In August, Sports Illustrated released a magazine with a cover that read, “We were Penn State” and depicted a Penn State football helmet with water pouring down on it, mocking what Jerry Sandusky reportedly did to those innocent children in the showers. In the wake of the white out game, Sports Il- lustrated recently released an issue with a cover that read “We are still Penn State” paired with a bird’s eye view picture of the stadium during the white out.
Penn State Hazleton sophomore Lauren Piazza said of the two Sports Illustrated covers, “I thought the first one in August was horrible and made a mockery of my school, which we certainly did not deserve.”
Piazza, in referring to the second SI cover said, “I feel like it was an apology for the first one. They realized their mistake, and realized that Penn State is still what it always was, and is still alive and kicking.”
Beaver Stadium was rocking Saturday night and early on gave Penn State a distinct home field advantage. Jake Stiles, also a Penn State Hazleton sophomore said of the atmosphere at Beaver Stadium, “At some points, I had chills down my spine. It was a fun atmosphere because everyone came together for one common reason.”
“White! Very white. All you could see were white out shirts, white jerseys, and sweatshirts. It was so loud I could barely hear myself think,” said Piazza.
There was one specific memorable moment when Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller walked over to the sidelines to talk to head coach Urban Meyer and as they were standing only three yards away from each other, they had to use headsets to communicate due to the volume of crowd noise.
A big concern heading into this season would be how fans would react to the team and if Penn State games would still be as memorable as they were once. Judging from Oct. 27, everyone would say without a doubt that they were indeed memorable.
“Penn State showed the world that no matter what we stand by our team, regardless of the sanctions placed upon us,” said Lucas Gouvalis, another Hazleton sophomore in attendance of the white out game.
Piazza reiterated, “Even though it doesn’t count in terms of going to a bowl game or winning the Big
10, it counted in our hearts. We all came for one thing, to show spirit and stand by our team to hopefully get a win over mighty Ohio State. We are extremely proud of our team; they put in a great effort. I was proud to be a Penn Stater that Saturday night.”
Penn State has not been a team synonymous with being the underdog. The team will have to accept an “us against the world” mentality and always play with a chip on their shoulders. The team must play like everyone and their mother is rooting against them because that’s the harsh reality of the NCAA situation.
Fans learned a lot Oct. 27 and none of it had to do with what the scoreboard read after 60 minutes of football. The true lesson was found in a much more emotional experience: those chills that ran through everyone’s bodies. It was a solidarity like none other. The pure emotion and intensity that was on display in between the white lines told a story. It told the world that Penn State was, still is and always will be Penn State. The actions of an ignorant few will not ruin the tradition, legacy and spirit of the university. PSU is strong and it is just beginning a new journey.