Dear Portland State,
The other day I was perusing through my Facebook news feed—an action that always leaves me unsatisfied but for some reason I can’t stop doing it. Anyway, for as often as I don’t get anything out of Facebook, I do learn about how others like to portray themselves online.
That day, I saw that a high school friend of mine who attends Brigham Young University had posted pictures of herself at a school sporting event, with the hashtag #webleedblue. Man, if she bleeds blue, what do I bleed? What do we bleed, PSU? Saying green makes me cringe a bit. I don’t bleed green. I go to PSU and the color scheme largely incorporates the color green, but I certainly do not bleed that color.
School pride is part of going to college. Everyone knows that. Obviously it is, or people would not spend the time putting hashtags like that on Facebook pictures. Even with that being the case, that’s not how it is in the middle of Portland for college students. We don’t bleed green. Or blue.
Pride is at an all-time low here. You know that. But you know what? This is an exciting time to be a Portland State Viking. Two athletes have shown that school pride is not what makes your college experience. Instead, they’ve shown that consistently working hard will get you to the top. They have shown that a small school like PSU, with a football program that is not famous or well known, can produce athletes worthy of the best game known to football: the Super Bowl.
If you haven’t heard, these two athletes are Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Deshawn Shead. Both attended the same school as you. Both walked in the Park Blocks on their way to class, and both were Vikings.
So you know what, we don’t care as much about sports as other schools, but that doesn’t mean this program isn’t producing high-caliber athletes. This Super Bowl proves that. In fact, Julius Thomas is one of the best tight ends in football. He’s out there catching 20-yard passes from Peyton Manning on third and long. And it was not that long ago that he was doing the same thing at Jeld-Wen Field. He went here. He played basketball here. Part of the reason he is so successful right now is because of this school.
Don’t tell me it wasn’t exciting that we got to see some alumni on the field Sunday. If you weren’t excited, or didn’t even know about this, then I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the people that felt a little bit of excitement knowing that when Julius Thomas caught a pass, he was representing PSU. That feeling right there is pride. Even if we aren’t willing to admit it as Portland State Vikings, we bleed our colors more than we are willing to admit.
Vanguard Sports Deck
Congratulations to both players for making it there, especially Super Bowl champion DeShawn Shead. Thanks to Julius Thomas for an incredibly exciting season—and a nice tackle on that first Manning interception.