Despite the rainy, cold, and miserable weather, Penn State fans arrived at the tailgating fields bright and early and ready to begin the long day. ESPN GameDay attracted tons of eager fans that brought along their humorous signs, and many watched as Lee Corso climbed out of a tent in Paternoville in a white robe ready for the “whiteout” in Happy Valley.
A few fans dressed in gorilla suits, and one fan dressed as the Abominable Snowman stirred up laughter with a shirt that read “Where I’m from there’s always a Whiteout.” The weather stayed gloomy but clear for the broadcasting of GameDay Live, but soon enough the expected rain arrived and stayed for the duration of the day and night.
It didn’t matter what the forecast was for this particular day though. Every fan was beyond pumped for the game, and not even the most brutal storm would put a stop to the festivities outside the stadium. Walking past the tailgates you were greeted by happy Penn State fans that were enjoying the endless amounts of food set out on tables.
The aroma of burgers and hot dogs filled the air and nearly every person was dancing and singing along to songs that were blasting over stereos. It was entertaining to see the creative homemade ponchos people made out of free trash bags that were available for anyone to take, which in the end just left everyone drenched anyways.
One tailgate had the back of a truck jam-packed with students who were bouncing to the beat of the music that blared through huge speakers. Another tailgate created a huge slip-n-slide on a hill and fans of all ages lined up to slide down the wet and muddy slope.
It was clear that there was nothing that was stopping the fans from having a great time Saturday, despite the loss that they would soon suffer later on in the day.
Regardless of the shocking defeat that left Penn State fans questioning their football team and their potential the rest of the season, most fans can say they had a great time. But this is always the case of a typical game day in Happy Valley.
As a fan that stood in the stands throughout the whole game, drenched and just wanting nothing more than a hot shower and dry clothes, I couldn’t leave without sticking it out and hoping that my Nittany lions would come through with a last minute comeback.
The entire Penn State crowd continued with encouraging chants, even after the horrible mistakes and turnovers that were made. It was amazing to see the confidence that everyone still had for our players and our hope for a play that would get us points on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, that never happened, and thousands of my fellow fans stood quietly in the rain in disbelief once we realized it was too late.
Many hope that this will be an eye opener for the players and will turn around their performance for the upcoming games. Not only did the team feel defeated on Saturday, but so does the entire Penn State nation. So the main question is, what is next for the Nittany Lion team?
Can they recover from this loss and play like the team everyone expects them to be? One thing is for certain. Regardless of how they played this past weekend, we had a good time and we as Penn State fans will stay loyal and only hope for the best for the rest of the PSU football season.