Posts tagged ‘tailgating’

Keep the Lots Clean

A note to Penn State football fans: If you’re going to tailgate on Saturday, or anytime this fall, don’t let this happen:

Those images come from the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority, which has the important-but-unenviable task of cleaning up the tailgating lots around Beaver Stadium on Sundays. The issue? Too many tailgaters are putting the wrong items in the wrong bags during football weekends. The clear bags are meant for trash, while the blue bags are meant for recyclable materials—namely plastic, glass, and metal.

However, as Amy Schirf, the Authory’s education coordinator, told, “Many of the blue bags designated for recycling will also contain food, liquid, diapers, bags of dog feces, purses, bags, plastic wrap.” And that’s only accounting for the stuff that makes it into bags in the first place.

This particular mess was left after Penn State football took down Georgia State.

So, a friendly reminder: Throw your trash away, and of course, make sure you’re always using the right bag.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

September 29, 2017 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

Tuscaloosa Postmortem

It’s absolutely beautiful in State College today: 78, sunny, and relatively dry, or about 15 degrees and 300 percent less humid than it was Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Saturday night’s result aside, I had a blast in Alabama, and I imagine most Penn Staters feel the same. I think it’s also safe to say we’re all glad to be home — even if, in my case, it took three planes, 11 hours and two ticketing snafus to get here.

My travel travails kept me from posting a follow-up on Sunday, but here are a few final thoughts, images, and links on a memorable weekend and forgettable game…

Did I Mention the Atmosphere? I think I might have, but it’s worth mentioning again what a great setting Tuscaloosa is for a big college football game. From the hospitality and tailgating to the noise and color inside the stadium, Penn Staters who made the trip will know we aren’t the only ones who know who to prep for and celebrate a big home game. Here’s a bit more from the pregame tailgating scene, which takes over the heart of campus on game day (click to enlarge).

That’s the crowd on part of The Quad, with the iconic Denny Chimes in the background. About 100 yards to the left of where I shot this stands Gorgas Library; it, too, is in the heart of the tailgating crowds. Here are shots I took from the top of the library steps, looking left…

…straight out from the steps…

…and looking right.

Can you imagine the mall in front of Pattee & Paterno Library covered with tents on a Saturday morning? Now that I think of it, (more…)

September 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm 4 comments

Five Things I Learned on Football Eve in Tuscaloosa

I love college towns, and Tuscaloosa seems like a pretty great college town.

I’m typing this from the air-conditioned comfort of a frozen yogurt shop on The Strip, the section of University Blvd. that most resembles our College Avenue. Outside, it is really, really hot — 94 right now, apparently — and really crowded. Driving and trying to park on or near campus is a nightmare, and this is the day before the game. Not sure how bad it’ll be Saturday, but I’m not looking forward to finding out.

Those complaints aside, (more…)

September 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm 8 comments

Buzzing the Stadium

DSC_4156 sm helicopter

The state troopers were good sports, and one of them even took my picture.

I got a little bored during the third quarter of the Penn State-Syracuse game this afternoon, so I decided to hop on a state police helicopter and go for a ride.

OK, that’s not exactly how it happened.

What happened was more like this: I’d been thinking that going along in the police helicopter while they’re monitoring game-day traffic might make interesting fodder for my column in our next issue. So earlier this week I called Annemarie Mountz ’84, manager of the news bureau in Public Information, because I remembered she had done something similar last year. (You can see her photos from that trip here. Note that she had gorgeous blue skies and sunshine for her ride, while today was cloudy and overcast. Not that I’m jealous or anything.)

DSC_3943 sm Eastview Terrace

The relatively new Eastview Terrace residence-hall complex, on East College Avenue.

Anyway, Annemarie put me in touch with Clifford Lutz ’75, who is assistant chief of University Police Services. He’s the guy who coordinates the game-day police operations, so he made arrangements for the state police to take me up.

I got to the stadium by 9:45 a.m., as instructed, but the helicopter wasn’t there yet—it had been diverted to an emergency in DuBois. So I hung around a while, went over to visit Paul Frankhouser’s famous tailgate, and strolled some of the other tailgates.

The alumni center. Ryan and Lori, I can see your offices!

The alumni center.

