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Big Uglies ‘Saved’ After Dispute With Beaver Stadium

The Big Uglies have been known for pumping up fans at Penn State home football games for more than 25 years, but that nearly came to an end due to complaints about their presence in the walkways of the stadium over the past year.

David, Paul, and John Duda — the three brothers behind the masks — announced that they were asked to return to their seats and change the ways they interacted with other fans due to these complaints on Monday, but said that they would be allowed to occupy the walkways as usual in the future.

Bucky Quici — a supervisor for the ushers in Beaver Stadium’s public sections — came to an agreement with the Big Uglies to allow them to roam around Beaver Stadium’s walkways as usual, according to the group’s Facebook page.

According to their original Facebook post, Beaver Stadium personnel instructed the Big Uglies to first stay in the tunnel that feeds into Beaver Stadium’s concourse, then instructed them to leave the tunnel altogether and return to their seats. Fans allegedly complained about the group blocking fans’ views of the game “for a year or so now.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Big Uglies, you probably know them as those fans with the ugly masks that get shown on the scoreboard at every home game. The trio, however, has become an iconic part of the gameday experience in Happy Valley.

The men behind the masks are three brothers — David, Paul, and John Duda. All three graduated from Penn State, grew up a block away from campus, and have cemented themselves in Penn State football folklore since they began attending games together in their masks in 1992.

The story of the Big Uglies began when their mother went to a garage sale and spent 30 cents on three masks that only existed because of a Hertz car rental promotion. She gave her sons the masks, and David, Paul, and John began wearing them to every Penn State home football game. 

The Dudas, who have jobs ranging from teaching to neurology, stayed largely anonymous until ESPN featured their story in November 2015. They’ve become beloved by Penn State fans for their enthusiasm, passion, and sportsmanship with fans of opposing teams. 

Despite a brief conflict, the story seems to have a happy ending, at least for now: The Big Uglies will be back in business next week for Penn State’s White Out clash with Ohio State.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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