Remember the backlash that came when it was announced the Bill O'Brien would become the next head coach of Penn State? At the time, there was this false glimmer of hope that Joe Paterno might return -- or maybe that it was all just a bad dream. It Wasn't. O'Brien was hired.
But before he could do a whole lot with the Nittany Lions, O'Brien had to finish his duties as offensive coordinator with the Patriots. Since the official introduction as head coach, it seems like the perception of O'Brien has lightened a bit. He certainly noticed it while at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
"I'll tell you, it's been great. I can tell you at the Super Bowl it was excellent," O'Brien said to Penn State Sports. "When you walked out on the field for warmups at the Super Bowl there were a lot of people there that either went to Penn State or had Penn State connections and wished myself and our staff the very best."
The same goes for letterman of the school, "upwards of fifty" that O'Brien has talked to.
But while the warm fuzzy feeling of being welcomed to the Penn State family was nice, the sting of losing Super Bowl XLVI probably hurt O'Brien just as much. Still, he recognizes how special the team was that he was a part of, and talks about the experience.
"It's my second Super Bowl, so anytime you have a chance to go to the Super Bowl it's a very special team, it's a very special experience," O'Brien said. "The Giants made a few more plays than we did on that night. I guess there's a lot of decisions or plays that we would all like back -- coaches and players -- but we can't get them back. But we had a very special season, it was a team that I was very proud to be associated with, and hopefully I keep in touch with those guys for the rest of lives."
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wrapping my brain around exactly what the heck the Bruins are doing.
-- In the shameless self-promotion department: Fred Toucher and yours truly did battle this morning over the $10 million contract that the Bruins handed out to Kevan Miller. Are you #TeamHaggs or #TeamFrich?
-- What do the Dallas Stars need in the 2016 NHL Draft, with the combine and draft both coming up just weeks away.
-- A nice tribute from Hockey Night in Canada to the Tragically Hip as their front man battles through terminal brain cancer.
-- Damien Cox puts together his Team Canada list for the World Cup of hockey. Check out Brad Marchand's line: He plays left wing with Jonathan Toews and Tyler Seguin. That would be very fun to watch.
-- With the Bruins signing Kevan Miller to a bloated four-year, $10 million contract, similar defensemen like Eric Gryba will be lining up at the trough.
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz weighs in on the Sharks run to within one win of the Stanley Cup Final, and what a player like Joe Pavelski has meant to them in the postseason.
-- For something completely different: It sounds like things are getting a little strange with Marco Rubio.
Fred Toucher and Joe Haggerty disagree about the new deal the Boston Bruins gave Kevan Miller and got in a heated debate Wednesday morning on Toucher & Rich.
Haggerty says the Bruins would be better off with "players on entry level deals" over Miller for the money he'll received.
Miller signed a four-year deal worth $10 million on Monday.
As for Toucher? Watch the video above for his response. Then comment below with your thoughts on the deal.
Dwight Freeney, who expressed a modicum of interest last week in joining the Patriots, is being checked out on Wednesday by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 36-year-old pass rusher, who had an eight-sack season with the Cardinals last year, is in Cincy for a physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Patriots kicked the tires on Freeney back in 2013 before Freeney spent two seasons with the Chargers. He was with Arizona for just one season and has expressed that his first choice is to return to the Cardinals.