Category Archives: Interviews

Q&A: Biking for Baseball – Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 MLB ballparks; Nationals Park on August 3

Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 ballparks this season for the charity Biking for Baseball. He’ll be at the Monday, August 3 Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game. Recently, he answered several questions about his journey.

WFY: What compels a man to embark on an 11,000 bicycle ride to see every ballpark?

B4B: I love baseball, I love biking, and love youth mentoring. Combining all the efforts really turns it into something special and provides an opportunity to really make a difference. I’ve always wanted to visit all 30 MLB ballparks and doing so by bicycle represented a challenge that I couldn’t pass up. On top of that, raising awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters and youth mentoring really presents the opportunity to help bring attention to a noteworthy cause.

WFY: How long did you spend mapping your transcontinental route? Have you been able to stick to it?

B4B: It took a good while to figure out the logistics of the trip. Obviously, the team has to be home when you pull into town in order to attend a game. Thus far, I’ve been able to keep to the schedule and haven’t had any delays [knock on wood]. The route has had some difficulties with weather while riding in the form of snow, flooding, lightning, and the like, however, I’ve been fortunate not to have had
any postponed games.

WFY: Tell us about the charity you are supporting through your ride, Biking for Baseball.

B4B: Biking for Baseball works alongside the motto that every kid needs a coach. Whether that be a teacher, parent, coach, whomever, we realize the importance of youth mentoring in the lives of youth. We encourage people to sign up to become mentors, to make a difference in a life of a youth, and really help change a life! We also encourage people to donate directly to Biking for Baseball as well work to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, and assist us in supporting youth mentoring programs!

WFY: How much training did you do before beginning the trip?

B4B: I did a lot of training before the trip on a stationary bike through the Wisconsin winter. However, nothing really prepares you for the real thing. You just gotta get out and start riding. After you do that, everything else will fall into place.

WFY: Which has been the most challenging part of the ride thus far?

B4B: The Month from Hell as I dubbed it was undoubtedly the most challenging. I had to ride 3,050 miles in 29 days to make it to each ballpark in time. That’s crazy! I was exhausted, tired, and drained, but I made it in time to every ballpark!

WFY: For the gear heads, what do you ride?

B4B: I ride a Novara Randonee, it’s held up pretty well considering all the miles that have been ridden on it! Can’t complain!

WFY: Why doesn’t MLB more aggressively market bicycle jerseys? I know they briefly sold them, but I didn’t get one in time.

B4B: I’m not sure. It sure would be cool, and if this trip proves anything it demonstrates that there are a lot of baseball and biking fans out there! You hear that MLB? Make those jerseys!

WFY: Which ballpark has been the most bicycle friendly thus far?

B4B: Most bicycle friendly? I would have to say San Francisco. But that’s a really tough one.

WFY: How many of the ballparks had you been to prior to this trip?

B4B: I had only been to five. AT&T Park, Marlins Park, US Cellular, Wrigley, and Miller Park.

WFY: From time to time, I’ve done Q&As with fans of the teams the Washington Nationals were playing. What happened to the Milwaukee Brewers over the last few years? They seemed like the were on the edge of contention, but have generally been middle of the pack. What’s the best part about being a Breweres fan? What’s your favorite Racing Sausage?

B4B: As a small market team we aren’t able to keep our big name free agents, nor are we able to sign big name free agents. What you’ve seen recently is the results of signings of players who are just past their prime (Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez) and once they age all at once, you have a drastic fall off in production. Thus this year, and as you’ve seen recently we’ve made a number of trades to try to replenish the farm system and stay competitive for future years.

Best part of being a Brewers fan is the tailgating. Every game, rain, cold, snow, sleet, sunshine, whatever it maybe. You’ll find some fans tailgating. I’m always down for a bratwurst and some cheese curds.

Hot dog. Always the hot dog. Most aerodynamic suit, thus the greatest chance of winning the race.

WFY: When do you get to DC? Are there any events scheduled?

