Penn State Football: The Top 5 Reasons to Come to Happy Valley This Season
Despite all that has happened with Penn State, there are still plenty of great reasons to attend a home game this season. The game-day experience at Penn State has always been about more than just the game.
The people, the atmosphere and the things going on in and around Beaver Stadium make it one of the best places in the country to experience college football.
The drama and negativity surrounding the Penn State Nittany Lions football program this year has been well-documented. Regardless of the sanctions and the chance that the team may simply not be very good for a while, fans should not shy away in 2012 and beyond.
This list ranks the top five reasons (other than support) to still pack up the family, grab the tail-gating materials and make the trek to central Pennsylvania on a fall Saturday.
5. The Schedule
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Although the Penn State product might not be what fans are used to for a while, they will still take on some of the top teams in the country. If for no other reason, fans should be excited for the schedule.
In 2012, fans will be treated to visits by Big Ten powerhouses Ohio State and Wisconsin. These big games always add to the excitement in the air and enhance the experience for fans. Penn State fans will get to watch the unique offense of Navy this year as well.
While the score may not always turn out in favor of the home team, the chance to get up close and personal with top-notch competition is always worth it.
4. The Penn State Blue Band
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While the result on the field may not always please fans, the Blue Band always delivers. The Penn State Blue Band is one of the best and most recognizable collegiate marching bands in the country. The band is always on hand to play the familiar tunes that are so dear to Penn State fans.
Fans attending Beaver Stadium rush to get in their seats before the game to watch the drum major tradition of performing two front flips. Even if the landing is not stuck, the crowd still goes wild.
If you hang around after the game, you will be treated to a rousing drum-line performance in the northwest corner of the stadium. Hundreds of fans stay late each week to watch this, win or lose.
Marching bands are not always thought of as being "cool." The Penn State University Blue Band definitely breaks that stereotype.
3. The Fans
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What makes a great stadium experience?
Penn State fans are some of the most passionate you will find anywhere. Win or lose, the atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium is always electric due to the fans.
The chant of "We Are...Penn State" is frequently started throughout a game by the fans. The student section is known for starting clever chants and unique versions of the standard stadium wave, including a super-cool slow-motion wave that slowly makes its way around the stadium.
Penn State has branded its game-day experience "The Greatest Show in College Football." The fans and the atmosphere inside the stadium go a long way in proving that statement true.
2. The White Out
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What do you get when you tell 108,000 fans to dress in all white?
The famous "Penn State White Out."
Every year, a big home game is designated to be the White Out game. Special shirts are made, and the phrase "Wear White" is printed on the game ticket for season ticket holders.
If you've never experienced a Penn State White Out in person, mark your calendars for October 27th. The Lions host rival Ohio State at 6 p.m. When the lights go on, the effect of the white out gets even more spectacular. The stadium seems to shine brighter than ever.
Who knew such a boring color could be so exciting?
1. The Tailgating
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The No. 1 reason to attend a game at Penn State this year has to be the tailgating. More people show up to tailgate than can fit into the stadium. People travel from all around just to "hang out" with their friends in the parking lots around Beaver Stadium.
No matter how the season is going, the tailgating is always great at Penn State. The opponent does not matter either. The atmosphere outside the Indiana State game last year was not much different than what it is for a Big Ten game.
The smell of burgers, brats and steaks surrounds the area. The flow of cold beverages can be seen flowing long after the game has ended.
Heck, if you attend the annual Blue-White Spring Game, the tailgating will rival a normal fall Saturday.
Tailgating at Penn State could be even more crazy this year. It might take a lot of "pre-gaming" to endure some of the outcomes that may happen on the field.