Rutgers Fans Have Chanted ‘F–k Penn State’ At Every Football Game For A Year
It’s fairly common knowledge that Rutgers and its football team’s supporters despise Penn State a considerable amount. Of course, plenty of other fanbases share a similar disdain for Dear Old State, but it’s those other fanbases — Ohio State, Michigan, etc. — that make sense. To be frank, I understand it, and those fanbases express their animosity with an element of respect.
Here’s what I don’t get: the sheer hate Rutgers has for Penn State’s program, and the vulgar, childish manner in which it is displayed. Rutgers alumnus Scott Logan penned this piece in order to get the fanbase to reassess its behavior, as if he’s a parent that has to reprimand his child.
Thank you Scott, for showing some class and respect. But Rutgers, that’s not good enough.
To provide context, Logan’s piece outlines his pride for both university and program, and how important the team’s culture is to the overall gameday experience. But there’s one relatively new element of that culture Logan makes a point to highlight in his pseudo public service announcement.
“On September 13th, 2014, when Rutgers hosted James Franklin and the Nittany Lions, I couldn’t hear Burton’s riff. Instead, it was drowned out by a loud chant of ‘F— PENN STATE!’ Okay. Fine. It’s a night game. The fans have been drinking tailgating for several hours, so they’re a little rowdy. It’s nice to see the students united and embracing what we all hope to be a fun and competitive rivalry with PSU. Not the words I would have used, but surely the chants will die down, right?
Nope. They went on for the entire game. And they continued into the Tulane game. And the Michigan game. And the Wisconsin game. And the Indiana game. Not even ten months away would be enough to eliminate the chants, as they were audible during last week’s season opener. Students, I say this fully aware that, just months removed from my college life, I am going to sound like the cranky octogenarian yelling at you and your friends to get off my lawn.”
Okay. So I understand why Rutgers fans, especially those who followed the team circa 1995, loathe the Nittany Lions to an extent. Joe Paterno and his ’95 squad floored the accelerator and routed the Scarlet Knights 59-34 on ESPN for the entire country to see. This famously led to a rather candid meeting between Paterno and Rutgers Head Coach Doug Graber at midfield after the game, and the rest is history.
But this, 20 years later? Give me a break.
First, Rutgers fans attempted to poke fun at Penn State using the oldest, most ignorant joke in the book by wearing “Beat Ped State” shirts, then added this on. It makes the attempt at sparking a “rivalry” seem forced. Logan put it best:
“By chanting “F—Penn State” when we’re playing, say, Norfolk State, it comes off as a bunch of immature teenagers giddy that they get to say a swear word in unison.”
The Big Ten is like a club, and while its members might not like each other on gameday, there’s still a degree of respect that should be emanated by all conference members. We don’t like you when we play, but that doesn’t mean we lose respect for you.
It’s not like this is only a student issue, either. Athletic Director Julie Hermann had to apologize on behalf of the fanbase for its profane and tasteless behavior during last year’s matchup at High Point Solutions Stadium — but it turns out she’s no better than the fanbase.
In summation: Thank you Scott Logan for being mature, and showing what it really means to be part of the Big Ten. And Rutgers, I leave you with this:
Stop the chant, grow up, and let’s have ourselves some fun on Saturday.