Or, Trace McSorley’s Trip to the Circus

A slew of baffling coaching decisions, an afternoon of lackluster play, and an embarrassing collapse on the scoreboard has even Mike the Mailman as upset as Mike ever gets. Brandon, Mike, Kevin, and Chris take several cathartic diversions into a host of unrelated topics – such as bowl game gifts for players (nothing beats the Citrus Bowl towels), James Franklin’s relationship with the press, Ann Arbor as an elite college town, Bird Scooters, and State College local government – while still making plenty of time to bemoan State’s disastrous weekend at Michigan and scrutinize the coaching staff as they join Nittany Nation in the search for proper perspective amidst Penn State’s bizarre follow-up to consecutive 11-win campaigns. Is  this team good, bad, somewhere in between? Who knows? Not the Obligatory guys, that’s for sure. Enjoy an extra long podcast this week, and we think you’ll agree that, in this case, the search for answers that matters more than the answers themselves.

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

Or, Winning Beats Losing

Brandon, Chris, and Mike kick things off before welcoming Kevin into the fold late in the game. They talk Iowa gaffes, facing the heavily-favored Wolverines, appreciating what you’ve got, and plenty of other nonsense. Mailman stays positive. Kevin joins him, at least for awhile. Brandon runs the technical side, and Chris truncates the show notes to get this damn thing posted before kickoff.

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

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The guys will do just about anything to avoid discussing the football team’s prospects heading into a sloppy mess against the hated Iowa Hawkeyes, including but not limited to, masticating mouthfuls of corn. On this Halloween episode of Obligatory, the only thing scarier than the holiday is Penn State’s clock management.

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Sadness and beer and chocolate and sadness and more beer. Nothing matters and Kevin is sad…again. Penn College saves the day with a lesson on the finer points of chocolate consumption in an attempt to pick up the pieces after Penn State’s utterly disastrous, entirely indefensible collapse against Michigan State.

Or, Sometimes Lions Can Lay Eggs

The Nittany Lions followed a heart-rending near miss versus Ohio State with an utterly disastrous collapse against Michigan State, but let’s forget 2017 and talk about this season.

Fool us once, shame on us…. Kevin and Chris pour salt in the festering wounds; Brandon makes his way in from the wilderness, and Mike the Mailman barely contributes from his exile in the positivity penalty box. With a suddenly-reeling, and very far from “elite,” Penn State team tumbling in the polls after an indefensible Homecoming debacle, the Obligatory crew tries their best to pick up pieces and make sense of this riddle wrapped inside an enigma that is 2018 Penn State. What exactly is the punishment for slugging an opponent to draw a back-breaking penalty? Does this season’s squad suffer from an acute lack of senior leadership? Has James Franklin lost his locker room? Should some assistant coaches start polishing their resumes? And why, in the name of all that is holy, would you leave Felton Davis in single coverage?? The gang ponders these questions and more as we await whatever comes next.

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

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On this episode of Obligatory: The guys milk a horse. Need we say more? Mike the Mailman discovers a new favorite beverage courtesy of Annie and Dr. Kirk French. We welcome Dante Wong to the show, Kevin has a beer with Josh Davies at Happy Valley Brewing Company and the guys encourage the Nittany Lions to#WinOneForKevin.

Pennsylvania: America’s Craft Beer Leader

With the Brewers of Pennsylvania gathering in State College over Homecoming weekend hosting the Mid Atlantic Brewers Symposium (what better location for a beer brewing convention?), Chris and Kevin joined up with Dan Labert, executive director of the BOP to talk about the excellent state of craft brewing in Pennsylvania despite the ongoing battle against the Commonwealth’s archaic alcohol laws and how beer enthusiasts can experience the bounty of PA craft brews if new and wonderful ways through the association’s Digital Ale Trail app. Afterwards, Chris and Mike chill for a little while longer on the South Burrowes porch to welcome back the Fall weather just in time for game day, talk about the MSU game’s shifting point spread, and appreciate the brilliance of Saquon Barkley in the Giants’ loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.

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HOSTED BY: Mike Herr, Kevin Horne, Chris Buchignani

GUEST: Dan Labert

The Nittany Lions are coming off the bye and gearing up for a Homecoming clash with a wounded, but dangerous Michigan State team. While the past – and getting a measure of revenge for their second loss last season – might be on the minds of some players come Saturday, it is the future – and a Rose Bowl, or even playoff, berth that awaits an 11-1 Penn State – that makes this contest (and every one after it) a “must-win.” Despite the unseasonably warm start to the week. Brandon, Mike, Kevin, and Chris are all ready for October, the best time to be in the best place on earth. They kicked off #SpartyHateWeek by gathering on the porch at South Burrowes to break down the series of fortuitous outcomes (including a timely assist from the departed Joe Moorhead’s Mississippi State Bulldogs) that bumped PSU back into top 10 following the off-week. In other news, Kevin has seen more than enough of the differences between the NFL and college football fan cultures, the guys have four very different takes on the traditions of Homecoming, and Mailman learns why you can still see the orange paint soaked into the Nittany Lion Shrine.

Check out Chris’ column for HappyValley.com on the 10 must-watch games for Penn State’s playoff hopes.

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