I just joined the group Penn State Track and Field Parents Network. After all, my daughter does run XC for PSU Mont Alto! (and was First Team All Conference at the Penn State National) I actually asked to join the group so that there would be some coordination between groups looking to enhance and promote the Program. So let's welcome all our new Friends. We promise to keep the language and actions within the bounds of Prime-Time network TV censorship! Welcome Parents!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Physics of Footballs

If there's one thing I hear a lot as Head Idiot here at the blog with it all, it's "there's not enough Physics!"
So as we await the Penn State National Meet this weekend let's get into a little topical Physics Knowledge.

As a noted (and increasing) Curmudgeon, I care less and less about the Super Bowl each year.  I spent this whole year alternating rooting for and against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team I've rooted for since 1964. That was when games weren't even on television for those youngsters reading this. And guys routinely played "on both sides of the ball". Nowadays, there are actually 2nd down pass rushing specialists! Notice, I didn't say 3rd down pass rushing specialists.  That's a whole different group!

The Inflategate Fiasco has me totally perplexed.  As much as I would love to see some people punished severely, I am pretty certain the same thing has occurred thousands of times before. Thousands. Of. Times.

But just to be complete, Physicists have weighed in to solidify the knowledge on the subject. And their conclusions should be quite damning to Mr. Knit-Cap-Know-Nothing and his Coach, Mr. Videotape Everything.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What Does 34 Years Of Only Slogging* Get Me?

My "career" ended really in 1981.  I ran a few races here and there until 1997.  The only time I really trained following college was for the Disney World Marathon in 1997.  I wanted a 3:30 Marathon and was well on my way until cramps hit my legs at the 17 mile mark.  This never happened before in my entire life, and never since.  It was due to someone convincing me to use Creatine, my only ever PED.  Fat load of good it did me when I finished in 4:01, which was really a 3:53 or so counting the time I spent in the Ambulance Tent waiting for a meat wagon to take me to the finish. When they finally told me it would be along in 4 hours, I got up and finished the race without much problem.  A fitting end to my illustrious career.

Well, 34 or so years of non-training has led to somewhat of a loss in fitness, to say the least.  But as it turns out, only a week of non-training has devastating effects on fitness.  Like 50% in just one week!  I'm skeptical of this, although less skeptical than I am of Catastrophic Global Warming.

*Slogging being defined as the slow jogging I do now on a treadmill mostly. Sigh.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BOOM: 800 U: The Reality Series First Episode: A 600 Is A Like A Really Fast 800!

Wow:  When I envisioned a new reality TV show to replace the lost diamond of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, I came up with 800 U: Winner Take All.  Now I can really imagine the series come to life on ESPN 8: The Ocho. The first episode aired in my mind last night. Imagine a really slick opening sequence like this one from Dodgeball: A True American Underdog Story.

DODGEBALL-"ESPN 8-THE OCHO" SEQUENCES from Rick Austin on Vimeo.
A heck of a marker was laid down in Episode One: A 600 Is Like A Really Fast 800!

Penn State's multiple Record Holder Casimir Loxsom added another American Record to his quiver, taking away Eric Sowinski's Indoor mark in the 600 M with a stellar opening 1:15.58. This was done at altitude in Albuquerque.*

*And don't any of you idiots tell me how altitude actually helps you in a 600M race.  I know a little physics and a little physiology.  And go ahead and make the argument of "a soft record".  Cas actually acknowledged that in his interview.  His interview after AN AMERICAN RECORD!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Still More Greetings From Paradise

I really must have picked the wrong profession.  The closest I've come to "Paradise" would be Key West.  It's a place I really like a lot.  The water is green, so I guess it counts.  But all the other Idiot Officers in our group keep sending me photos and stories from places that have even greener water.

Our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer sent us these great pics from somewhere in Paradise.  He is apparently living aboard the US Reluctant awaiting his first shore leave at the upcoming Coaches Reception in State College.  Thses pics feature the newest version of the Alumni Tee-Shirt and the old wrist band (should I bring back a new version for this year's Reunion?).

My dad saw the 1948 play on Broadway with Jack Lemmon in the lead role.  In the movie he took the role of Larry's favorite character, Ensign Pulver.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PSU Is 800 U: The Reality Series

Winner take all...

One of our most loyal readers recently posited that with the results of the recent meet at PSU, Georgetown is actually 800 UFlotrack wonders too!

So I figure we should just replace the "Reality Show" Here Comes Honey Boo Boo with "800 U: The Reality Series. Winner Take All".

The problem is we need judges that aren't biased for (or against) any of the competitors.  Which leaves both me and him out.  Any volunteers out there?

2014 Performance Of The Year: Brannon Kidder

Congratulations to Brannon Kidder and his School Record in the 1500M  (3:38.8) for winning the Performance of the Year for 2014!  He'll receive his Prize Package only after graduating so as to not interfere with the odious rules of the NCAA.

