Behind Enemy Lines: A Trip to Un-Happy Valley

Written November 2nd, 2012 by Janelle

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Happy Valley to see the Buckeyes play on the road.  If you read my previous article about Penn State, you know I don’t exactly have warm, fuzzy feelings for the Nittany Lions and their fans, so when I decided to travel to State College, I was wary of what foolishness I might encounter while there.

Spoiling The Party

I am happy to report that for the most part, everyone we encountered last Saturday was very pleasant and welcoming.  In fact, we even got “welcome to Happy Valley,” “enjoy the game,” “good luck tonight,” etc. from various fans in blue and white.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked when people were being warm and welcoming toward us.  It was astounding after how they have treated other OSU fans and myself in the past.  Could I really have a trip to Penn State without encountering anybody acting completely out of line towards myself and other OSU fans? Could it be that for once, we all just focused on the game and had fun? It all seemed too good to be true. And it was.  Once kickoff drew near, all bets were off.

We started walking down to the stadium around 4, and things went down hill from there (side note: The walk from where we were tailgating to our gate at the stadium had to be about a half hour. I’ve never appreciated how relatively close together everything is at Ohio State until last weekend).  Anyways, the friend that attended the game with my parents and I got flipped off as we walked towards the stadium.  Then, once we got to our gate, we started hearing the foul language and seeing some of the offensive shirts.  I wasn’t even really upset at any of that because those saying those things and wearing those shirts were the exception, not the rule for the most part.

What really set me off was the man who was sitting in front of us who had clearly had entirely too much to drink.  From the time we sat down, every time we would cheer for the Buckeyes, he would turn his head to the left and belt out boos to drown out our cheers.  Then, when the game started, he was literally screaming his lungs out to the rest of the fans in our section trying to get them to stand up on each play (oh yeah, unless you’re a student, they sit during the entire game at Beaver Stadium unless it’s a third down for the other team).  The dude was just obnoxious.  Then, when the Buckeyes took the lead, he sat down and was whining to his girlfriend next to him.  He was going on about how Ohio State fans are the “stupidest fans in the Big Ten” and how Braxton is the “stupidest quarterback in the Big Ten.” Hilarious, right? Go ahead and laugh.

The guy (who my friend named Pillsbury Doughboy for their resemblance) actually made me nervous that he was going to start get physical with us because he was so annoyed at our cheering for the Buckeyes. He had actually asked my friend who was sitting beside me if she wanted to take it outside (she had told him to sit down and be quiet).  Finally, I turned around to tell my dad to watch him and that he was getting out of control (my dad is a Penn State fan, mind you). He told doughboy that he needed to turn around, sit down, and watch the game or he’d have to get the police to escort him out of the stadium.  The other PSU fans in the section were in agreement.  Nobody was about to question my dad on this one.  Doughboy then quieted down and didn’t say another word the rest of the game.  I don’t know if it was for fear that my dad would actually have him escorted out or if it was because his team ended up getting blasted by our Buckeyes.  Either way, it was fun to watch him pout.

Calm Before The Storm

Another instance of Penn State fans being Penn State fans was when they told us we didn’t cheer at the right time.  On Braxton’s touchdown run when he sent Carlos Hyde on a suicide mission (you all have to know what I mean…Brax got his XBrax360 on during the play I’m referring to), my mom, my friend, and I all got up to cheer before Braxton had crossed the goal line.  Well, apparently that’s a capital crime in Nittany Lion territory because all we heard was “You were cheering before he even scored…sit down!” It was really quite comical.

Oh, and I didn’t even mention the penalties. Did you all know Ohio State only won because Penn State got hosed with the calls?  It had nothing to do with them being the better team…the referees just gave them the game.  Typical PSU fans…making excuses.  That’s what I remember.

Now, I’m not saying every Penn State fan acted like a fool, but it only took one fool to ruin it for everyone on Saturday night.  The great day we had re: their fans ended on a sour note, which was a shame after we had encountered nothing but nice people the whole day.  However, all was not lost.  The Buckeyes won, and we got to troll the Penn State faithful proudly as we walked out of the stadium and back to the car in our scarlet and gray.

Other Encounters & LOL Moments from Happy Valley:

  • A Penn State fan sitting next to us asked us “Is Ohio State good at basketball?”…and no folks, he wasn’t kidding. He was dead serious.
  • That same PSU fan proceeded to ask “Is PSU good at basketball?”…you probably have the same blank stare on your face that I had.  We just shook our heads at him.
  • Penn State fans wanted a moment of silence for Joe Paterno…I’ll just let you all make of that what you want.
  • We did see a guy wearing a Jim Tressel free tattoos shirt. Cool story, bro.
  • Another fan sitting next to us asked us the following question. “Can you just let us win this year? You can win next year and the year after, just let us win this year.” The answer was uh, HECK NO.
  • The same fan who asked us that asked, “Why do you care about going undefeated? You can’t go to a bowl. You can’t win anything.” We informed him that yes, we in fact can win the Leaders Division title.  He then proceeded to curse out the NCAA before we told him that PSU too could win the Leaders Division title.
  • I got up to cheer for a Braxton touchdown and a guy behind us said “Oh yeah, he’s a real Heisman candidate.” I turned around and said, “Actually, he’s in the top 3 and might just find himself in New York in December.” His response? “Oh you’re making that up.” Yes, because I just fabricate facts about my team. Again, cool story, bro.

