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Penn State Football: The Six Horses of Penn State's Apocalypse

by on November 12, 2011 12:25 PM

Their names are Sandusky, Spanier, Schultz, Curley, McQueary and Paterno.

They aren’t in Beaver Stadium today. I’ve looked.

But, then, they are everywhere.

They’re in the student section, in blue shirts and blue ribbons, in support of the victims.

They’re in the five score of former Penn State lettermen, who formed a human tunnel for Penn State’s seniors to enter the field.

They’re in Penn State’s seniors, playing their last game that culminated a sleepless surreal week they can never forget.

They’re in head coach Tom Bradley, running the gauntlet of friends and former teammates, his back sore from the pats.

They’re in a Nebraska player, running onto the field with an American flag.

They’re in a press box filled with sportswriters and newspeople from almost every major newspaper, magazine, website and network in the nation.

They’re in alumnus Lisa Salters of ESPN doing a stand-up outside the stadium, her face grim as she relates, rightfully and ethically and proudly so, that she is a Penn Stater.

They’re in the state troopers on horses outside the stadium.

They’re in a bomb threat in Beaver Stadium that was deemed a fake.

They’re in a full stadium.

They’re in a long and emotional minute of silence for all the victims of child abuse.

They’re in an alma mater sung as loud and clear and with more meaning than I’ve heard in 33 years.

They’re in the Penn State football players, walking side by side in solidarity, through the tunnel and onto the field.

They’re in a ring at midfield of a few hundred kneeling Nebraska and Penn State players and coaches, and referees and alumni and fans.

They’re in the spontaneous, rhythmic clapping from the Beaver Stadium crowd that served as an amen.

They’re in a throaty and slightly shaky “We Are…Penn State.”

They’re everywhere. And they’re nowhere.

But Penn State…Penn State…Penn State is still here.

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Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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