Episode 91: Who Is the Greatest Penn State Running Back, According to A.I.?

ChatGPT and A.I. is everywhere, so we decided to join in the fun. In this episode, we find out who A.I. thinks is the greatest running back in Penn State football history. We also discuss recent football recruiting news, exciting updates for the PSU football fan experience, and other updates in Nittany Lion athletics. WE ARE!

Timestamps

[00:09:40] Penn State adds top recruits from Maryland.

[00:13:54] TE depth fine, Barnwell’s future uncertain.

[00:23:41] Penn State needs to out-tough Michigan.

[00:33:07] SEC schools avoiding competition for football success.

[00:37:15] AI picks greatest Penn State running back.

[00:48:05] Top NCAA basketball player stays in school.

[00:52:57] PSU sports teams travel for international games.

Transcript

Andrew Burd [00:00:00]:

What’s up, Penn State fans? Welcome back to the Nittany Blues Podcast. Hope that you’re all having a good week out there and thank you for joining us. And Vince, how you doing, my man?

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Vince Fadale [00:00:08]:

It’s good to see you doing pretty good. It’s it’s been a little crazy up here today with the with all the smoke from those wildfires in Canada. But, you know, hopefully that smokes, the seeds and the air quality gets better soon because I want to get back.

Andrew Burd [00:00:23]:

Outside and yeah, especially now that summer is upon us here. Yeah, even here in Lancaster, it’s hit us pretty hard. I mean, it looks overcast all the time, all day. And the sun. When it was setting today, it just looked like a big red ball. It looked like tattooing out of Star Wars, just kind of that bright shade of red. I’ve never seen anything like it. So yeah, I mean, it’s crazy. Everyone is being told to stay inside. We talked off pod. My boss works in New York, and New York just looks like something out of an apocalypse movie with that red haze against the New York City skyline. So, yeah, I think a lot of us would like this to go away, not only for in general, but also for the health of themselves and their loved ones because it’s brutal.

Vince Fadale [00:01:13]:

Oh, yeah. Especially if you have small children or elderly or people with certain medical conditions. Definitely want them to be able to go outside and do things too. So hopefully weather is getting better. I know my grandpa, he always is outside doing stuff, and he’s 88.

Andrew Burd [00:01:32]:

Yeah. On top of that, you’ve got yourself a race coming up this weekend, so you especially need this smoke to clear out so that you can have some peak performance.

Vince Fadale [00:01:40]:

Well, yeah, especially since it’s a triathlon. It’s down in South Jersey, and that’s like the way the smoke is moving. So it’s obviously going to clear out of State College before it does down in Cape Main, Jersey. So hoping it’s good for the race. For the worst case scenario, I’m thinking the swim will get canceled if it’s like, hazy like that and lifeguards can’t see that’s just kind of like a safety issue or they’ll shorten it till it clears. That happened actually the first year. It was just kind of foggy, and we had to do a shorter swim so that could see us. So it might get shortened, but we’ll see. I actually signed up for this race in 2019. I signed up in November. It was a 2020 race. So I’ve deferred it for like three years because of the pandemic and then because of it just not fitting my schedule. So this year I’m like, okay, I’m finally doing it. And is a wildfire going to take me out now? Especially since this is like my first vacation in a year, almost.

Andrew Burd [00:02:49]:

But how do you like your chances?

Vince Fadale [00:02:52]:

Feeling good. My swim fitness is down. So I got second place. The last time I did it, I think it was 2018, I raced, but some things did go into my favor. So the swim got shortened because of the fog. So we started like, probably like an hour and a half later than we were supposed to. And originally the sprint athletes were supposed to start like 30 to 60 minutes after us. So what happened? Not only did the swim get shortened, the bike course got shortened from two loops to one for the Olympic distance athletes just because it would have been a big traffic jam and it would have been paying to pass people, but also increase the likelihood for crashes. So we could only do one loop of the bike course instead of two. However, the run, they said we could still do the five mile run that did not get shortened. So, of course, that’s my best leg. So I had the the race kind of played to my strengths as opposed to how it was originally set up and fell a little bit short, got second, but hopefully I can go back and get a win and you never know who shows up. And I feel like just every time I look at race results, people are getting faster and faster and faster and my times are pretty much staying the same. I’ll give it my best and see what I’m able to do. I just haven’t been able to get quite as much swimming in, but I think my bike and round fitness is pretty solid.

Andrew Burd [00:04:18]:

Nice, man. Well, good luck all the way. We’re going to be rooting for you. Can’t wait to hear about it next week, but I think we can move on then to some of our major talking points. There’s been a lot of stuff that’s happened with Penn State athletics over the past week. Normally during these offseasons, it’s sometimes hard to find things to talk about, but somehow new material just keeps popping up. So what do you want to start with?

Vince Fadale [00:04:46]:

So many things. I think the coolest thing we should start off with is the Tunnel Club, because I think we forgot about to talk about this in the past few episodes. So the Tunnel Club, they’re going to build a tunnel where the players are walking out to a zombie nation and you can see the players go by and you’ll have like an open bar and food and stuff like that, your private bathrooms, and that is going to cost $10,000 for a suite like that. And you get to go to all seven home games and I think at least three other events, maybe five. So Andrew, what are your thoughts on the Tunnel Club? Are you dropping ten G’s to go to the Beaver Stadium Tunnel Club?

Andrew Burd [00:05:30]:

When I become a rich CEO, yeah, sure, I’ll drop ten K on a Tunnel Club membership, but right now it’s a little bit outside of my price range, so I’ll stick with my seats in the Sands.

Vince Fadale [00:05:41]:

Yeah. I feel like you have to be one of those people that has, like, fu money to just be like, yeah, sure, I’m going to drop ten grand just so I can watch the players run out of the tunnel.

Andrew Burd [00:05:50]:

Right, exactly.

Vince Fadale [00:05:50]:

Even the student section is like a better view if you get there early and you can kind of see the players run out through the tunnel. So what I’m going to do instead of spending $10,000 is I’m going to spend about $450. I’m going to do that triathlon, and I’m going to run through the tunnels just like the players. Yeah, a little bit of that experience for a fraction of the price, right? Yeah, that’s what I’ll be doing.

Andrew Burd [00:06:15]:

I think that’s a smart choice.

Vince Fadale [00:06:17]:

Yeah. Definitely not financially smart for me to invest in that, but maybe someday something that might be more affordable, though. Did you see that? They are making a brick. So you can pay for a brick and get your name inscribed into it or you and your family. We could even do the Nitney Blues podcast and get our own honorary brick where the players walk in. What are your thoughts on that? Should we get a nitney blues? Brick the lowest price is $350. Could chip in for a brick.

