Planning Your Perfect Game Day
Without a doubt, home football Saturdays give me more energy than anything else on this campus. Much to the chagrin of my roommates, my days usually start with me waking up and screaming in delight, completely incapable of controlling my excitement. For this, and a few other reasons, I generally don’t drink before games, save for maybe a beer here or there. Whether you don’t drink, or don’t feel like drinking early, football games can be just as fun sober.
8:45 a.m.: If you’re generally not a big college football fan, you can probably stay asleep. But if you’re anything like me, and want to experience as much college football as possible, this is your wakeup call. Allowing for 15 minutes of grogginess, this wakeup will let you start your day with the best college football program on television and the only thing ESPN does consistently well anymore: College Football Gameday. Since the game is at noon, you won’t be able to catch the entirety of the three-hour show, but I highly recommend starting your day here — it always gives me that extra boost and leaves me counting down the minutes until kickoff.
9:30 a.m.: For the rest of you, this is a solid time to start. Even if you don’t drink, it’s nice to meander the tailgate fields and find friends or just take in the atmosphere, and starting any later than this will make it difficult to do all that and still make it to the game on time. For those of you already up, this is usually a good time to start getting showered and dressed, as Gameday hits something of a lull until the rest of its viewers wake up.
10:30 a.m.: This is usually a good time to head over to the fields to meet up with friends, tailgate a little and get close to Beaver Stadium so you’re ready to head on in whenever you choose. If you’re really ambitious, you can go in at this time and generally secure an amazing seat right next the action.
11-11:30 a.m.: This is a good time range to get into the stadium to assure a solid view and make sure you get to see all the pageantry that is the Beaver Stadium pregame experience.
11:30 a.m.-Noon: If you’re not already in the stadium, get there, or at least start heading over. Going late isn’t the end of the world, but why miss a minute of Penn State football if you don’t have to?
3:30 p.m. Kickoffs:
9:00 a.m.: If you’re an avid Gameday fan, I would still suggest you wake up and take in the best show on Saturday mornings. Take that, cartoons.
Noon: Other unlucky schools’ games start, and if you’re not already awake, there’s nothing better than waking up and immediately being able to turn on football. Plus, for 3:30 games there’s always more tailgating, so you’re bound to find a place to go.
1-2 p.m.: Assuming it’s not freezing yet, this range is a great time to head out to tailgates. If you’re not drinking, an hour or two is a perfect amount of time to get some food, see some friends, and take in the gameday experience at a leisurely pace.
2:30-3 p.m.: Much like noon games, this time range gets you solid seats and even time to pick up a chicken basket if your heart desires.
3-3:30 p.m.: Again, get to the game.
9 a.m.-Noon: Blah blah blah, Gameday, noon games, wake up, you know.
1 p.m.-5 p.m.: So, when I drink for games, this is the time. It’s easy to get a little buzzed, or even somewhat drunk and still feel good for when the game starts. Night games are marathons – but unlike daylongs, you actually have to be coherent come the end of drinking. If you really don’t drink, you can either find a tailgate and hang out, or find something else to do. Either way it’s going to be a long day, so pace yourself.
5 p.m.-7 p.m.: If you don’t have a tailgate to go to for a night game, find one. Beg your friends, ask random people that look friendly (risky, but if you do it, look for old alums — they usually love students). Tailgating is a quintessential part of the Penn State football experience and if you don’t go, you’re really, really missing out.
7 p.m.-8 p.m.: Good seats, plenty of time, etc.
8 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: Seriously, assuming you woke up by noon, you’ve had eight hours to get ready and get your ass in the stadium. If you’re just a tailgate junkie, getting in late can be acceptable for earlier games, but by 8 p.m. it’s dark, everyone’s been tailgating for hours, and there’s really no reason not to go to the game. Night game are few and far between, and missing them is a travesty. Don’t be that person.
It’s almost here, folks. Get excited.
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About the Author
The changes unloaded this week in a dense email full of new directions and buried leads made an attempt to fix what was broken. But unfortunately, they do little to address what I’ve observed to be the real pain points of cramming 22,000 college students into a football stadium seven times a year.
Students, faculty, and staff should update their Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Linux devices before they return to campus.
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