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GQ Declares Penn State Football Fans 7th Worst In Sports

GQ came out with their “Worst Sports Fans in America” list yesterday, and Penn State made a rather surprising appearance at #7. The following is the “explanation” given by author Adam Winer:

Behold: a group of fans so vile that the university had to adopt a resolution denouncing “negative cheering” all the way back in 2000. Loophole: They didn’t tell the kids not to throw stuff! Thus students from the Princeton Review’s 2010 top party school have pelted visiting players and band members with snowballs, mud balls, and bottles of urine. Lacking projectiles during the 2008 riots that followed a win over Ohio State, Penn fans uprooted small trees to hurl at police. And let’s not forget the notorious 2007 incident in which a crowd of onlookers cheered as a student chased down two OSU fans and threw a full can of beer at their heads. Video of that assault was proudly posted on YouTube, tagged as ‘comedy.’ “

Despite the fact that he immediately reveals his lack of familiarity with college sports by referring to us as “Penn fans,” most of this is actually true. Good points are certainly made about objects being thrown (I saw a snowball come very close to hitting JoePa during the 2009 Minnesota game) and about the riots following the 2008 Ohio State game. I can’t speak for the “negative cheering” resolution, but that seems pretty minor considering, in my experience, “negative cheering” happens almost everywhere in the country.

However, any credibility the author may have established took a severe hit with an egregious reference to the incident involving a beer can thrown at two Ohio State fans before the 2007 game in Happy Valley. Yes, the YouTube video looked really, really bad (it has since been taken down), and I do not in any way condone what this idiot did. However, had GQ done a simple Google search, they would have quickly found that the (one) student charged in this incident was a student of the University of Pittsburgh. So, in an effort to demonstrate how “vile” we are, GQ points toward the action of one drunk buffoon visiting his buddies for the weekend.

What GQ fails to consider here is the overwhelming numberof reasons why Penn State has one of the best fan bases in sports. We consistently fill one of the largest stadiums in the world in all types of weather. We have the White Out and White House. We have one of the best student sections in the country and a city of tents that pops up outside of the stadium days (sometimes a week) before home games. And I’m willing to bet the vast majority of our fans practice the same motto as the team they watch, which is “Success With Honor.”

It’s worth mentioning that Penn State is joined on this unpleasant list by some of the elite organizations in college and pro sports. Among the other teams considered to have the “worst fans in sports” were the Los Angeles Lakers (15), Dallas Cowboys (12), Montreal Canadiens (11), New York Yankees (9), Boston Red Sox (7), and Philadelphia Phillies (1, and the Eagles were #2), as well as LSU football (10) and Duke basketball (8).

What do you think? Are Penn State fans really as bad as GQ paints them to be? Have you had any negative experiences with Penn State fans?

About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.


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