Andrew Burd [00:06:49]:

It’s tempting. It’s certainly not, like, an overly crazy price. I think it’s neat. You’re going to have a ton of people buy these bricks. They want their names and their presence to be part of the Penn State football experience. So I think that they’re going to have no shortage of people chipping in money for these things. So I think it would be awesome. Truth be told, I believe my dad and Fred probably have already talked about buying their own bricks just because that’s the kind of people that they are. I think this is really neat. I think it’s just outside of kind of like a price tag, of course, for Penn State athletics. It’s a neat way for fans to kind of become a part of Penn State and a place where they invest so much of their time and energy and emotion with these teams and stuff like that. I just think it’s really neat.

Vince Fadale [00:07:44]:

Yeah, I think it’s really cold, too, and it’s like it’s going to be there forever, even when you pass away when you’re 100 years old or whatever. Hopefully we all live that long. So to have that there and if you’re a big Penn State fan, that’s definitely something that would be really cool. Now, would I drop $350? I’m kind of like that’s pretty much almost as much as a season basketball ticket. Two season basketball tickets cost that I purchased. So I will be going supporting the Coach Roads era next year. So that’s pretty pricey. But if you were to tell me, hey, I’m going to split it, like four ways. Would I pitch in $100? Yeah, I think I would.

Andrew Burd [00:08:30]:

Yeah, good point. So, yeah, what I’m interested to see is if there’s going to be people who want to drop like, five grand and then they’ll have a pentagon of bricks in a single spot, you’ve seen those before, I guarantee you’re going to see a bunch of those.

Vince Fadale [00:08:46]:

Yeah, they do actually have ones that are more expensive than that. So the $350 was the smallest and there are some that were going for over $1,000. Just completely wild. That’s how much Penn State means. You’re not seeing other schools like this being like, I will pay thousands of dollars to have my name on a brick by the football stadium. You just don’t see that places. So definitely Happy Valley is special and things like this just show everybody why.

Andrew Burd [00:09:17]:

Absolutely. Yeah. Just another just another cool thing for Penn State, the community, and the fans.

Vince Fadale [00:09:24]:

Yeah. And speaking of fans, I think fans should be excited about recruiting. And Andrew, do you want to talk about some of the recruits that Coach Franklin was able to get verbal commits from today for the 2024 class?

Andrew Burd [00:09:40]:

Yes. So it’s been a hot couple of days for the Penn State football team on the recruiting trail. This past Sunday, Penn State grabbed three players on the same day in the 2024 recruiting class, starting with Florida offensive lineman Derek Plaz, franklin, Trout, Wine, and Crew just dipping back into the offensive line pool to continue to build on a very successful 2022 campaign. So love to see that. Following him was Maryland defensive lineman Xavier Gilliam. As we all know, Maryland is a huge hotbed of talent for Penn State football. So just continuing to do great things there. And then the icing on the cake was Maryland safety Dawan Lane. And this one was really exciting. I mean, all three of these guys are exciting, but Dawan is listed as a four star safety and is rated as the number one athlete in Maryland. So the fact that James Franklin and Crew going into the Terps hometown yet again and grabbing talent of this caliber is a big deal and should be celebrated and fans should be excited about it. Penn State traditionally has gone on runs when it comes to recruiting, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these kinds of commitments and bunches popping up, especially as official visits are going to be happening this summer. There’s some really big events happening at Penn State and at Beaver Stadium that they’re going to be trying to expose them to kind of show Penn State in the best light that they can. But this is the type of thing that I think you can expect to see given some of the big recruiting pushes that the administration is going to make after this rollsball run. Like, this is exactly what they said they wanted to do, and that was to be aggressive to really go after these types of guys and to make sure that they’re not losing them to other programs. So just a huge, monumental weekend, and I think they’re just going to be looking for more.

Vince Fadale [00:11:39]:

Yeah. And it’s really great to see them dominating in not only like, the mid Atlantic area, but getting good players out of Florida and Wisconsin. You’re more likely going to get guys within your geography close to your school, and they’re more likely to grow up like Penn State fans. However, I think we are very fortunate that we live in the Mid Atlantic and there’s not really any other football powerhouses in the Mid Atlantic region. So I do think that’s something that benefits Penn State. But when you’re grabbing a Florida guy, when there’s a lot of good schools down in the south and a Wisconsin guy when Wisconsin is a solid program and you got some other solid programs in the Midwest as well, really makes Penn State look good in the recruiting front.

Andrew Burd [00:12:26]:

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, Penn State has done really well to expand their geographic reach when it comes to recruiting. So now it’s not just limited to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Now, like you said, we’ve gotten a couple of blue chip guys out of Wisconsin. We’ve firmly established a small pipeline of players out of Florida, largely in part with the help of Juan Cider and others, and just Maryland as well. Like we said, there’s so many great players that have come from Maryland in the last couple of years for Penn State, the next one probably being Deny, Dennis Sutton, who came from McDonough, and some other names that are going to be sprinkled across the starting lineup this upcoming season. So Penn State just sticking to their roots in a way, just making sure that they’re kind of checking the boxes of the places where they should be having a strong presence in recruiting, but making sure that they’re kind of expanding that reach as well because that’s what the top programs do. So Penn State wants to be elite. They have to recruit with the elite.

Vince Fadale [00:13:31]:

Exactly. And it’s really great to see them do that. However, they did lose a player on the not necessarily recruiting front on the team. There was a report that went out that tight end Mega Barnwell is no longer with the team. What are your thoughts on that and how do you think that is going to impact the Penn State tight end group?

Andrew Burd [00:13:54]:

Well, answer your second question first. I don’t think that this is going to impact them super heavily yet. I think that the tight end room is still very much filled with talent. There’s a lot of depth. There some very good players, even in some very young guys in Jerry Cross and others who are able to kind of pick up that slack after Brenton Strange went to the NFL. So I’m not really worried about it from a depth and production perspective. But this is kind of the culmination of a very weird journey for Barnwell because he was a highly recruited guy when he was like a sophomore in high school, committed to Penn State. Early decommitted, kind of tested the waters a little bit with his recruitment, kind of visiting other schools, talking with other coaches, eventually ended up recommitting to Penn State. And now things have kind of come full circle in a not so positive way. And now he’s not no longer listed on the football team’s roster. Now what’s interesting about this, though, is there’s some rumblings and I mean, granted this is all social media speculation at this point that he isn’t necessarily leaving the program to pursue football at another school. He may be leaving football for the sake of leaving football. Now that’s a little unusual for a young guy like a freshman to kind of make that decision. I mean, we’ve seen others make that decision later on in their careers. Some were forced by their health, like Journey Brown, some others weren’t. Different circumstances for different players and whatnot. So it’s kind of hard to say with much certainty what the case is going to be. I think Penn State and those kind of close to the situation are going to keep those details pretty close to their chest. I don’t think they’re going to be running to different outlets to say, like, oh, this was the case. So we’ll just have to see if and where Mega pops up. Maybe he’ll be playing for a different program next season. It’s kind of hard to say at this point.

