Blue White Illustrated

September 2021

Penn State Sports Magazine

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1 8 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M BY MATT HERB MATT@BLUEWHITEONLINE.COM I n the four decades that Phil Grosz has been writing about Penn State sports, his publication, Blue White Illustrated, has covered its share of comebacks. Longtime readers know that well. What they may not know is that the magazine itself was something of a Hail Mary. In the spring of 1979, Phil was a for- mer Penn State student with a dream of turning his passion for Nittany Lion sports into a viable business. But he lacked the financial backing he knew he would need to make it happen. So, he took a chance. He attempted a go-for-broke gambit in the most literal sense of the words. With the Blue-White Game coming up, Phil spent $1,400 to have a Harris- burg print shop produce 10,000 copies of a newsmagazine that he called Catch Lions Fever. He wrote the entire 28- page magazine himself, stuffing it full of football recruiting news, a topic that few other media outlets were covering at the time and one that he believed he was uniquely qualified to write about. He got permission from the athletic department to distribute Catch Lions Fever at the spring game that year and hired a dozen students to hand out cop- ies to fans as they left Beaver Stadium. The promotion cost him nearly every penny he had, and there was no guar- antee that it would pay off. Indeed, it appeared initially that it wouldn't. "I never told this to my wife," Phil recalled recently, "but I had $24 to my name. And I didn't know where my next dollar was coming from." Those misgivings intensified in the days after the game. But then he visited the post office in Union Deposit, Pa., where he had a P.O. box. What he dis- covered left him dumbfounded. "It was full to the brim, and there was a note in it," he said. The note was from the post office indicating that carriers Grosz attended Penn State from 1968 to '73, and six years after finishing, he founded Catch Lions Fever, the magazine that would become Blue White Illustrated. PHOTO BY RYAN SNYDER LIVING THE DREAM With BWI, Phil Grosz turned his passion into a profession. Now the time has come to step away

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