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State Speaks: Leave the Marshmallows at the Tailgate

nittany_lion_surrounded_by_marshmallowsSometimes, you just need to speak your mind. Today we have Steve Garguilo asking students to leave their marshmallows at home this Saturday.

You won’t find a Penn State fan with more respect for tradition than me, and I know that a large part of that on football Saturdays is the pride, commitment, creativity, and certainly the volume of the student section. However, this idea of bringing marshmallows to the football games being a tradition is erroneous, and is a practice that died for a reason.

I have no doubt that the creators of the Facebook group urging students to bring marshmallows to throw at next weekend’s Iowa game have the best of intentions, and I know that for a period of time in our history it was common to see the sky filled with these sticky puffs of sugar after big plays, but this “tradition” was banned years ago because of all the problems it caused.

While it may seem very innocuous to be tossing around something as light and seemingly harmless as marshmallows, one of the major problems they cause are damages to Blue Band instruments. Should a marshmallow find its way inside one of the larger brass instruments, they can be nearly impossible to get out, resulting in costly repairs. This also leaves the band student who has prepared hard all season for the game stranded in the stands unable to perform because the instrument has been rendered unusable. And unfortunately, when alcohol enters the mix and when there is a mob mentality to throw things, those large Sousaphone bells can get used as target practice for students challenging each other’s aim.

One of the other problems is that it doesn’t (and didn’t) end with just marshmallows being thrown. The students who don’t have marshmallows want to join in the fun, and this leads to nachos, water bottles, and various other foreign artifacts to be launched around the student section. The problem resulting from this is larger than just damage to Blue Band instruments, but can also result in personal injuries.

And if those reasons don’t convince you, look at the fact that they are just not allowed into Beaver Stadium. Period. Last year, a similar small group of students tried to “bring back” this “tradition,” and anyone seen with the marshmallows (much less seen throwing them) was removed from the premises. So ask yourself, is it really worth the risk to you and others to bring marshmallows to the game?

I love the student section, and I look forward to seeing their effects on the game next week, but if we truly want to bring back a tradition cited in that Collegian article that everyone can enjoy, let’s commit to everyone learning the words to the school songs! Lyrics are available online for The Nittany Lion, Fight On State, Victory, and the Alma Mater.

For The Glory,

Steve Garguilo

2009 B.S. in Information Sciences and Technology

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