Why Our White Out Is the Best in the World

If you’ve ever been to a white out game in Beaver Stadium, then you need no explanation of what it feels like. It’s a feeling of stomach-stirring electricity, of a solidarity like nothing you’ve ever been a part of, of being totally awestruck at the sight of 110,000 people all in white, chanting “We are” with a passion like never before.

It is a had-to-be-there, one-of-a-kind experience. One that other crowds couldn’t mimic if they tried… And they’ve tried.

Here's why Happy Valley is home to the most special event in football.

 

 

"It makes you want to come here and be a part of it."

- Marcus Allen

 

Photo: Penn State

The tradition began in 2004, with only the student section christening the white out. After its second successful year in 2005, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN’s College Gameday spoke of Penn State: “That’s the best student section in the country—they’re crazy.”

The rest was history.

Photo: David Bergman/SI

In 2007, Penn State declared its first stadium-wide white out. As soon as photos of the incredible sight spread, the whole country wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Since then, teams have tried many “insert-color-here”-outs, stripes, designs, you name it. But Penn State’s classic white out has continued year after year, always remaining the best of the best.

Photo: Sean Simmers

The 2013 White Out was nothing short of magic. The roaring crowd helped to drive the team into not one, not two, but four overtimes, finally defeating Michigan. That year, it was more than just a win. It was a feeling of triumph and unfailing solidarity after turbulent times for Penn State. It reminded the world that “we are,” and we would always be.

Photo: Matthew O'Haren - USA Today

When it comes to describing the impact of white outs, perhaps the Nittany Lions themselves say it best.

“It’s one of the reasons why I came here,” said Mike Gesicki, tight end. “There are not many places in the country that can compete with the atmosphere that Penn State will bring Saturday night.”

Gesicki was a high school senior when he attended the 2013 Michigan white out. He committed to Penn State six days later. Safety Marcus Allen was at the same game.

“It makes you want to come here and be a part of it,” Allen said.

Photo: Centre Daily Times

The 2016 White Out comes this Saturday, as Penn State faces off against Ohio State. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer knows better than anyone how that atmosphere can affect games. He said Monday that the last two times his team faced Penn State at home (both white outs), he wished we had saved it for somebody else.

“It’s one of the top five atmospheres in college football,” Meyer said.

We know that “one of the top five” is still selling us short, but we’ll take the compliment anyway.

Photo: Will Amesbury

One thing is certain: There is no place in the world quite like Beaver Stadium during a white out.

"I think the White Out exemplifies what this place is all about," said Coach Franklin. "It's about our community coming together, the fans, the professors, our alumni and our players, and going into that stadium and having fun together and representing Penn State the right way. It's special. There's no doubt about it."

Photo: Mark Selders

On October 22, 2016, the white out worked its magic once again. Penn State overthrew the unanimously favored No. 2 Ohio State 24-21 in a heart-pounding, historic, see-it-to-believe it win. As thousands of fans poured onto the field to celebrate, there was no question about it: there is always a chance to make history at a Penn State White Out.

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