Onward State Debates: Should Every Home Game be a Whiteout?
Penn State is widely known for its whiteout games and the intense atmosphere that each brings. Traditionally, Penn State has one “official” full-stadium whiteout per season, with a few student-declared whiteouts sprinkled in. When the UCF game was declared a whiteout earlier this week, some students complained on social media that having a student whiteout this early in the season for a non-conference opponent makes the exercise less special.
Two of our writers debate the subject in another edition of Onward Debates.
Whiteout Every Game: David Abruzesse
I personally think that a whiteout for every home game would be a great idea. Traditionalists might argue with my premise, but let me explain.
Why not immerse opposing teams in the loudest, craziest environment in college football every single game? Beaver Stadium is one of the most intimidating places to play already, but when all 108,000 of its screaming fans are decked out in white, it makes it even harder to play for the opposition.
Flow and rhythm for opponents becomes thrown off during these games, forcing coaches to burn timeouts and increasing the likelihood of stupid penalties — offsides, false starts, the usual penalties that make you want to curse and pull your hair out. These whiteouts also have a physical effect on opposing teams, making the ball nearly impossible to see for a visiting player not used to the rowdy nature of Beaver Stadium.
Penn State would not be the only school routinely doing a form of the whiteout. Michigan fans are dressed head to toe in all maize for every single home game. If you watched Michigan vs. Notre Dame this past weekend, you probably saw nothing but a sea of golden yellow engulfing “The Big House”. The only color that can be seen at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field is maroon, and the last time I checked Kyle Field is no easy venue for opponents to play at.
Lots of schools and their respective fan bases are utilizing the one color scheme for every single home game. It creates a more intimidating environment, and its just so enjoyable to be a part of. So why shouldn’t Penn State join in the fun?
Stop Devaluing The Whiteout: Zach Berger
I’ll tell you why. Penn State shouldn’t join in on the fun because whiteouts are supposed to special. The whiteout game is supposed to be the game you look forward to all season long as a fan, the game that you have circled on your calendar. The whiteout game is supposed to be against a rival opponent or a great football school like ‘Bama. It’s supposed to get the fans more pumped up than usual when the opponent calls for it.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Central Florida, because it’s a strong team and it’s the best non-conference opponent on Penn State’s schedule this season. But they don’t warrant a whiteout. If Central Florida gets one, doesn’t that lessen the value of a whiteout against Ohio State or Michigan or Michigan State? Doesn’t the value of the whiteout game go down when any old team gets on when they come play at Beaver Stadium?
There’s nothing better than standing in a sea of white at Beaver Stadium, standing for three hours straight, and screaming your head off for a huge game against a huge opponent. Penn State may have lost to Ohio State last season, but that game stands out as one of my best experiences at Beaver Stadium during my four years in Happy Valley. I want those that come after me to enjoy that same experience when they come to Penn State. If there’s a whiteout for every game, it loses the cachet that it has attained in recent years.
I do understand the argument that other schools do it and that it furthers the intimidation factor that Beaver Stadium has every Saturday. But in the process of upping the intimidation level, you’d be ruining something special by making it a weekly event. And Beaver Stadium is plenty intimidating as is with a sea of blue and white.