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Gameday Observations: Blue-White 2019

Saturday’s Blue-White game was everything we could’ve hoped for: a beautiful day, an abundance of greasy, delicious tailgating food, and an “until next time” goodbye to Beaver Stadium.

There are a lot of common themes during Blue-White weekend each year (drinking, Homecoming’s logo reveal, drinking, long lines downtown, drinking), but each year is a little different than the last.

Let’s get right into it with observations from the day:

  • If you hadn’t noticed, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The veil of intermittent clouds combined with mid-70s temperatures made it easy to get a little Vitamin D without getting burnt, although the paw print sticker outline on managing editor Elissa Hill’s cheek would say otherwise. Always bring your sunscreen to Blue-White, folks, even if the forecast calls for clouds a few days before.
  • This year’s Blue-White festivities were overwhelmingly cute. The tailgate I was stationed at for most of the day was at the base of a hill near Medlar Field, which turned out to be a stomping ground for playing children and adorable dogs. The closer you got to the stadium (an arguably more family-friendly atmosphere on this day), the cuter it got. This year’s “boardwalk” theme, complete with rides and carnival games, probably helped the cause.
  • Special Olympic Hall of Famer Greg Focht’s mid-game touchdown reminded me why I love Penn State the way I do. Seeing the Penn State football players participate with the Focht and seeing all the fans react with genuine joy made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. It never felt like a display of pity or insincerity towards the Special Olympics athletes, which is unfortunately something the community still struggles with. On a day that’s so often associated with drunken stupidity, it was nice to see some love and respect going around.
  • It was also really good to see Trace McSorley at Beaver Stadium again. After Penn State’s loss to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl earlier this year, many fans agreed that wasn’t the right way to send McSorley off. Seeing him back on his home turf added a more satisfying finality to his iconic career in Happy Valley.
  • The one’s a bit more trivial, but the carnival slide at the “boardwalk” was just called “Fun Slide.” I really appreciated how direct the marketing was there.
  • Some tailgaters really got it together this year. We are not longer in the simple days of dizzy bat and cornhole. I witnessed a full on egg-toss tournament and a wrestling match at the tailgate next to ours. It was awesome to see Penn Staters getting creative.
  • There are never enough bathrooms around Beaver Stadium. One of the perks of going into the game for a little while was just getting to use a real toilet without having to wait 40 minutes in the sun for it. Since you don’t need a ticket to get into Blue-White, it’s really just a quick security check and go before you get inside. I guess you can take that as a ~hot tip~ for when you need to pee.
  • After four seasons of standing loyally in the Beaver Stadium student section, it was really nice to sit down and enjoy a chicken basket in peace. I’ve paid my dues.
  • Seeing Dan Chisena get swallowed up in a crowd of his teammates congratulating him on a touchdown and a full scholarship reminded me of all the victory huddles I’ve seen over the last four years. Whether it was a big win or a “we just barely squeaked by” moment, Penn State football knows how to celebrate. That spirit was alive and well during Blue-White, but this time, it was completely internal. No opponent needed.
  • I don’t care what anyone says: Going to a completely crowded, sweaty bar in all your tailgating clothes after the game ends is awesome. It’s an experience every Penn Stater should have under their belt before graduation.

Thanks for following along with us ’til our last trip to Beaver Stadium of the school year. We’ll see you in the fall!

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's former student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys really enjoys eating cereal at night, in case you were wondering. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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