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.
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.
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: