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LOOK: Kirk Herbstreit leans into Penn State love with former Nittany Lion

The love-fest between Kirk Herbstreit and Penn State football continues.



Penn State Football, former Penn State Football player, Jason Cabinda, Kirk Herbstreit
Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the set of ESPN College GameDay prior to the game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Although he may have played for Ohio State, many Penn State football fans feel Kirk Herbstreit has a special place in his heart for the Nittany Lions. The College GameDay and ESPN analyst’s continued praise for James Franklin, the Penn State program, and Nittany Lions fans has become legendary over the years. Rather than shy away, Herbstreit has embraced the love each time he returns to Happy Valley. And Herbstreit endeared himself to the Nittany Lion faithful again this weekend with a fun social media exchange with former Penn State football player Jason Cabinda.

Kirk Herbstreit has fun social media exchange with former Penn State football player Jason Cabinda

Kirk Herbstreit has become famous for his work in college football, but he also has his foothold on NFL action, calling the Thursday night games for Amazon Prime Video. Like many who follow the NFL, Herbstreit has taken a liking to the Detroit Lions. A classic feel-good story, the Lions have gone from a perpetual bottom dweller to a NFC North-leading 4-1 record this season.

During Detroit’s 42-24 win over the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Kirk Herbstreit took to social media to express his delight with the Lions’s turnaround. Following the game, former Penn State football player and current Lions fullback Jason Cabinda saw Herbstreit’s “Love this Lions team” post, and responded in kind.

Cabinda’s response subtly referenced Herbstreit’s historic praise of the Penn State football program. But Kirk Herbstreit fully leaned into his historic love-fest for Penn State with his “Love your other Lions team too” reply to Cabinda.

While this is nothing more than a fun little exchange with a former Penn State football player, it highlights why Kirk Herbstreit is always a fan favorite. Herbstreit’s good-natured persona has endeared him to college football fans everywhere for decades.

We don’t know yet if College GameDay will make a stop in Happy Valley this season. But if it does, Jason Cabinda may have just put himself in the running to become Penn State’s celebrity guest picker.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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