The shocking, heartbreaking news from Penn State had sunk in, but I still couldn't find the words to express what I was feeling — until I dug up my column from the September 18, 1987 issue of The Daily Collegian:
… In the Beginning, there was a brown, white-striped ellipsoid, carven from the flesh of a fatted swine. And God, in his infinite wisdom, did see and understand the need to house The Football, and he created the heavens and the earth.
And God said, let there be Saturdays, and there were. God saw that the Saturdays were good, and he separated the good from the darkness. God called the good "Bowl Bid" and the darkness he did call "fail to break the Top 20 and lose alumni support."
And God said, let there be an expanse between the waters. And God put the water above and the water below and he did make the expanse. The expanse he did call "sky," and he did colour it in splendour with blue and white.
Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land. Let there be Orange, and Rose, and Peach, and Sugar and Cotton, and let them be kept in Bowls, and let all strong-hearted men strive for their fruit." And there were, and they were good.
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… So God created Man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, astigmatic he created him.
And God blessed him and said to him, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Atlantic Coast Conference and subdue it. Rule thou over the Tide of the sea and Golden Eagles and Owls of the sky." And it was thus, and it was good.
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Our Coach, who art on McKee Street, Joepa be thy name.
Thy Saturday come, thy will be done in Beaver as it is in Tempe.
Give us this day our daily beer, hot dogs and soft pretzels, and forgive us our illegal procedures as we forgive those who downfield-block-below-the-waist-from-behind against us.
And lead us not into man-to-man coverage, but deliver us from defeat. For yours is the arena of glory, power and lucrative television deals forever and ever. Amen.
So go thou in the name of the Lord, but beware, for the Lord thy Football God is a jealous God, and thou shall have no Gods before him. Thou shall remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, observing mass without fail, through gloom and fog and 40 days and nights of rain. And wonderest thou not why thine tuition goeth ever up, despite the kingdom of riches from the national championship, for it is the way of the Lord thy Football God. And it is good.
This is the word of the Lord. Amen.
—Todd Christopher is the author of The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids.