OS Drafts: The Best Things About Fall In Happy Valley

Who doesn’t love fall in Happy Valley?

For many, fall is the best time of year. Weekends are filled with football and tailgating, the leaves change colors, and the temperature drops, bringing hoodie season with it.

However, fall just feels so much better here at Penn State. As everyone settles into their classes in the new school year, there’s a certain energy that takes over, getting everyone excited for the season.

To celebrate autumn in Happy Valley, four of our staffers participated in a snake-style draft to pick their favorite things about fall at Penn State.

Now, let’s hear from each of our team captains to explain the reasoning behind their picks.

Team Matt

After winning the lottery and getting the No. 1 pick, I instantly ran up to the podium for the first overall pick. I went with the no-doubt surefire hall-of-fame lock of the century: Penn State football. What isn’t great about it? The rocking crowd of 107k+ of the best fans in the world, the Blue Band, the Nittany Lion, and one of the best college football teams in the nation.

As the second round came to a close, I had back-to-back selections, and I made them count. Halloween is the best holiday during fall, and Halloweekend just means more days of Halloween fun, so it was an obvious round-two pick. For my wrap-around pick, I picked 100 Days ‘Til THON as it reminds everyone just how great THON is and begins the countdown to the event.

Wrapping up my draft, I grabbed frat haunted houses in the fourth round, a pick some may disagree with, but haunted houses are great. In the fifth, I grabbed Creamery Apple Cobbler Crunch ice cream, and if this flavor of ice cream doesn’t put you in the fall spirit, I don’t know what will. I finished my draft class with the THON 5K: another big event that helps raise money for a cure.

Team Aidan

I wanted to start off strong with the best flavor that the Berkey Creamery has to offer. The pumpkin pie ice cream has never failed me, and to be frank, never will. Heading into round two, I wanted something that more people could relate to, and that’s watching college football while at a darty. This normally only happens during away weekends and the bye week, and sometimes it’s as good as a home weekend.

The third round is a college-boy staple. If you turn your head in any direction during the fall at Penn State you will see at least one dude wearing a flannel. The fourth round was a risky pick with a high upside. Fireball is a polarizing player, but with the right duo, it automatically turns into a starter.

The fact that watching NFL games slid all the way to the fifth round was a steal. Sundays are recovery days, and there’s no better way to recover than watching seven hours of commercial-free football with the gents. Last but not least, round six. I think it speaks for itself.

Team Michael

With the snake draft format, I was very happy with the third pick. In the first round, I selected a fall staple item in Penn State sweatshirts. All over campus, people are starting to wear their various sweatshirts with the Penn State logo, and it seemed too good to pass up.

With my next pick, I selected the Arboretum Pumpkin Festival to add some fall scenes to my lineup. I was pleased to see the start of basketball season fall to me in the third round. Something about the teams hitting the court for the first time fills the heart with joy.

Cinnamon sugar donuts are in Findlay Commons all year, but they just hit differently in the fall. I like the variety that dorm decorations adds to my squad. There’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and just overall fall decor that makes fall vibes so great.

However, fall can only be deemed officially underway when the Willard Preacher throws on his classic red hoodie for the first time.

Team Mikey

With the last pick in the order, I had to be very tactical with my picks. I started my draft off with back-to-back selections, so I wanted to make sure I took advantage. With “football” off the board, I selected what I believe to be the next most important aspect of a gameday in Happy Valley: tailgating.

To make sure I had a diverse range of topics on my roster, I pivoted away from athletics for my second pick — the leaves changing colors — which as a photographer, is one of my favorite aspects of fall in Happy Valley.

After waiting through six of my opponents’ picks, I was back on the clock. This time, I elected to take all of Homecoming Week, a versatile player for my roster that includes the parade, the Allen Street Jam, and much more. I followed that up with the apple cider donuts from Way Fruit Farm, my favorite local fall treat.

Rounding out my picks, I picked “climbing Mount Nittany” and the leaf piles around campus. The former is an annual fall tradition for myself and many others to enjoy the changing leaves, and the latter is a Penn State classic. Not a day goes by in the fall that I’m not tempted to jump in a leaf pile.

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