Penn State likes to refer to Beaver Stadium as The White House when the fans are all dressed in white, but tonight the head coach will be taking a seat in the House chamber.
Tonight marks one of the more important days on the political calendar as the president will make his annual state of the union address. You all know the drill by now. Every network will simulcast President Barack Obama's remarks and the democrats will stand and applaud after every positive remark to come out of the president's mouth while the republicans will sit quietly, because that is just how politics work. Mixed somewhere in the crowd will be Penn State head coach James Franklin, who will be a guest of U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson from Pennsylvania.
“With the beginning of a new year, we are filled with a sense of optimism and possibility. The State of the Union offers us the chance to reflect upon the previous year and provides us with a preview of the challenges and opportunities that we face together,” stated Rep. Thompson. “Given these sentiments, it’s an honor to have Coach Franklin as my guest for this occasion.
Ahh yes. That's the reason. Of course it is.
Never mind the talk suggesting former Penn State assistant coach Jay Paterno -- son of Joe Paterno and a noted member of the Democratic party around Pennsylvania -- could be a potential candidate for Thompson's seat in political office. When it comes to inviting a guest to the state of the union, there are always politics involved in the process to some degree. Regardless, it is good exposure for Franklin and Penn State's football program moving forward, and that much cannot be forgotten.
“I am grateful and very appreciative of Rep. Glenn Thompson's invitation to attend the President’s State of the Union Address,” said Franklin, who was named Penn State’s 16th head football coach on Jan. 11. “I look forward to hearing the President’s vision for 2014 and beyond and what we, as citizens of the greatest union in the world, can do to help move our nation forward.”
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the idea of a college football coach being invited to join a politician at the State of the Union or not, let us just hope that President Obama does not feel a need to point out Franklin in the audience tonight, because it is documented he may just butcher the nickname of Franklin's new program.