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Friday Flakes: James Franklin Offers Tremendous Perspective

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m good,” Franklin said when asked how he was feeling. “All things considered, again blessed and good, but saying that I’m good is probably not an honest answer.”

That is pulled from Dustin Schutte’s article on, which highlights some of the struggles James Franklin, the head football coach for Penn State, is currently going through right now.

Like Nebraska, Penn State is winless.

I am guilty of this as well but sometimes we are so blindly focused on what is in front of us that we forget what other people are going through. We have been hyper critical of the state of the Nebraska football program since the loss to Northwestern last week.

At times I thought it felt like some Nebraska fans were hyperventilating over the poor play of Nebraska. There has to be some of that going on in Happy Valley, PA as well. We have wonderful (genuinely) twitter accounts focused on Nebraska football that parse Nebraska play-calling or play execution down to certain angles.

I assume some of that is going on in Happy Valley as well.

Then I learn that James Franklin hasn’t seen his wife or two daughters in six months.

I have three children and one more on the way (hopefully). After writing this article I am going to go pick my son up to drop him off at swimming lessons. Then we will probably pick up some Chick-fil-A on the way home because he loves those chicken sandwiches. I’ll probably grab Chipotle.

Then when we get home I’ll get to see my two daughters and my wife. On Thursdays we usually clean and then relax and watch a movie or play UNO Attack. Then when it’s time for bed for the girls we get to say our prayers as a family and ask a few saints to pray for us. Then my son gets to stay up for another hour and we usually hang out. He might ask to play a little Rocket League or he’ll read some books. He’ll go to bed and if my wife is still awake we might hang out and watch some tv or talk a bit before she goes to bed.

Then at some point it’s my turn. I will check on the kids in their rooms. Then I make sure the doors are locked and the lights are off before I lay down to sleep.

James Franklin hasn’t seen his family in six months.

He is not alone when it comes to struggling during this pandemic. Depression, suicide, missed doctor visits, stress and any number of other negative factors have greatly increased since this virus showed up.

Some may want to say “James Franklin is making millions of dollars. He has chosen to stay away from his family. He hasn’t gone through what I’ve gone through.” This may be true.

However, instead of choosing to take that view you could choose empathy instead.

Personally, I generally view the head coaches of the teams Nebraska is facing like the bad/evil characters in movies. They are terrible people. They’ve probably done terrible things. They probably cheat. They must be defeated.

Franklin gave me tremendous perspective when I learned how long it has been without seeing his family. As a father, I hope he can see his family very soon.

With that said, I also hope he loses by 50 on Saturday.

Veteran’s Day

Speaking of sacrifices and going months without seeing your family I would like to wish our Veterans a belated Veterans day.


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