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15.10.2018 12:24
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The field rumbles as if a locomotive is approaching from the south tunnel. The stadium shakes once the first note of Zombie Nation hits. Players ears ring, their helmets sometimes vibrating, from a wall of noise.Welcome to Beaver Stadium during a White Out, an annual Penn State tradition where more than 100,000 fans dress in white and scream until they go hoarse.You couldnt hear the guy six inches next to you, remembered former Michigan center Jack Miller, who was on the sideline for the 2013 White Out. It was piercing loud, I think thats the best way to describe it.Added former Penn State linebacker Dan Connor, who spent six seasons in the NFL: Its really nothing Ive ever experienced before. You dont get that anywhere else. You cant emulate that environment, that type of noise and that type of energy. Its the loudest thing Ive ever heard.The Nittany Lions White Out has fast become one of the great spectacles in college football, an event that has inspired as many Penn State fans as it has copycats. Even Ohio State coach Urban Meyer named it one of the games top-five atmospheres -- and he should know. He twice has witnessed the White Out, in 2012 and 2014, and hell see it again Saturday night when the second-ranked Buckeyes visit Penn State (8 p.m. ET, ABC).Its a different kind of atmosphere. The White Out, it changes for the players -- the players can really see what kind of support they have behind them, Connor said. And I can only imagine a visiting teams player seeing 100,000 in all white filling up the stadium. Especially at night.This isnt a tradition steeped in years of planning and focus groups. Penn States White Out boasts humble beginnings, the spontaneous idea of an official who -- 12 years ago -- had no inkling this would grow into a Penn State phenomenon.Heres how it all happened:The BeginningGuido DElia can still remember staring up at a quiet student section in early September 2004, turning toward a marketing employee and asking aloud, You think we could get them to wear one color?His colleague, Loren Crispell, nodded.I just thought, how do you get people to act as one? said DElia, Penn State footballs former director of communications and branding. You put them in a uniform. We figured everyones got a white T-shirt -- so lets make it white.Those were the simple roots of the White Out, born away from offices and meeting rooms. But there was no time to waste. Penn State had only one remaining home game before late October -- on Oct. 9 against Purdue -- and the color-coded experiment might not work if students were forced to wear sweatshirts or winter jackets.This was a White Out involving only the students, but the marketing department had only two weeks to plan. Student email addresses were off-limits, and social media didnt really exist yet. Facebook remained in its infancy, and Twitter wouldnt even launch for another two years. Worse yet, DElia knew, if the White Out didnt succeed this time -- then it was probably dead forever. It was now or never.So the marketing department turned to essentially its only option -- guerilla marketing.I remember stuff on the White Out was all over the place, said Zack Mills, Penn States quarterback during the 2004 season. I remember there being a hype around it. Everything they promoted that game week was all about the White Out. We had a pep rally that was all about the White Out. It was just over and over and over again.Some students would stand on street corners and shout about the White Out through megaphones. Others would paint their faces white and parade through the HUB-Robeson Center, a popular student hangout. Signs went up, chants were started and campus cafeterias were flooded with ads.It worked. Penn State fell to Purdue, 20-13, but the first White Out was a success. Mills called it a special atmosphere ... that was a little crazier than usual. Now, at least, thered be a second one.The EvolutionConnor played in 62 career NFL games and 44 college games. He was the nations top linebacker as a high schooler, a Bednarik Award-winner in college -- and he coaches high school ball now.But Connor still cant forget the student-only White Out in 2005.Deep in Ohio State territory, near the student section, he could feel his head buzzing. It wasnt a sensation with which he was familiar. He tried to pinch his helmet near the ear for relief.The noise was actually vibrating through the facemask, Connor recalled earlier this week. My helmet was shaking. When you play at Penn State, its always loud -- but any of those White Out games, especially the night ones, it was a different level.Two miles away, in the campus West dorms, students who eschewed football for naps were forced to close their windows because of the noise. Ohio State center Doug Datish recalled, in 2006, how his ears were ringing from the all-white student section. Another Buckeyes offensive lineman, T.J. Downing, later told Penn States student newspaper that he couldnt hear Nick Mangold from two feet away.Its not fair to say the White Out was the sole reason for that noise level in 2005. Penn State was surging after several down years, and the Buckeyes arrived late in Happy Valley with a No. 6 national ranking. But its no stretch to say the White Out contributed to that environment, one in which ESPN analyst and Ohio State alum Kirk Herbstreit referred to Penn State as the best student section in the country -- theyre crazy.Penn State won that game, 17-10, as fans rushed the field and celebrated in the streets downtown. The White Out was a huge success -- and the athletic department clamored for a stadium-wide White Out the next season. DElia talked them out of it.We didnt have a game with the right weather and the right opponent, DElia said. I thought we had to wait -- and I fought a