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Gameday Observations: Michigan

Following a few away games, it sure was nice to be back in Beaver Stadium this weekend. Well, maybe not that nice, but hey! We can’t take football games in Happy Valley for granted.

Penn State’s loss to Michigan was ugly, but the game wasn’t without its merits. In fact, fun and interesting things were happening across Beaver Stadium all weekend long. From the tailgate lots to the bleachers, here’s what we observed on gameday.

God Bless Heated Bathrooms

In past weeks, I’ve lamented about Beaver Stadium’s bathrooms, namely their long lines and vomit-covered floors. This weekend, though, they were an absolute godsend.

Ironically, it’s hard to put into words just how incredible it felt to take a break from the cold and spend a few minutes taking care of business inside a heated restroom. AccuWeather pegged Saturday afternoon’s “real feel” in the high 20s, and boy, that feels like an understatement. The restrooms provided a heated escape, and you can bet I spent a few extra minutes washing my hands and heating up before venturing back out into the tundra.

@cassidy.soto Let’s Go PSU #fyp #pennstate ♬ Fight On State Cheer – Penn State Blue Band

If you ventured over to Penn State TikTok, you might’ve even seen groups of fans lying on the bathroom floors in an effort to heat up and take a load off. Gross, but perhaps effective!

‘Helmet Stripe’ Promotion Was…Fine

Was anyone actually excited about Beaver Stadium’s new look on Saturday? I love Penn State’s helmets as much as anyone, but this new promotion didn’t do a whole lot for me (or anyone I talked to, for what it’s worth).

The layout certainly wasn’t awful, but it’s hard to get upwards of 107,000 people to dress in pure white or blue when it’s so cold that you’d probably need a handful of layers to avoid becoming a popsicle. I guess that’s why weren’t not rolling with any November White Outs, huh?

Lion Debuts New Look

If you’ve been paying attention to the Symbol of Our Best like we have this season, you’ve probably noticed the Lion’s eclectic wardrobe and accessories. So far, we’ve seen royal capes, leaf blowers, muscle shirts, and even Bob Ross and Ferris Bueller costumes.

This week, the Lion kept things simple and donned a slick pair of shades. A few dancers joined the Symbol of Our Best in the south end zone for a dance that featured TikTok sound effects, including this bad boy.

Olympic Medalists Reunite

A handful of Penn State’s 2020 Olympians were in attendance on Saturday, including gold medal wrestler David Taylor. He joined silver-winning shot put star Joe Kovacs, plus women’s soccer coach Erica Dambach, swimmer Gabe Castaño, and more, on the field.

All in all, former Penn State athletes and coaches brought home four gold medals, two silvers, and two bronzes following Tokyo’s games. Women’s volleyball stars Micha Hancock and Haleigh Washington, who helped the U.S. claim its first gold medal in the sport, were honored at Rec Hall in September.

Alumni & Guests Return In Full Force

As Paul Clifford would say, “Where else would you rather be than a stadium full of Penn Staters?”

Well, that was certainly the case this weekend. Those with a keen eye probably had little trouble picking out some Nittany Lions legends along the sidelines, including Anthony “Spice” Adams, Journey Brown, and more. Two-time All-American linebacker Paul Posluszny served as Penn State’s honorary captain.

Penn State also hosted 14-year-old Giovanni Hamilton, who’s quickly become a fan-favorite among Philadelphia sports fans. Hamilton caught up with James Franklin before the game and got to walk the field, too.

Hamilton has a rare condition called Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, which causes muscle weakness and bone dysplasia. He often documents his lengthy treatment process on his Twitter page, which has amassed more than 47,000 followers.

Shoutout To Football No. 2

Look, I have no idea if I’m remembering this right, but I’m 99% certain every winner of the football shuffle on the Beaver Stadium jumbotron has been the second football so far this year. I paid no attention to the shuffle this week but guessed No. 2 on a hunch, and boy was I right.

We’ve got one more chance this year to see if No. 1 or No. 3 could claim the shuffle victory. I don’t know about you, but I’ll bet the house on No. 2.

‘Mo Bamba’ Returns

You thought you’d get through a home game against Michigan without hearing this track? Think again.

Sheck Wes’s famous “Mo Bamba” returned to Beaver Stadium on Saturday and even caused the Wolverines to suffer a false start on their very first play.

“Mo Bamba” and Michigan go way back, of course. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably remember when a raucous student section and the track forced Jim Harbaugh to burn a timeout to start the 2019 White Out. Good times!

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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