100 years ago (in 1923) that holds over 75K per game, and hosts at least 6 games a year (you math people out there see where I am going with this, right?) that yours truly is the FIRST person to ever read and grasp the meaning of the sign, and accidentally walk onto the office level because the sign gave me explicit permission to do exactly that? Really? How much prompting do you honestly need to follow the action to its logical conclusion? Hell, if any of their staff had an ounce of initiative in their green-and-white clad bodies they could do the job on their own with a sharpie. It wouldn't look very nice, but since apparently so few people read the sign (since the tale it tells is news to them) maybe that wouldn't matter too much. Just sayin'.
So there you go - bitter party of one. Tune in next time for #116. I would promise to be happier in that post, but maybe my readers prefer cheek. Leave a comment below and let me know which...