Update: I’ve designed Halloween special edition version of the Penn State game wallpaper. Get the Halloween 2010 JoePa Costume wallpaper.
My road to Michigan fandom was long and twisty. Some of you would refer to my children as Mudbloods (my wife is from Ann Arbor and has claim to “pure blood” status where I do not) and to me as a Muggle (my lack of magical powers kept me from attending
Hogwarts the University of Michigan). Actually, after reading what I just wrote I’m pretty sure that you’re more likely to refer to me as a “huge nerd” but whatever.
When I was little my grandmother lived in Pennsylvania so she showered me and my brother with Penn State gear every Christmas. We wore this gear. We rooted for Penn State on the rare occasions when their games were televised out West. We loved Coach Paterno and his crazy thick glasses. Like the rings of a tree, the edges of his lenses marched outward with each advancing year. My friend and I used to joke that the glasses were so thick, and the lenses so curved, that his eyebrows actually appeared below his eyes thanks to extreme refraction.
Although my allegiance was shifted to the boys in the winged helmets once I reached the age of accountability, I still have a deep respect for Joe Paterno and can’t imagine college football without him. I was pained to learn last year that he had surgery to correct his vision. Beyond being totally freaked out at how small and beady (and upright) his eyes looked, it felt wrong for the signature glasses to be benched. I’m relieved that he has continued to wear glasses on the sideline, however thin and superficial.
This week’s wallpaper is a nod to the stark simplicity of Penn State’s uniforms and the throwback style of their legendary coach. I tried to imagine what JoePa’s vision was like before his surgery and blurred the text accordingly. The glasses frames were inspired by the style he wore in 1969. You can see the reference photo to the left.