What Would A Friday Gameday In State College Actually Be Like?
Ever since the Big Ten introduced Friday night games in 2016, Penn State has been vehemently opposed to the concept. Athletics declared that Beaver Stadium would never host a Friday night game and that the team would play no more than one on the road per season.
Even though the Nittany Lions will never play a home game under Friday night lights, we love to speculate. Let’s look at what a Friday game day in State College might actually be like.
The sun rises over State College on Friday, as it does every day — allegedly. Traffic is already starting to peak, as College Ave. is bumper-to-bumper and I-99 is more parking lot than interstate. Still, cars and RVs begin to trickle into the tailgating lots because it’s gameday, dammit.
Students snooze their morning alarms. After all, it is game day, which is its own day on the calendar, independent of whatever arbitrary day of the week is assigned to it. Everyone knows there are no classes on game day, only tailgates. Sleep on, State.
Professors who didn’t have the common courtesy and/or common sense to just cancel class wait through hours of traffic just to be greeted by an empty classroom. It’s a shame, but they really should have known better. Even President Barron calls in sick today.
The Willard Preacher realizes that preaching from his usual perch is futile today, so he decides to relocate to the IM Fields — the source of sin.
Those who are awake and not stuck in traffic clamber to turn on College GameDay, only to come to the sobering realization of “Oh shit, it’s Friday.” Maybe College GameDay didn’t get the message that today is gameday.
The tailgating lots are full, and the promise of great food and underage drinking draws hordes of students, as per usual on gameday. Still, there is some sense of confusion among Penn Staters.
Some wonder if they had an assignment due or if they were supposed to have a quiz in class today, but then they remember that it’s gameday. Have you ever heard of having class or anything important to do on gameday? Exactly. Remaining worries are drowned by burgers, hot dogs, and cheap beer.
Yep, it’s definitely gameday. At this point, if you didn’t know any better, you might even think it was Saturday.
Friday Night: Game Time
Just as crowds of students and alumni begin to make their way into Beaver Stadium, a sudden realization sweeps over all of them.
Today isn’t gameday. It can’t be gameday. Today’s Friday!
With that, fans stop dead in their tracks and turn around in unison. Most depart the tailgating lots for State College High to watch some good ol’ fashion Central PA football, just like God intended. After all, it is Friday.
Students rush home to do the assignments they forgot about all day, praying that they have enough time to meet their 11:59 deadlines. Their grades may suffer from intoxication, but at this point, completion is the only goal.
At the forgotten Beaver Stadium, the game kicks off under the lights. Penn State hangs 100 on Rutgers, but not a soul was there to witness.
Afterward, Sandy Barbour and James Franklin meet in the Beaver Stadium press box. The two enjoy a glass of Scotch, a cigar, and each other’s company, as they overlook the empty field.
“You know, we were right to oppose Friday night games,” Sandy says, breaking the silence.
“Next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday, next Saturday,” replies Franklin.
The day ends as it began: peaceful silence.
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About the Author
KJ Hamler’s phenomenal game propelled Penn State to a huge victory under White Out conditions.
Penn State’s linebackers played a huge role in Saturday’s nerve-wracking victory.
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