PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



“A Memorial for Joe” Will Bring Strangers Together

As was mentioned yesterday, it’s a testament to the world we live in when watching a Ticketmaster loading page is the most nerve-racking experience of the day. At approximately 10: 01 a.m. on Tuesday morning, anxiety turned to disappointment as “Your Wait Time is Less than One Minute” transitioned to “Sorry No Matches Were Found.”

A few more desperate attempts yielded the exact same results. The text messages started to roll in. “Got ’em,” “No luck for me,” and finally, “They sold out.” I slowly came to grips with the fact that I was not going to be inside the Bryce Jordan Center for Joe Paterno’s memorial service, which will start today at 2 p.m.

Around 10:15 Tuesday morning, I sent out a tweet saying that I was unable to get a ticket. Less than three minutes later, I had a direct message from someone who I had never met but still messaged occasionally on Twitter. She had secured a ticket for her mother along with an extra one, and was essentially offering it to me. After a quick follow-up message, I was overjoyed when I read the message: “Drew, I have an extra ticket. It’s yours if you want it.”

From there, we continued to work out a plan. Her mother did not have a printer, so the tickets would be forwarded to me. I would print two, and deliver one to her State College home. At one point in our conversation, she brought up that helping each other is what Penn State is all about. I responded by saying that I thought Joe would be proud right now if he knew what we were doing.

With the final plans completed last night, I will walk into the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon and take my seat next to a woman who I met for the first time only the night before. Based on the ticketing system, I realize that I am certainly not the only one in this circumstance, and I believe that makes tomorrow even more special.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Penn State family, consisting of Paternos, students, alumni, local residents, former players and coaches, will come together. Other coaches who coached against Paterno in games will also be invited because a friend or supporter of JoePa is a friend of the Penn State family. Like myself, most of us may not know the person next to them or two seats down, but everyone will be there for one reason: To honor the special life of Joseph Vincent Paterno.

Many people that influence our lives including parents, teachers, and coaches preach individualism and being your own person. No disrespect intended towards that sentiment, but I do not believe they were imagining the scene that will materialize inside the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

We all received tickets in different ways. Some went the conventional route via the phone or Ticketmaster, and some had to resort to other ways, but we are all honored to be there. Many who either did not obtain tickets or could not make it to Happy Valley will be watching on television and present in spirit.

We will all come together to honor our legendary coach. We will reflect, we will cry, we may even laugh at some funny stories. We will do it all because Joe brought us together, even if it was just for one more moment.

We Are all Penn State.


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.


More by Drew

McGloin Named NFL Rookie of the Week

The former Penn State record setting quarterback took home Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors following his impressive first NFL start that resulted in a 28-23 win for the Oakland Raiders on the road against the Houston Texans.

Will Adrian Amos Play Some Snaps at Linebacker?

Willis and Carson Talk Differences Between Butler and Roof


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend