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Sweet Caroline Returns to Beaver Stadium

I gave Penn State Trustee Ted Brown a bit of a hard time last week for his Facebook post overstating the importance of playing Sweet Caroline at Penn State football games, but as it turns out, he got his wish.

For the first time in, well, a season and two games, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” made its way back through the Beaver Stadium speakers. Despite the rain and the lackluster attendance, it was the loudest rendition of the song I’ve ever heard at Beaver Stadium.

The song was removed from the regular music rotation prior to the 2012 season. Speculation was that the lines “Touching me, touching you” were a little too easy to make a joke out of in the context of the Sandusky scandal, but Penn State officials denied that the decision to discontinue the “tradition” had anything to do with the lyrics. Of course, it wasn’t really much of a tradition at all — Blue Band members from the early 2000’s have little recollection of the song being played with any regularity and it’s not clear when it became part of the Beaver Stadium music selection.

The song is played at almost every sporting venue in the country and has little or no meaning outside of New England, if you ask me. But our Tweet on Saturday garnered well over 500 RTs, so I could be in the minority on that point.

Multiple requests for comment on the decision from the gameday decision makers have been redirected or unreturned (but it was the weekend, so we’ll cut them some slack).

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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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