Vince Fadale [00:15:50]:

Yeah, who knows? Maybe he’ll be back here. Tesla Waters will be back here again.

Andrew Burd [00:15:55]:

Yeah, it very well could be possible. I mean, anything is possible at this point.

Vince Fadale [00:15:59]:

Yeah, that is kind of disappointing because you’ve seen the tight end room. It’s not looking like this star studded group anymore. Like you had mega barnwell there. We don’t know what Theo Johnson’s consequences are going to be. There was kind of news of that assault allegation, and we’re not sure what disciplinary actions that he might get from that. So that’s going to be tough. And other guys like Tyler Warren are going to have to step up and everyone from the recruiting class. So it’s going to take a team effort. But thankfully, we do have other good players at other positions like the running back group. The Lon boys are looking good. Dante, CFIs at wide receiver. So hopefully losing a couple of guys won’t hurt them too much because to be brutally honest, a quarterback’s best friend is their tight end, right? So if you need someone to check down to, it’s usually the tight end. So for a young quarterback like Drew Allard, that’s something I would like to see him have now. I would not like to see tight ends leave in the room.

Andrew Burd [00:17:19]:

Yeah, that’s completely fair, but I also think that they have enough players in the room who they feel good about that they’ll be able to get that level of security. So are we going to see kind of the next iteration of Mike Asiki or Pat Friarmouth or even Brenton Strange from last season? Maybe, probably not, but I think that Khalil Dinkins and Jerry Cross are kind of ready to kind of take up that mantle a little bit. I mean, we’ll have to wait and see. Obviously, we’ve got a couple of months here to speculate on all that with the tight end group. Obviously we’re still waiting to see what the fallout is with the Theo Johnson situation, like you said. But we’ll have to wait and see. But I mean, it’s like you said, too, there’s so many playmakers across the field. I mean, Nick Singleton especially has been garnering a lot of respect, rightfully so, as one of the most explosive players in college football. He was like on the top ten list that was released by, I believe was on three. He’s listed as one of the top five most likely Heisman Trophy candidates out of the Big Ten, also released by on three. So there’s plenty of playmakers out there to kind of help shepherd Drew Hour into this new era of Penn State football. And of course, the news isn’t official yet, but the speculation and the expectation is growing that Drew Hour is basically QB one. But we’ll save that for the official announcement.

Vince Fadale [00:18:54]:

Yeah. And kind of speaking of the season and what Penn State is looking forward to, I read an article, so it was talking about how Penn State’s shortest pass through the college football playoffs involves beating both Ohio State and Michigan in the same season, something the Nitney Lions have only ever done twice in school history. And the odds makers have that happening at 8%. So that’s the number I think we should remember heading into this season as kind of a motivating factor, that 8%, that we beat both those teams. Do you think that is a fair measurement and indicator? Do you feel like it’s right? Do you feel like they’re maybe being a little underrated? What are your thoughts on that happening for Penn State?

Andrew Burd [00:19:51]:

I think it’s about right. If I had to really think hard on it, maybe I would say it’s a little too low, maybe put it at a 15% chance. But let’s face it, we never beat those teams in the same season. It’s like you just said, it’s only been done twice in school history. And to add to the challenges, we’re always facing one of those teams away. Both of those venues are very hard to play at. And when we’re looking at who we have home and away this season, obviously Ohio State is going to be replacing heisman finalist quarterback, but they’re getting Marvin Harrison Jr. Back, probably the best player in college football. They certainly don’t lack confidence in their new quarterback. They just reload at that position anyway, and we’re going to be playing there. So that adds to the challenge of that. And then we’re getting Michigan at home, which is a matchup that typically we do like. We’ve had some good success with that in the past couple of matchups. Of course, the last one not going our way, but JJ. McCarthy is an expected Heisman trophy contender. He’s really, really good. So you can’t really just say anything for certain about either of these teams. Because even though we know Penn State is looking to be better than the 2022 version, both of these teams are no slouches. So I think that it’s fair, just given the history behind our performance against these programs. So I’m not going to harp on these statistics too much because there’s another thing out there that ESPN says that we have about a 4.6% chance to win the Big Ten. So I guess you can think about it in a number of different ways. But the way that I’m choosing to think about it is from, what was it? Dumb and dumber when they’re like, so you’re saying there’s a chance.

Vince Fadale [00:21:43]:

So you’re saying there’s a chance. One of the all time great movie quotes. I think it’s close to what you think it would be. When I’m looking at factors, it is tough to determine. Now, if I think they can beat them to beat Ohio State in the shoe, that’s probably going to be their toughest ask. I would say, in my opinion, just because Marvin Harrison Jr. I think he’s going to be the best player in all of college football. If I could steal anybody from any team and put them in a Penn State jersey, that’s who it would be. That guy can ball. He’ll be a top five pick in the draft. I’m calling that right now. He is so good. So what Penn State is going to have to do in that game to win is Drew Allor is going to have to have almost a Sean Clifford like performance in terms of yards minus the turnover. So we saw Sean put up around 400 yards, but he also had four turnovers that ended up hurting the Nitney lines in the end. So Ohio State can be scored on. However, Ohio State does have one of the most explosive offenses in college football. There will be a new quarterback, but it always seems every single year at Ohio State, the backup seems to be better than the starter. So you’re just going to find someone better than CJ. Stroud. I guarantee it. You know it’s going to happen.

Andrew Burd [00:23:17]:

It’s crazy because we went from like, justin Fields just tore up the defense in 2020, and when he left for the NFL, we were like, oh man, finally Justin Fields is out of here. We’re rid of him. Let’s see what CJ Stroud has in store. Like, this is the new guy or whatever, and then he just turns out to be awesome, too. So it’s like, pick your poison, man.

Vince Fadale [00:23:41]:

Yeah, it’s a never ending cycle. So I’m really looking at drew. Allard to be good, he has to lead the offense and put up a lot of points. If the offensive line can get the running game going, which I think they struggled with a little bit in that contest, I think they did more on the passing yards against Ohio State. So time of possession I think is going to be good. That’s how you stop an offense from scoring, is keeping the ball. So I think if they can run the ball a lot, I think that would be beneficial to that. I think that’s going to be a really big Catron Allen game to see if he can just grind through that Ohio State defensive line and just pick up three, four yards of carry, keep the ball out of their hands. I think that’ll help Drew aller who’s young, and that’s relatively early in the season in October. So he’s still going to be going through growing pains, I’m sure, at that point. So that’s what I’m looking for in that game in Michigan. I think that’s going to be kind of like a man check. I feel like Michigan has beaten us because they’ve just been the more the tougher team, more physical, better conditioned. I think that’s why we lose. And you see Michigan beat a lot of teams that way. We’re competitive with them for a half, we’re right there, and then we get our doors blown off in the second half. And Michigan, they take pride in their conditioning. They take pride in being tough. They take pride in running the football. If we can really feed off the energy of Beaver Stadium, it’s going to be a noon kickoff, so it’s not going to be as loud as a whiteout or a night game. But if the fans bring enough energy for that game and the players can stop the run and make sure JJ. McCarthy can’t convert third downs into first downs, running the ball and force him to pass, I do like Penn State’s chances in that one. But to score points on that Michigan defense, that’s a really tough ask, especially for a young quarterback. And they have a really good running game. They’re physical, they’re tough. So if they’re the tougher team, I think they have a chance. But if they cannot match Michigan’s physicality and toughness, then it might be another heartbreaking loss. And I know we always get blown out at the big house, but Penn State does usually play them close at home, so I do think that will play into factor as well.

