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

Or, The Jersey Not-So-Special

If nothing else can be said of it, Penn State’s win over Rutgers was just that, and so the Lions move to 8-3 and look ahead to a Senior Day home finale versus a surprisingly pesky Maryland team and the not trivial shot at their third straight trip to a New Year’s Six bowl that victory would bring. On a chilly morning in an empty State College, Brandon, Kevin, and Mailman (sans Chris a.k.a. Steve Jobs) start off Thanksgiving week by attempting to make sense of Penn State’s uneven season, leaving room for their usual digressions into topics like the magic of McSorley’s (no relation) Tavern in New York City and Kevin’s 30 days of sobriety.

HOSTED BY: Brandon Noble, Mike Herr, Kevin Horne

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