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Nittanyville 101: The Basics

This football season will be unlike any Penn State fans have ever seen before. The reasons are far beyond the control of students and fans, but what we do know is that it’s up to us to define the new era of Nittany Lion football. It is our duty as Penn State football fans to show our support for our players that stayed through some of the worst circumstances a football team has ever faced. Many people believe that this new era begins on Saturday afternoon, but it actually begins a few days before that.

Penn State football begins tonight.

Starting at the Ohio State game in 2005, students had an organized tent city named Paternoville. Even though this name was dropped over the summer — replaced with the much more politically correct Nittanyville — this is a tradition that will not be altered due to a name change. Students will still camp out before every game to get the best seats in the student section. Trashcan football will be played. Puppy chow will be consumed. Michigan will be mocked.

If you’ve participated in Paternoville before, this is the year that you show the young blood how to camp and that the disgusting actions of a few won’t dampen your school spirit and pride. If you’ve never camped out to get front row seats, this is your year. Follow these tips to get the maximum enjoyment out of your Nittanyville experience.

1. Figure out who is in your group and maximize the number of people a couple hours before registration time.  You’re allowed ten people per group. Someone in your group must be present at your tent at all times. The Nittanyville Officers conduct “tent checks” in the evening. If no one is at your tent, it won’t be pleasant for you. With that said, you’ll want to be there as much as possible this week. (Note: No one has to be at the tent during Football Eve. You can breathe easy now.) For complete registration information, click here.

2. Remember hearing that football tickets sold out in 50 seconds? That was a slight exaggeration but this isn’t — the front row seats are gone in 15 seconds. Seriously. My first time registering, I took 42 seconds and got row 5. Channel all that football ticket preparation and the experience you’ve had with the course watchlist the last two weeks. Be on ANGEL ready to hit refresh right at 9:00 p.m.

3. Once you’re registered, get your tent, tarp, bricks to weigh down the corners, lawn chairs, and sleeping bags, and head up to Gate A. (Note: You might be able to get away without tarps this week as there’s no rain in the forecast.)

4. Check in with the officers near the gate to receive your group number. At 11:00 p.m, set up your tent. If you need assistance, one of the Paternoville Nittanyville veterans will gladly lend a hand. Do NOT tie any part of your tent to the gate, barriers, and/or trashcans.

5. Gate A has WiFi so bring your computer and do your homework. Camping out for a football game is not an excuse to ditch your Spanish homework.

6. Be prepared for a pep rally every night. Penn State fight songs, Big Ten hate songs (my favorite part), and a couple original tunes as well.

7. Here’s your second reminder. Do your best to keep someone in the tent at all times. Like I said, you will lose your spot if they do a tent check and no one’s home.

8. Enjoy every minute. In ten years when you’re changing diapers and battling that beer gut, you’ll look back at this experience as one of the best times of your life. Live it up.

9. On Saturday morning, cowbells and yelling will sound the alarm at 7 a.m. indicating that it’s time to tear down and remove all your stuff. For a noon game like this week, you only have about an hour between tear down and entry time so drop your gear off, grab some food, and get ready for football.

The schedule for this week can be found below. Happy Nittanyvilling!

Onward State will be maintaining a live blog throughout the campout with information and multimedia, so make sure you keep checking back and follow @OnwardState for updates.

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