Andrew Burd [00:26:11]:

Yeah, no doubt. I think you’re 100% right. This is just going to be a gut check, man. We got to square up with them, take the shots that they’re going to give to us, but give them right back. And I think my outlook on Drew Hour this upcoming season, the more I think about it, is that if he’s going to be kind of average, like kind of growing into the role this season so let’s say he throws for, like, maybe just under 200 yards a game or something and completes, like, 55% of his passes. That’s good for probably nine to ten wins this season. But if he becomes what everybody thinks he’s capable of as the five star guy, the man, the dude to lead this team into kind of a new atmosphere of offensive capability, I think they’re looking at eleven or twelve wins. And so I think in a lot of ways, whether it’s fair or not, he’s going to be the key because we know what Penn State is capable of at pretty much every other position on the field. We know how these players are able to kind of square up with the player across from them. We can get a reasonable expectation of what the outcome is going to be, probably with the exception of Marvin Harrison Jr. Against Kalyn King because we love us some King, but Harrison is just a monster. But regardless so if our is able to kind of play up to his expected potential, I think we’re looking at special things. I mean, there’s just so many things that have to fall into place for this season to go where all of us are really hoping it can go as Penn State fans. It’s just the yearly pain of just waiting and seeing in the offseason.

Vince Fadale [00:27:57]:

It really is. And I do think Penn State has a really good chance to get to eleven wins. And if they can do that, they might be looking at a college football playoff spot. That’s something I would love to see. Even if you’ve seen Ohio State make it twice, not even winning the Big Ten East. The Big Ten East is debatably one of the best divisions in college football. And I saw an article, a post that I shared with you saying that this upcoming season, the Big Ten East is going to be the toughest division and maybe we can do a fun little exercise. So Andrew, do you think any other division in college football is as competitive as the Big Ten East?

Andrew Burd [00:28:42]:

No, I don’t. I think that right now, as it stands, the Big Ten East is the best division. Now that is not to say that the Big Ten is the best conference, because I still think that that lies with the SEC. But if you’re looking at the top three teams from any single division, the only one that comes close to me right now is the SEC West with Alabama and LSU. But if you’re looking at other teams in that division, I don’t think that the collective sum of those three teams matches the collective sum of Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. Right now.

Vince Fadale [00:29:20]:

I think. Penn State. We have three really good teams in Ohio state. Michigan and Penn State. Penn State usually splits with Michigan with the exception of the past maybe three years or so when they’ve really gotten on a roll. Alabama, LSU. You might have Alabama ahead of Ohio State. However, I think I put Michigan ahead of LSU, although LSU has won a couple of national championships recently. However. Penn State. I would put Penn State over Texas A and M, mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas any day of the week.

Andrew Burd [00:30:01]:

All of them.

Vince Fadale [00:30:02]:

Yeah, I mean, Arkansas definitely did give us a whooping, but that was a different team in my opinion. I think Penn State is on the up and up, especially with how well they’ve been recruiting and in developing the talent. I do think the bottom is where the SEC can be like, hey, we’re on the conversation here because although Michigan State is kind of hit and miss, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not. But then I think your Indiana, Rutgers, and Maryland, I think they kind of bring you down. When teams like Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, an M, those teams are usually flirting with beating ranked depending on the year. I think that’s subdivision as well.

Andrew Burd [00:30:44]:

That’s fair, but I guess the way that I would sum it up is like the Big Ten East this season is a three team race. The SEC West this year is a two team race. That’s the math that I’m using here.

Vince Fadale [00:30:55]:

Yeah, I think so. Yeah, if you’re looking at the most difficult path to win, I think it would definitely be the Big Ten East.

Andrew Burd [00:31:03]:

So speaking of chances of getting into the playoff and stuff, so that same article that I mentioned before said that Penn State has roughly a 10.7% chance to make the College Football Playoff and a nice clean 1% chance to win the national title. So ESPN is not counting us out.

Vince Fadale [00:31:25]:

Well, that’s good. At least we got a 1% chance. There’s a chance that’ll be the title for this podcast.

Andrew Burd [00:31:31]:

Yeah, definitely just like a nice motto for this season. But yeah, ESPN just stoking the flames a little bit saying that we’re going to win nine games. We’ll show you.

Vince Fadale [00:31:43]:

Yeah, I’m liking it. So everyone likes to talk about how great the SEC is. Andrew, I have a fun little stat here for you. So here’s the stat from Brett McMurphy on Twitter. So teams playing this is a list of teams that are playing at least ten Power Five opponents in 2023. So when you look at the Big 1013 of the 14 programs in the Big Ten are playing at least ten Power Five opponents. Going over to the Big 1211 of the 14 teams are playing ten Power Fives Pac 1210 of twelve ACC. Ten of 15 teams are playing ten Power Five opponents. Guess how many SEC teams are playing power Five opponents in 2023?

Andrew Burd [00:32:36]:

How many of them are there like, 16 now?

Vince Fadale [00:32:39]:

There’s 14.

Andrew Burd [00:32:40]:

Okay.

Vince Fadale [00:32:41]:

So I don’t think Texas and Oklahoma are over yet.

Andrew Burd [00:32:43]:

Right. Okay. Eight. My guess is eight two.

Vince Fadale [00:32:53]:

They love to do this, but they also love their cupcakes, man. If you’re the best conference and go play ACC teams and Big Ten actually come come up to the Big Ten, play some Big Ten teams.

Andrew Burd [00:33:05]:

Ask Auburn how that went.

Vince Fadale [00:33:07]:

Exactly. They’re running away from competition here. Two of 14 compared to all these other schools. They’re avoiding the competition. It seems like it’s getting them to college football playoffs every single year, but that’s because someone is able to survive the gauntlet, and less power five teams means less losses. So I thought that was an interesting stat that I read today in terms of looking at the SEC. So hopefully that changes. Hopefully there’s a more I feel like it’s almost not as even of a playing field. I feel like everyone should have to play, like, the same amount of power fives to kind of make that more of a level playing field. But it’s the NCAA and the conferences have a lot of control of the scheduling, so time will tell with that. In that regard, any other sports you want to talk about today? I know I got a list of a few.