heck of a battle to hold off on it in 06. I thought it needed to be a big game, nationally televised, with a full stadium to lock that in.In 2007, the perfect game emerged: Sept. 8 against Notre Dame. The marketing department tapped into extra resources by printing out reminders on tickets, running commercials featuring an all-white bus driven by a man wearing an all-white uniform, and stationing white-clad employees -- armed with cowbells and bullhorns -- at each stadium exit the week before.Hours before kickoff against Notre Dame, DElia stood atop the press box with field glasses on that 70-degree day, wondering and hoping if his plan would pay off. But as fans left their cars and streamed down Curtin Road, DElia could see only white.The White Out was here to stay.It was incredible, said Anthony Morelli, the quarterback in 2007. I tell young kids all the time that if they can ever get out to a Penn State football game, get to a White Out.Its so loud, you can almost feel it.The NowNot much has changed from those early days.Players still need to crane their necks to hear their teammates, the crowd still dresses from head-to-toe in white, sometimes waving white pom-poms, and the atmosphere remains electric. But, as the White Out has grown, the marketing department has no longer needed to rely on commercials or guerilla tactics. Last seasons White Out even took place in late November.In some ways, Penn States White Out has grown as synonymous with Penn State as the Nittany Lion. Its evident every season, and its a tradition thats inextricably linked with the university.The White Out is one of the reasons why you come to Penn State, said cornerback Grant Haley, whos from Georgia. You can feel the ground shaking. ... When you see it, its just something like, it just catches the eye. Its unexplainable. Its unreal.Added running back Saquon Barkley: I lost my mind. It was amazing; I never had seen anything like that.The White Out has become one of Penn States biggest recruiting draws of the year. For fans, it routinely highlights the most exciting home game of the season. And, with the crowds, at least 107,418 have shown up for the last five such contests.Thats what makes Saturday nights White Out a little bit more different than the road venues Ohio State has faced before. A record-breaking 87,037 fans showed up in Oklahoma, and 81,541 packed Camp Randall. But Penn State will have at least 20,000 more on hand.I think Penn State has more people, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett acknowledged earlier this week, and that can make it louder.In 2014, PennLive photographer Joe Hermitt measured the crowd volume at 111 decibels on his iPhone app. Thats just 14 decibels away from when noise begins to cause literal pain.Whether its the loudest stadium or not, Penn State and its White Out have come a long way in the last 12 years -- from an on-field idea into an annual practice the school takes immense pride in.It was essentially an experiment in 2004 and, again, in 2007. Now?Its one of the most eye-catching traditions in all of college sports. Howie Kendrick Jersey . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011. Daniel Murphy Jersey . Perhaps Carroll was so prepared for a break because he believes there is very little the Seattle Seahawks need heading into the off-season. "I dont see anything that we need to add. We just have to get better," Carroll said. . According the Toronto Star, a knee injury will keep Sundin out of the lineup, which includes former teammates Gary Roberts, Darcy Tucker, Tie Domi and Curtis Joseph. Ryan Zimmerman Jersey . He was followed closely by David Clarkson, donning red, seconds later. Clarksons actions one night earlier, leaping off the bench in defence of Kessel during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres, will cost him the first 10 games of the regular season. Kevin Long Jersey .ca. Kerry, Just watched the shootout in the Coyotes/Leafs game and I have to ask, why was the James van Riemsdyk goal allowed to count? All of the video replays we were shown on TV were inconclusive about whether the puck had entirely crossed the line or not. Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has warned the AFL club cannot take it for granted that injured star Nat Fyfe will re-sign.Lyon said the Dockers must show the reigning Brownlow Medallist that their plan for success will work.Fyfes season ended in round five with a leg fracture - one of a number of disasters that hit Fremantle this year as they plummeted out of premiership contention.After that round-five loss to Carlton, Lyon said that they had to re-stump, re-wire and re-plumb.Last weekend, club chief executive Steve Rosich outlined a plan where the Dockers would recruit heavily through the next three to four national drafts as they rebuild their playing list.Fyfe is Fremantles next captain and Lyon said the 24-year-old is exerting his leadership around the club.But the coach pointed out that Fyfe also wants to achieve success.You have to bring people along for the journey ... they have to buy into the plan, Lyon told Fox Footys On The Couch.ddddddddddddSo as we finalise it and decisions are made, you have to bring Nathan along.If Nathan believes in that plan and he sees success coming his way, hell be there, I have no doubt.But if he doesnt believe in the plan, and we dont bring him along, hed be a chance to leave.Lyon hopes Fremantle can return to the finals next season.He said the draft was their best option to rebuild the team.We could load up and attract free agents and uncontracted players, but if that failed then youd be in a real hole, Lyon said.We want to take care of the present and the future at the same time.We dont want to sell the farm, either ... we would still like to play finals next year.We think its possible - anythings possible. 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