The Parable of Penn Tech

Stephen and Mary were both graduates of the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. In fact, Stephen had the distinction of being the quarterback when they won the school’s only conference championship. There was no doubt that Stephen and Mary loved good ol’ Penn Tech.

When Junior was born his nursery was decorated in blue and gold and the banner over his crib read, “Eagles’ Nest.” These proud alumni could hardly wait for the day their son would enroll at Penn Tech and maybe, just maybe, he would be good enough to be like Dad and play football for their alma mater.

Through the years Dad and Junior never missed a Penn Tech game. Dressed in his blue and gold sweater, Junior often heard his father scream at the TV when the “stupid coach” called for a run instead of a pass on third and long. When they went to the stadium for a game, Junior enjoyed the action on the field, but Stephen frequently complained about the “inept administration” that refused to fire the incompetent coach and hire the kind of winning coach the university deserved. When Mary went to the games with them she looked the part of the loyal alumnus in her blue and gold attire, but she didn’t go often because, as she put it, the bleachers were terribly uncomfortable and the deterioration of the campus grounds broke her heart.

As the years went by Junior developed into an all-state quarterback and Mom and Dad could hardly wait for the day when, with the cameras rolling, their son would sign his letter of intent to play for—the Ohio Tech Tigers, arch-rival of Penn Tech. Stephen and Mary were devastated. In words that could be best described as a combination of hurt and anger, they asked, “Why? How could you reject the school we love so dearly and so wanted you to attend?”

Tears flowed down their cheeks as Junior explained. “Don’t you see that you made my decision for me? I took you at your word when you told me the administration was inept and the coach unqualified. I certainly didn’t want to play for a school with a run-down campus and a dilapidated stadium. Mom and Dad, I wish you would understand—I listened to every word you said.”