Sideline Memories from Penn State Games

Marty Bannister's sideline experiences

EBSN's Marty Bannister

2006: My first year covering sideline, and that was the game where Joe Paterno got sick and had to run off the field and, ahem, change his pants. The OSU trainer who tended to him in the locker room simply shook his head and rolled his eyes when I asked him what had happened. A fan in the stands shouted at JoePa: “Joe must go…and you did!”

2007: First trip for me to Beaver Stadium. Worst sideline in the Big 10, if you have a face, you seemingly get a credential to be on the sideline. Worst fans as well, Michigan fans make that place look like an afternoon in the park.

2008: My son Corey, a wounded Iraq Veteran, was with me on the sideline that night. Ohio St would lose 13-6. After the game, many players (and coach Jim Tressel) stopped and shook hands with Corey in the locker room, and punter A.J. Trapasso apologized to my son for the Buckeyes losing. I still choke up when thinking of that.

2009: Back to Beaver Stadium…which had, at the time, one of the smallest locker rooms for visiting teams. Our crack producer, DR Railsback and I, set up for post game interviews in a small area near the training room, and right in full view of the locker room. It always felt awkward to be in that setting, if you catch my drift, lol.

2010: Record book says “vacated”, but the game happened, I was there.

2012: Urban Meyer’s first game in State College. At the half, as the Buckeyes were returning to the field, I lean in as close as was professionally possible to ask Urban about the first half, and he says; “I can’t hear you”, and sprinted away.

2014: The Bosa sack, and JT Barrett’s two TD’s in the overtime periods kept the title drive alive. One of the most electric atmospheres I’ve been in. T-Shirt I saw: “O-How I hate Ohio State”