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References The 2020 Line Dance Missed

Another year, another THON, and another line dance to boogie to for 46 hours. Folks seemed to love this year’s line dance, per usual, as THON 2020 provided another solid mix of pop culture homages, Penn State news, and sports references.

With that in mind, it’s hard to capture everything that happened in the past 365. What was missing from this year’s line dance?

Jonathan Sutherland’s Letter

The racist letter sent to Penn State football’s Jonathan Sutherland was a big enough story to get picked up by national new sources, so it should have been a big enough story to make the line dance. Plus, both the team and the Penn State community were able to rally around the letter, uniting Penn Staters together against hate speech.

Hot Girl Summer

It was hard to go on the internet during summer 2019 without being smacked in the face with a hot girl summer meme. Ty Dolla $ign, who headlined a free SPA concert last semester, is featured on the original Hot Girl Summer song that sparked the meme craze. Missing a meme is one thing, but there’s even a bit of a Penn State connection on this one!

References To New Albums

Although the line dance included a lyrical homage to Old Town Road and a brief Taylor Swift mention, we would have liked to see a reference to some of the new albums that dropped in 2019. Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, and even Kanye West released highly-anticipated projects during the year, so it would have been fun to see some album names included. You could probably make “Nittany Lion” and “Fine Line” rhyme — just saying.

The Election Cycle

Although the presidential election obviously isn’t until November of this year, things have certainly been heating up on the campaign trail. Candidates have dropped out, others have appeared out of nowhere, and some have even visited Penn State. It’s an easy topic to cover with a lyric or two, but it’s still been an important cultural aspect of the past year.


It looks like the line dance ignored that we have a new quarterback at the helm of the football program. No, he’s not a big red dog, but Sean Clifford got the keys to the offense from Trace McSorley at the beginning of the 2019 season, as the previous starting quarterback graduated and now plays for the Ravens. We would’ve liked to see some love for our new king.

College GameDay

Although GameDay coming to Happy Valley for the White Out has become a bit of a tradition, it’s still a special occasion every time it happens. Lyric ideas: “GameDay visits Happy Valley,” or “Lee Corso picks the Lions.” Yes, we know you just read those in the tone of the line dance.

Juice Wrld

Although his passing wasn’t as big of news as Kobe Bryant’s, we still think it should warrant a quick mention — or at least a song in the line dance. Lots of Penn State students were big fans of his, and it was a big cultural moment of the last year.


They had renegade in the line dance, so why not get the gat? The LSU football team popularized the dance after winning the CFB national championship, and it has become a bit of a trend recently. It’s fun, the song gets the people going, it’s easy to do. Oh well.

Houston Astros Cheating Scandal

The sports world has been rocked over the past few months by this cheating scandal. The Houston Astros were caught using cameras and banging trash cans to alert their batters for what pitch was coming during the 2017 season, and are rumored to have taken even more lengths to steal signs. The MLB hasn’t handled the whole situation very ~well~ so far and has taken quite a bit of heat for it. Maybe a line could’ve been thrown in about revoking that 2017 World Series Championship? Sorry, Houston.

What reference would you have liked to hear in the THON 2020 line dance?

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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