WILKES-BARRE -- It’s a big weekend for Penn State fans. With the Rose Bowl just days away in California, folks in our area are shipping out west to watch the Nittany Lions take the field.
For many PSU fans, this is the comeback they’ve been waiting for. It`s pretty obvious Jodi and Don Walp of Berwick can`t wait to root on Penn State as the Nittany Lions take field in the Rose Bowl in California.
“To rally back and wind up in the rose bowl is huge,” said Jodi.
They`re spending the night at a Motel 6 near Wilkes-Barre in order to catch an early morning bus to the airport in Philadelphia.
For Jodi, a Penn State grad, this was a gift from her husband.
“What do you want for Christmas,” Jodi explains her husband asking. “A trip to the bowl game, whatever bowl game they end up in that`s where I would to go. And then when we found out they were Rose Bowl, it was just amazing, a dream come true really because I`ve never been out to California before.”
This is a comeback story for Penn State`s football team and their fans.
The team was hit with sanctions from the NCAA in 2012 after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, coupled with the death of long time beloved head coach Joe Paterno.
The Walp’s say the team overcame that set back as well as a rocky start to this season.
“Especially after all the sanctions, it`s nice that Penn State`s finally back,” said Jodi. “For them to come back so strong, we`re down two and two at the beginning of the season.”
“I`m amazed they came back as fast as they did, I mean this could have been a death toll for us,” said Don.
The couple booked a package deal offered through a partnership between Travelworld and JZ Tours.
The owners of the companies said tickets sold out fast.
“We couldn`t keep up with it, it was going fast, the phones were ringing and we sold out within a day,” said JZ Tours owner John Zelinski.
“I`ve honestly never seen a bowl trip, or game go that fast, I mean I think we sold out the trip within 18 hours,” said John Madden, owner of Travelworld.
And the package deal comes with more than bowl game festivities.
“They`re going to take us on a tour of Beverly Hills and Hollywood, which is very exciting,” said Jodi.
120 people from our area are on this trip to the bowl game. They will return Tuesday, January 3rd.