For most fans on game day, wearing their team’s colors is not just a necessity; it’s also the only way to fit in with the home crowd during game day. However, what is life like if you are a fan of the visiting team, and what will the atmosphere be like for you? For Meredith Smith, from Duncansville, PA, she wanted to explore this for herself.
Since 2002, Smith wore the rival colors to every home Penn State football game. What started this experiment was wearing a purple and white rain gear jacket for the game against Northwestern.
“I naturally thought it would be funny to wear the opposing teams colors into the stadium,” Smith said. “My uncle, who gave me the jacket when I was 10, gave me a rough time about the idea , but it amused me”
From that game on, for 10 years now, Smith has been wearing the rival colors even though she is a Penn State fan.
“ Surprisingly, Penn State is a very welcoming place,” Smith said. “ I constantly have people come to me and say “Good Luck!” and “Congratulations!”
Smith’s boyfriend Tyler Baird was confused at first until she told the story about the Uncle and the purple jacket.
“After I told him the story, he was still skeptical of the idea of wearing the rival colors to the home games,” Smith said. “ He does enjoy the rise it gets out of my uncle every time I wear the rival colors.”
It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a person by what he or she wears. Sometimes, life does throw a curve ball, and you have to take it as it comes. What Smith learned was the truth about Penn State.
She says that when Penn State is called “Happy Valley”, this is not a joke. Penn State does give its visitors a warm family welcome.
“I never once had a bad experience with a Penn State fan,” Smith said.
About: Matthew Vine
Matthew Todd Vine is a 2011 Penn State University graduate, with a B.A. in Journalism. He loves to travel and get to know new faces. He loves everything about Penn State and the community that surrounds it.