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Penn. State Football: School's Sports History Captured in Museum

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 06:  A general view of the Oregon State Beavers and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on September 6, 2008 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Sam FogelgarenCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

The rich history of Penn State Football can be captured through pictures and videos. But now there is a new medium of capturing history: a museum.

The success of Penn State Football can be attributed to two things: the consistently productive football team, and the unbelievable fan base that has given all out support for over a century. Although these are the two main aspects of success, there is yet another outlying aspect that seems to make this success even more remarkable.

Consider the isolation of State College, and the tiny, tight knit community.

Though this would seem to be a major obstacle for turning a small town college program into a big time program, it is this very aspect that makes Penn State athletics so unique. In fact, this makes Penn State not only a national powerhouse on the field, but also a fan base that can make even the best of fans envious.

This success has led to many things, including numerous fan traditions and national recognition as an elite program, and a fan base that is known as the most loyal. But the latest success story that has resulted from this success is not necessarily a tradition, but a tribute.

Located in the heart of Beaver Stadium, the Penn State All Sports Museum opened in 2002. As the founder and first president, Lou Prato tried to cultivate all Penn State sports into one big collection.

Since Prato’s arrival, Ken Hickman has taken over the museum, and looks to keep on making it better and better.  While the museum has numerous interesting artifacts, which include numerous athlete tributes and game used jerseys, there are still some artifacts that Lou and Ken would love to get their hands on.

“That 1954 Final Four Trophy,” is an artifact that Lou said he would love to have in the museum. Ken went onto mention getting the 1986 Football National Championship trophy on display. The 1986 trophy was the first crystal trophy ever given out to a National Champion.

The museum is young, and through time it will become even more significant than it is today. Though the museum is located in the heart of the football stadium, all Penn State sports are represented in this magnificent showing of a rich history.

And for anyone who thought that maybe Penn State sports history will be forgotten? This museum will likely keep the deep spirit of Penn State sports alive for years to come.

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