Today, my husband, Terry Todd, will achieve 250 Penn State football games in a row. That includes all home, away and bowl games.
That’s two decades of perfect attendance at Penn State games, accomplished at Terry’s own expense and on his own time.
But Terry’s response to this attendance streak is, “Do you mind if I don’t care?”
For Terry, it’s about being at the game, watching it in person. He believes that football is best witnessed outdoors in the early afternoon on a grassy turf. Without a whole lot of TV timeouts!
It never has been his intention to create any sort of attendance record. It just sort of happened.
In 1989, Terry and I decided that it would be fun to attend all Penn State games for one season. The USC game in Los Angeles on Sept. 15, 1990, was the last game Terry missed.
In 1990, Terry was there for the 9-0 win at Tuscaloosa and the 24- 21 upset win against No. 1 Notre Dame at South Bend.
In 1991, we were rewarded with an 11-2 season. Terry was there for the Jan. 1, 1992, Fiesta Bowl 42-17 win against Tennessee. A five-minute stretch of awesome defensive plays turned that game around for Penn State and silenced “Rocky Top.”
In 1992, Terry was there for a horrible loss at Brigham Young. He witnessed Notre Dame’s last-minute 17-16 win on a 2-point conversion. There was a 24-3 Blockbuster Bowl loss to Stanford when our rental car was stolen.
Joining the Big Ten was exciting. Terry was there for that first Big Ten 31-0 win at Iowa, where any doubt about Penn State’s fit with the Big Ten Conference was erased.
He was there for our first visit as a Big Ten contender to the Horseshoe at Ohio State. That 24-6 loss to Ohio State was the only game he left early — with 5 minutes remaining — because the team seemed to quit.
Terry was there for the 31-24 win at the Big House in 1994, the first time we played there. He skipped a family wedding for that.
Terry was there for Penn State’s come from behind 35- 31 win at Illinois. “The Drive” was the most incredible 6 minutes of football. Kerry Collins led a 14-play, perfect drive 96 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
After 1994, it became a habit to sit down in April or May and book our football trips, usually all on one day.
Hope for a new season would keep us going in lean years. By the time the actual season came, the trips were already paid for and non-refundable.
So Terry was there for Michael Robinson’s 4th and 15 pass to Isaac Smolko at Northwestern in 2005, the key play of that come from behind 34-29 win and perhaps even that incredible season.
He was there for the third overtime win against Florida State in the 2006 Orange Bowl.
In 1981, Terry was there for Penn State’s 48-14 win at No. 1 ranked Pittsburgh, which remains his favorite game ever.
For Terry, the game itself is the primary reward. There are a lot of memories, and more than a few stories to be told.
Terry can tell a football player at the senior banquet, “I watched every down you played ...” He can say about any game since 1990 (and most since 1970), “I was there when ...”
In all he has attended 413 Penn State games since becoming a devoted fan in the fall of 1970.
Congratulations, Terry, on your 250th game today. And on our 23rd wedding anniversary tomorrow.
May you enjoy viewing many more games from the stands, with me by your side. It has been quite a remarkable ride.
Carolyn Todd, who hasmissed only four of the 250consecutive games, has beenan instructor in marketing atPenn State’s Smeal College ofBusiness since 1997, whenthey moved to Centre Countyupon Terry’s retirement. Shewrites the View from theStands blog on CentreDaily.com, where she tells astory each week of their travelsfollowing Penn State footballwherever they play.