Or, The Class You Wish You’d Taken at Penn State

How to get modern college students interested in learning about anthropology? For Dr. Kirk French, the answer revealed itself during a classroom lecture: Make it all about booze. In this episode, the guys are thrilled to welcome Penn State professor, frequent guest on The Obligatory PSU Pregame Show, and Obligatory “fifth Beatle” Kirk French to explain the fascinating origins of his now-famous “Booze and Culture” anthropology course, which this Fall will have over 700 undergraduates enrolled. Kirk also talks about his latest project, returning to a 1961 documentary film created by Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Archaeological Anthropology, William T. Sanders to produce the follow-up, “Land and Water Revisited.”

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani

GUEST: Kirk French

Or, Heart & Soul of the Greatest 8-4 Season Ever Played From the moment two Penn State legacies emerged from the Lasch Building amidst Penn State’s darkest hour and brazenly declared to the world that the 2012 Nittany Lions viewed a whirlwind of media scrutiny, public backlash, and NCAA sanctions as “an opportunity, not a punishment,” the lives of seniors Michael Zordich and Michael Mauti – along with the story of Dead Old State – changed forever. Now a team of filmmakers are nearing completion on an ambitious documentary film, Iron Lions, chronicling the incredible 2012 Penn State football season. Brandon Noble recently sat down over beers with Mauti and Zordich to talk football, life, the roller coaster ride of 2012 and how it shaped them as men, and their involvement with helping bring Iron Lions to the screen. FROM THE ‘IRON LIONS’ TEAM: Production on “IRON LIONS: The Greatest 8-4 Season Ever” is well underway, and we hope to complete the film by August of 2019. IRON LIONS is the true story about the 2012 Penn State Football team, who rose from the ashes and defined what it means to have “Success With Honor.” Fueled by childhood dreams and legacy bloodlines, this team of Iron Lions stayed and fought for something much greater than football. This films tells their triumphant story. You can watch the trailer at www.ironlionsmovie.com where you will hear from several of the Iron Lions, Franco Harris, Coach Bill O’Brien, and Saquon Barkley. We are close to raising the funds to create this movie, but we need YOUR support to help us reach final fundraising goals. These funds are necessary to make the best film possible, so the world can watch and hear the powerful story of these young men who stared adversity in the face and did not back down. HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble GUEST: Michael Zordich, Michael Mauti

Or, How to Avoid Being Switched from D-Lineman to Center

The guys try a bit of role reversal this week, giving Brandon a chance to be the “guest” and talk about the journey that took him across the country – from Southern California to Virginia Beach – and eventually to Happy Valley, suiting up for some of JoePa’s best teams in the mid-1990’s. In this first interview, Brandon talks about the recruiting process, choosing between Michigan and Penn State, and his first three years in the program, which included plenty of adversity and adjustment as well as a chance to play for an undefeated Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion in State’s second year of membership in the conference. A future installment will cover his role as a key starter at defensive tackle in 1995-96 and the roller coaster ride through the professional ranks that followed.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Chris Buchignani

Or, How to Ruin #CawlidgeHawkey in Four Short Years When our guest this week, David Goodwin, was being recruited, the Pegula Ice Arena hadn’t even broken ground; by the time he graduated as a senior captain, the Penn State men’s ice hockey team were Big Ten champions. The guys enjoyed a great conversation with David about his Penn State journey: The less-familiar path traveled by college hockey prospects and the unique advantages of being a 21-year-old freshman, buying into the vision of Penn State’s new hockey program and the process of making it a reality, memories from his time in Happy Valley and the experience of playing professionally after college in Europe. Note: David, a St. Louis native, is naturally a big Blues fan, and as we recorded, the outcome of Game 7 was still TBD. Congrats to the Goodwin family and St. Louis fans everywhere. Was it the skill and “grit” of the players that finally put them over the top, or was Mike the Mailman’s Blues t-shirt that was real good luck charm? We may never truly know. HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Chris Buchignani GUEST: David Goodwin

Or, “Gritty” — Not Just a Creepy/Lovable Mascot

A long and bitter recruiting fight ultimately went against the Nittany Lions when 5-star “can’t miss” (JINX!) 2020 wide receiver Julian Fleming of Catawissa, PA made a sudden heel turn in choosing Ohio State. Wailing and gnashing of teeth predictably ensued, but how much of a problem is losing out on such a highly-regarded in-state recruit for James Franklin and his staff? Maybe a big one. The guys welcome Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record to break down the disappointing turn of the events and its wider implications for #DominateTheState from the pessimist’s view and the “glass half-full” perspective. Brandon questions the current team’s grit, while Kevin questions whether grit exists beyond sports cliches.

