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A Glimpse at the World Before the JoePa Era

Early Sunday morning, I went through box scores and recaps of just about every Division One college football game, just to  see some statistics and catch up on anything I had missed the day before. Having watched the entire Penn State-Ohio State game, there was not much need to check out a recap, but I did anyway, and here’s the first thing I read:

The last time Penn State won a game without Joe Paterno as coach was December 4, 1965. 

Wow. Now, I knew that already, and you probably did too, but it really puts it into perspective when you actually read it. 1965. It was almost 46 years ago. It’s been that long since the Nittany Lions won a game without Joe Paterno officially as head coach. Many parents of current college students were not even in high school at the time yet. The world was a much different place then; here’s a quick look at what was going on at the time:

  • Lyndon Johnson was entering his third year as U.S. President.
  • Barack Obama was four years old.
  • The Sound of Music won the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • A gallon of gasoline cost, on average, 31¢.
  • The Beatles’ album Help! had just been released.
  • The Super Bowl did not yet exist.
  • Bonanza and The Andy Griffith Show were popular television shows.

From a Penn State standpoint:

  • Beaver Stadium had been in its current location for six years, with a seating capacity of 46,284.
  • Tom Bradley was in elementary school.
  • Jay Paterno was not even born yet.
  • Eric A. Walker was president of the university.
  • The “We Are…” chant was not heard at Beaver Stadium for another 12 years.
  • THON did not yet exist.
  • Not yet a part of the Big Ten conference, some of Penn State’s main rivals in football were Syracuse, Maryland, and Pittsburgh.
  • While the two schools did not play frequently at the time, they still did not lose to Temple.

The uniforms still look the same, however.

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About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.


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