Staff Picks: Cardboard Cutouts We Want At Beaver Stadium
Penn State football will finally make its long-awaited return in just 11 days. Unfortunately, there won’t be many folks there to see it.
Although Penn State Athletics won’t allow any fans or tailgating this season, it followed suit with many other college football programs and announced last week fans can buy cardboard cutouts for games this fall.
As great as it will be to see 107,000 of our closest friends in Beaver Stadium this fall, cardboard is better than nothing!
Our staffers offered a few of their favorites they’d especially like to see at the Nittany Lions’ games this fall.
Will Pegler: Michael Mauti
Michael Mauti is without a doubt one of the most important Penn State football players of recent memory. Along with being a dominant linebacker for the Nittany Lions, Mauti helped hold the program together (along with F*LLBACK Michael Zordich) as it nearly crumbled under the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the sanctions that followed.
When the star linebacker suffered a season-ending knee injury during his senior year in 2012, head coach Bill O’Brien had his players wear Mauti’s No. 42 on their helmets during a Senior Day victory over Wisconsin. Mauti was clearly invaluable to the program during those dark days, and he should continue to be honored as a Nittany Lion legend.
Mauti has since been featured in several hype videos before some of Penn State’s biggest game of recent years, so why not have a cardboard cutout of him pumping up the crowd in the front row of Beaver Stadium?
Dana Nunemacher: The Willard Preacher
There are plenty of Penn State icons that deserve a place in Beaver Stadium, but how about The Willard Preacher? Gary Cattell works an almost 9-5 schedule every weekday, damning us all to Hell for our parties and other “extracurriculars.” He comes ready to work hard in his iconic red hoodie. Gary, if you are reading this, can we talk about the red hoodie? Could you pick another color?
Anyway, it’s not an easy job to argue with college students all day, but someone needs to do it. The Willard Preacher is out there rain or shine, and even now during a pandemic. I don’t know if The Willard Preacher has ever attended a Penn State football game, but I just know he would love it. Please get this Penn State hero a cardboard cutout.
Frankie Marzano: The Joe Paterno Statue
If we can’t bring back the JoePa statue in front of Beaver Stadium, we might as well bring it back in the form of cardboard. We’ve seen sports teams all over the country put in cutouts of iconic figures in that team’s history, so why not put the
statue cardboard in the house that JoePa pretty much built? Maybe the spirit of Paterno’s presence will even bring Penn State a repeat of 2005 when the Nittany Lions upset Ohio State at home.
Sasha Kalika: Saquon Barkley
Come on, folks. Who wouldn’t want Saquon back in Beaver Stadium?
Mira DiBattiste: The Big Uglies
I think Beaver Stadium would truly be incomplete without cutouts of the Big Uglies. They’ve been a staple of the stadium since they first showed up in 1992 and have been icons of Penn State culture ever since. The Duda brothers have been attending games in masks for almost 30 years now and have been invited to countless other Penn State events, so it only makes sense that they get a cutout.
Matt Rudisill: Franco Harris
During his first season in 1969, Harris was an integral piece in the second consecutive undefeated season for Penn State. He rushed for 643 yards and amassed 10 touchdowns through the course of that magical season. Finishing his career with 2,002 rushing yards, Harris left his mark on Penn State football forever.
Harris cemented his legacy at Penn State by being drafted with the No. 13 overall pick in the 1972 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he joined Penn State teammate Jack Ham. Harris and the mid-70s Steelers are still considered as one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history, winning four Super Bowls in a six-year span.
Franco Harris has contributed so much to the history books during his football career, and I believe his cutout should be in Beaver Stadium so he can be a part of more. As a Steelers fan myself, I can’t help but promote a legendary Pittsburgh figure that’s also a Penn Stater.
Jackson Buchenauer: The 2016 Big Ten Championship Football Team
Cardboard cutouts of the entire 2016 Big Ten Championship team would be an easy crowd-pleaser. Besides, who doesn’t want to relive that epic battle of a season with a key win against Ohio State thanks to a blocked field goal or Wisconsin thanks to some late-game magic?
Of course, the heartbreaking Rose Bowl loss is something we all want to forget, but for a team that wasn’t even predicted to rank in the AP Top 25 Poll, a trip to Pasadena was quite impressive. The rise of an underrated group of elite players and the storylines of the 2016 team are something Penn State and its fans should emulate this year. I don’t think there’s any better cast of players to represent the crowd.
Shannon Smith: The Jonas Brothers
I was looking forward to a Jonas Brother sighting in Beaver Stadium this year. They have always shown their continuous support and love for Penn State. It’s unfortunate that the brothers won’t be able to return to Happy Valley this year, but who says they can’t be here in spirit? Paying homage to the JoBros in Beaver Stadium this year with a cardboard cutout would allow them to still be able to cheer on the Nittany Lions from the stands.
Gabe Angieri: Trace McSorley
The current Baltimore Ravens quarterback established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in program history during his tenure and helped lead the team to its 2016 Big Ten Championship victory.
Put a cardboard cutout of the Nittany Lion legend in the first row of the stadium, he’s certainly earned it.
Matt DiSanto: Russ Rose
If we’re hellbent on adding cutouts of Penn State legends to Beaver Stadium’s bleachers this season, Russ Rose needs a spot. Look, the guy knows how to win. After all, the longtime women’s volleyball coach has racked up seven NCAA titles and 1,299 total wins in his 41 years of action.
Plus, it’s not like he’d be too busy doing much else this fall while women’s volleyball waits to begin its season in January. To leave Rose out would be a disservice to everyone.
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