Freshmen Reflect On Their First Penn State White Out
On Saturday, Penn State football dominated Minnesota 45-17 under White Out conditions in Beaver Stadium.
Anyone who has been to the White Out knows just how special the game really is. Whether you’re a current student, a returning alum, or just a Penn State football fan, seeing the Nittany Lions play surrounded by a sea of white is truly a surreal experience. After all, it is the greatest show in college sports.
After seniors reflected on their last White Out as Penn State students yesterday, we figured we’d do the same with our wide-eyed freshmen.
I have been to many White Out games in my life, but this was my first as a Penn State student. It definitely lived up to the hype. I knew from past experiences that it was going to be insanely loud, but it’s just different in the student section. Having the ability to influence the game and force five false starts is extraordinary and makes you feel like part of the win. I think the best part about the White Out, however, is that all 109,000 people in Beaver Stadium are there for one goal and are in it together. There is something special about that many people coming together.
My first ever White Out is definitely a moment I will not forget. It had everything from all-day tailgates to Katie Feeney standing right in front of me taking videos. And of course, a Penn State win. I’ve been to many Penn State games before, but the White Out is truly unmatched. I was simply in shock the whole time I was in the stands. I may have cried a little bit when I saw Trace McSorley on the field.
Obviously, it’s more fun when Penn State wins, and it was able to dominate Minnesota, but I do wish it was the Ohio State game for the higher stakes and closer score. There was a true feeling of connection between everyone in the stadium jumping together, but I know Ohio State would have given it more of an edge and have my ears ringing by the end.
My first White Out game as a student was an unreal experience. I’ve been to many Penn State games, especially White Outs, but it wasn’t cold like the other times. The only thing giving me chills was the goosebumps I got. I have an internship with Penn State Athletics, so I was on the field. As a freshman, it was such a surreal and unique experience to be right there behind the team. Every time I leaned on the wall, it was shaking. A tear or two might have been shed during the team entrance. From the perfect tailgate to when I was able to go home at 1 a.m., it was truly an experience I will never forget. I can’t wait for future White Outs because I don’t know how anything will top that experience in Beaver Stadium.
The White Out taught me a lesson that I have somewhat always doubted — the crowd really can have an impact on the game. I remember years ago watching the Michigan White Out on television, and I still often go back to watch it on YouTube. Michigan had to take a timeout before the first play because it couldn’t handle the noise. I always thought that was cool but assumed it was pretty rare. However, during my first White Out, I took on a personal mission to see how much the crowd could impact the game.
I informed those around me that I would be entirely outrageous and annoying, but that I was going to scream my head off — that I did. It appears that pretty much everyone did. It all paid off. Especially during the first half. I don’t even remember how many false starts Minnesota had, but it was an absurdly high amount. I remember when Minnesota was near the student section and took another false start. Then, the energy popped off. The next down, I believe the student section was even louder, drawing yet another false start. It went absolutely nuts. I don’t think I have ever felt more school pride than in that moment.
I always knew about the White Out. I knew that it was a big deal. Admittedly, I used to think that it was a little overhyped. I thought it was mainly a Penn State thing. I believed it was loud, but not enough to change the game. I believed that many schools are capable of this, especially during their big games. I was wrong. Attending my first White Out showed me that it really is one of the absolute best atmospheres in sports. When the crowd can directly impact the game like it does at the White Out, that is truly something special. I am thoroughly impressed, Penn State. Thank you.
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