He beat out stiff competition like the National Champion in the Shot Put, the second fastest ever NCAA Distance Medley Relay and the second place runner in the National Championships 800M. (Not to mention the World Record Holder in the Women's Beer Mile!)

Keep the nominations coming for this year's award on the right side bar.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

PSU Is 880 U: Bob Hillman At The Top Of The Game

I was very pleased to see that someone among our ranks took the time to nominate Bob Hillman for next year's performance of the year.  (Don't forget to vote in this year's finals on the left sidebar.  There's less than 2 days left!)

Our Golden Putter Attendant Greg Fredericks brings us the news of Bob Hillman's great honor yesterday.  He was recognized with PSU's greatest honor at the same Board of Trustees meeting that gave back to our University 110 previously vacated football victories.

Eight to receive distinguished alumni awards in 2015 and one is our very own Bob Hillman.  Bob was a team member from 1970 to 1974 running track and field and cross country.  And yes, among other events, he did run the 800 (880 back in the day).  Just another reason to be proud to be a Penn State track and field student-athlete and an alum!

Robert E. Hillman of Weston, Massachusetts, is the research director of the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, an associate professor of surgery and health sciences and technology at Harvard-MIT, and a professor of communication sciences and disorders and associate provost for research at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. He earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees in speech pathology and audiology in 1974 and 1975, respectively, from the College of Education.
Here is the link to all 8 names.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus. The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose "personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater." The award is an engraved bronze medallion, matching pendant, and framed inscribed certificate.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Time Is Running Out To Join Over 60 Of Your Friends Both Old And New

The Coach's Reception for Coach Teri Jordan and Coach Harry Groves will occur following the Sykes-Sabock Challenge on Saturday February 7th at 6:30PM to 8:30PM at Rotelli's State College, located at Calder Square.  This will be an Italian buffet with an open bar.  It's almost like the 19th hole at the Coach Groves Golf Tournament!

Please RSVP by emailing Will Rottler back at wdr13@psu.edu with the number that will be attending. Already, 60 people are confirmed! You must get your RSVP in by the end of January!

There are many members of our group confirmed for the event.  But there are also numerous people who have not been back to Happy Valley in quite a while.  And we hope to recruit more members to our efforts to become the largest and most active Track Alumni Group in the world. Help us out by spreading the word.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Well Earned Recognition

We previously told you about the wonderful coaching exploits of my teammate Tom Rapp.  I'm honest when I say, I can't imagine someone more qualified to be coaching the youth of America than Tom. I hope to see him again at the Coaches Reception at the upcoming Sykes-Sabock Meet in early February.  That's because Tom is always coaching during our Alumni Reunions and Golf Tournaments.  (Except the one that got his name on the Coach Groves Memorial Cup!)

Well, others have noticed as well.  Our William and Mary adjunct Alumni Golfer Brian Mount forwarded me this article detailing Tom's Coach of the Year honors for the State of Ohio.

And don't forget to vote on the left sidebar for the performance of the year 2014! Only a few days left.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The 2014 Performance Of The Year Finals (Vote For Your Top 2)

The Semi-Finals are done and 7 entries have been sent on to the final round.  You can vote for your top 2 performances on the left sidebar poll on the main web site.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

America Is The Land Of Opportunity To Be Dopey

And the home of the brave!

We are guarded by some of the best men and women on the planet.  America's Armed Forces are an all volunteer force, and are routinely criticized by those who don't bother to look into the matter much.

I just spent the weekend with a veteran of the Afghanistan War, who may be one of the bravest I have encountered.  Not only did he pal around with my decidedly boring and pedestrian family, but he roomed with Gary Black for the week.

On Thursday, he ran his first ever 5K.  On Friday, he ran his first ever 10K.  On Saturday, he ran his first ever Half Marathon.  And today, he ran his first ever Marathon!  That's all on his total of 2 weeks of "Training".*

Eric White is therefore named an honorary golfer in our group. 

Dopey runners Gary Black, Eric White and Barb Black in Epcot.

The 3 Dopeys and Daughters Elder and Younger.
*Other than that bit of training called Service in the US Military.  Wear all 6 medals with pride and have a beer on me.  Both Gary and Barb finished with improved times from last year.  Gary ended up running under 9 minutes/mile just as I predicted!  And whatever times Eric ran, he has my eternal respect.

Big Press For 800 U!

For the record, I did not come up with the moniker "PSU is 800 U".  Someone else did, and I would love to know who???  But I did capture it and put it into common usage via "the blog with it all".  Remember, the use of the term is not a brag.  It is a motivation to PSU athletes and the athletes of other Universities to up their game. It is meant to be a fun challenge for everyone out there.  And it's working!

Thanks to the attentive eyes of both Joe Clinton and Coach Bill Preston, I am now aware that even Flo Track is using the motto to promote the upcoming track season.

Flo Track was at yesterday's Penn State Relays for the PSU 4 X 800M Relay opening salvo of 2015 with a fine 7:22 effort.

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