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Onward Debate: Are You A ‘Bad Fan’ For Not Watching Penn State Football?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know Penn State football isn’t having a season to remember…or remotely acknowledge.

The Nittany Lions are 0-5 for the first time in their 113-year history following embarrassing defeats to Indiana, Ohio State, Maryland, Nebraska, and Iowa. With a winning Penn State season out of reach for the first time in more than a decade, it can be hard to justify tuning in to games anymore.

Penn State fans are as loyal as they come, and not much can change that. But are you a bad fan for refusing to watch while the Nittany Lions are playing poorly? Two of our resident football-watchers weighed in.

Matt DiSanto: Hell No!

No matter how hard you root for your team and its players, you don’t owe them a damn thing. If Penn State were to come out for the sixth straight game looking like crap and head into halftime down four scores, turn that TV off, salvage your afternoon, and don’t look back.

Being a “good fan” doesn’t mean being blindly loyal. Root for your guys when they’re playing well and deserve a pat on the back, but don’t let them run your life. Stepping away from a bad game is a form of self-care more football fans should practice.

And while you’re at it, don’t let anyone else tell you’re a “fair-weather fan” or a disloyal supporter. Gatekeeping, specifically in sports, flat-out sucks, and no one has the right to tell you you’re a bad fan.

Years from now, no one’s going to care if you watched every pitiful minute of an awful season or chose to flip the channel in a heartbeat. What do you want, a medal for your service? What’s important is you wanted to support the team at one point and will again soon.

You’re just as much a Penn State fan as anyone else, regardless of how long you stick around on gameday. Go State, always.

Meredith Lea: Well…Technically

Yeah, we know, this season is bad. Don’t rub it in. But first, I’d like to point out that what’s amazing is that regardless of Penn State’s scores, we’re witnessing a season for the history books.

From all the tweets from players and fans to the countless meetings by the Big Ten, Penn State had a huge part in making sure that we were able to play in the first place. I think the only thing that would be MORE devastating than giving it our best and losing every game this year would be to not be able to have a season at all. That alone is a reason for us to keep watching and support our team.

As a Penn State fan, you know that the energy of the fans fuels the team — and there’s a lot of disappointed fans out there — but we can’t let that negative energy come back to bite us.

As a student and a part of Penn State’s massive fan base, I say it’s time that we rally. Our students were the Live Más student section of the year last season through good times and bad, and we can’t let this year’s string of defeats take away our spirit. Fans need to support other fans as well as our team. We’re in this together for the Glory of Old State. We’re still a Penn State family — it’s “We Are,” not “We Were.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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