I love Penn State Football and have season tickets at Beaver Stadium. This year, we played home games at West Virginia (9/2), Delaware (9/9), Iowa (9/23), Massachusetts (10/14), Indiana (10/28), Michigan (11/11), and Rutgers (11/18). I was supposed to get the Massachusetts game for homecoming, but it poured that day, so I watched at the house.
Usually, the games are boring in September, so we go to Florida for a month. This year, two of the games I would have loved to have watched, but I sold three tickets away.
This year is my fourth year since I had a stroke. I did not go to any games at Penn State the first year. The second and third years were better, but I only attended some games. Even when I did, I rarely did I go to the whole game. Half-time would be about all I could do.
This year, I was able to find tailgates to see friends. I discussed attending the Michigan game at the Penn State Alumni Aphasia Group last month. Daryl, who also has aphasia and lives in Philadelphia, said he is going to the game, too, and a friend will have a tailgate. He emailed me his phone number, and we agreed to try to find us at the tailgate.
He told me where the tailgate would be. It was the football stadium and the Bryce Jordan basketball stadium. When I arrived, I looked where I thought it would be but did not see him. Because there was no reception for iPhones, I had to walk around to see where I could send him a note telling me the tailgate’s car number. He told me he was at #2709 and sent me his photo. We connected, and I met his wife and other friends.
Unfortunately, Michigan beat Penn State.
After the game, I had another friend who had a tailgate and saw two of my fraternity brothers at Phi Delta Theta.
I have aphasia, so there are a couple of things that are challenging for me. First, I must explain my language issues when talking to my friends. Even though I don’t usually enjoy talking to my friends and strangers, I force myself to speak to whoever I can.
The second issue is that Penn State games are very high, and aphasia seems to make the noise screw up my brain. This year, I bought noise-canceling headphones for the Michigan game to see if they work for the games. It worked great. I was able to go for the whole game. I did it again for the Rutgers game, and for the same game in a row, I watched the entire game.
We beat Rutgers, which was the end of Penn State home games this year.
It was fun.