Andrew Burd [00:34:10]:

Yeah. So there’s two little tidbits about football that I wanted to chat through before we got off of football. So the first here is a little bit of a news update that happened earlier this evening, actually. So Penn State announced the hiring of whippyl legend Bob Palco as the director of high school relations. And so just to give a little bit of background about Mr. Palco, he won eight Whippy Ole titles as the head football coach of West Allegheny and at Mount Lebanon. So this guy is a bona fide legend in Western PA football, which is just no shortage of a hotbed of football talent, not only for the national college football scene, but especially for Penn State. Western PA has treated Penn State very well in terms of drawing talent into Happy Valley. I mean, all you have to look at is some legends.

Vince Fadale [00:35:04]:

Miles Sanders, Joey Porter Jr. Yeah.

Andrew Burd [00:35:08]:

LaVar Arrington, Jack Ham. I mean, the list literally expands decades. So Western PA and Penn State make a very happy couple. And so he’s been hired on as this director of High School Relations. It’s a position that they posted, I believe the article said it was posted last month, bringing him on as a huge recruiting presence for Western PA. He has a slew of responsibilities that do involve a lot of contact with high school recruits on game days and stuff like that, just kind of facilitating, just kind of this outreach and this relationship with high school players. And so I think this is monumental news, because on the national stage, when you have that level of kind of notoriety as a successful football coach. It’s not only in Pennsylvania that people know about it. You’re going to have high school coaches in Ohio, in Maryland, in Jersey, and in New York all knowing who this guy is because of how successful he was. And so to have this guy coming in to basically just put just an anvil of a presence in Pittsburgh and Western PA on the recruiting front is awesome. And what’s also awesome is that Pitt fans hate it.

Vince Fadale [00:36:28]:

Once you said we got a guy from the Whippy Old, which I think is always kind of funny because they’re District Seven in PA, but for some reason they don’t call themselves District Seven. They call themselves the Whippy Ole. But that’s off tangent, back on tangent. Now I’m just imagining like Patnar Doozy throwing like a temper tantrum or something over this or complaining or having some comment about how it’s unfair, how something went Penn State’s way and Pittsill say, oh, he should have came to Pit and recruit, keep the Pit guys in pit, or something like that. I just imagine him just throwing like a little tantrum and hissy fit or what have you. So that’s what I’m expect, like kind of visualizing in my head and it kind of makes me laugh.

Andrew Burd [00:37:15]:

Yeah, exactly. He probably did a little bit of the Arthur meme where his fist is just like clenched because he’s just that mad old man yelling at the sky, just like shaking it in the air sort of thing. Yeah. So I think this is great. I think this is just another feather in James Franklin’s cap of trying to enhance this staff after a very successful season. I mean, obviously we know that nothing is out of bounds for Franklin as far as trying to improve his staff in incremental ways. So I think this is really reflective of that. So that was really cool. And the last thing that I wanted to talk about with football is kind of a little fun exercise. I thought there would be kind of a neat little twist on our offseason chat. And so this has to do with Chat GPT and AI. And so, Vince, I’m going to assume that you are familiar with kind of the advent of generative AI and Chat GPT and AI in general as far as its kind of introduction into the tech world and just kind of society and pop culture at large. But so I wanted to do something football, Penn State football related with Chat GPT, and I might turn this into like an ongoing thing, might not. We’ll kind of wait and see. So I asked AI, Chat GPT who it thought is the greatest Penn State running back of all time. So I want to ask you one, who do you think is the greatest Penn State running back of all time? And number two, who do you think a computer thinks is the greatest Penn State running back of all time. So the floor is yours.

Vince Fadale [00:38:59]:

That’s a tough one. I think it would have to be between Capaletti and Saquon Barkley. Those are kind of the two guys I’m thinking of in my head. I just remember seeing things of like, Capaletti having, like I think he had back to back to back 200 yard rushing games, which is just absolutely insane, especially since they didn’t throw the ball as much back then. And when you throw the ball, that spaces out the field and makes the running lanes open. So there’s that. But also you have the recency bias. You have Saquon Barkley, who has just unreal athleticism. Now, if they were both in the same generation, you got to assume Saquon Barkley would probably be the best. But Capaletti’s got that Heisman. They had an undefeated season, so it’s tough. I think I’ll just go with Sequan. I think part of that is just because of my heart and seeing us win that Big Ten championship meant so much and he was a big part of that. So I’ll go Sequan barkley with John Capilletti second. And for the AI, oh, man, I don’t know. I’ll get something off the wall, I’ll say Journey Brown.

Andrew Burd [00:40:22]:

All right, cool. So you’re going on like statistics and just kind of the short term bang. That was Journey Brown.

Vince Fadale [00:40:33]:

One really good year. I’m going out there with that.

Andrew Burd [00:40:37]:

Got you. Well, I’m going to tell you, your thinking is not totally off base, and I’ll tell you why. So when I asked Chat GPT this question, what it came back to me with was penn State has had a storied history of great running backs in program history with names such as Franco Harris, Kurt Warner and Sequan Barkley, as you mentioned.

Vince Fadale [00:40:59]:

Yeah, Kurt Warner is another one.

Andrew Burd [00:41:00]:

Right. But the running back that AI considers to be the best running back in Penn State football history is Larry Johnson. And the reason why he is listed as the best running back of all time, according to AI again, is that he holds the single season rushing record for Penn State with 2087 yards in 2002. He was a two time first team All Big Ten selection, was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2002, and he was also a Heisman finalist that same year, I believe, he came in second in voting. He went on to have a brief but successful career with the Kansas City Chiefs as their lead running back once he made the jump to the NFL. Obviously kind of fell on some controversial times after that. But regardless, so in his collegiate career, AI considers Larry Johnson to be the greatest Penn State running back of all time. So fair or unfair, Vince?

Vince Fadale [00:42:03]:

I mean, it’s like a computer.

Andrew Burd [00:42:06]:

It’s so subjective, too. It is.

Vince Fadale [00:42:08]:

And I remember as a kid when I wasn’t really watching football, but my grandparents would both talk to me about it and they’d be like, oh, Larry Johnson, he’s the running back for Penn State. He’s incredible. And just hearing stories of Larry Johnson, it’s not like they picked like Devin Ford or something or someone who was like a third string running back on the team. So he’s definitely one of the star players and we’ve been pretty fortunate to have as many good running backs as we have.

Andrew Burd [00:42:40]:

It’s true.

Vince Fadale [00:42:42]:

At least they picked one of the top five or top ten.

Andrew Burd [00:42:46]:

Yes. So, yeah, just thought that was kind of an interesting thing. I think my next one is I’m going to ask it who it thinks is the best quarterback of all time. So maybe we’ll save that for the next episode.

