Why Doesn’t Penn State Wear White For The White Out?
Before you start firing off your angry Facebook comments about how Penn State should never deviate from basic blues at home, please hear me out.
In his time at Penn State, James Franklin has been THE biggest advocate for the Penn State White Out, as you can tell from his tweets:
Franklin loves to encourage fans to wear white from head to toe, yet he hasn’t worn white for a White Out since the 2015 game against Michigan.
Now, I’m not here to call James Franklin a hypocrite, but it does seem awfully hypocritical to tell fans to wear white and then show up in navy like any other game. Also, not once has Franklin dressed the Nittany Lions up in their clean whites for the occasion.
Okay, NOW you can attack me for wanting the players to wear white to the White Out, but it would be really cool to see the team wear all white in solidarity with the fans. Plus, I think it would send the other team in a frenzy to truly see nothing but white everywhere — like that creepy episode of Spongebob where they go to the future.
Ultimately, it just really bummed me out that someone I admire so much could be so hypocritical, so I went to practice Wednesday night to ask Franklin why he hasn’t been following his own advice.
Here I am, asking Franklin the question I have been practicing in the mirror for a year-and-a-half to open Wednesday night’s media scrum:
Although, I was half-expecting Franklin to shoot my question down to focus on Michigan (Michigan, Michigan…), the White Out enthusiast was eager to respond to my
aggressive passionate question.
“Part of the White Out is the contrast,” Franklin said. “It helps us if everybody else is in white. It makes our players stand out on the field for our quarterbacks and those types of things.”
I get where he’s coming from with the contrast point, but I don’t know if I completely buy it. If Penn State’s players are contrasting with the white background, that means the other team is blending in, which could potentially make it easier for Penn State quarterbacks to lose track of the opposing team’s safeties downfield. Also, Iowa wears black for its Black Out, and the Hawkeyes don’t seem to have any issues in those games.
But the main reason the team doesn’t wear white for the White Out is, you guessed it, the stinkin’ NCAA.
“We can’t wear white at home. There’s NCAA rules,” Franklin said. “It’s not like we can just show up and wear whatever we want to wear. We would have to get permission from the opposing team to allow us to wear white, and I would never do that for anybody else, so we haven’t even gone that route.”
Yes, rules are rules, but there are teams that have gotten approval to wear white at home before. For example, LSU wears white for *checks notes* nearly every home game.
While the NCAA rules are a total fun-killer, I do love the fact that Franklin has never even tried to get permission from another team, because he would be too
competitive petty to let another team wear white at home against him.
Unfortunately, Franklin never did tell me why he stopped wearing white for the White Out, but he did say, “I’m glad you brought it up, and obviously you are passionate about it, because it was aggressive how you came at me like that.”
Hopefully, he’ll remember that passion for the White Out when he chooses his outfit for Saturday.
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About the Author
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