 

18 Comments

  1. MichaelNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 8:58 am

    As a Penn State alum, I should be pissed and defensive but I had to laugh at some of the stuff you encountered. Sorry you had to run into the morons.

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    JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    It’s all in fun. There are idiots everywhere, even in Columbus. My whole family is pretty much PSU fans…and a lot of my friends are from back home in PA. The people I ran into are the exception, not the rule. Just sharing thoughts and experiences from the trip.

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  2. C-DogNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 9:48 am

    You said the operative word early on: Alcohol. I hate night games for that. I know that night games are good TV and better theater, but in EVERY Big Ten environment you’d better be ready to fight if you show up wearing the visitor’s colors.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Same goes at games at Miami… although, it might apply just as readily to the teams on the field as the fans in the stands.

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    C-DogNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    It’s true everywhere…even Ohio State. I’d be a fool to think that all Ohio State fans are choirboys. It’s definitely true in the mighty SEC. But down south, the alcohol lets the ladies remove clothing.

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    JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    It does happen everywhere, and I should have said so in the article. It’s just I have a personal hatred for PSU because of where I’m from, and my mom’s hatred stems back to the first football game she attended as an OSU student. This gets personal for me because of my family. Never meant to imply that it doesn’t happen at every school, even here.

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  3. TheTinDoorNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow, opposing fans in their home stadium weren’t exactly friendly when you were openly cheering for their biggest rival? And they don’t like the visiting team’s best player? And they think the refs are screwing them?

    *GASP* WHAT HEATHENS!

    You can and will find this in every stadium in the country, including Ohio Stadium. Let’s not make this out to be about “Typical PSU fans”…this is just “Typical Fans”, period.

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    JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I know it happens everywhere. I was just asked to write a follow up article about my experience there. It happens at every school and I get that. But you know what? After what’s happened there the past year and after how they’ve acted, they should have all been on their best behavior. On the whole, they were fine. It’s just sad that few idiots have to ruin it for everyone. I grew up in that area so I know how they are. However, the friend I was with said they were bad enough she won’t ever go back. I just think that’s sad.

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  4. MikeGNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    It’s too bad you ran into a few bad apples. But it is a sad fact that this kind of crap happens everywhere – even at the ‘shoe. I live in Dallas these days and vividly remember the local sports radio air waves being filled with stories of Texas fans who met similar (and even worse) abuse on their visit to Columbus back in 2005. I was fortunate enough to be at that game (despite the final 2 minutes) and didn’t see any of this behavior. On the contrary, I saw numerous fans in burnt orange being treated with respect. But a few bad nuts were all the people down here heard about. Stupid obnoxious drunks from all fan bases screw it up for the rest.

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    JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah I heard the same thing from some Texas fans I know who made the trip to Columbus. It happens everywhere. I was just sharing my experience from this past weekend.

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  5. KenNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    To echo C-Dog, it sounded like the interaction with the PSU fans was pretty positive until the alchohol kicked in. At least that’s what I hope caused it.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Alcohol is, in addition to alumni not wanting to make late night drives, the main reason the B1G doesn’t do night games late in the season.

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    C-DogNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    As it gets later in the year (and colder and darker), the alcohol contributes to hypothermia. :)

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  6. Buckeye_ladyNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Let’s not forget that our previous band director, Dr. Woods, refused to EVER take the band back to Crappy Valley after the way they were treated in 2008. He said that he and the band have been to lots of night games, bowl games, and Michigan games but he had never felt that threatened before. It was more than verbal abuse…they were literally throwing bottles of pee at people (not to mention the OSU fan who was intentionally vomited upon). Who dreams that up? And I agree that every stadium (not excepting Ohio Stadium) has its share of drunken losers who have nothing better to do than verbally abuse fans of the visiting team. But prior to their recent comeuppance, PSU had become way, way out of line. Frankly, I’m happy to hear that verbal threats and abuse was all you received. Ever been to Madison? They make PSU fans look like amateurs.

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    JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 2nd, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Yeah, honestly, most of them were very nice and welcoming. It only takes a few idiots to ruin it. They just take it to a whole new level. I was there in ’05 as well and my dad (who loves PSU) was afraid for my mom and my safety. When I have to be afraid for my safety at a football game, something is terribly wrong. Haven’t been to Madison, but I do plan to make the trip there at some point.

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    GaryNo Gravatar
    November 3rd, 2012 at 8:36 am

    You were afraid for your safety at Penn Suck and yet you plan on going to a place where they make those fans look like amateurs ???? lmao

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  7. CoquiNo Gravatar
    November 3rd, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I guess I’m an obnoxious fan because I try to get my section to stand up and cheer when I’m in Ohio Stadium.

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  8. JanelleNo Gravatar
    November 3rd, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I should have mentioned that I was afraid of being there in ’05, when I was 12 or 13 years old. Not this past weekend.

    And there is a difference between being enthusiastic about your team and rallying the fans around you and acting like a jerk. The guy by us was out of control. Penn State fans even said so.

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