Penn State

I wasn't always a football fan

Football is relatively new to me. As a teenager, I remember going to a few junior high school and high school games - the annual Thanksgiving day battle. But that was about it.

I grew up in the Boston area. I wasn't even much of a sports fan. Like everyone else in Boston, I rooted for the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics - pro sports - mostly when they were in the playoffs and beyond. I was vaguely aware of Boston College and Doug Flutie's Heisman Trophy.

That all changed when I married Terry in 1987. The marriage contract went something like this: "Carolyn, you have two choices. You can go to the Penn State games with me, or you can kiss me goodbye every fall weekend for home and some away games."

I wasn't opposed to football. I just didn't know much about it. So I decided to try it. It helps that Beaver Stadium at Penn State is one of the best college football venues around, that we have the winningest (and oldest) college football coach, Joe Paterno, who also stands for something: not compromising academics to win games.

I found that I enjoyed the experience of college football so much that in 1989 I said to Terry, "Let's try to make all the games for one season." We made all but the first game against USC in Los Angeles in September 1990. And now it has just become routine to plan to attend every game. I've missed only 4, Terry has made them all.

How long will this continue? Who knows? We've been very lucky (and healthy).