Blue-White Game Provides Memorable Moments

Minutes after the Blue-White game ended Saturday at Beaver Stadium, thousands of fans flooded the field. The spectators-turned-participants played catch, rang the Victory Bell, or simply ran around. A few youngsters crossed the end zone, celebrating after scoring an imaginary touchdown.

There’s something remarkably cool about being on the field at Beaver Stadium, especially during a game. You see and hear moments that otherwise are easily missed, so the game feels different.

You’re also constantly reminded how football games bring together the Penn State family.

Athletics recognized the 2005 team that finished 11-1, including a victory in the Orange Bowl. Quarterback and team leader Michael Robinson — who finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting that year — and State College native Jordan Norwood received enormous cheers; Norwood starred as a wide receiver for the Nittany Lions and also set a record with a 61-yard punt return in this year’s Super Bowl win for the Denver Broncos.

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 As the lettermen watched the game, fans constantly shouted their adoration, asking for photographs. All game long, the players smiled and shook hands, acting like the true ambassadors they are for the program and university.

Same goes for the Lion.

When it’d be so easy — and even understandable — for one of the former lettermen or the beloved mascot to say “no” to a photo request, they never did.

Included among the former players was Devon Still and his daughter, Leah. Earlier this year, Devon announced that Leah had beaten cancer; and Leah said she wanted to someday be a cheerleader at Penn State.

That wish came true Saturday, as Leah cheered on the Nittany Lions while shaking white pom-poms with the Penn State cheerleaders in front of the students who packed the south end of the stadium.

 Toward the end of the game, a few youngsters wearing blue-and-white wigs caught James Franklin’s attention. The Nittany Lion coach was standing near the north end zone, with the fans right up against the railing.

The fans wanted Franklin to come over to them, while he shouted back that he wanted to borrow one of their wigs. For a moment, it seemed as though Franklin was going to run over. Then the next play happened, and Franklin sprinted over to the sidelines to speak to one of his coaches.

Instead of a viral social media video, Franklin and the young fans shared a moment seemingly unnoticed by most in the stadium. And one that the youngsters will most likely remember for a long time.

Turns out you don’t need an enormous audience to create a memorable moment, just the right atmosphere.

That’s what Beaver Stadium provides.

 

 

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