Rick Reilly has a feel good article about Penn State’s new coach Bill O’Brien who led them to an 8-4 record. In the midst of every tragedy, there is a glimmer of redemption.
When 10-year-old Jack O’Brien sat in the stands at Penn State this season and heard 90,000 people chanting his dad’s name, he thought it was music and danced in his wheelchair.
When Bill O’Brien himself heard it, he wanted to go hide under the bench.
“It’s soooo embarrassing,” O’Brien grumbles. “I hate it. I wish they’d chant a player’s name.”
O’Brien will just have to suck it up. Because what he did this season at Penn State will be talked about until the Allegheny Mountains crumble.
Into the teeth of the worst college football scandal in American history, into a sex-scandal mess the National Guard couldn’t have cleaned up, Bill O’Brien pulled off a football miracle: He made you forget Penn State was radioactive.
O’Brien went 8-4 in the middle of nuclear winter. He kept popping open umbrellas while it rained bowling balls. He made a numb town feel again. That’s why he’s either the coach of the year in college football this season or you melt down the trophy.