The original RISE and RALLY event was held in the Holuba Hall parking lot on the University Park campus on July 31, 2012. It was a grassroots effort that resulted from conversations about the recent NCAA sanctions and the reaction by members of the current team.
“These guys are under a lot of pressure” said Keith Conlin, PSU football lettermen and event organizer. “Some of us started chatting on Facebook about how the community might show our support and this idea came up. The message needs to be loud and soon that the Penn State community stands with our team.”
The Rise and Rally event was to be an informal gathering in the parking lot of Holuba Hall to cheer on the team as they start morning workouts on a Tuesday morning. With the help of social media, the informal invent turned into a crowd of 5000.
“We really wanted these players to realize how they will be immortalized in the minds of the Nittany Nation if they stay,” said David Richards, CEO of Nittany Bank. “These kids will always be remembered for their loyalty. There have been thousands of players that have passed through here and been forgotten. These guys will not be among that group.
Conlin, who many know as “Goon,” played for the Nittany Lions from 1991-1995, and is a sports podcast host on The Goon Show with Sweeney. Dave Richards and other members of the Nittany Bank team and Erin O’ Leary of Old State Clothing were all present at the live broadcast of The Goon Show on a Thursday night in July and stepped up to support the event with coffee and donuts. From there, RISE and RALLY was formed. The idea to continue the momentum and the spirit of this event to future events is now becoming reality with the RISE and RALLY BOWL 2013 to be held in Atlantic City, NJ.
We hope that these events will be the first of many ways for our community to be able to show our student athletes our support. To show our athletes, in particular this group of seniors, that we are behind them.