Yeah, I’ll get to DC tomorrow, and there are some big pregrame events scheduled at local bars to help raise money and awareness for Biking for Baseball. Check out Half Street Irregulars on Twitter for the details!

WFY: I’m looking forward to biking over there Monday night!

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30 years later, the short and strange history of the USFL’s Washington Federals – Q&A with David Kendrick

Thirty years ago today, the Washington Federals and the United State Football League debuted. Washington Federals LogoI was pretty young, so I don’t remember too many specifics other than one of my older neighbors had his birthday party at a game and another one was still using a Federals key chain a decade later. I also remember green and white uniforms and somewhere in my parents attic, there is an old Post sports section with the story of SMU’s Craig James signing with the franchise. I would see that every year when we went up to get the Christmas stuff down. There is a USA Today sports section previewing the NFL conference championships, but I’m getting off topic.

The upstart spring football league had a national TV contract with ABC. Some of the first Federals game is posted on youtube:

That was Jim Lampley & Lee Corso on the call. The opposition was George Allen’s Chicago Blitz, so I’m sure the former Redskins coach’s appearance in RFK Stadium was a big storyline. I think Corso went on to coach in the USFL — maybe even the successor to the Feds, the Orlando Renegades.

I’ve been aware of The Unofficial Revival Site of the Washington Federals by David Kendrick and I have been waiting for this anniversary to ask about a Q&A and I’m delighted he agreed to one.

WFY: Why were you a Washington Federals fan and what motivated you to start up the Federals tribute site?

DK: The Federals were just getting started the year the Redskins beat the Dolphins in the Super Bowl. I loved football and being a football fan. I was just in 10th grade, and my family didn’t have Redskins tickets, so I got Federals tickets and became a fan.

In 2001 my son and I went to a Birmingham Bolts XFL game, and I shared some memories of the Federals with him, which led me to building the Federals site.

WFY: How many Federals games did you attend? Did the stands ever rock like the did for the Redskins? What was the average home attendance of the Federals?

DK: The first year of 9 home games I went to 6 including the debut vs. Chicago and their first win vs. Michigan. The second year, of 9 home games, I went to 7, including the farewell vs. New Orleans. The stands never rocked for the Federals. You have to remember that the Feds home games were all played either in driving rain or scorching heat. There weren’t any nice spring days at the stadium except maybe in ’83 vs. Boston and a beautiful spring night in ’84 vs. New Jersey. I won’t speculate on “average home attendance” since the house was pretty frequently papered up.

WFY: Did the Federals receive much local coverage in print and broadcast during their stay?

DK: At first they did, there was a lot of excitement and interest since DC didn’t have baseball and the Redskins were on top of the world. As soon as the losing and foul weather set in, interest really tapered off. This was before the Internet, so you couldn’t follow the team except on ABC if you were lucky while they were showing the Herschel Walker Game of the Week, or if you caught George Michael at 11:30 on Channel 4. The Washington Times’ coverage of the Federals was much better than the Post’s; at that time the Times ran color photos every day, which was unique, and put a lot of effort into it.

WFY: Were the Federals able to develop any rivalries?

DK: Not really. The nearest team was Philadelphia, but they were just unbeatable. There was a sort-of rivalry with Chicago because of the George Allen connection. There was no Dallas team in the USFL, so a copycat rivalry wasn’t going to happen.

WFY: Other than Craig James, did any other Federals make it into the NFL? Has James subsequent broadcasting career brought shame to the legacy of the Feds?

DK: There were several Federals who made it into the NFL after they left the USFL. Obed Ariri played for Tampa Bay; Mike Hohensee, of course, was the “replacement” quarterback for the Bears during the ’87 strike; Reggie Collier was the replacement QB for the Cowboys. Joel Patten played for the Raiders; Kevin Kellin had a good career in the NFL; D.D. Hoggard played a number of years for the Browns.

