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Onward Debate: Moving The Thanksgiving Break Football Game

As the Penn State football season comes to an exciting close and students have begun preparing for break, students are already contemplating whether they’ll return to see their Nittany Lions finish out the season against Michigan State or enjoy their last days of break from home. Many students believe the game should occur at the start of break while others want to maintain tradition and keep it at the end.

Two of our writers debated if the game should permanently occur before or after break:

Keep It How It Is  – Caitlin Gailey 

There is no better escape from family drama than Penn State football. For those eager to leave the family firing squad of questions and their hometown friends, a game at the end of Thanksgiving break is your perfect excuse. No one will blame you for returning to see your beloved team finish their season or watch the seniors enjoy their last home game. Every home game at Beaver is precious and one the Saturday after Thanksgiving is no exception.

For those who enjoy a little extra family time, a game following Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity to have them visit State. Many families are unable to travel during the season due to work schedules, but Thanksgiving gives them the extra days off they need for travel. Tickets are usually considerably cheaper and easier to come by, which is ideal for someone looking for their first visit to Beaver Stadium. If you don’t want to escape your family you don’t have to, and they can finally enjoy the magic of home games and tailgating atmosphere despite their careers.

Whether you’re fleeing family or bringing them with you a game following Thanksgiving break offers opportunity for everyone. Nostalgic seniors can extend their glory days for one more game and some students can escape the anxiety and discomfort of home. The possibilities are endless, like seeing a Penn State football team finish its season 10-2.

For The Love of Family And Wallet, Move Thanksgiving Games – Mitch Stewart

For someone who lives five hours away from campus and doesn’t get to visit family often, it is much more important to me to be home during the end of the week when many of my extended family members stay overnight at our home. Most people are still working towards the first weekend of our student break and are more likely to take the latter half of the week off to spend time with my family. Having to try and travel back on Black Friday when I could be laying on my couch with my dog under pounds of leftover turkey is much more appealing than trying to navigate my way back to campus via the Roanoke, Philadelphia, or University Park airports just a single day after one of the most popular holidays on the calendar.

Granted, if it was a better matchup (i.e. a ranked opponent), I would probably be more likely to be swayed. But a Michigan State team that will not even be bowl eligible is not enough for me to sprint away from my mom’s holiday cooking. If this was last year’s Michigan State team, there’s a good chance I may have sucked it up and considered coming home.

Overall, I imagine this is the general consensus: The further away you live, the more likely you’d be to stay an extra day at the beginning of break for some Penn State football than you would be for a game just two days after break. It is a lot less of a headache for you and whoever is buying your ticket (hi, Mom and Dad) and you’ll be able to enjoy a little bit more quality time with your family.

About the Author


Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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