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Alum Shows Love For Penn State Football Through New Country Rock Song

The annual White Out game remains one of the best Penn State traditions.

Students, faculty, and alumni alike flood into Beaver Stadium dressed in a sea of white to cheer on the Nittany Lions in what is arguably the best atmosphere in college football. It’s the one day of the year everyone looks forward to most.

Like many Penn Staters, Michael Botte anxiously waits for kickoff. Botte, a ‘93 alum, decided to combine his refound passion for music with the “Michael Botte Band” and his love for Penn State football in a new country rock song called “Here We Go.” 

Botte was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh but currently lives on the other side of the state right next to Philadelphia. With a degree in chemical engineering, he has worked in technical sales for the past three decades.

When asked what his favorite part of being a student at Penn State was, he immediately thought of the 1990 football game when the Nittany Lions beat the No. 1-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on a last-second field goal.

“A bunch of us rushed the stadium and acted like a bunch of crazy people,” Botte said. “I just remember so many of us so elated, flooding the streets as Penn State students do whenever we have big victories like that.”

Courtesy of Michael Botte

Botte has been involved with music his whole life, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down in 2020 and a simple conversation with his daughter that sparked his love again for it. 

“The Michael Botte band was born out of a time of chaos and confusion, and I was desperate to do something positive,” Botte said.

His White Out-related song, “Here We Go,” was the first song he wrote during quarantine. A die-hard fan, Botte explained how he was desperate for Penn State football during a time when there was a huge chance we wouldn’t even get a season. 

The lyrics embody a day’s worth of preparing for the game with friends and family. For years, the whole neighborhood has gathered at the Botte household every weekend to watch football and devour homemade food made by his wife.

“It’s a guaranteed celebration every Saturday,” Botte said. 

The first verse of the song describes the sunset shining through the leaves of a big tree that sits in his backyard, with music blasting in the background. As the song goes on, he narrates that as the music gets louder, more neighbors hear it and take it as their cue to walk over.

“The sun is gliding just above the ground // The prism leaves break the light into sound // Seasons changing, and we are reborn // When the amplifier’s ready, I open up the door.”

As the lead singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitar player, his producer, Bob Beals, does the rest of the instrumentals virtually. Beals, who lives in Ohio, works with Botte exclusively online to create his music. 

“Here We Go” will go live at midnight on Wednesday, October 5.

Along with “Here We Go,” Botte has another song related to Penn State football called “Unrivaled” and four other singles available on Spotify.

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About the Author

Emily Grill

Emily is a third-year broadcast journalism student from New Jersey. She likes to think that being Italian and 5 feet tall are her biggest personality traits. You can probably catch her at Chick-fil-A at least two or three days out of the week. Feel free to contact her by emailing [email protected]

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