Vince Fadale [00:42:57]:

That one’s going to be Sean Clifford. It has to be. That’ll be a fun one, but I’m going to say it’s Sean Clifford.

Andrew Burd [00:43:03]:

I’m interested to see what it has to say. I mean, completely honest, I have not gone through that exercise yet, so I’m curious to see what it comes back with. I think you’re going to be right, but we’ll wait and see. I didn’t expect Larry Johnson when I asked the running back question, just to be completely transparent. Part of me almost expected it to be Evan Royster because he holds the career rushing record. But regardless, so that’s all I got for football.

Vince Fadale [00:43:32]:

So who do you think are you with me and Sequan?

Andrew Burd [00:43:36]:

Oh, man, that’s tough. I think that Sequan is the best running back to ever wear the balloon white for Penn State. I think when you look at total production, it becomes very hairy because you’ve got so many great running backs out there in the likes of Larry Johnson and Kurt Warner, but even some names that weren’t mentioned here, like Kajana Carter, like Franco Harris, but you also had DJ Dozier. There’s so many names out there that you can look at and say in the Era, with their offensive line in the play scheme and stuff like that, how do all these guys stack up? But kind of like you, it’s like you got to look at what your eyes are telling you and just from an athleticism standpoint, from just a pure lightning in a bottle score making standpoint, I mean, it’s really hard to vote against Saquon. So I’ll put my chip in that same jar with you and go with Barkley.

Vince Fadale [00:44:35]:

Yeah, it is tough too, because there’s eleven guys on offense in the Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders area. They did not have the best offensive line and you saw Saquon look amazing despite that. And if you look at their NFL careers, saquon Barkley going to the New York Giants, I remember joking it would be a perfect fit because the Giants offensive line is awful historically over the past decades. So I remember making that joke and he was still making plays in the NFL. Regardless, looking at Miles Sanders when he got drafted to the Eagles, who historically has one of the best offensive lines over the past decade in the NFL. I was like, oh, I think Miles Sanders actually, if he doesn’t have any fumbling issues, can be really good. And it turned out when he was healthy, he was very good. You could even argue that Miles Sanders has had a better NFL career than Saquon Barkley. But if Saquon Barkley was on the Eagles, this would be a completely different story.

Andrew Burd [00:45:41]:

Yeah.

Vince Fadale [00:45:45]:

I think he would put up like, Adrian Peterson type numbers and CJ, two K numbers. If he had the Eagles offensive line, they would be a scary offense. I don’t know how you would stop them.

Andrew Burd [00:45:56]:

Yeah, the Eagles certainly wouldn’t have a running back by committee, that’s for sure. Good stuff. I don’t have anything else on football. You got anything else for football, or do you got some news for other sports?

Vince Fadale [00:46:09]:

I got some news in some other sports. We’ll do a little basketball, little track and field. Of course, basketball is going to be competitive as ever. So last year we talked about how difficult it was playing against 74 Zach Edie. Well, he has decided to forego the NBA draft, so he will be returning to Purdue to attempt to run it back for a national title. So that’s another team that Penn State is going to have to or another player that Penn State is going to have to contend with on a very good team who I’m sure has done a lot of recruiting to try to replace guys they would lose. So I think Purdue is going to be really tough. They beat us three times, so that’s going to be a tough ask next year. And then also AJ. Hogard out of Michigan State and Penn State lost their loan matchup against the Spartans in the BJAC. So that’s another guy coming back. I think that’s going to give the Nitney lines fits. What are your thoughts on I think Michigan might go down because you have Jet Howard and Kobe Gulpkin both going to the NBA draft. They’ve declared they’re projected to be kind of late first round picks, I think. And then you have Hunter Dickinson transferring to Kansas. So I can’t imagine Michigan having a good season next year. Caleb Love, he decommitted in the transfer portal. So I think Michigan is going to be going down. I think Ohio State, they are losing Bryce Sensiba, but they are gaining Evan Mahafee, and they had a good squad last year despite him, you know, not playing in the Big Ten tournament. So I think that’s going to be a tough squad as well. So, yeah, it’s going to be a tough slide in front of lines in the Big Ten. What are your thoughts on some of the programs who are keeping guys and.

Andrew Burd [00:48:05]:

Lost guys for Purdue? It sucks for us and the rest of college basketball because, gosh, that guy is just impossible to guard. Yeah, I think that Edie coming back. I think in this particular draft, I think kind of makes sense, especially in the Nil era that we’re in, especially with Webman. Yama. I hope I’m pronouncing his name right coming into the draft and you’ve got Brandon Miller out of Alabama and Scoot Henderson out of the G League and stuff like that. There’s just so many names, Scoot. I know, but there’s just so many great names. Kind of filling up the first round of this upcoming draft that, you know, for a guy like him, who I think I saw somewhere that he’s making, like, just under a million dollars with nil deals to kind of come back, compete for a national championship, and let’s face it, just run college basketball. The guy is just a wrecking machine on both sides of the force. So I think that in a lot of ways it makes sense for him. And I wonder how much all these players kind of go through an evaluation period where they speak with an agent or a talent evaluator guy or whoever, kind of looks at the landscape of the draft and says, here’s where you can realistically expect to be drafted and stuff like that based on the value. Yada, yada, yada. And basically said, Listen, go back to school. Go beat up on schools like Penn State for another year and you can come out for the draft next year. I don’t know. But yeah, I think, though, you’re pretty spot on with some of those other programs, especially Michigan. I’m not going to feel bad for them because they’re Michigan, but they’ve had a rough go of it with Dickinson and then with Caleb Love. Where is Love even committed to right now? I feel like he’s just flip flopping all over the place.

Vince Fadale [00:50:09]:

I think it was USC or Oklahoma. I think it was USC. My God. Selling USC.

Andrew Burd [00:50:14]:

So he wanted to go play with Bronnie James.

Vince Fadale [00:50:17]:

Yeah, I think that’s where he’s heading. But don’t quote me on it. It could be another school.

Andrew Burd [00:50:23]:

Well, you might also be right and he might have also decommitted from USC.

Vince Fadale [00:50:28]:

By the time somewhere new.

Andrew Burd [00:50:30]:

Yeah, exactly.

Vince Fadale [00:50:33]:

That’s some interesting news in college basketball. Who knows? Maybe Caleb Beloved will end up in State College. We do have one more roster spot available.

Andrew Burd [00:50:42]:

Yeah, why not come play with us?