Don’t forget Myke Horton, who went on to a career as “Gemini” on American Gladiators. (WFY notes: Horton was on Press Your Luck which you can watch on a sketchy youtube wannabe with risque thumbnails)

I have a special place of loathing in my heart for Craig James, and not just because he is a hypocrite and thief. He took lots of money from Mr. Bernhard, played when he felt like it, quit as soon as he could, and then blamed the team for his bad performance in Washington, never mind that Billy Taylor and Curtis Bledsoe both had excellent years behind the same offensive line that Craig James couldn’t manage to work with. The whole fracas with his son in college is just more evidence that he’s a look-at-me guy with no backbone, and since he was just as much on the take as everyone else at SMU in those days, he ought to shut his stupid mouth. James’ time with the Feds is an embarrassment, but only to himself.

WFY: Some USFL teams have had reunions, have the Federals? Have any of them found your site?

DK: I have reached out to a number of ex-Feds like Kim McQuilken and Walker Lee, who scored the first TD in Feds history. Most of them speak fondly of the Feds and the USFL but clearly have moved on. There was a sort-of reunion in ’88 at a benefit for Gurnest Brown, who was having severe health issues and later passed away. I’ve been in contact with Mr. Bernhard and have an invitation to interview him about it the next time I’m in D.C.

WFY: Which version of the uniforms did you prefer, the white/green or the silver/green combo? Did they typically wear white or green at home?

DK: I never really cared for the silver/green/black combo. A lot of team events in ’84 still used the team’s ’83 uniforms and merchandise, like the press conference to introduce Reggie Collier had “1983 Inaugural Season” team pennants in the background.

In 1983, they wore white at home and away for the first part of the season because their green jerseys were delayed. For the rest of ’83 and all of ’84 it was green at home and white on the road.

For a while my site linked to a company called Ra Ja Sha, which made USFL memorabilia merchandise like jerseys and hats, but they folded after a year or so.

WFY: What was the high-water mark for the Federals? Was the owner calling them “trained gerbils” the low point?

DK: No, the low point was the ’84 game vs. Vince Evans and the Chicago Blitz at RFK. They would have won the game with a chip shot field goal – their kicker then was Jeff Brockhaus, who wasn’t bad. The holder, I think it was Dave Smigelsky, dropped the snap, dove on it, and the game was over. I don’t think Smigelsky would have been able to do anything with the ball if he’d picked it up and tried to make something happen, but still, it’s the last play of the game! You’re a professional football player! Don’t just FALL ON THE BALL with ZERO ON THE CLOCK and you’re LOSING!!!

The official USFL retrospective video has a whole section on how bad the Federals were. They called Feds fans “Impervious to the obvious.” That’s embarrassing.

The high point was the Friday Night Surprise in ’84 against Brian Sipe, Herschel Walker and the New Jersey Generals. Greg Taylor returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, from somewhere they came up with a 98-yard scoring drive, and they won the game. The weather was perfect, cool and dry; the stadium was pretty full with Donald Trump’s traveling all-star show in town; the Federals showed up ready to play. That was the high point.

WFY: How tough was it for you when you found out the Federals were moving away?

DK: Not tough at all. It was understood that Mr. Bernhard had lost his shirt, so to speak, and couldn’t endure the financial losses any more. The writing was on the wall, and the first sale of the team, to Sherwood Weiser in Miami, was actually announced before the ’84 season was over. At the farewell game everyone knew it was over. They won the game over New Orleans on a drizzly gray day. Afterward the players started throwing equipment to the fans in the stands; I almost caught Dave Pacella’s helmet – and we all knew it was over. Weiser was going to move the team to Miami, but that deal fell through, and eventually they were sold to the guy from Orlando who moved them to Florida and renamed them the “Renegades.”

WFY: Where else online can we learn more about the USFL?

DK: There is a pretty good site called RememberTheUSFL which covers the entire league. Wikipedia should be avoided; like all crowdsourced media, it’s full of nonsense.


It Was Up, Up And No WaySports Illustrated (May 14, 1984)
“For the hapless Washington Federals, the USFL ain’t what it used to be”

Washington Federals Punter

Oursports Central Washington Federals

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Q&A with M. Scott Smith of

This winter I discovered the Web site | @DCSki when I was looking for a “lost ski resort” off of I-66. It turned out to be Ski Cherokee in Linden, Va. I have since enjoyed the many reviews of mid-Atlantic resorts that offers. I decided to set up a Q&A with M. Scott Smith, the publisher of DCSki…

WFY: First off, how are you coping with this false winter?