Check out Frank Bodani’s column on Julian Fleming’s commitment to Ohio State: https://www.ydr.com/story/sports/college/penn-state/football/2019/05/28/penn-state-football-recruiting-what-if-julian-fleming-picks-ohio-state/3745467002/

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani

GUEST: Frank Bodani

Or, The 2 Return Trips All Penn State Alumni Should Make

The whole gang is finally back together, and in classic Obligatory fashion, the conversation quickly skews into a digression from which it never fully recovers. Brandon, Kevin, Chris, and Mailman relax by the banks of Spruce Creek at Voodoo Brewery’s State College location, waxing philosophical on a range of topics including: Beer (of course), Summer in Happy Valley, Penn State graduation, the end of “Senior Week,” Penn State’s two law schools, the street value of a Brandon Noble autograph (and your chances of receiving one in the mail, upon request), and Chris’ two pieces of essential advice for every PSU alum planning a trip back to State College:

  1. Pick and non-event weekend in the Summer, and come back for a relaxing weekend to experience town, campus, and the surrounding areas (experience Mount Nittany!) during the slowest-paced time of year.
  2. Plan a Fall football trip far enough in advance to take the extra time off and arrive mid-week. Experience town and campus on the Thursday and Friday leading up to the game, and make some time to walk through the surrounding neighborhoods to appreciate what a great college atmosphere we have at Old State.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani

Or, Kevin’s Antebellum Adventure

The Nittany Lions had a very respectable six players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, with fan favorite Trace McSorley coming off the board in the sixth round to Baltimore. A total of four Penn Staters (two draft picks, two undrafted free agents) will remain in-state to suit up for the Eagles. Brandon, Chris, Kevin, and #Obligatory newcomer Paris Palmer (Penn State OT ’15-16) eventually get around to talking about the draft, the decision process around leaving early, and whether declared underclassmen who aren’t drafted (like PSU’s Ryan Bates and Kevin Givens) should be able to return to school. But first, Kevin returns to the show in rare form, giving a great lesson in craft beer appreciation along with a recap of his tour of several college campuses in SEC country. Mike the Mailman is on assignment.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani, Paris Palmer

Or, Let’s Talk Game of Thrones


We are super serial, you guys. MAJOR SPOILERS for Game of Thrones up to and including Season 8 Episode 3 plus some sundry, semi-spoilery references to Avengers: Endgame. If you haven’t watched yet, come on back after. If this pop culture stuff isn’t for you, no worries – another episode wrapping up Penn State’s big NFL draft weekend is on the way.

In the spirit of Obligatory’s best digressions, Brandon and Chris venture far beyond the Wall to review the most hotly-anticipated television event since last season’s Obligatory PSU Pregame Show finale. The show’s production and technical guru Jonnie Baker comes along for the ride as do Steve and Tim of the Let’s Talk Penn State podcast. Did “The Long Night” live up to the ridiculous hype, or was it at least a bit of a disappointment? Enjoy this bonus episode, an let us know what you think of the guys ranging off into other topics from time to time.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Chris Buchignani

GUESTS: Steve Garguilo, Tim Buckley (Let’s Talk Penn State); Jonnie Baker

Or, Tommy Stevens Predictions Sure to Go Wrong

Mike the Mailman swings back through State College amidst his whirlwind tour of Alumni Association speaking engagements, and just in time to join Chris and Brandon in discussing the surprising twist in Penn State’s 2019 quarterback battle – fifth-year senior Tommy Stevens’ decision to enter the transfer portal and finish his career elsewhere. Meanwhile, another sizable crop of Nittany Lions will look to hear their names called in the 2019 NFL Draft. Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting joins the show to offer insight on the pro prospects of Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders, Amani Oruwariye, Connor McGovern and several others looking to become the latest Lions to play on Sundays. If all that’s not enough, learn the incredibly idiotic game Brandon and former Penn State OT Keith “Goon” Conlin played during their college days that led to dental surgery later in life.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Chris Buchignani

GUEST: Eric Galko

Or, Happy Valley Voodoo of Slab Cabin Run

Mike the Mailman is on assignment (playing cards), but the rest of the gang – Penn State and NFL defensive tackle Brandon Noble, former Onward State managing editor Kevin Horne, and aspiring virtual lion tamer Chris Buchignani – are all on hand for the triumphant return of the Obligatory podcast. The guys kick back along waters of Slab Cabin Run enjoying the hospitality of Voodoo Brewery and cover a range of topics in this return episode – the forgotten tradition of “not walking on the S” and the importance of ritual, the family-friendly (and less so) aspects of Blue-White Weekend, the killer instinct of local birds of prey, and the cultural phenomenon that is Game of Thrones (Brandon and Chris even sneak in some football talk while Kevin gets a refill). It’s good to be back!

This was recorded 24 hours before Tommy Stevens entered the transfer portal. Enjoy this break from pointless speculation and stale takes and thank us later.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani