At this point in the week you’re probably pulling your hair out in anticipation for Penn State’s first game of the year. You’re almost there. We here at the Blue White Football Podcast and Blog will be here to calm your nerves every Thursday of the season. Remember that feeling in the pit of your stomach you get during “Michigan Week?” Yeah, we’ll here be here that Thursday too. But for now, enjoy a peoples history (or Josh Sorokach’s history) of former great, Ki-Jana Carter.
Almost every true Penn State fans know the tale of Ki-Jana Carter. Famed Penn State running back, former number one draft pick, and an NFL career marred by injuries. While science (or possibly not enough calcium in his adolescent diet) may have kept Ki-Jana Carter from being one of the all time NFL greats; they will not keep me from telling you the story about one man and his path to Penn State football infamy. Unless I break my finger (or thumb) midway through this article, then we’re all screwed. Enjoy.
Ki-Jana “Chachi” Carter was born in a small manger in rural Pennsylvania on August 28th 1947. His parents, Karl and Joanna Carter, named him after an old warrior prince. This warrior prince along with Ki-Jana Carters future excellence would later serve as the basis for the television show Xena: Warrior Princess. Growing up Ki-Jana excelled in all sports, most academics, and had some slight, yet short lived, success as the youngest horticulture expert in Pennsylvania history.
*Ki-Jana Carter Fun Fact 1: Ki-Jana Carter took 2nd place in the National Pennsylvania Spelling Bee from 1980-1989 always purposely misspelling the last word saying, “No one can truly be a spelling champion.”
Ki-Jana had only seventeen true loves as a child; football was not one of them. In fact if it wouldn’t have been for a serendipitous spring day in Happy Valley Ki-Jana Carter would have continued living out his non football life and would have grown up to be the lead guitarist of the popular 90’s band The Gin Blossoms. His non football exploits also would have led him to outlaw dancing in a small Midwestern town in the mid eighties thus leading America to fall in love with his best selling autobiography: Eclectic/Electric: The Ki-Jana Carter Story. Forward by Ki-Jana Carter’s best friend and Playboy magazine photographer Josh Sorokach.
* Ki-Jana Carter Fun Fact 2: The song I Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon was written about Ki-Jana Carter and his secret, yet undeniable, love for football.
On a sunny April day in 1992 Ki-Jana Carter made a stop on his annual Canadian pilgrimage in State College Pennsylvania. While purchasing a soft drink from a young street rough Ki-Jana Carter was intuitively drawn to the sights and sounds of the electrifying Beaver stadium. After turning around that young street rough’s life in a matter of minutes (that man turned out to be Penn State’s own Willard Preacher) Ki-Jana Carter decided to enter Beaver Stadium. Upon his arrival the famed Blue/White game froze while the crowd grew eerily silent. Out of the mist of the student section rose future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Rick Mirer who stood up, finished his reasonably priced hot dog, and a little too slowly for comfort jogged down to the field. Rick Mirer’s deliberate attempts to steal the spotlight aside, Ki-Jana Carter lined up on a 3rd and 12 from the opponents 24 yard line and ran a perfect slant pattern like a cross between a young fine tuned gazelle and former disgraced Canadian Olympian Ben Johnson, went into the end zone and… nothing. By no fault of his own the ball flew a good fifteen feet above Ki-Jana Carter’s head. Rick Mirer was booed out of the stadium and banned from State College for the rest of his life. There is now a scholarship named “The Rick Mirer Scholarship” which is handed out to the douchiest member of the freshman class every year. The recipient of this dubious honor receives a lifetime ban from Penn State along with a one-way plane ticket to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
* Ki-Jana Carter Fun Fact 3: Ki-Jana Carter was the first and only man to conquer Mt. Nittany. The US Flag he planted on top is still there to this day. In Pennsylvania, and for some unknown reason small areas of Oregon, Ki-Jana Carter is more well known than Neil Armstrong who did something similar back in the 1960’s.
Undaunted by Mirer’s antics Ki-Jana Carter waved off the punt team and on the very next play ran for a 117 yard touchdown. It was the proudest and saddest moment in Penn State football history (saddest because it was against our own defense, also in 1992 exhibition games “jukes” accounted for an extra two yards per use).
* Ki-Jana Carter Sad Fact 1: Ki-Jana Carter’s childhood cat Mr. Pumpernickel died of feline Aids when Ki-Jana Carter was seven years old. Every TD he has ever scored has been in memory of Mr. Pumpernickel.
You pretty much know the rest of the story. Ki-Jana Carter dons the blue and white, Penn State goes on to win back to back to back National Championships and Ki-Jana Carter leads the Cincinnati Bengals to an improbable Super Bowl victory over the Dallas Cowboys, at least that is what happened in my College Football’s National Championship and Madden 96 Sega Genesis video games. In reality Penn State football thrived with class and dignity (what does the term literary bias really mean?) and Ki-Jana Carter went on to have his very own Wikipedia page. Do you have a Wikipedia page? No, no you don’t. In the football game of life, that my friends is a touchdown. Roar lions roar.
*Ki-Jana Carter Fun Fact 4: The internet rumor that Ki-Jana Carter wrote the movie “Pulp Fiction” is 100% true. Quentin Tarantino is a dick.
Josh Sorokach is a part time writer and a full time Penn State enthusiast. You can read his blog at Bricksexplode.blogspot.com anytime at your own private leisure using the internet.