DCSki: It’s been tough! It’s always hard to predict what winter will be like in the mid-Atlantic. But even though it’s been fairly mild (at times VERY mild), there is snow on the slopes. Over the past decade mid-Atlantic ski areas have invested millions of dollars in snowmaking improvements. They now have state-of-the-art snowmaking that can produce more snow with less energy in an automated fashion. With just a couple nights of below-freezing temperatures, they can blanket entire slopes. That’s something they couldn’t do just a few years ago, and it makes a huge difference in lean years like this. If it’s too humid or the temperature is above freezing, they won’t be able to make snow, but once the wet bulb reaches that magical point, they can make tons and tons of snow.

Truth be told, many resorts would prefer to have cold temperatures without the natural snow, because that keeps the roads clear so skiers and boarders can safely reach the slopes. Resorts can carefully control the quality of the snow they make, while Mother Nature isn’t always as careful. (That wet, gloppy snow isn’t too helpful to skiers.)

There are still a lot of weeks left in the ski season. In the end, I think skiers and boarders will do OK.

WFY: What was your inspiration for starting DCSki?

DCSki: When I was in college, I purchased a Season Pass at local resort and tried to ski as often as I could. Back then, the only way to learn about ski conditions was to call the resort’s snow line. These recorded messages were famous for their breathless enthusiasm, which often bore little resemblance to the conditions you would find upon arriving at the slopes. Since I was skiing frequently, I decided to create an e-mail newsletter to describe conditions in my own words. This e-mail newsletter expanded to cover more and more mid-Atlantic resorts, and jumped to the web in 1997, expanding from about 100 subscribers originally to thousands and thousands of readers today.

Things have changed a lot since then. I remember how proud I was in 1997 when I was able to take some photos at a local resort and publish them to the web on the same day. This involved shooting the photos with a film camera, rush-developing the film at Ritz Camera, and then scanning the prints into the computer. Now, of course, many resorts stream live video direct from webcams and skiers upload photos in real-time from their smartphones. Skiers and snowboarders have access to a lot more real-time information to help guide their decisions and skiing dollars. DCSki continues to provide an independent voice, capturing a lot of resources together in one place and providing a community for passionate skiers and boarders to interact.

WFY: Your bio says you are Colorado native, so I assume you picked up skiing there. How was the adjustment to the mid-Atlantic/Northeast? I took a Colorado skier with me to Camelback in the Poconos once and all he did was complain about the “ice” and ask “where is the mountain?”

DCSki: I grew up cross country skiing in Colorado, but I never actually went downhill skiing until I moved out east — talk about backwards! When you’re a kid, though, you kind of do what your parents do. And my parents didn’t downhill ski. Now I try to make it back to Colorado as often as I can.

A lot of native Colorado skiers will tell you that it’s more challenging skiing in the East. I had one instructor at Snowmass tell me that the best skiers he knows cut their teeth on the hardpack conditions of the East Coast (editor’s note – I might have bolded for emphasis). If you can ski well in those conditions, you can ski well just about anywhere.

Mid-Atlantic resorts don’t have the scale or packed powder conditions that you’ll find out west. But skiing is skiing, and the local resorts work wonders with what they have. We have some of the best snowmaking in the world right in our backyard, and that can work wonders in lean snow years, like much of the west has faced this winter. Although I’ve skied a lot in Colorado, some of my best ski days have been right here at resorts like Whitetail.

WFY: I’ve tended to ski in the Poconos since I went to college near there for 2 winters and still have friends up that way. I’ve never skied in Western Pennsylvania, so I wonder if that’s better. I’ve tried to get an answer, but I don’t think many skiers have been both places. Do you have a preference?

