Wacky, Wavy, Wonderful Wiggle Men: An Ode To Penn State Football’s Play Callers

Dear Penn State football’s wonderful, colorful sideline play callers.

Although you guys are likely busy rehearsing your repertoire of snazzy hand signals for this weekend’s game against Northwestern, I would just like to take the time to thank you for the joy and endless entertainment you brought me in the stands.

Picture this: you are standing not too far away from the field in section EB during the second quarter of Penn State football’s September 24 game against Central Michigan. You’re not too sure what’s going on in the game, you’re hangry, and it’s unexpectedly hot outside.

Kind of bored, your eyes start to wander along the sidelines. Although there’s a whole slew of interesting characters — players, coaching staff, interns, Pat Freiermuth, the Nittany Lion, family members…the list goes on. But, none are more exciting than the wonderful men in primary colors (and green) performing an elaborate dance of hand signals and motions.

Resembling Australian music group, and childhood heroes, The Wiggles, each of them did a different hand signal than the other and rotated through a seemingly endless supply of new moves to bust out.

All my problems disappeared when I laid eyes on the Wiggle-esque men.

They were exuberant, joyful, and even hypnotic. I found myself giggling from pure glee at the sight of them. Forget the game in front of me. All I cared about were the vibrant play callers.

I know they were just doing their jobs, but they were doing a damn good job of it. I had never seen men move with as much conviction as them. They didn’t belong on the field. The field belonged under them.

But what career path led them to that spot? What job title do they carry? What’s on their LinkedIn profiles?

It is my educated guess that these hueful gentlemen were likely signaling plays to the team in a ~discrete code~ so the other team couldn’t understand what was happening next. But these hand signals were sometimes so elaborate that I found myself questioning how the players and coaching staff would remember or recognize the signals.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the bright-colored gentlemen got handy with props.

Out came a sign that was divided into four squares. While I don’t remember what the other two squares are, I do indeed remember that one square was a salt (perhaps pepper) shaker and the other was Disney’s Mike Wazowski from “Monster’s Inc.”

I deeply need to know what Mike Wazowski symbolized.

All of this to say, Mr. Play Callers, thank you for your service. Your dedication on and off the field certainly does not go unnoticed, especially not by me. Your efforts help both the Nittany Lions’ strategy on the field and keep me thoroughly entertained in the stands.

In fact, I’d say that you all are the faces of hard work and perseverance. As a former ballet dancer myself, I understand the time and effort that goes into mastering steps for a dance. And you, my friends, have perfected one wildly intricate dance.

I eagerly await your reunion on Saturday.

Yours truly,


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About the Author

Anna Wiggins

Anna is a senior (ew) public relations major from Alexandria, Virginia, and is Onward State's social media manager. Anna spends her days contemplating what emoji to use in a tweet and dreaming of Doggie's Pub's hot dogs, in that order. Share your song recommendations with her on Twitter @annaewiggins and send your best gossip to her email, [email protected].

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