Syracuse doesn't have too many storied rivalries left. Sure, we've been playing West Virginia and Pittsburgh for a while. But most of our Big East foes lack a historical resonance. Hell, two of them didn't even play 1-A football until the last 15 years. So when Syracuse gets together with Penn State, a team it shares a 100-year-old rivalry with, it's reason to look back fondly. So many memories. So many amazing games. So many...football gameday programs.
Once only costing you a nickel and now costing, I assume, $39.99, a football program is a piece of history. It's a representation of "the way things were," the era's zeitgeist. At least, it used to be...now it's just a vessel for Budweiser and local realtors ads.
You don't need to read the programs to understand the times. You only need look at the covers. They tell you everything you need to know about the times and the mindset of the era. And so, let's take a journey back through time to see the very finest representations of eras bygone. I give you, the ten best Syracuse-Penn State football gameday program covers.
#10 -1928 (Final Score: Syracuse - 6, Penn State - 6)
The first of what I like to call the recurring "Well, we can't tackle these Penn State guys so let's just try to viciously maim them by breaking their shins in half" motif.
#9 - 1965 (Final Score: Syracuse 28, Penn State 21)
Who will ever forget the year the Syracuse Redmen defeated the Penn State Purple Lions?
#8 - 1989 (Syracuse 12, Penn State 34)
Interesting enough, this smorgasbord of paraphernalia all now rests under a glass bartop in Solvay.
#7 - 1956 (Final Score: Syracuse 13, Penn State 9)
And so, the Orange Chaps of ol' Syracuse gallivanted through the field of gilly flowers to beseech the Giant Cats of Nittany from the Valley of Happiness. And behold! Festoon with strength of a thousand men, Syracuse carried the team's colors high in ripping fashion. Godspeed in your endeavors, Orange folk!
Syracuse Football: We've Got...And That's About It.
#5 -1929 (Final Score: Syracuse 4, Penn State 6)
Considering the final score was 6-4, we may very well have played Penn State in any of those four sports featured. The least likely one is actually football.
#4 - 1924 (Final Score: Syracuse 10, Penn State 6)
The best example of the "Well, we can't tackle these Penn State guys so let's just try to viciously maim them by breaking their shins in half" motif.
#3 - 1983 (Final Score: Syracuse 6, Penn State 17)
A rough era for Syracuse, little known fact that all football programs from the 80's featured Syracuse embarrassing Rutgers, regardless of the actual opponent.
#2 - 1987 (Final Score: Syracuse 48, Penn State 21)
See what I mean?
#1 - 1979 (Final Score: Syracuse 7, Penn State 35)