A brief history: In 2005, the Ohio State marching band visited PSU for the Ohio State vs. Penn State game, a matchup PSU would go on to win and thus upset OSU. Many current students may not be aware but the OSU band was treated extremely poorly during their trip. Bags of urine were dumped on band members as they walked by the student section after their halftime performance. Some PSU fans attempted to punch OSU band members as they marched to the stadium. The show of disrespect by our fans was so egregious that OSU’s band director (who was a graduate student at Penn State many years ago) has vowed never to bring the band back to PSU.
Fast-forwarding five years to this past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Ohio State with the Blue Band. There was much apprehension within the band last week, not knowing what retaliation we might face in response to the 2005 fiasco. There were the usual snide remarks, as expected, but no physical attacks. Did the student section cheer us? Of course not but they did not disrespect us as members of Penn State’s student section did in 2007 when they turned their backs to Notre Dame’s band and gave them the finger. As we marched out of the stadium after a tough loss, many OSU fans gave us high-fives and thanked us for coming, telling us how much they enjoyed our presence at the game.
Penn State students should take a lesson from a university we claim to hate. They were respectful of the Blue Band, as our students should be to all visiting bands at Beaver Stadium. For a student section ranked No. 1 in the country, we sure do not hold ourselves to high standards when it comes to respect and maturity.