Reporters could play in Penn St. spring game
Penn State football Coach James Franklin has come up with a way to put a different spin on Saturday’s spring game.
Or perhaps he wants to inflict some injuries on the herd of reporters who cover the team.
Either way, on Wednesday, he invited media members to play in the annual exhibition, “catching punts, catching kicks — doing some things.”
“Just so you know, I’m dead serious,” Franklin said, per ESPN.
Any reporter who takes the plunge would be following in the hallowed footsteps of George Plimpton, who in 1964 took part in Detroit Lions training camp and ended up writing a book, “Paper Lion,” about how he eventually was allowed to take some (painfully unproductive) snaps at quarterback during a preseason intrasquad scrimmage played in front of an actual crowd.
“I thought about the applause afterward — some of it, perhaps, in appreciation of the lunacy of my participation, but it occurred to me that most of it, even subconsciously, was in relief that I had done as badly as I had,” Plimpton wrote. “It verified the assumption that the ordinary citizen could not survive in the brutal world of professional football.”
More recently, writer Stefan Fatsis took part in Denver Broncos training camp and wrote it up in “A Few Seconds of Panic.”
A Penn State spokeswoman said several reporters will take Franklin up on his offer and will have to “follow the university protocol” to participate (waivers and such).
In turn, the sports editor of a publication that covers the Nittany Lions should invite a member of the Penn State coaching staff to write a sidebar on deadline. It only seems fair, and no waivers needed.
The Nittany Lions finished 11-3 last season and won the Big Ten championship.