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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Not such a Happy Valley

Nathan Lehman was having a bad week. The 19 year old engineering student at Penn State had just been dumped by his girlfriend. He'd spent two sleepless nights camped outside Beaver Stadium in anticipation of the Penn State - Ohio State game. The religious Lehman couldn't even drown his sorrows in alcohol - he doesn't drink.

But then the Nittany Lions got their biggeest win in years. The stadium was alive and fans were going crazy. This was the type of thing that changes around a bad week, the kind of thing that makes college memorable. Maybe things were going to turn around for poor Nathan Lehman.

Did Lehman celebrate by hugging strangers in the stands? Did he join in a rousing chorus of Fight On State? Did he whip out his cell phone to take a picture of the moment? Nope, none of these. He stormed the field.

OK, there's nothing wrong with that. Most any college student worth their discounted season tickets has done that and it's pretty much required after any half-assed win in college hoops games. But Lehman didn't join a group in trying to take down the goal posts, or seek out the players to give them a pat on the shoulder pads. Instead, this kid with a totally clean record "tackled university police officer Cyprien Brien, punching him in the face and putting him in a headlock that left him with bruised neck ligaments," according to authorities.

Good thing he's religious and doesn't drink.

Lehman, who claimed he just snapped, pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge and was sentenced to four to 23 ½ months in prison, with eligibility for work release, and a $1,000 fine.

If this is how Lehman decided to celebrate a win, imagine what he would have done had PSU lost.

5 comments:

Joshua said...

Perhaps two days sleeping outside of Beaver Stadium left Lehman under the influence of a newly grown buckstache. Why didn't his defense team think of this?

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Good thing he wasn't at Michigan Stadium when Mario Manningham caught the game winning touchdown pass after the time had expired.

If he "snaps" at a great win, I imagine his response to a last second loss would trigger detonating the vest of pipe bombs he's wearing or perhaps spraying the stands with an automatic weapon.

jeff said...

Some universities have responded to the destruction of goalposts by installing collapseable posts (they are lowered at the end of each game). They cite the numerous injuries that occur each year from rioting students as they tear down the structures.

So... how does PSU intend on responding to this?

I have an answer: attack dogs. Nothing squelches a celebratory fit of rage like a K9's teeth on your nuts.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

Good reply though I think it woul be better for Lehman to go mano a mmano against Joe Pa in the UFC.

allaha said...

There is an ominous element to this article. First, when Baggypants references using pipe bombs and automatic weapons, it is surprising neither has occurred at a game. A bipartisan panel of experts recently announced the gravest threat posed by terrorists in the US are precisely those kinds of actions. Second, however bizarre, hitherto normal college students occasionally do terrible things and suffer gravely. A high school acquaintance of mine went to Yale as an undergraduate (when the drinking age was still 18). After a freshman party at which he got drunk, he tripped, slammed his head against a car bumper while falling, and died of a subdural hematoma. This is not an urban myth: it happened in the fall of 1980 to someone I knew reasonably well. What may be most surprising is not that horrible things happen but that they do not occur more often.