In the past year, former Penn State offensive coordinator Fran Ganter has seen his ex-boss, Joe Paterno, die of lung cancer after being fired and his former coworker, Jerry Sandusky, go to prison after being convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse.
But Friday night at Beaver Stadium, he had nothing but positive thoughts with the kickoff of the 2012 season just hours away. Ganter was part of a boisterous crowd that gathered at the stadium for the Football Eve pep rally and expressed his desire to put sanctions levied against the football program this summer in the past.
"It's amazing. It just makes you feel good, makes you love all these kids," Ganter said. "It is what it is. Let's move forward."
Ganter said he's been impressed with the way new coach Bill O'Brien has handled his duties since being hired in January. But he wasn't the only prominent Penn State coaching name at the stadium to express support for the football team's new leader.
Men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers, men's volleyball coach Mark Pavlik and women's basketball coach Coquese Washington were among those who led cheers and introduced their teams at the event. Chambers even got into a three point stance, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The Blue Band played many of it's staples, including "Fight On State" and "The Nittany Lion" as the crowd chanted along.
Finally, the football team was brought out onto the field to a standing ovation from the crowd that mostly filled the lover level of the stadium's south endzone.
A new pump-up video was shown to the crowd and the team for the first time. Finally, O'Brien grabbed the microphone and wrapped up the rally by calling on fans for their support when the Nittany Lions face Ohio on Saturday.
"We need to hear you tomorrow," O'Brien said. "You're screaming for this team."
With that, the crowd dispersed into the final night of Penn State's offseason, with familiar chants of "We are...Penn State" filling the dusk.