Top 10 Game Day Traditions We Love
Coming to Happy Valley for a weekend of football festivities is truly one of the most exciting things anyone can experience. From waking up early in the morning for tailgating, to singing Sweet Caroline near the end of the fourth quarter. These simple traditions are what Penn State is all about.
1. The Whiteout Game
The thunderous atmosphere in Beaver Stadium during a whiteout game is one of-a-kind. A true home field advantage, it’s consistently one of the loudest games of the year, which is why it’s always scheduled against top opponents. This years’ whiteout will be on Sept. 29 against Ohio State. The last time the Buckeyes came into Happy Valley for a whiteout game was in 2016. In a game where Penn State was a heavy underdog, they defeated the No. 2 ranked Buckeyes, 24-21. Penn State Athletics has already released the whiteout shirt, (http://shop.gopsusports.com/Penn_State_Nittany_Lions_T-Shirts) with both a long and short-sleeved option.
2. The Nittany Lion
Whether it’s pumping the crowd up or surfing through it, since 1904, the Nittany Lion has been perfecting the art of being one of the most elegant, graceful mascots in all of college football. His ancestors used to roam Mount Nittany, but this guy prefers to do one-armed push-ups during the middle of football games. A recent inductee into the Mascot Hall of Fame, (http://news.psu.edu/story/492475/2017/11/06/athletics/nittany-lion-named...) the Nittany Lion is a trademark on game day and an ambassador for Penn State fans of all ages.
Penn State and tailgating go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes up to a week before game day, thousands of Penn Staters will flock as close to Beaver Stadium as possible. The aroma of wings, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches, combined with the fact that it’s game day, creates a pleasant, secure vibe, resonating throughout all of Happy Valley. When Penn State fans visit, they typically look for a vendor such as State College RV Rental, to provide a phenomenal tailgate environment. Their typical RVs come with free WiFi, a queen bed and sleeper sofa and a fully loaded kitchen. For fans looking for more, they can also add chairs, tables or an outdoor TV. Looking to pick up some beverages before heading to the tailgate? The Hopshop Beer Market has over 600 selections of beers from all around the world. Whether you’re interested in creating your own sampler 6 pack or buying a Growler (a half-gallon jug of beer), like downtown State College, you have options.
4. Downtown State College
Walking through downtown State College on game day is pretty lively both before and after the game. Still need to buy that Fiesta Bowl shirt? Need a bite to eat? A drink? You can find all of that, and more downtown. If you need to pick up some game day apparel or accessories, the Penn State Bookstore on College Avenue has everything from windbreakers and ponchos, to spirit beads and temporary Nittany Lion tattoos. Among the many choices of where to eat and drink downtown, Hi-Way Pizza has 29 varieties of hand-spun pizzas, including their famous vodka “flaky” crust pizza.
5. Creamery Ice Cream
The best ice cream in the world since 1865. The creamery has over 100 ice cream flavors, and also has some frozen yogurt and sherbet options. Celebrities, athletes and even Presidents have visited the creamery. When President Bill Clinton ordered both Peachy Paterno and Cherry Quist, it was the one and only time in the history of the creamery where someone was allowed to mix flavors.
6. Entering the Historic Beaver Stadium
Beaver Stadium has the second highest capacity among all college football stadiums. One of the biggest in the world, this stadium has been renovated multiple times since finding its permanent location following the 1959 season. Home of generations of Nittany Lion players and fans, the number of memories in this stadium is too much to count. The first time you’re up close to this beautiful stadium, will be a moment you remember for the rest of your life.
7. Blue Buses
Watching the Penn State football team make its way to Beaver Stadium on the blue buses is one of the most anticipated parts of game day. For decades, this tradition has been accompanied by thousands of eager Penn Staters cheering and honking their car horns at the buses as they make their way into the stadium.
8. Flying People!
It’s all fun and games until Penn State has three touchdowns in five minutes. A State tradition is to throw people in the air for however many points the Nittany Lions have. A tremendous experience for the person getting thrown in the air, but a back workout for the thrower nonetheless. Thankfully, it wasn’t 90º last year when Penn State scored 56 against Nebraska.
9. Historic Chants
Fans can feel the echo of Beaver Stadium as the crowd chants, “WE ARE, PENN STATE.” A roaring chant fit for Nittany Lions, it’s a true staple of the in-game Penn State football experience. Another game day staple is the Penn Alma Mater. Win or lose, following the game the football team will join the fans in singing perhaps the most iconic song in Happy Valley.
10. Putting on Your Favorite Jersey
The simplicity of navy blue and white has been a classic look for Penn State jerseys since the dawn of time. A plain navy blue stripe down the middle of the white helmet, with no name on the back, these jerseys are sometimes regarded as the best in college football.