Good afternoon or morning or whatever! Are you enjoying Penn State Week?
But how about a snack while we slog through this together?
Today we’ve got some delicious ethnic treats from Pennsylvania, a disgustingly-named region of the northeastern United States, and our predictions for how the Nittany Lions will finish up in 2022.
Show Us Your Pierogi Pocket
We swing to the European ethnic heritage of Pennsylvania today, looking at the state’s Polish and Ukrainian heritage and, in particular, the deliciousness that is the pierogi:
Take it away, Wikipedia:
Pierogi are filled dumplings made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savoury or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water. They are often pan-fried before serving. Pierogi are associated with the cuisines of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. (wiki)
Pennsylvania’s Mrs. T’s Pierogis used to designate a “Pierogi Capital” of what they, somewhat unflatteringly, call the “Pierogi Pocket” of America. As you can see, Pennsylvania features prominently:
1. Any particular pierogi or pierogi-themed memory that you have? Any restaurants, either in Pennsylvania or outside, that you’d recommend for a pierogi?
2. Design a pierogi themed for your school.
BoilerUp89: Pierogies are delicious and the Pierogie race at the Pirates? - I think it was the Pirates - game I witnessed was entertaining. More entertaining than Reds mascot race or Brewers sausage race but less entertaining than dead presidents race (Taft should still be racing by the way and his forced retirement from the competition is Cincinnati erasure that I will not stand for)
Kind of…: I’m 100% a fan of pierogies, and basically find Central/Eastern European food (or claimed as such) to be awesome and underrated. And who isn’t looking for an excuse to consume more sour cream?
HWAHSQB: One of my buddies growing up had a pirogue and we used to pole around the marshland south of town and fish for carp. Fishing for carp is underrated as they put up a good fight. Wait, what are we talking about?
MNW: My great-grandma, herself a Pole, had married an Irishman on the East Side of Saint Paul, so we got a wonderful range of ethnic cooking, from corned beef and cabbage to pierogies to that delightfully offensive “hot dago” of Saint Paul. But her pierogies were otherworldly – though the recipe is with my grandma now, nothing we make is quite the same.
In Milwaukee a buddy and I would go to half-priced pierogi night (I think it was, at least) at Camino down in Walkers Point. But there was no beating when my adviser, a Catholic priest, took me to Polonez Restaurant in St. Francis and, in between wonderfully sensitive material on the various ethnic groups of South Milwaukee–he himself is of Italian descent–we noshed on their range of pierogi: the sweet cheese was a classic, as was the potato-and-cheese, but they did a reuben one that was quite enjoyable, too.
I’m imagining a brie-and-apple pierogi, now, that we’d dip in a fig jam while harrumphing in the West Lot before a ‘Cats game. Or a Chicago dog pierogi, with chopped up frankfurter, pickles, and onions, fried, and seasoned with poppy seeds. Then you’d dip it in something. I dunno. Let’s say ketchup.
Buffkomodo: I have no idea what’s going on here.
Townie: A pierogi is to a ravioli what a Bony is to a Sony (it’s a poor imitation of the real thing).
misdreavus79: …I don’t think I’ve ever had a Pierogi.
Football: Go South, Young Man
1. Have you ever seen more passionate graphic design than wherever the fuck that Maryland M got placed in the box?
2. Penn State’s off to Auburn for an afternoon game in September…any bad-idea SEC trips your team has made? Any that you’d like to make?
3. How do the Nittany Lions finish up in 2022?
BoilerUp89: I’ll predict 3rd place in the East (ahead of MSU) and a 8-4 record
Kind of…: Really intriguing schedule for PSU. Open Thursday, September 1 @ Purdue and have a road game 9/17 @ Auburn. I could see them entering the MSU season finale sitting at 8-3/6-2 with 3rd place, and a Jan 1 bowl bid, on the line vs. Sparty. At the same time, I felt like PSU was going to have a great year last year, two. So there’s probably another loss in there somewhere whether it’s Purdue, or maybe Minnesota. Do think they’ll beat MSU, so let’s say 8-4/6-3.
HWAHSQB: I guess I’m going to say 9-3. I think both michigan schools fall back and someone has to win some games in the crappy B1G East.
