Bob Warming was beaming.
This was last Saturday, in the final moments of the Nittany Lions’ victory over Michigan State, and the Penn State men’s soccer coach was on the home sideline at Beaver Stadium, a field pass around his neck and a huge smile on his face. Penn State is blessed with terrific head coaches across dozens of sports; both for his personality and his acumen, Warming is among of our favorites.
Last Saturday night, soaking up the sound and light and joy in Beaver Stadium, he couldn’t have been happier.
“Isn’t this incredible?” he asked.
Warming’s own busy fall schedule makes it difficult to get to Beaver Stadium—and, as he reminded us, having arrived in Happy Valley in 2010, truly memorable home games have been relatively rare. This was the first “big” win he’d had a chance to witness in person. He was focused on savoring the moment.
Savor the moment. We saw a lot of that last Saturday, and not just from the soccer coach. We saw it when James Franklin’s eyes welled up as he greeted his seniors before their last home game, and again afterward, as he stood on a stage and shared the Big Ten East title presentation with his players, his staff, and his family.
We saw it when Ricky Rahne crouched to pull a handful of grass from the Beaver Stadium turf, a memento of an already unforgettable season.
We saw it in the teammates who laughed and hugged each other after reaching a goal that most doubted they could achieve.
We saw it in the faces of hundreds of lettermen, Nittany Lions from two and 10 and 25 years ago, connected by their shared love of this program, and the legacy of which they’re all a part.
It’s easy now, on the eve of the Big Ten Championship game and a possible College Football Playoff berth, to get caught up in talk of rankings and selection committee decisions and the quality of a three-month resume.
Consider this a vote for perspective: for savoring the moment, and for all the moments that have gotten this Penn State team to this point.
Now let’s beat Wisconsin.
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