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Mangiro, Shoop Nostalgize on New York Backgrounds

Angelo Mangiro and Bob Shoop may share New York sports backgrounds, but the two certainly look upon their time in the city with differing degrees of nostalgia.

The junior center and Roxbury, N.J. native fondly reminisced on those moments Wednesday evening at Yankee Stadium during the team’s Pinstripe Bowl Media Day. As for the first-year defensive coordinator and former Columbia University head football coach? Well, maybe not so much.

A Yankee supporter, Mangiro is no rookie to the respective homes of Ruth and Steinbrenner. He said he’s been to the old stadium countless times, and the new Yankee Stadium on at least three occasions.

“I feel like the history [of the old stadium] did come over to the new stadium,” he said. “It’s beautiful, we got to tour it earlier today. The attention to detail is incredible.”

Mangiro said he’d have scores of friends and family supporting him in the Bronx this Saturday, only 50 miles from where he grew up. Still, Mangiro contested that inspiration will come from playing in the stadium he idolized as a child.

“The motivation comes from my teammates,” he said. “We haven’t been to a bowl due to some circumstances. It just happens to be in the stadium I’ve grown up watching.”

On Tuesday, the Nittany Lions visited the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan. James Franklin, staff, and over 120 players toured the site where the Twin Towers once stood, now replaced by two massive reflecting pools in the exact footprint of each building.

Mangiro said he was in third grade when the towers fell. He remembers kids being taken out of class for no particular reason. At the time, he wasn’t complaining. In fact, he and friends were hoping it was a free day off from school.

“Then my mom picked me up from school and I was able to see the smoke from my house in New Jersey,” he said. “It was a very day I’ll never forget.”

Aside from that, however, Mangiro’s New York memories, especially those associated with sports, remain greatly positive. That’s probably not the case for Shoop.

The mastermind behind Penn State’s incredible defense was hired as Columbia University’s head coach in 2003. After three seasons and a cumulative 7-23 record, he was promptly fired.

When asked if he’d been back to his old Upper West Side stomping grounds on this or previous trips, Shoop immediately responded with an “oh no.”

“Spending time on the Upper West Side, in the city, it brings back memories,” he said.

The Columbia football team has fallen on even tougher times. It finished the year 0-10, and hasn’t won since Nov. 10, 2012. Shoop understandably declined to elaborate on his time or current state of that program.

Regardless, Shoop echoed Mangiro’s statements, saying that an appearance in Yankee Stadium on to-some-degree personal home turf isn’t his primary motivation to defeat Boston College.

“To me, the motivation is the fact that I think about guys like Mike Hull who have endured a lot of things and in many ways have saved Penn State football,” he said. “This is the last time the 2014 version of the Penn State football team will be together.”

Speaking of Mike Hull, the all-American linebacker said he’d never been to New York City before a caravan of buses departed from State College earlier this week. “It’s definitely different than Pittsburgh,” he said. “I like it. It seems like you’d never get bored.”

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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