THON Q&A With ESPN’s John Buccigross
John Buccigross, a SportsCenter anchor and all-around awesome guy, decided to stop by the Bryce Jordan Center this morning to check out THON for the first time. Buccigross, one of NCAA Hockey’s biggest advocates and the creator of the #BucciOvertimeChallenge, came across the road after the Penn State hockey game ended in Pegula.
We were able to catch up with Bucci and ask him a few questions about his time in the BJC.
This is your first THON experience. What’s your first impression so far?
It’s amazing. I love the juice. I love the energy. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I can feel the love, and I can feel the purpose. This is what college is all about.
How long are you in town for? Any chance you’ll stick around until Sunday afternoon for the reveal?
It looks like there’s snow coming in, so I’ll probably stay the night tomorrow and leave Sunday morning. I have to do SportsCenter Sunday night, so I’ll probably drive right to work! From here, it’s about five hours [away].
What made you decide to come over here from Pegula?
[I heard] through social media. I had heard about it before, but when I said I was coming to do the hockey games, a lot of people on Twitter said, “You have to come to THON!” So I’m just hanging out. It’s 1 o’clock in the morning, instead of going to bed at the Hampton Inn, I said, “Let’s go to THON!”
Life is about experiences, and life is about living. This, this, is living right here. You want to help those who battle with [cancer], that’s the whole point. We’re healthy, we’re lucky. We get to live on our own terms. Some people don’t get to live on their own terms. They have to live on their own body’s terms. We’re here to help them, so they can live like we live.
Had you heard about THON before this weekend’s trip to Happy Valley?
I had heard mentions of it, I didn’t quite get the feel of it. Like anything, you can’t get the concept until you’re here. Now I’m here. Now I get it. That’s part of being a journalist, and part of being a reporter. You gotta go and feel it! That’s why I like going to ball games, even if I’m not working. I try to go to every baseball park, every basketball [arena]. That way, when I do a highlight, I know what it feels like in there. That helps me do my job better.
What’s your favorite part so far? Has anything stuck out?
I like the colors. It’s so colorful, which is cool. Everyone is obviously fully invested, which I love. In any situation, I love when people are fully invested and all in. It’s a term I use a lot, “All in.” I love being in places like this, where people are all in.