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"Happy" Valley

Okay, so you probably knew there was no way I was going to let the traditional Trojan humbling of the Big Ten Rose Bowl rep just pass by without comment.

This year the Tournament white suits offered up the Nittany Lions of Penn State, coming all the way out here from Happy Valley. Don’t know about you guys but when someone starts telling me how “happy” their valley is, I just start wondering.

To me, Happy Valley sounds like a pet cemetery or a retirement home for ‘60s burnouts or an enclosure where folks go to recover and find themselves. These places are part of life and they remind me of my dog Spot, my own burnout eligibility, and my likely destination if I go to five-day work weeks with OM Dalila. Not necessarily happy stuff. But dentistry can be fun and we strive to make the experience a happy one.

All things considered, on January 1, I think the Penn State faithful would have been better off…and happier…going to Temple City Dental Care.

Shucks, I’ve never seen so many bitter folks on a bright sunny day. Makes me wonder how many applications UCLA accepts from Pennsylvania.

I wound up going to the game only after buying tickets to go out of town, figuring I’d just see the Rose Bowl on TV this time around. When one of my spin class buddies at the gym (who happens to be a USC Trustee) found out I wasn’t going, he really seemed so disappointed in me. I was haunted by, “You can’t do that; it’s the Rose Bowl.”

So a few days before the game, I visited StubHub and got a great deal on a couple of tickets.

Like I’ve shared before, my neurotic USC football fan tendencies have kind of progressed beyond my building a shrine in the office, hanging a little stuffed bruin upside-down from the ceiling, and buying the cardinal and gold scrubs we wear every Thursday during the season. And I’m not so sure that me believing my game-day behavior has an impact on the outcome of the game represents a mental health improvement. Hey, but at least I’m happy!!!

I went to the game with my friend and orthodontics Nobel Prize nominee and Invisalign mentor, Doc Fong. Now all that stuff I mentioned is totally true and the Fong family could easily outshine the Huxtables but more importantly, Doc is now 3-0 in the Rose Bowl with an overall Trojan game record of 5-0.

We wound up on the 50-yard line and right in the middle of contingent from “Happy” Valley. President-elect Obama once observed folks from small towns in Pennsylvania being “…bitter and clinging to their guns…or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…” And I’m glad they check-in the guns at the Rose Bowl.

As we walked in through Tunnel 18, some of the N-Lions were already needlessly complaining about probably being stuck sitting in the sun (an environment apparently rarely experienced in “Happy” Valley this time of year.)

Once seated, the PSUers started trash-talking the band, the horse, and even soCal community colleges; when they started in on the song girls and Keyshawn Johnson they’d crossed the line. I began to wonder what dental experiences must be like in “Happy” Valley.

“So my ghostly white friends from Penn State, we’ve got John Wayne, Herb Alpert, Stevie Spielburg, George Lucas and most of the guys from Watergate and I see more beautiful women here in ten minutes than you’ll see in four years in “Happy” Valley. If you leave out Rocky Balboa and the Amish, who’ve you guys got?”

“So Trojan fan, you must work out. What’s a Watergate?

“Wow, it’s halftime already and you guys are down 31-7; bet you can’t wait to get back to “Happy” Valley.”

“SC dude, do you really know where Herb Alpert lives? Is that really the sun?” When does the horse get to rest?

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