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Game Day Observations: Northwestern

What more is there to say about this game? The last time Northwestern made their way into Beaver Stadium, the game day atmosphere was one of the best in recent memory for Joe Paterno’s 400th win. Northwestern returned on Saturday, and once again had the place rocking from start to finish.

Here’s what I took away from the Homecoming crowd atmosphere:

  • Few things make me smile more than the Alumni Blue Band. The older men who still march out there are incredibly cute, and some of the more recent graduates love showing off, especially the twirlers. The Alumni Blue Band is, without a doubt, my favorite part of the Homecoming game, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who participate.
  • Another note on the Blue Band — they should be the primary noise in the fourth quarter along with the crowd, not piped in music…
  • The music selection was horrendous this time. After Penn State scored its first touchdown in the fourth quarter, Ni**as in Paris played for about 20 seconds before American Girl by Tom Petty played in near entirety. That’s just what I need to get me pumped up before the biggest drive of the game — Tom Petty. A “We Are” chant started soon after, and the person running the sound didn’t even have the sensibility to turn the music off while the crowd did the cheering…
  • Big game situations should be almost entirely natural sound created by the fans. Period. People have been fired for trying to mess with organic crowd noise during crucial game situations.
  • The student declared whiteout seemed to be very successful, with only a few awkward people scattered about. It’s amazing how fast word travels for initiatives like that.
  • Joe Paterno tributes were in no shortage. There were at least a half dozen banners at one point hanging from the luxury boxes with messages like “Joe Pa <3 terno” and “We are because you were.” Say what you want about the man, he deserves some recognition for all the incredible things he did for this school, and if Penn State won’t do it, then I guess fans will need to take it upon themselves.
  • Jordan Hill appeared to have no name on his jersey. I’ve been told that it fell off during the game.

  • The student section was half full at kickoff, and then all of a sudden, it was near capacity after the first drive. This has been a pretty consistent trend, even with Bill O’Brien pleading for students to show up 30 minutes early.
  • Speaking of the student section, the pink and black S-Zone looked terrific in the whiteout. I am quite jealous of everyone who got those t-shirts.

  • Bill O’Brien yelling at referees will never get old.

We’ll be back from Iowa City in two weeks following this hopefully quiet off week. That game is at 8 p.m. at Kinnick Stadium, which should be a quite an environment (here’s a preview).

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


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