Gameday Observations: Indiana
At long last, Penn State football’s four-game homestand has come to an end. The Nittany Lions’ 24-0 shutout win over Indiana capped off a month of fun at Beaver Stadium and convinced us that the team might just be pretty darn good.
Saturday night’s game served as Beaver Stadium’s annual Stripe Out. Combine that with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, and you’ve got a pretty exciting night planned! Here are a few noteworthy things we saw in the stands, tailgate lots, and beyond:
What’s The Deal With Gate A?
Now, I’m not here to complain about Gate A entry as a whole. In fact, it’s actually been a breeze all season. Instead, I’m confused why the requirements seem to change every weekend.
For the last three games (Auburn, Villanova, and Indiana), my friends and I purposefully entered through the left-most turnstiles to get seated in sections SK and SJ. Before kickoff against Villanova, we were asked to swipe in with our Penn State IDs, but we didn’t need to for Auburn or Indiana.
Additionally, security methods seemingly change on a whim, too. This season’s home opener against Ball State had students enter through walk-through metal detectors that really sped up the process. However, I was manually scanned down by security staffers before each of the last three home games.
For me, these week-to-week differences in Gate A entry haven’t been a problem. Still, I do know a few friends who were actually turned away from the stadium for not bringing their Penn State ID to swipe, and it’s hard to blame them when there’s a good chance they didn’t need to the week prior. Consistent guidelines would solve a lot of problems, you know?
The Stripe Out Is Sexy
No, it’s not an original Penn State Tradition, but the Stripe Out is really, really cool. There’s something special about the whole stadium working together and coordinating outfits to create such a magnificent effect. The Stripe Out is clean, and I’m glad we got to enjoy it for a night game for once.
I’m going to catch flack for this, but I’m starting to dig the Stripe Out even more than the White Out. I know our own Michael Tauriello feels that way, too. But no matter how you slice it, both environments rank among the best in college football, and they sure are special.
Alan Zemaitis Serves As Honorary Captain
Penn State football letterman Alan Zemaitis served as the Nittany Lions’ honorary cornerback Saturday night. He took the field toward the end of the first quarter, which was met with a big applause from the crowd.
Zemaitis recently joined Penn State’s staff as an assistant recruiting coordinator.
While playing cornerback at Penn State, Zemaitis was a tri-captain, a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, and even a second-team All-American in 2005. His three interceptions against Michigan State in 2005 helped the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 record and a Big Ten title.
Lion Sparks The ‘Joy Of Painting’
The Nittany Lion is absolutely killing it with his special ‘fits this season. We’ve already seen him suit up as Freddy Mercury and Ferris Bueller. This week, it was Bob Ross.
The Lion came out just before halftime to paint for the crowd. Initially painting upside down, the Symbol of Our Best wound up painting an incredibly good Nittany Lion logo before signing it and handing it off to a Nittanyville camper at the railing. It was a goofy bit, sure, but it was remarkably cute.
Bathroom Conditions = Piss-Poor
This observation is not for the faint of heart.
Look, I know we’re in a stadium filled to the brim with more than 100,000 fans, many of whom have had more than a few beverages. But I have never — never — seen bathrooms in worse conditions than I did Saturday night.
I always shoot for the upper-level restrooms since they’re generally a little less traversed and out of the way, but that did me no favors. Vomit in every toilet (and more than a few stall floors) prevented most folks from getting their business done. Frankly, it was shocking, and I pray to God no student or fan will ever need to brave such an awful sight when nature calls next.
Goodyear Blimp Returns
If you’ve read our site at all this fall, you know we’re simps for the blimp. By that, of course, we mean none other than the Goodyear Blimp, which graced Happy Valley’s skies with its presence yet again this weekend after visiting for the White Out.
As happy as we were to see the Goodyear Blimp return, we’re a little bummed it left us on read a few weeks ago. Goodyear Blimp, if you’re reading this, drop us a line!
Blue Band Honors BJC History
The Blue Band’s halftime entertainment this weekend recognized the Bryce Jordan Center’s 25th anniversary with a show chock-full of nods to the arena’s history. The program included on-field formations shaped like the BJC, plus musical stylings pulled from the concert venue’s expansive past. The Blue Band sounded great, and it was easily my favorite halftime show yet this season.
Of course, some fans took to Twitter and argued it’d be better to honor the BJC by focusing on Penn State men’s basketball’s “flaming bus” moments.
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About the Author
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