Game Day Observations: Wisconsin
Penn State’s emotional performance on Saturday is something that will be discussed for many years to come. Of all the games I’ve attended over the years, only 2005 Ohio State and 2007 Notre Dame came close in terms of excitement and meaning. If you were a student and didn’t give up one more day at home for this game, you should regret it. Here are the last observations of the season:
- Let’s start with the pregame festivities. Adding 2012 to the facade is simply awesome. I can’t think of a better way to honor this class. Props to David Joyner for coming up with this great idea.
- I was very skeptical about the “card stunt” (as they called it) that was planned before the game. Everyone knew that student turnout was going to be low, and a maneuver that required the entire student section’s participation was doomed for failure. As it was, the #OneTeam display in the student section was a complete failure (I imagine it looked something like “nu.._iu_…”), but the “Thank You Seniors” message down the sideline actually looked pretty awesome.
- The back of the card itself looked like instructions for a space shuttle launch or something. I was expecting to read “In case of malfunction, an oxygen mask will be deployed from underneath your seat” by the time I got to the end. Gotta love the folks in our sports marketing department.
- I took a lot of heat on Twitter for not approving of the “42” on the side of Penn State’s helmets in honor of Michael Mauti. I’m all about honoring someone as inspiring as Mauti, as Gerald Hodges did by wearing his jersey, but I thought the “42” was way over the top and embarrassingly tacky. It goes against the whole #OneTeam mentality by singling out one player, and as Mauti himself said, it’s not like he died. The opinion on Twitter seemed to be split down the middle as well. Feel free to voice yours in the comment section.
- On that note, I would totally be in favor of adding uniform numbers to helmets in the future, as Penn State did in the 1970’s. It’s a cool look, and much better than Ohio State’s stupid helmet stickers.
- The game was the coldest in recent memory. Even though the score was close at halftime, droves of fans hit the exits because it was just unbearable with the wind.
- Student attendance, as expected, was way down, although it was sill higher than Michigan State in 2010 which also happened at the end of a Thanksgiving break. But the students who came back saw the best game this senior class has ever played. I’ve personally never understood how an extra day at home could compete with a Penn State football game, but I guess that’s why I write these posts…
- I was sad to see drum major Ian Kenney miss the last two flips of the season, but he has had a remarkable career nonetheless. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a big time sap for the Blue Band, and it has been a pleasure to watch Kenney and the rest of the band all season and seasons before. And, at the very least, this dispels the popular notion that the drum major flip somehow affects the outcome of the game, right?
- NO WAGON WHEEL!!!! (Which more than made up for playing “N****s in Paris” twice.)
- Playing “Jump Around” before the fourth quarter was pretty cool too. Wisconsin fans were getting into it up in the upper deck.
- After Brandon Moseby-Felder’s touchdown was overturned, my initial reaction was to check Twitter, and for once, it actually worked. The Beaver Stadium wifi held up and I was able to see that the refs made the correct call.
- Michael Mauti, unsurprisingly, was jumping around and firing up his teammates the entire game.
- It was also the THON game. So that was cool.
- The postgame fuckers vs fighters debate has been amusing me for the past several days. Which one did he say? The world may never know, but it certainly sounded a lot like the former even if he meant the latter.
- Honestly, what more is there to say than it was a great way for the season to end? Much has been and will be written about this remarkable team, and it’s been one heckuva ride.
Thanks for following along with our observations series this year. It’s been a pleasure to share my game day experiences with all of you. We’ll have an aggregated observations recap later this week, and we’ll be back on August 31, 2013 at the Meadowlands for opening day against Syracuse. Have a great offseason!