Why does Uncle Sam want to ruin Penn State’s party?

Ryan Kennedy

They’ve got the brand new $80 million arena, they’ve got their first NHL draft picks in Eamon McAdam (NYI) and Mike Williamson (Van) and they’ve got a permanent home in the new Big Ten conference.

Now all Penn State needs is an opponent.

What? Come on!

The shutdown of the U.S. government comes at a bad time for all Americans, but the Nittany Lions may be affected in a very unexpected way due to their non-conference schedule. Penn State was slated to christen the Pegula Ice Arena with a game against Army and though the Black Knights cancelled a soccer game scheduled for tonight, Penn State spokesman Matt Caracappa told me the hockey game hasn’t officially been postponed – yet.

“At this time it hasn’t been directly affected,” he said. “But it is a fluid situation.”

The Department of Defense has stipulated that teams in its NCAA institutions would not be travelling, which would keep Army out of Happy Valley.

According to the Air Force Academy, the Falcons will attempt to play home games during the shutdown, which is good news for the soon-to-be visiting Nittany Lions.

“As of now,” Caracappa said, “our games against them seem to still be on.”

Should the political showdown go long, the Nittany Lions’ first home game wouldn’t be until Oct. 25, when they are scheduled to host the R.I.T. Tigers. That would be a bummer for Penn State and its fans, who have waited a long time for that Army opener on Oct. 11.

But don’t blame them: They voted for Terry Pegula.