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Staff Picks: What Day In Penn State History Would You Live On Repeat?

Have you ever wanted to relive a day of your Penn State experience? How about over and over in an endless loop? While we here at Onward State are not far off on the time travel technology needed to make that happen, our staffers thought, “Hey, what day would we choose?”

Twenty-eight years ago, Bill Murray’s blockbuster comedy, “Groundhog Day,” hit theaters. In the film, Murray plays weather reporter Phil Connors, who finds himself reliving the worst day of his life over and over again until he sees the errors of his ways and becomes a better man.

Our staffers certainly didn’t pick the worst days they’ve had at Penn State to live again and again. Instead, they chose the best, most interesting memories of their Penn State experience.

Jordan Mansberger: 2013 Michigan Game

Right in the prime years of the short-but-fondly-remembered Bill O’Brien era, there are few moments that I look back on with more joy as a Penn State football fan than that game.

I mean, it had it all. Allen Robinson was incredible. Christian Hackenberg threw dimes. This all led up to a decision to go for it on fourth down in quadruple overtime to defeat the Wolverines 43-40.

While I was only 13 at the time, I can still remember how stressful and fun that game was as a young fan. What better way to live a day on repeat than to be stressed for 90% of it?

Charles Reinert: The Day I Got Accepted

There’s not a whole lot of days I’d rather relive in Penn State history than the day I got accepted.

I remember it was a cloudy day, and I was anxiously waiting for an admission email from the university. We all know the feeling, the restlessness, and the stress that comes with waiting for the email that held the answer to your future. I’ve been set on coming to Penn State since I was small, and I knew this is where I wanted to spend my college years.

Then one day, in Mrs. Daou’s 8th-period science class, I finally got the email I was waiting for. It felt like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders, and it was a feeling I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Trae Morgan-White: 2016 Clown Hunt

If I had to choose one moment in Penn State history to relive, I’d rewind back to the 2016 clown sightings. Before a pandemic (or Zoom tailgates) ever crossed our minds, there was pandemonium.

For me, it was freshman year. I lived in Pollock Halls when the word got out and everyone ran out like they were battling Pennywise. My friends and I were ready to fight, too, but we went to D.P. Dough for calzones instead. Those were the glory days.

Dana Nunemacher: The 2016 White Out

I want to live the 2016 White Out over and over again. From the morning I woke up to the day of tailgating with my family to those moments I stormed the field, it was the best.

Not to be dramatic, but that night totally changed the Penn State football program forever. It brought the hope and energy needed to carry James Franklin’s Nittany Lions back to the *almost* elite level.

I’m sure Tyler Durbin hates this day, but I would be okay watching Grant Haley dive into the end zone on repeat.

Matt Rudisill: Second National Title Versus Miami

I don’t know if this is breaking the rules of the fictional Groundhog Day prompt, but I’d like to go back in time before I was born to relive a day in history.

On January 2, 1987, Penn State football won its second consensus national championship over Miami. I would love to experience what it was like watching Joe Paterno, in his prime, take down the top team in the country in a gritty 14-10 game.

Each day, I would position myself in a different spot of the stadium to witness the most recent Penn State national title at every angle.

Connor Donohue: Nittany Lions Win At Iowa (September 23, 2017)

Needing to play an away game, at night, at Kinnick Stadium is something no fan of any Big Ten team wants to go through. On September 23, 2017, Trace McSorley and the Nittany Lions needed to go the entire length of the field at Kinnick to avoid the upset bid at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The drive Penn State put together a drive that was so beautiful it could make a grown man cry, and it was all capped off by a last-play touchdown to Juwan Johnson.

I remember straight-up tackling my dad to the ground in celebration. That feeling was euphoric, and it was the moment that made it feel possible Penn State could make a run at the national championship (but we don’t need to talk about what happened a month later in Columbus). I’d love to relive that moment over and over and over again.

Michael Tauriello: Getting A 100% On My Math 141 Final (May 1, 2019)

A weird choice from me, but I will simply not forget the day I slew the dragon that is Calculus with Analytic Geometry II at Penn State.

Math 141 is said to be the most dropped class at Penn State, but making it through with a perfect score on the final is a feeling of elation that I still refuse to forget. I waltzed in for the 8 a.m. exam, shouted, “It’s go-time!” when the exam started, had an ear-to-ear grin for the entirety of the exam, and walked out feeling the best I had ever felt at 9:55 a.m. at Penn State.

Later, I ate some lunch at Cozy Thai downtown, received my result on Canvas, and ascended to another dimension. It’s still my only perfect exam score to this day!

Matt DiSanto: THON 2020

Can I cheat and pick a whole weekend? Because in all honesty, THON 2020 felt like one continuous blur of energy.

Although we didn’t know it then, THON Weekend was perhaps the most recent “normal” event Penn State students experienced. We put the impending COVID-19 pandemic on the back burner to have fun, dance a bunch, and raise $11.6 million FTK over one crazy weekend.

More personally, THON 2020 was perhaps my single favorite memory throughout my time at Onward State. From supplying anTHONy with Bryce Jordan Center hot dogs to yelling online about State College pizza, every waking moment on press row was an absolute blast. By the end, I barely noticed I’d been working there north of 30 total hours.

Oh, and nailing the THON total reveal was pretty cool, too. To everyone who was there with Onward State, I miss ya! I keep that weekend on repeat in my head far too often.

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