Meet the "Mic Man": Penn State Football's Pre-Game Enthusiast

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Imagine running through the tunnel into Beaver Stadium, only to be greeted by the cheers of over 100,000 ecstatic Penn State fans and the electrifying atmosphere of the best student fan section in the nation.

Now envision being handed a microphone and given the responsibility of pumping up all of these fans in this intense surrounding.  Overwhelming?  Maybe.  Nerve wrecking?  I would think so. 

But surprisingly, Penn State’s current “mic man” couldn’t be any more ready for his pre-game warm-ups.  The current senior, better known as Lou DeFazio, describes his once in a lifetime experience to me in a short and fun interview.

 

How did you get the awesome privilege to be the guy who pumps up the crowd before every game?

 “I tried out for the position of "mic man." The guy who was the mic man for the past two years graduated, so the position was available. In the end, me and another guy on the team had to try out for it in front of the team.

The team then chose who they thought was better suited for the job, and I guess I did something right to win them over.”

 

Describe the feeling of being on the field and getting the fans amped before every home game.

 “The feeling is unbelievable, almost indescribable. I am excited to do it every week and it never gets old. It's always been my dream to run out of the tunnel onto the field ever since I was kid (except I wanted to be a football player) but this is the next best thing.

It's all of these emotions of nervousness, anxiety, happiness, etc., all wanting to burst out. I really can't explain it too well, it's just something that you need to experience for yourself to truly know what I'm talking about.”

 

Any special pre-game rituals or lucky charms?

 “Not really. I'm not a very superstitious person, so I usually don't tend to worry about that. Although, I am a religious person, so I usually wear a necklace with a couple Italian charms on it and a cross and a little medallion with angels on it that my parents gave me a long time ago, so I guess that can be one of my lucky charms, but I have to take it off before we go out.

Usually before the game, I go over what I'm going to say on the mic so I don't sound stupid out there or fumble over any words. Besides that, it's a bunch of waiting around and getting excited before we do our thing.”

 

Any funny or embarrassing stories you have while maybe running out on the field one time?

 “(Haha) Nothing major yet so far. No one has fallen or anything yet, so that's been alright. I guess the only thing I can think of was when I was doing my mic man thing during the Iowa pre-game show, after talking to the fresh/soph section, I went to the junior section and said something like "the lower classmen are ready to go..." instead of saying "underclassmen"...I just forgot the word underclassmen, so I was kind of embarrassed about that, but no one picked up on it, so it went alright.”

 

How many Red Bulls do you drink to get absolutely hyped before a game?

 “None, you really don't need anything to pump you up for the game. If it's an early game (noon), then maybe a coffee just to wake me up, but that's about it. There's so much adrenaline running through your body an hour before the game, that you don't need anything else to get you going.”

 

What is the most memorable moment that you will take away from this experience?

 “Wow, I don't know if there's really one. If I had to pick one, it was probably the Iowa pre-game getting the crowd pumped up...there's nothing like hearing 40,000 students screaming, and when I said "Welcome to the Whitehouse," and the stadium collectively screamed, I got chills. 

It was an unreal feeling. Although, I like the everyday interactions with fans who want pictures, especially with their children and babies.  It's hilarious sometimes, but I really appreciate it.

I try to appreciate everything that I am able to do through cheerleading, but those few things really stand out in my mind. Also, getting to interact with the Nittany Lion on a daily basis is pretty cool too.”

 

-Keep up the awesome enthusiasm Lou!!!

 

 

 

 

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