Staff Picks: Penn State Experiences That Should Be Sports

From its football team to wrestling dynasty, Penn State is often known for its athletic programs.

But what Penn State doesn’t consider are the sports that are seemingly mundane activities every student experiences — even the ones that could arguably require more strength, endurance, and skill than Penn State’s current selection of NCAA sports.

Our staff decided to bring these should-be sports to Penn State’s attention because these everyday student-athletes deserve recognition, too.

Nicole Oronzio: Moving To & From Quarantine

Wheeling a housing cart full of your things to and from on-campus isolation should definitely be a Penn State sport. There should be bonus points if you have to push it during the day while classes are going on, if your cart is broken, or if you need to push it up a hill (and, from personal experience, especially up Fraser Road). At least you’re burning calories before getting locked in an Eastview room for 10 days.

Ryen Gailey: Sitting Through UPUA Meetings

I firmly believe that Penn State student government meetings should be considered a professional sport.

Before the organization set a time limit on its meetings just a few weeks ago, each easily went from 7 to 11 p.m. and beyond every single week. Now, I’d like to see someone name a sporting event, especially one you need to tune into virtually, that is as long and brutal as these meetings can be.

It seriously takes skill to understand what on earth people are talking about or voting on in these meetings sometimes, just like how for some it takes serious skill to understand the complexities of a real sport like football or soccer.

UPUA meetings are tough, require a lot of practice to understand, and have their fair share of heartbreaks, like when a policy that’s been discussed for three weeks straight fails for the second time.

Annie Kubiak: Getting Into Your Raised Dorm Bed

Trying to get onto your raised dorm bed without a step stool is most definitely a sport, at least for us vertically challenged folk. I am a mere 5 feet tall, so I came to college prepared with an ottoman that I use to climb on my bed. Some of my friends, however, did not.

In order to get on the lifted beds, I start with a running jump and then use all of my might to hoist myself up. Some attempts work out better than others. To my fellow short friends, take my advice: Save your energy and invest in a step stool.

Mackenna Yount: Walking Up Shortlidge Road

Walking up Shortlidge Road is no simple feat. It requires lots of endurance and strength, both mental and physical. If you live in North or East, you’ve surely needed to take the grueling walk back home after a day of classes and studying and hated it the whole way up.

It may not look intimidating at first glance, but the slope hits you where it hurts most. The whole way up, you contemplate your life’s decisions and how you wish there was a moving sidewalk going up the hill. Your thighs burn, you’re out of breath, and you look like a mess to all the lucky people who can drive up the road with their fancy cars.

If you can make it up Shortlidge unfazed, you deserve a Division I scholarship and a contract with some professional teams.

Matt Rudisill: Timing The Red Link

If you’ve ever needed to make your way out to the Mount Nittany Medical Center or Innovation Park from a location on campus, chances are you’ve needed to take the Red Link.

In my experience, the Red Link is notoriously unreliable in adhering to its posted arrival times, so I think it would be fun to see who can arrive closest to the actual time of departure without missing the bus.

The exhilarating rush of seeing that bus roll up followed by the sheer embarrassment of sprinting down the sidewalk to make it in time would be an excellent sport to display your mastery of one aspect of Penn State’s campus.

Matt DiSanto: Navigating The BJC Concourse At THON

Ha! Remember going to THON in person? Good times.

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to recall, the Bryce Jordan Center concourse can get absolutely nuts at any time, whether that be 6 p.m. or the asscrack of dawn. Gaining your bearings and finding your way around the concourse can be the difference between a successful THON and a hellish weekend.

Navigating the arena requires endurance, perseverance, and grit, through and through. Only the strong survive efficiently fuel up on food and quickly take pee breaks.

If Penn State introduces these as new sports, the university could bring in even more ticket sales (once those are a thing again, of course). Maybe then it won’t need to rely on a semi-mediocre football season or what’s left of the basketball team to keep Penn State Athletics afloat.

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