DCSki: I’m not sure one area is better than another. Blue Knob, in western Pennsylvania, is known for having some tougher trails that expert skiers appreciate. Some of DCSki’s Columnists really appreciate Elk Mountain, which is pretty far north in PA, although I haven’t been there. For a lot of folks, mid-Atlantic skiing is about what’s most convenient. If you live near the Poconos, there might not be much motivation to ski further south. If you live near Seven Springs, you may not have much reason to drive to the Poconos.

WFY: Which ski areas would you recommend within driving distance for a day trip?

DCSki: My favorite local resort is Whitetail — it’s about an hour and a half away from DC and Baltimore. I appreciate its vertical (1,500 feet) and high-speed quad. On a weekday, you can find great conditions and have the place to yourself. Liberty and Roundtop are also very popular with DC natives, and Wintergreen provides some Shenandoah charm.

WFY: How far north do you have to go to get skiing comparable to out west?

DCSki: I’m not sure you can drive far enough north! New England has a lot of great ski areas (particularly in Vermont), but in most years, you can’t beat the consistently good conditions of Colorado. Since I don’t get to ski outside of this area much, I would rather ski out west than gamble on great New England conditions; it’s easier and quicker to fly to Denver than to drive to Vermont. Other DCSki contributors have a soft spot for New England skiing, but my heart is still out west.

WFY: Every year I see more and more helmets on the mountain. Do you have any recommendations for selecting a helmet?

DCSki: It’s been tremendous to see an uptick in the number of helmets worn, especially by children. I began encouraging helmet use years ago on DCSki, and quickly realized I would have to “eat my own dog food” by wearing a helmet myself — something I initially was hesitant to do. There was no reason to be hesitant; ski helmets are lightweight and keep your head warm, not to mention safe! There’s really no good reason not to wear a helmet. Having said that, you do want to get them properly fit — they come in many sizes and many have lots of adjustments you can make. It’s best to see a professional at a reputable ski shop. They won’t let you walk away with a bad helmet. The key is to make sure the helmet doesn’t flop around when you make sudden head movements — it should be pretty snug. But it should be comfortable to you, too — if it isn’t comfortable, you’ll be less likely to wear it.

WFY: I want to get my son on skis when he’s 4½. Are any of the resorts better for little kids than others?

DCSki: I have two young nieces and they rave about the Ski School at Roundtop Mountain Resort. I haven’t found a mid-Atlantic resort yet that doesn’t have an excellent program for kids. Most of the local ski schools are staffed by people who are passionate about skiing and snowboarding; they want to spread their joy to others. For most of them it’s not a “job.” So I don’t think you can go wrong. The best thing you can do is try to go on a weekday — weekends can be very crowded and that can be intimidating. Weekdays may not always be an option, but it’s great if you can swing it.

WFY: What is the best way to save on skiing in this area besides going during the middle of the week?

DCSki: Midweek is definitely the best solution — low crowds, lower prices, what’s not to like? But there are other ways to save. Each fall, I spend a lot of time hunting down deals. I catalog them in the DCSki Bargain Tracker.

In recent years, a lot of resorts have started offering discounts to members of the military. Some even pick a day or weekend to provide free skiing to members of the military, police, and paramedics. Another way to save money is to pack a lunch, rather than buying at the resort. At most resorts, you can find places to stash away a bagged lunch, and few resorts mind if you eat your own food in their lodges. And finally, a lot of resorts offer late-season discounts. The snow conditions can be great into late March. In typical years, resorts close not because they run out of snow, but because people simply stop visiting once the weather starts getting warmer. So you can find good deals and good conditions late in the season.

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Another Q&A with P.J. Maierhofer

Since 2005, P.J. Maierhofer served as Blue Sapphire, Penn State’s feature twirler. The 2007 Q&A with P.J. has been one of the most popular features on this blog. Last month she answered another round of question.

WFY: Let’s start with a question about the Capital One Bowl — how much did you have to perform on that field? I have never seen a college football game in such disrepair.

PJ:The entire band marched pregame on the field… it was pretty rainy/muddy to say the least! I was really glad despite the conditions that we were allowed though considering it was my last one! For halftime, the band stood on the field and did not march. The Majorettes, Silks, and I performed off the sidelines in front of the PSU fans.