Eventually I called Asst. Chief Lutz (who I’m told spends the day on top of the press box roof) and he said it could be a while; he’d call me. So I went inside the stadium and joined some friends who happened to have an extra ticket today.

I saw most of the first half and part of the third quarter, while noting with dismay that it’s next to impossible to get cell phone service inside the stadium. That’s because 110,000 other people are texting and making calls and sending photos. I had visions of going home after the game and finding out that I missed the helicopter ride because they couldn’t reach me by phone.

And then partway through the third quarter I got a text message from Asst. Chief Lutz:

Sgt. Fox and Sgt. Cochran, the nicest state troopers you'd ever want to meet....

Sgt. Fox and Sgt. Cochran, the nicest state troopers you'd ever want to meet....

Ready to go in about 15?

So I jumped out of my seat, said goodbye to my friends, and hustled down to the grassy area near Jeffrey Field where the helicopters land. I met the two very nice state troopers who were piloting the thing, they gave me some instructions, and up we went.

I got a great aerial tour of campus, took 274 photos in approximately 20 minutes, learned a bit about what the state police helicopter detail does, and pretty much didn’t want it to end. (I never did get to see how they monitor traffic … maybe another time.)

Oh, and contrary to the title of this blog entry, we did not buzz the stadium—the state police really prefer not to fly directly over the stadium when the game is in progress. But they did take me close enough for some good photos.

By the way, I got to fly with my door open. Makes for better photos that way—and the exhilaration of having nothing but air between you all the sights can’t be beat.

I’ll have more to say about the whole experience in my column for our November-December issue. Unless I quit my job between now and then and go to helicopter-pilot school or something….

Tina Hay, editor

Update: You can see about a dozen of the aerial photos at or, if you’re really into it, a slide show of about 30 on

September 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm 15 comments

Now THIS is a Penn State Fan

DSC_3317 sm HummerYesterday morning, about five hours before the kickoff of the Akron game, I stepped outside my house to pick up my morning paper—just in time to see an unbelievably over-the-top, Penn State-themed Hummer pass by and head on up my street. I got only a quick glimpse, but I remember it was decked out in blue-and-white from front to back, top to bottom, with a sizable JoePa bobblehead figurine on the roof.

Before this season is over, I vowed, I’m gonna find that vehicle and get a photo of it.

Well, I didn’t have to wait too long. As it happens, I was headed out of town at game time—to Pittsburgh for a cookout at my sister’s—and I drove by the stadium on my way. It occurred to me to scan the tailgating fields for the Hummer, and sure enough, as I drove along Park Avenue Extension, I spotted it, right along the northeast edge of the stadium.

The blue-haired ventriloquist-type mannequin is new this year.

I pulled up to one of the cops who were keeping traffic from turning onto Porter Road, and asked if by any chance he would let me pull onto Porter and turn my four-way flashers on long enough to run over and get a picture of the Hummer. He thought about it, and to my shock, he said OK.

So I got a few photos, and I chatted briefly with the tailgaters who were guarding the whole Hummer operation—which, I discovered, includes not only the Hummer itself but a blue-haired mannequin, a lucky Penn State rock, and assorted other touches.

The guy turns out to have a whole Web site devoted to this project, and it’s been going on for a number of years—in fact he won the “Most Penn State Spirit” award in the Homecoming Tailgate Competition in 2003, 2004, and 2005. So you may well have seen his tailgate setup before.

DSC_3320 sm Paterno figurineOn the Web site, the guy behind the operation hints at his real identity, though as far as I can tell he doesn’t come right out and say who he is. But it doesn’t take too much Web sleuthing to figure it out: He says he is a mechanical engineering grad, was an Alumni Fellow in 2001, and is a past president of the Berks Campus Alumni Society. Looking at the list of 2001 Alumni Fellows, there were five engineering grads in that group, but only one from Berks: Paul Frankhouser ’65.

One of the nice things about Frankhouser’s tailgate and his Web site is his emphasis on welcoming the fans of visiting teams. His site talks about a “code of honor” and even includes a few letters from visiting-team fans who appreciated how well they were treated when they stopped by his tailgate.

If you want to visit the tailgate, he’s even got a map on his Web site showing you exactly where to find him. I need to stop by again myself—sometime when I don’t have the four-way flashers on and can spend a little time.

Tina Hay, editor

September 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm 1 comment

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