MNW: Honestly, guys, I’m so sorry. How have I not been fired yet?
That’s an ambitious home-and-home, and I just want to add that it’s awesome that Penn State schedules games like this one and Alabama. Beat the best if you can. As far as going to Auburn itself? Man. Heading to the Plains on a Saturday afternoon in September is gonna be hot, so good luck to you.
Northwestern once had a home-and-home with Vanderbilt back in 2010 and 2012 that they swept. After the 2012 iteration, Vandy welched on a 2013-2014 series. Not sure who the coach of that Commodores squad was, but he’s a big fucking coward. (Anywho, I’d love a reprise of that, because Nashville’s great. Otherwise LSU would be a cool game to attend, but I don’t want none of that SEC smoke.)
For Penn State? A 2-1 record in the bruisers of the East, a sweep of a mediocre crossover set, and a loss at Auburn. Let’s say 10-2 (8-1), with that loss against the bruiser keeping them out of the Big Ten Championship Game.
Townie: This season will be successful if PSU’s offensive line improves (even slightly) and the youngsters on defense step up. I think our two deep at quarterback will be fine to good. And I think we have the talent at wideout and running back to be good to great.
If the offensive line struggles, it’ll be time to find a new position coach there. Trautwein is in his fourth (I think) season as the line coach. And his players are still missing blocks and failing to get to the second level on combos. Those errors kill even great play calling.
Defense is a bit of a cypher to me this season. We have a new DC, who plays a different brand of ball than Pry did. He still has a killer secondary (as long as Joey Porter Jr. can STOP GETTING PI PENALTIES). But he has a thin defensive line and linebacking corps.
Even if Pry were back, I’d be skeptical that we can consistently stop the run and pressure the quarterback. And without that, we aren’t beating Ohio State.
That said, I think we’ll be in every game this year. And some could be real shootouts. My low end prediction is four losses (OSU, MSU, UM, and Auburn).
That said, Michigan lost a ton of players. And last year’s game was close. PSU led until 3 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. With Hutchinson and Ojabo gone, Michigan has an enormous amount of rebuilding to do. My optimistic prediction is two losses (OSU and a derp game).
Also, I’m wrangling an invitation to that Auburn game even if it kills me.
Buffkomodo: God I hate Penn State. They’re just so annoying in Football. I do honestly like what Shrews is doing with the roundball, but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s go with 10-2 as Penn State recaptures that elusive 2nd place in the B1G East if for no other reason than it didn’t happen last year.
misdreavus79: I’ve spoken about just about every aspect of Penn State all week long. So let’s get to the exercise:
- Will Win: Ohio, Central Michigan, Rutgers, Northwestern
- Might Win: Maryland, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota
- Might Lose: Auburn, Michigan State, Michigan
- Will Lose: Ohio State
Formula is pretty simple. Ohio State has by far the most talent of any team in the Big Ten, and Penn State, while making every game competitive, usually needs a perfect storm to win, so we’ll keep that in the loss column until proven otherwise. The rest are all winnable, arranged from “something is really wrong if they lose this game,” like Illinois last season, to “it’s not unreasonable to see a loss here.”
Maryland and Indiana are in the “might” column because the two times each team has won has been on the road and at home, respectively. Maryland plays Penn State on the road, and Indiana does at home. Penn State should win both of those, but we acknowledge history. Then there’s Minnesota, they haven’t actually beaten Penn State on the road since 2003, but they do come in with the extra motivation in the form of one Kirk Ciarrocca. Can that be enough to overcome the whiteout? We shall see.
Same for the next three. Two of these are on the road, but each team brings their own question marks to the table. It’s not unreasonable to see Penn State lose all three, but it’s also not unreasonable to see them sweep.
Of course, I made my conclusion before I even wrote anything here: James Franklin has won no more than 10 games in the regular season at Penn State, and, until proven otherwise, that’s what I’m going with. Lose to Ohio State, lose to some other team (Michigan?), go 10-2.
How does Penn State finish in the Big Ten in 2022?
This poll is closed
3-6 or worse
Overall, Penn State goes...
This poll is closed
5-7 or worse