Vince Fadale [00:50:47]:

Anyway? There are a lot of other things going on in some other sports. College women’s hockey. So they’re currently in the College Hockey America Conference or the Cha, and they’re going to merge in 2024 with the Atlantic Hockey Association. They announced on Tuesday. So there’s going to be a lot more teams. Robert Morris is going to be added to the Cha next year. So I think it’s going to be good for the conference because right now the conference is only made up of five teams, I believe. So right now, it’s made up of Lindenwood, Mercy, Hearst, RIT, Syracuse, and Penn State. So those are the five teams. And then they are also going to add Robert Morris in 2023. And looking at the instagram here for Atlantic hockey, it looks like they’ll be adding air force. Sorry, I don’t recognize this one logo. It looks like a hornet or something. I’m clicking on the twitter, the tweet they put out. Okay, I’ll have to send it to you later then. Army is in it. Okay. Then there’s one. It’s a b. Maybe it’s brown. Knissius is in it. Holy cross. Niagara will be in it. Shu. What’s shu?

Andrew Burd [00:52:09]:

I think it’s sacred heart.

Vince Fadale [00:52:11]:

Yeah, I think sacred heart might be it. And then Syracuse is in there as well. That’s going to be their new conference. Yeah. So those are some got to figure out who this like the b?

Andrew Burd [00:52:23]:

Yeah.

Vince Fadale [00:52:25]:

Let me see if I can zoom in. It kind of looks like a I.

Andrew Burd [00:52:28]:

Mean, it’s not like it’s not like Georgia Tech, is it?

Vince Fadale [00:52:32]:

No, it’s not Georgia Tech. It almost might be like actually, it must start with an a because they’re between air force and army.

Andrew Burd [00:52:40]:

Okay.

Vince Fadale [00:52:40]:

I’m trying to think of a school that starts with an a. It almost looks like it has, like, a beak, so it might be like a bird of some sort. So I’m interested to see who this, like, mystery oh, Bentley is actually the b team, not brown. So B is Bentley.

Andrew Burd [00:52:56]:

Okay.

Vince Fadale [00:52:57]:

So maybe it’ll come into me and I’ll be able to think of it in terms of college logo trivia, but we’ll get back to you next time. And I’ll look up all the teams in the Atlantic hockey conference, but other teams that are doing some pretty exciting things. We saw the women’s lacrosse program. Just like Penn state is going to the Bahamas for basketball where they will get to play, I think, the university of Bahamas as well as the university of Victoria. So I think that would be a Canadian team. They’re playing, I think on the August 8 and August 10, they’ll be playing on those two dates. And then the women actually got an experience where they got to go to Portugal and Spain and they got to have a scrimmage with the national team from the Netherlands. So that was something pretty cool. And they had pictures on social media, so talk about a good college experience. Andrew, do you think there’s anywhere better you could go than, like, portugal or Spain in the summer if you’re a student athlete?

Andrew Burd [00:54:05]:

I don’t think so.

Vince Fadale [00:54:06]:

Bahamas. Yeah. These Penn state athletes are getting to go to some really cool places. So lucky for them, I think Italy and kind of that whole mediterranean region, I think that would be up there with good places to go with Spain and Portugal. I might have a potential candidate for the logo we were trying to figure out. So Maggie just texted me.

Andrew Burd [00:54:38]:

Oh, I already figured it out.

Vince Fadale [00:54:40]:

So she said, American International in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Andrew Burd [00:54:44]:

Correct. Yeah, American International College.

Vince Fadale [00:54:48]:

Why’d you tell me if you knew?

Andrew Burd [00:54:50]:

I was waiting for a break. I was figuring it out while you were mentioning trips to Portugal and Spain. So I was just waiting for an appropriate break.

Vince Fadale [00:54:59]:

Yes. Okay, so we finally figured it out. We got all the teams in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and the Cha, so they’ll be merging. So I think that’ll be good for ticket sales. It’ll make the conference more competitive. When the conference is more competitive, you can get more teams to the NCAA Tournament. So I think this will be a good merger for Penn State and women’s hockey.

Andrew Burd [00:55:22]:

Agreed.

Vince Fadale [00:55:23]:

Exciting news. I was the last one to find out, I guess, but what was the mascot? Can you tell me the mascot again?

Andrew Burd [00:55:30]:

It’s the yellow jackets.

Vince Fadale [00:55:32]:

Okay. I’m not crazy, but did you look at the logo?

Andrew Burd [00:55:36]:

I did, yeah.

Vince Fadale [00:55:38]:

Doesn’t it have, like, a beak almost? It looks kind of like a bird, but it has, like it has, like it has, like the bees don’t have, like, feather wings. The wings, the it has, like, the bee wings. It has the bee wings, but then it looks like a bird beak. Very strange logo by American International. Okay, but now I’m glad we got that figured out, because we got everything figured out except that one school. Yeah. So that’s good. We got that figured out. But funny story, though, talking about logos. So when I was in high school, I was getting recruited by different colleges for running, and I saw my parents put, like, the ladder on the kitchen table or whatever, and I see this big Orange s. So based off of where we live, what university do you think that would be?

Andrew Burd [00:56:33]:

My guess would be Syracuse, but I believe you’re going to tell me that it was not Syracuse.

Vince Fadale [00:56:39]:

It was actually Syracuse. I got a letter from Syracuse but I saw the big Orange s and I thought it was Susquehanna University I was like, It’s about time they sent me a recruiting letter. I was like, I literally lived 2 miles away from the university. So I was like, oh, they finally sent me one, and then it turned out to be Syracuse. I ended up getting a letter from Syracuse, and I don’t think I got one from Susquehannaver. Like a recruiting letter. So that’s something that was kind of funny in terms of my recruiting path, I guess you could say in high.

Andrew Burd [00:57:15]:

School, also known as one of the greatest misses of formerly Crusader RiverHawk Athletic history, missing out on the great Vince Fidalli.

Vince Fadale [00:57:28]:

Yeah, but they didn’t have my major, so I think they kind of figured that would be probably a no go there. So they don’t have health and physetta as a major. So didn’t work out, but definitely would have looked into it, got along with their coach. They have a great indoor track, great facility. So even the outdoor one, they have a really nice mondo track, so it’s really good. So if you’re like a high school athlete in PA. And Susquehanna got really good facilities, especially for a D Three program. So really good track program. And speaking of track, we’re going to go to our link here and list off the 13 netANY lines that are going to be competing at the NCAA outdoor Championships. So they started today and will continue to go through Saturday. Thankfully, they are in Austin, Texas, so they’re not dealing with the smoke like we are in PA. But on the men’s side, we have Austin Gallant, Savion Hebron, Callum Dodds and James Onuca. They qualified for the four x four, which is one of the most exciting races in my opinion, in track and field. Love the relays. And then you have Olivier Des Mule’s and Handel Robin will both compete in the 800 meters run. And then you have Evan Dorankamp in the 1500. So you got Penn State just like their linebacker union football. They’re like Midi U in track. They got lots of good middle distance runners. Coach Gondack does a really good job with them. When I was in high school, he was the assistant coach there and he pretty much took care of the middle distance guys. And they’ve had some really fast guys over the years. So you can always count on Penn State to have great middle distance runners for the field events. We got Luke Nip, he qualified in the pool vault. And then Tyler Merkeley is set in the hammer throw. So hammer throw is really fun to watch. Have you ever watched the hammer throw?

