Student Section Vet – Step It Up, Underclassmen

Penn State has been named the nation’s best student section by ESPN for three years running. We’re the home of the white-out, the crowd-surfing Nittany Lion, and over 22,000 thousand screaming students on game day. What’s not to love?

If you ask Kelsie White, it’s the Freshmen:

As a senior who’s been attending football games at Penn State since high school, I’ve never witnessed such a rude and immature section of underclassmen.

White, who is a newly minted intern at Bleacher Report, recently wrote about her experience sitting with underclassmen during last Saturday’s rout of Syracuse University. The account wasn’t exactly flattering:

At half-time, during the Blue Band performance, we couldn’t hear any of the songs being played because of all the shouting throughout the section. And the shouting didn’t include cheering for the band, because absolutely no one was paying attention to them; it was shouts at cute girls, or shouts at friends, and even worse, using some minor profanity during the presentation of some ’59 football players who were there to watch the game.

Her point is one worth considering. Beaver Stadium’s student section is not only nationally known for how loud it can get, but that it’s homogeneously composed of die-hard fans who love soaking up every second of Nittany Lion football that they can get.  If students are loud, but not proud, what makes it any more remarkable than a nuisance for visiting teams?

To play devil’s advocate, playing the recently defunct (though improving) Syracuse football program isn’t exactly a game against Michigan under the lights – the student section generally adjusts its enthusiasm to match the hatred of the opponent.  This could be a case of a game early in the season with an unexciting opponent – the Freshmen weren’t representative of what we’ve come to idealize as the Beaver Stadium student section because they haven’t truly experienced it yet.

However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that attending the games is a privilege, not a right. We became nationally recognized for verbally provoking opponent’s false starts, dressing head to toe in white, and tossing up our fellow fans after touchdowns – NOT hollering at shorties during halftime presentations. There’s a special feeling one gets when they are a part of the student section working at peak efficiency- it would be a shame to lose that through general indifference.

The section of students mentioned in the article have an excuse – they’re still young. But if this kind of thing keeps happening during games, just more than a few people will be sharing their discontent.

[Source: Bleacher Report]

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Mark McColey is a Senior majoring in Advertising and Labor-Employment relations. Among his loves are Penn State Football, The Steelers, The Penguins, The Simpsons, Tina Fey, and Arrested Development.


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