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No Place For Gimmicks And Chains In A Program Bound By Tradition

As Miami continues its undefeated 2017 campaign, the team’s “turnover chain” is receiving more and more media attention. Essentially, when a player forces a turnover, he gets to wear the Miami-style chain and dangle the huge “U” logo from his neck on the sidelines.

So far, players have worn the chain — and forced turnovers in their games — a total of 19 times this season. That said, some are touting the success of the new incentive.

But it’s incredibly gimmicky.

The DAILY Collegian published an article Tuesday saying Miami’s chain is “the perfect viral marketing and recruiting tool to build a program.”

The article goes on to suggest Penn State bring on a new turnover tradition of its own, like “The Golden Grilled Sticky Chain,” diamond-studded sunglasses, the James Franklin No. 1 one foam finger, or — you can’t make this stuff up — a rusty milk can (to pay homage to Penn State’s agricultural roots, of course).

I know you’re all thinking it, so I’ll just say it: Penn State doesn’t need a turnover chain, or any version thereof, for that matter.

Here in Happy Valley, we have football traditions that span generations.

And it isn’t just Joe Paterno, although “Success with Honor” remains a phrase to live by, in State College and in the lives of Penn Staters everywhere who remember what Paterno stood for.

It’s even more than that.

Whether you call it Paternoville or Nittanyville, hundreds of students camp out alongside Beaver Stadium leading up to home games.

Thousands of fans make the trek to every game, and you’d be hard pressed to walk through the fields adjacent to Beaver Stadium without finding a tailgate willing to take you in as if you’re part of the family. At the end of the day, Penn State is family.

Every Saturday, our favorite boys arrive at the stadium in their iconic blue buses to suit up in their black shoes and basic blues. It’s a classic look.

The drum major flips for good luck and the Blue Bland performs its famous “Floating Lions Drill.”

“We Are…Penn State” echoes through the stadium. It’s hard to imagine it any other way.

The Nittany Lion revels in his one-armed pushups and obliges with a crowd surf every time the student section chants “We want the lion!”

We sing the Penn State Alma Mater after every game, in sunshine or the pouring rain, in victory or defeat.

The best traditions don’t start out as incentives, or recruiting tactics. They come from the heart.

The Nittany Lions play for each other, not for themselves. It’s about the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. That’s another tradition: no names, all game.

Penn State doesn’t need a turnover chain, or any other short-lived gimmick.

The Nittany Lions are timeless.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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