Andrew Burd [00:59:44]:

A handful of times. Yeah. It’s always entertaining.

Vince Fadale [00:59:47]:

Yeah, I love how they twist it above their head and then they go into the spins and I feel like I would just like, hit the ball off the ground or something. I don’t know how those shot put, discus guys, hammer throw, I don’t know how they spin in the circles, are just like massive human beings. They’re like the size of offensive linemen, and then yet they’re able to have that amazing coordination to spin and then just chuck a heavy object like hundreds of feet. It’s just one of those things that baffles me. And moving on to the women’s squad, we got Rachel Gearing and Haley Kitchen in the 800. We got faith DeMars in the five k. So 5000 meters run. Mallory Kaufman will compete in the shop put. So that’s one that I feel like isn’t quite as bad because you can do that one out of the power stance. You can go straight with that one, but the ones who spin that just baffles my mind.

Andrew Burd [01:00:45]:

Right.

Vince Fadale [01:00:45]:

So Merkeley in the hammer throw is going to return as the national runner up. So I guess he finished second last year. So that’s awesome. He currently ranks as the fifth. Best competitor. Robin is in his first season at Penn State and he earned a bronze medal in the 800 meters run at this season’s indoor championships. Kind of surprised he missed that. So that’s pretty awesome. Third and NCAA is All American. Yeah, so that’s going to be awesome. That’s the article, but last week we promised we would bring you these amazing track and field athletes. So those are all of your Nitney lines competing. ESPN is going to be covering it. So if you want to catch some track and field I might even be turning my TV on as well to catch the national championships because there’s nothing as exciting as watching championship track and field, especially if there’s some nitney lines competing.

Andrew Burd [01:01:42]:

Yeah, good stuff, man. It’s like our own little Olympics.

Vince Fadale [01:01:46]:

Yeah, it is. It’s almost fun for me to watch too and kind of compare my times in my events so I can just be like, man, this guy’s so stupid fast because people think I’m stupid fast and then there’s all these other people around me that make me feel slow. When you go to college you get humbled real quick or even like a state meet in high school you get humbled real quick because you realize there’s a lot of big fish out there.

Andrew Burd [01:02:12]:

Yeah, no doubt. I never played tennis at a collegiate level but I know relatively speaking what my limits and capabilities are. And so through club tennis we went to a handful of those matches like where they would play Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan, who are nationally ranked programs and stuff like that and to watch them compete against them, it just made me feel like I was playing a different sport. You’re probably closer, the gap is smaller with you and these guys than me to the number one singles guy for Penn State. But I get where you’re coming from.

Vince Fadale [01:02:51]:

Yeah, it is fun and it’s really fun when you get to race them when you’re in college too because in cross country and track, especially for cross country and indoor track and field where not many people have outdoor track. So you just kind of find anywhere you can get a meat that’s close to you and that saves money as well for the athletic department. So we would go to Penn State and Bucknell all the time for indoor track and then, you know, we would go for cross country. We would go like like we’d go to Lehigh for Paul Short and we’d race like a lot of the D One teams and like we were one of the better D Two. So we actually beat a lot of the D One teams in cross country. So it was always fun competing and seeing where I could place in different levels. And I did actually want to run at Penn State but didn’t get in. But I think that’s one of the reasons for that was because I said I didn’t want to do, like, the summer program thing. Oh, yeah, I know. You and Amberman how to do that, the summer program. So I said I wasn’t willing to do that. And then my GPA was really good, but I didn’t do great on the SATS in the reading and writing section, so I think that hurt me a little bit. But anyway, it was kind of, like, fun to see where my times were. And then my senior year, I think I finally would have been in the top seven. But my first three years, I would not have really done anything with my time. So I think I ended up making the right call, running at LHU and saving a lot of money on tuition.

Andrew Burd [01:04:26]:

Yeah, I think things turned out pretty well for you.

Vince Fadale [01:04:29]:

Yeah. And lots of good memories, and it was fun. Like, going to nationals pretty much every year. So those were some good memories I had with my teammates and had a good time going on those trips. Got to actually go fly on a plane for the first time when we got to go to Spokane.

Andrew Burd [01:04:48]:

That was the first time you had ever been on a plane?

Vince Fadale [01:04:51]:

Yeah. What first time on a plane was when? My freshman year of college, when we went to nationals.

Andrew Burd [01:04:57]:

Dude, that’s wild to me.

Vince Fadale [01:05:00]:

Yeah. I’m just not very well traveled, I guess you could say. And when I was younger, I was like, oh, what if the plane crashes? But then it was like, well, I was like, well, I have to get in this plane to go do this cross country. So I was like, I don’t really have a choice. I just have to hope for the best.

Andrew Burd [01:05:20]:

Wow. Did you let anybody on your team know that that was the first flight you had ever taken, or did you just keep that close to the chest and we’re like, I’m just going to do this. I’m just going to man up, not say a word, and just go through with this.

Vince Fadale [01:05:36]:

I didn’t tell people that it was my first time flying, but even though I was kind of nervous, I just didn’t try to really show it at all.

Andrew Burd [01:05:44]:

Yeah.

Vince Fadale [01:05:45]:

When you’re first going off, I was like, oh, wow, this is like a roller coaster. But instead of going down the plane, just kind of lifting up off the runway. That was pretty cool. And since then, I’ve flown a handful of times. Right. I’m definitely not someone who’s racking up frequent flyer miles.

Andrew Burd [01:06:03]:

Yeah, I got you. But no, that’s wild. So good story. So, man, you got anything else here, or should we call this a pod?

Vince Fadale [01:06:13]:

Yeah, I think we’re good to call it. Any final things before we head out?

Andrew Burd [01:06:17]:

No, just I’m excited for what Arnitani Lions have in store for them with the NCAA track championships. Hopefully they bring home some more hardware that we can call home about and brag about. Them on this pod. So going to be looking forward to not only seeing how they perform, but also hearing how you perform. So once again, good luck at your race. All of the Nitney Blues fan base is cheering for you.

Vince Fadale [01:06:44]:

Yeah, thanks, man. And best of luck to men’s and women’s, track and field. And also, another positive note to kind of get us through this gloomy day, I guess you could say, with the smoke and everything is we have less than 100 days till Penn State football.

Andrew Burd [01:06:59]:

Thanks out of God.

Vince Fadale [01:07:00]:

That has a nice little ring to it, too. So some positive vibes to send our listeners off with. So thank you guys again for listening. If you’d like to support the Pop, please tell your friends, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you enjoy the show, please leave a five star review to other Nitney Lion fans like you can find us interested in new episodes. You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or other streaming platforms to be notified. Thank you for listening and we want to remind you that we are the.

Andrew Burd [01:07:29]:

Nittany Blues podcast. See you next time.

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