WFY: Also, what was with those sunglasses?

PJ: If you knew me, you’d know I’m kinda goofy/quirky. I just like to have fun. Last year at the Rose Bowl I got a pair of 2009 glasses for New Year’s Eve. I wore them around all night. So this year everyone was joking about how I needed to get a new pair! So… I did. I figured it would be fun to put them on during the game and celebrate New Year’s!

WFY: It seems like Blue Sapphires all go for more than four years — you are only the third in the last 15 seasons. So, was the Capital One Bowl was your final half-time performance, or are you on the 7 year plan?

PJ: That was it! I have been blessed and honored to have the position of Blue Sapphire for 5 consecutive seasons. The position takes a year or two or three to really understand and grow into, so staying 5 is really not that big of a deal. I took less classes at a time in school, but did well academically so it pushed back graduation a bit. However, I look at it as this… College is supposed to be the best 4 years of your life – why not make it the best 5? Had I not come back this year, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete at Nationals last year with the Majorettes and I probably would have ended my competitive career – which fortunately I didn’t, because it was a great summer :)

WFY: Now that you have been to the Orange, Outback, Alamo, Rose, and Capital One Bowls, which one was the best trip?

PJ: First of all, it was truly exciting just to get to see 5 DIFFERENT bowl games. Many schools repeat and I thought it was neat to be exposed to so many new places. They were all great in their own way. The Orange Bowl allowed us to spend New Year’s day on South Beach and I got to see my friends from FSU perform. Outback had some really neat pep rallies including one on the beach and then an awesome Mardi Gra type parade. Alamo was in a dome.. which I loved! We didn’t have to worry about wind, rain…anything – awesome. The Rose Bowl was incredible in terms of the preparation done and the amount of time and number of volunteers involved in making it happen. The 5.5 mile parade is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life – talk about an honor… Leading the best band in the nation down the streets of Pasadena with national TV coverage – so thankful for that opportunity! And lastly, Capital One was a super trip. I knew it was my last one and it didn’t matter if it snowed in the middle of the game, I was going to truly just relax and enjoy the trip/performance …and I did. I loved spending time with my teammates, the band, and soaking up my time left as a Penn Stater!

WFY: What about road venues — which was your favorite? Did you travel to all the road games?

PJ: I didn’t travel to all of them, but of the ones I traveled to… believe it or not I loved Ohio State’s stadium. They have a neat area on the side of their field for people to be able to use for various things. It was a little concreted area where I was able to perform off the field. I know that sounds dorky, but for someone like me it was nice!! And truthfully, I don’t really ever have a favorite venue or least favorite because I just take them in each as a learning opportunity. As a feature twirler you are going to have some times where the space is great and others where you twirl on carpet with 2 inches of ceiling above your head….either way you have a job to do!

WFY: A confession — since my wife and I had a son in 2008, I’ve only been to one home game this year (Akron), and none last year; what routines did I miss? Did you get up to four fire batons?

PJ: I’ve had some pretty fun performances. This year my favorite was our “Picture show” which included a batman routine with capes and eye covers from the majorettes, a Rocky impression from me, Star wars light saber fighting from the silks, and a superman skit from the Lion. It was just so fun to do…. we all loved hearing the crowd cheer as the band made pictures through formations of batman, and boxers, and the superman logo alone with others. We also did a Michael Jackson tribute that was pretty cool. The entire band did the Thriller dance :)

WFY: This spring is the first Blue Sapphire Classic. Please share with us what the event is going to be and how involved you are in it.

