Safe to go back to State College!

Menexenus's picture
October 29, 2012 at 8:40p

My dad and I made the trip to Happy Valley on Saturday.  After what I had read here on 11W, I was a bit trepidatious.  I had read many horror stories about poor treatment of our fans by theirs.  So I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was worried enough that I roleplayed how to deal with belligerent fans with my dad during the long car ride there.

So we got there.  We drove through a sea of folks in white.  A few times we had to stop people to ask directions.  Even though we were in our OSU reds (and even though my silver car is covered in buckeye leaf stickers), everyone who we stopped to ask for directions was helpful.  Then we parked, got out of the car, and joined the throng headed toward the stadium.  One female fan looked at my Ohio State garb and said, "Boo!"  I just pretended she was getting into the Halloween spirit.  :-)

We made our way into the stadium and found our seats.  Our seats were close to field in the north endzone.  We were right in the front row, but that meant that a lot of people had to walk in front of us to get to their seats.  A number of people who walked by shook our hands and wished us good luck.  At one point during the game, the guy in the creepy Nittany Lion mascot outfit came by.  I wondered what kind of ribbing he'd give us when he saw us.  He noticed us as he was walking by.  He stopped and held out his hand for us to give him five.  (BTW, if you were wondering, yes, that Nittany Lion outfit is STINKY!)

After the game, we had to walk back to where we parked the car mostly in the dark.  I figured that we would surely be accosted by some bitter, drunken fan.  When we were about halfway to our car, a guy leaning against a white pickup truck, finally yelled out to us with slurred speech.  "Here it comes," I thought.  Despite my initial expectations, what he actually said to us was, "Hey, guys.  Good game.  Thanks for coming to State College."  I shook his hand and wished his team the best for the remainder of the season. 

The following day, we were waiting outside a McDonalds in Phillipsburg (close to State College) waiting to meet up with some family.  While we were there, at least 4 different people came up to us and congratulated us on the Buckeye victory.  One lady who spoke to us told us that she worked on campus and she had heard about a concerted effort from Penn State fans to make opposing fans feel welcome (kind of like what we tried to organize for visiting Cornhusker fans).  All I can say is: Mission Accomplished.

In short, during my 2 day stay in central PA I literally heard only a single negative word uttered in reference to my OSU fandom:  "Boo!"  And that came from a college-aged girl.  Everyone else we interacted with was more than friendly to us.  In fact, my dad commented that we actually had a worse time with Indiana fans than with Penn State fans!  (At the Indiana game, we were accosted by one angry fan in the 4th quarter.)  So, if you have read all the bad stuff that I have about Penn State fans here on 11W and are reluctant to make the trip out to State College, don't be!  They have apparently decided to turn over a new leaf.  It is officially safe to return to State College!

P.S.  If any of you had a different experience on Saturday (or a similar one), feel free to let us all know in the comments.

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One Bad Buckeye's picture

Umm, role playing is something I reserve for "Quality Time" with my wife.....NOT my Dad. 

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

One Bad Buckeye's picture

JK man, glad you had a good trip.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

bukyze's picture

Must've had some funky shrooms !!

bodast67's picture

Good to hear that some of the fans are getting it, and that it is OK to be friendly and helpful to visiting fans.




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

Golden Buckeye's picture

That surprises me, but hey thats great! I want to hope that their fans get it, but the BSD makes me think not.

Jugdish's picture

That is great news. I will be glad when the band starts going back to HV.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

AngryWoody's picture

I think that their fan base has been humbled with everything that happened to them.

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bucknutz18's picture

just wondering but are you older? 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Don't know if you ever walked through the drunk student tailgates... those are brutal...

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Poison nuts's picture

Seriously glad you had a good experience but I'd probably have to see this one for myself...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Buckeye 09's picture

I had a pretty similar experience in HV this weekend. I ran into a few drunk idiots, but you will get that everywhere you go. Most people were very friendly and no one in our group had any major issues. We were tailgating in the fields by the stadium most of the day and even in that area most people were very nice to us. I was expecting it to be awful based on everything I have heard about their fans, but it was a great experience.

Bolt's picture

Awesome. My first trip was littered with the horror stories as I've shared on this site many times. I however showed up around 10am or so and tailgated in he heart of the tailgate area and amongst many of the PSU students for 10 hours hours or so before an 8pm kickoff. We did meet and greet some good older folks but it was definitely one extreme or the other. As long as you know what to do/avoid while there (as with anywhere) you'll be fine. Glad to hear you had a good trip!

