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Five Nostalgic Things We Want To See At Saturday’s Generations Of Greatness Throwback Game

Saturday’s “Generations of Greatness” game against Indiana has been widely anticipated since Penn State announced it as a day of homage to past Nittany Lion teams with retro uniforms, end zones, music, and fan fare back in June. While we are just as excited as the players are for Saturday’s white cleats and elaborately and historically designed uniforms, we have a few other ideas about what we’d want to see for the ultimate throwback game.

Pink and black uniforms

The ultimate throwback is throwing it back to the nineteenth century and the school’s original colors. Penn State basketball has debuted black and pink jerseys in the past and there seems to be a strong demand for football to design its own, whether for games like Saturday or Homecoming, when the “S Zone” is clad in the audacious fashion option.

James Franklin wearing Coke-bottle glasses

This. Must. Happen.

One commenter suggested fans come fully dressed as Joe Paterno but I think Franklin trading his usual sleek glasses for Joe’s trademark Coke bottle glasses would be a fair alternative, since it’d be hard to work rolled up khakis into Franklin’s debonair gameday getup of fitted, athletic khakis and golf shirts. Plus, seeing Franklin barking out orders behind Joe’s thick frames would be sure to get fans as riled up as the half-second pregame clip of those same rolled up khakis.


Many fans have struggled to accept the dedicated student org’s name change in recent years. If we are really talking about celebrating the legacy of Penn State football, Nittanyville should bring back its original name for this weekend. Or at least on a sign, so we can feel like we truly are back in the heydays of Penn State football.

Just a few more tweets like this show up if you search “Paternoville” on Twitter, by the way.

Throwback Tunes

If “December, 1963” doesn’t come on during the game at least as much as “Humble” does, I will issue a boycott of college football. The Four Seasons’ hit has it all for Saturday: old school vibes to fit the throwback theme and significant meaning as the song that engulfed Beaver Stadium as students cascaded onto the field last October.

Additional note: “Closer” was the unofficially official song of home games last season and if we are truly celebrating Nittany Lion successes, that gem has to be re-worked in Beaver Stadium Music Man PJ Mullen’s repertoire more than the 15-second teaser he’s tantalized fans with this season.

Old School Rules

This one is a little far-fetched and would require some help from the NCAA, but because the game has evolved so much over the past half-century, I think paying tribute to earlier styles of play would be in the spirit of the theme.

Around the mid-point of the 20th century, the game favored ground attacks, with 35 of the first 51 Heisman winners between 1935 and 1985 being running backs, fullbacks, and halfbacks. So for one, let’s revert the rules a bit so Saquon Barkley can easily pad his stats even more and bolster that Heisman resume.

I also recommend Indiana and Penn State comply with other early rules by fielding only 50 player-rosters and having limited substitutions like teams did in the 1950s, prior to how teams now suit up more than 100 players on each sideline every week. That way, we’d be able to see players double on both sides of the ball and experience all the hype that Trace McSorley had when he was recruited by most teams as a cornerback, not a quarterback in high school.

While we’re at it, to make things more exciting, let’s bring back the rule allowing players to grab opponents by the facemask and throw crack back blocks. The former wasn’t a penalty until 1957, two years before Penn State’s Liberty Bowl win, which is being commemorated on Saturday’s jerseys and the latter was legal until 1971.

What else do you want to see at Saturday’s “Generations of Greatness’ game? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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