F*ck Ohio! (Clap, clap, clap clap clap) F*ck Ohio!
This was the inexcusable chant booming out of the Penn State student section on November 7, 2009 – the last time the Ohio State Buckeyes played in Beaver Stadium. This Saturday the Buckeyes come back to Happy Valley and, after some extended tailgating hours, I am sure my fellow Penn State students will be ready to make their voices heard.
Of course, being heard is not necessarily a bad thing. Like my plea to alumni states, we should strive to make this Saturday the single loudest game in Penn State history. We should be on our feet, making noise from the time the Blue Band marches onto the field until Urban Meyer goes the way of Terrelle Pryor and starts crying on the bench after losing. Braxton Miller should be partially deaf by the third quarter, and Richter Scales in the Walker Building should be picking up signs of small earthquakes every time the Buckeye offense takes the field.
But, my fellow students, we should do this without vulgar yells or chants that make visiting fans feel unwelcome, parents with kids at the game cringe, and fans of other teams watching on television look down upon our school. For example, I know of parents who are bringing their three, five and seven year-old kids to their first ever Penn State game, and I am certain they are not the only family bringing kids who are “Standing at childhood’s gate, shapeless in the hand of fate….about to be molded by Dear Old State.” Do we want to welcome these new Nittany Lions into a culture where it is okay to swear loudly in public?
Plus, this Saturday Penn State will play it’s only nationally televised primetime game of the season, giving fans across the country who have not seen – or heard - the Nittany Lions their first chance to do so. Do not underestimate how closely much of the nation will be watching us this Saturday as they try to determine the “culture” of our students and campus. Do we need them to have expletives blaring through their television speakers?
Visiting Beaver Stadium should be a great experience for everybody. Do not selfishly ruin it by using unintelligent and offensive language. If/when you see Buckeye fans, remember what your mother taught you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” If this is too difficult after a full day of tailgating, then be an adult and cut yourself off before you start looking and sounding like an idiot. And once you are in the stadium, if those around you start chanting phrases with expletives, do not join in.
This Saturday the undefeated, No. 9 Buckeyes will travel to Penn State to experience what will be an electric atmosphere. Enjoy your pregame festivities and make lots of noise, but do so while keeping in mind that Penn State Football Saturdays should be family-friendly, and they are a three hour broadcast about our school and students to the rest of the world. Please make sure that message we send is one that we are proud of. There is no reason for foul language or gestures. So don’t use them.
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