Doc's picture

I'm glad to here you had a nice safe trip.  I'm hoping the culture in HV has changed.  Over the next few years it will really settle in when they are winnless in the B1G.

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BukFan's picture

There is nothing wrong with PSU fan "culture".  Fans didn't rape kids.. For Gods sake!  JS did.
This culture thing is the stupidest statement I've ever seen.  Does OSU have a bad culture b/c kids burn couches and 5 or 6 players got cash from boosters??  News flash.  Idiots are everywhere, so are some very nice people.  Stop painting any and all fanbases with a broad brush b/c you had a bad or good experience 3 years ago and someone had a good experience this weekend, so its all better now??  News flash, those people were nice before, and they still are nice now.  The idiots are still idiots, no matter what team they cheer for.

Brady's picture

News Flash!  Bukfan likes the phrase "News Flash".


Bolt's picture

I've had experiences that are right in line with the stereotype of PSU fans. I've been there twice and dealt with their fans in numerous other scenarios. I've been to most of the Big Ten schools and have seen the best and worst of Ohio State fans. I've been to college football games in every region of the country. Every school has their idiots, agreed. Penn State fans were the ones that took it a step further and lived up to their negative stereotype. Any account I've given at PSU is completely true. Between the numerous beers dumped on my head, the constant barrage of slurs, getting egged (both personally by students and all of the Ohio plated cars in our tailgate vicinity), getting bags of piss thrown at my band, being encircled and threatened by a mob of PSU fans, getting sucker punched from behind and knocked out cold for a few seconds, and people just generally trying to fight me because of the color shirt I'm wearing....I feel comfortable with saying their fans are absolutely awful. All of that mentioned was just in one trip to PSU. There's good reason to look after yourself when you go to places like Penn State specifically. We're not just saying that because Jerry raped kids.
The fact that they continue on as if they're victims of some unfair conspiracy because everyone is jealous of them after enable-gate came down is just icing on the cake as far as everyone's perception of them. I don't judge them because of what Sandusky did. I judge them based on my own personal experiences with them and the way they brazenly reacted to enable-gate.

45has2's picture

Well said.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Was treated extraordinarily well. I'm not sure where these horror stories came from. This is my second time having been to State College, and the fans have been great both times.
In fact, I think the entire notion of fans mistreating other fans is completely over-blown. Everywhere I've ever been, there's been normal trash talk and good natured arguing, but it almost always ends in one guy offering the other guy a beer. I would wager that I travel more than most, both for the Bucks and for more normal out of conference adventures in the ACC and SEC with my buddies, and in all these trips, I have only felt threatened or seen any sort of escalation to violence one time: 2011 @Miami. It was bad. But still not as bad as the average NFL game I've been to.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's good to hear that Buckeyes visiting Happy Valley last weekend are mostly reporting good experiences, etc. Maybe I need to revisit my negative perceptions of PSU fans (which were earned by real life experinces, btw).
No question, every fan base has its idiots, including Ohio State's (case in point: Texas game in 2005); likewise, every fan base has many good folks.
That said, I must ask Bukfan whether he recognizes any differences between various fan bases? For example, do fans of opposing teams tend to receive better treatment at Stanford University or at West Virginia? (Hint: the answer is Stanford). And if not all fans bases are equally polite, hospitable, etc., then a). we can draw distinctions between them; and b). a few anecdotal examples might not be sufficient to change our original perceptions/conclusions.     

DetroitBuckeye's picture

This is the myth of college sports in a lot of ways, you hear all these stories about different universities but by and large every campus has loads of truly great people.  I am sure there are bad apples and it is true that some are more hospitable than others though.

Bolt's picture

Hey, I definitely found my share of good folks at PSU...however there seemed to be a larger abundance of people going well beyond anywherer I've ever seen to make my trip miserable. Like I said I was in the heart of the student tailgate areas for 10 hours and it was none too pleasant with them. On my second trip we knew where to go and where not to go and what to avoid and we had a great incident free time. It's also worht noting that I still had fun in spite of all the craziness on the first trip though.

The Braden's picture

My only HV experience was back in 1994 when me and a couple of new friends traveled from C-bus to catch phish at the PSU field house.  Nice people. Killer second set.   

chimes3899's picture

I went down to Penn State as well this past weekend and really had no problems what so ever while wearing scarlet around everywhere including both friday and saturday. Everyone there was very respectful (surprisingly) including the majority of the college students. I was expecting to get a bunch of grief from them because I am also a college student but besides getting booed a few times and some drunk frat guys chanting/ singing Pennsylvania over and over nothing really happened that would cause me any reason to not go back to State College