PJ: The Blue Sapphire Classic was an idea I had at the beginning of my junior year. I wanted to host a baton twirling competition here at Penn State. I may be biased, but I feel like Penn State fans take so much more pride in their twirlers than other schools do. As a result, I am always being asked about baton twirling, how I got involved, where I competed, what a competition is like, etc. Well between that and the fact that Rec Hall is SO HIGH and perfect for baton twirling, I thought of the idea to have twirlers from all over the U.S. come here to compete. Alongside that, the money that we raise will go into the David and Lori Uhazie Feature Twirler Scholarship fund that is an endowment. It currently pays for about a 4th of fall tuition and is only given in the fall. My goal is to raise enough money through this competition each year that eventually there is enough money to pay for the Feature Twirlers fall tuition through this one scholarship. The event should be pretty neat. We have great judges coming and we expect about 150-200 contestants. My goal is to bring an awareness of competitive baton twirling to students and the fans of Nittany Nation and to bring younger twirlers into a school like Penn State where we take such pride in twirling.

WFY: Penn State is known as Linebacker U, but given the national and world championships you and you predecessor Bobbie Jo Solomon won, maybe we should call it Twirler U as well. Does that sound good?

PJ: I’d be honored. :) It’s pretty awesome that we were both able to set goals and achieve them during our Penn State career. Being proud of my school, my band, and my fellow majorettes definitely provided me with the motivation to go out, win, and be able to bring it back here!

WFY: Will you have any influence on the who is the next Blue Sapphire? Or, do you already know it is somebody named something like JoJo Solomaier?

PJ: Funny! I’m not sure yet -I know that I don’t have influence on who makes it, but whether I will be allowed to be at try-outs is still up in the air.

WFY: What is the most rewarding part of being the Blue Sapphire? What is the biggest challenge?

PJ: Just this morning I was working on preparing for an event I’m hosting tomorrow night for THON and I walked out of a meeting and ran into 6 people in a row who said “Hi PJ” and knew me by name. Honestly, at a school where you have 44,000 peers that is the most rewarding and humbling feeling. To think that that many people respect you enough as a person/baton twirler to want to know your name. I can do nothing but smile. I’m the happiest girl. Penn State has provided me with endless opportunities and my involvement with the Blue Band has made me see that if you can dream it, you can become it. There are too many rewarding parts of Penn State to name one. From the people, to the opportunities, to the enthusiasm of it’s community, Penn State is the best.

As far as challenges… I don’t sleep much, I drink wayyy to much Blueberry Coffee from Dunkin’ donuts (they are beginning to know me when I walk in the door as Blueberry coffee girl), I sometimes miss important family/friends/boyfriend’s stuff because of commitments here and sometimes my e-mail box gets a little clogged, but all in all – it’s not a challenge…it’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I’ve tried to live it up!

Lightning Round!

WFY: How many batons do you go through a season?

PJ: — ehhh 10?

WFY: How many about slippers do you go through a season?

PJ: — yuck they get gross. 3 pairs? My Mom is the best and she gets them cleaned for me.

WFY: What is your favorite College of Communications course?

PJ: Favorite Comm course was Ron Smith’s creative class… we did a lot of designing of ads and photoshop/illustrator work. I loved the challege of being unique and creative.

WFY: What is your favorite Creamery ice cream flavor?

PJ: I really like their strawberry or their Coconut Chip!

HWFY: ave you hiked up Mt. Nittany?

PJ: Yes sir… you start hiking and begin thinking…maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. THEN – you get to the top and your jaw just drops to the ground. The view is amazing. It’s a wonderful reminder of how special our Valley is AND how beautiful!

WFY: What is your favorite gem?

PJ: Is this even a legit question? Blue Sapphires clearlyyyy!

WFY: What are you planning to do after graduation?

PJ: This summer I’ll spend a lot of time teaching baton/job searching. In July I’ll attend the National Baton Twirling championship and give away my title as the 2009 Miss Majorette of America…then who knows. I’m up for an adventure! Pittsburgh? Philly? New York? Not sure… just know that I’m gonna make the most of wherever I go.

WFY: No mere mortal can twirl that many batons at once — you are actually a Jedi, right?

PJ: Shhhhhh!!

WFY: One last question — your two predecessors were both proposed to on the field, one on her Senior Day, the other at Homecoming one year. Good idea or bad idea?

PJ: Hahah well… I think it takes a pretty tough guy to get down on his knee in front of that many people!! It’s not about’s who. :)

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