An Open Letter To The Noon Game
Listen, I know it’s not your fault. I know you don’t get to choose when you appear in my life, and I know deep down it’s nothing personal. The games Penn State football plays are not always worthy of primetime television, and I am mature enough to recognize and admit that. I can’t hold your existence against you, because if everyone played at 3:30 p.m. or under the lights, people would forget that teams like Rutgers exist.
It’s better than playing on Friday nights like we’re in high school again, or worse, like we go to Maryland. Truthfully, I’m just thankful to go to a school where football games shut the whole town down every week. I could go to Pitt, where I think their fans forget that a football game lasts for four whole quarters, or Michigan, who just really…sucks. I could have been wearing black and yellow the night that Juwan Johnson caught that dime from Trace as the clock hit zero, or I could genuinely think that my school has some sort of hold over one of the most commonly used words in the English language.
Yes, things could be worse. I know that.
But there is something about my alarm going off in the wee hours of the morning on a Saturday, knowing full well that I set that alarm voluntarily, that breaks my heart a little. My body was not meant to rise before the clock hits double digits, and acting like I’m ready for Penn State football at the crack of dawn is a hard burden to bear. Because, truth be told, I am not ready for Penn State football. I’m pretty sure it’s halftime when my eyes begin to stay fully open.
I picture my relationship with you the way I look back on my relationship with a middle school boyfriend. At first, hopeful. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised, maybe this will be the start of a beautiful relationship. Other people have navigated this successfully, so I can too. If I go into this with a positive attitude and an open mind, we will make this through together, and come out of it better people.
But then things start to go wrong. It gets hard for me to stay positive, to continue to put my all into this relationship we share. I come to realize that you’re not all you’re cracked up to be, and this may just not be the right time for us. Maybe we could find our way back to each other at a point in our lives that’s better, healthier. 3:30 p.m., maybe.
Like with all toxic relationships, however, I can never bring myself to let you go. Every season, I find myself dutifully leaving Frat Row promptly at midnight so that I can be my best self for you the next day. My friends will tell me to stay, tell me that I will be able to rally, but I know myself, and I know us, so I tuck myself into bed and tell you that I will see you in the morning.
And like clockwork, when my alarm goes off after what seems like five damn minutes, I pull myself out of bed and begin to put on the outfit that I have been planning this entire week. I drag my feet to the IM Fields and try to find my way to the pin that a friend of a friend has dropped into my messages.
It is a tale as old as time. As the sun makes its way to the highest point in the sky, we will find each other just like we always do. I will park myself in the south end zone, chicken basket in hand after having spent $10 I don’t have, Zombie Nation will play, and even after three years, I will still get goosebumps when the team finally runs out of the tunnel.
And I will be smiling. Because even though I cannot stand the thought of you continuing to be in my life, even though I curse your name every time I see you on the schedule, there is still nowhere else I would rather be than right here, in this moment.
Even if it’s with you.
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About the Author
When he isn’t dominating on the football field, Micah Parsons is sharing his wisdom with the world on Twitter.
“Saquon reached out to me and his plan was to come and spend spring ball with us as a coach.”
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