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Why There Shouldn’t Be a Whiteout On Saturday

Before you read the words below, let me assure you that I love whiteouts. They are arguably the most amazing display of any student section in the country. Seeing the spectacle in person highly influenced my decision to attend this institution.


Alas, my friends, our beloved Guido has struck again. This time, he has decided to declare a student whiteout three days in advance of the Illinois game. Now the casual fan would probably say, “OMFGZ YES!!!”, but I am not—and you shouldn’t either.

Now you’re probably asking “Ryan, whiteouts are awesome, so why wouldn’t we want this one this weekend?”

Well, I’m glad you asked!

Whiteouts are special spectacles that should only be used in lieu of season-altering games. Simply stated, the Whiteout must be used in moderation to preserve its prestige. Yes, this weekend’s battle against Illinois is important, but this team just lost to Purdue (no, not in basketball). Yes, this is a revenge game, but Illinois is unranked. Syracuse and Rutgers have more votes in the AP poll than the skidding Illini. I guess we would white them out too…

I understand that Saturday’s game will be nationally televised, but we’ve already had several national appearances this season. So, what’s the difference? Perhaps, this is simply a marketing move. But even then, there’s no need to proclaim a white out for  consecutive games. Why not just wait two weeks and white out #14 Nebraska on November 12?

White outs should be reserved for the special games that define a season, not for the slightly above average matches like the one will see on Saturday afternoon.

Why did Guido and the Athletic Department initiate a student white out this week when a much more significant opponent is visiting Happy Valley after the bye? These are the kinds of questions I find myself routinely asking. Who knows, maybe they’ll start playing Zombie Nation after 22 yard completions…

Oh, wait.

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About the Author

Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.

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