Countdown To Touchdown
Game day gorillas
Ceejay Bachus | culture editor
It’s the third quarter. The Gorillas are down by six points after a major resurgence in enthusiasm by the visiting team. Newcomers and PSU fans are worried, but a roar has started in the crowd. Sometimes vulgar, sometimes incoherent and always covered in crimson and gold, the spirit of PSU’s super fans never dies down.
“I have painted myself,” said Aaron Dean, junior in biology. “It’s probably the fire of competition that makes me want to paint myself. I want to give some of my passion to the players.”
Dean says that he and his friends often spend most of their time at Carnie Smith Stadium on game days. They even cook breakfast there.
“We go all out on game day with soda, hash browns, and bacon and omelets,” Dean said.
Dean’s roommate Jacob Rudolf, junior in mechanical engineering and automotive technology, has never gone so far as to paint himself but understands the sentiment.
“I think it takes true dedication and a lot of confidence to go without a shirt,” Rudolf said. “Most likely, you’ll have others to do it with you. Unless you have a bunch of confidence.”
Rudolph says he’s hesitant to go above and beyond like others, but still wears the school colors with pride.
“I have stickers to put on my face,” Rudolph said. “It comes off a lot easier than the paint. They don’t look too comfortable, I don’t think.
For game day Gorillas it is not about comfort. According to students like Aaron Heidebrecht, senior in political science, it’s about much more than that.
“It’s just a good opportunity to be a part of something,” Heidebrecht said. “It’s about showing your school, as well as other schools, that you’re really invested in the university.”
Heidebrecht says that he enjoys getting together with a variety of people from all over the school and becoming a unit, even if it’s just for the duration of a football game.
“It’s a time to get together with a bunch of different people that, if it was any other day, you wouldn’t be with and being a part of a big group supporting the school and the team,” Heidebrecht said.
Both Dean and Heidebrecht say that they get to Carnie Smith as early as possible to get as close as they can to the action on the field.
“Normally, I wear my lucky camo hat and I paint my face,” Heidebrecht said. “I show up an hour before the game so I can get right up next to the wall.”
When questioned about the more profane nature of the proceedings, Heidebrecht laughed it off.
“I do have a tendency to get invested in the game,” Heidebrecht said. “By the end of the game, I will occasionally scream at the other team. I try to be as respectful as possible, but there are some teams that make that really hard to do.”
Dean says that even though he’s involved in running the game day festivities, he still might illustrate his Gorilla Pride during the tailgate.
“I think we may paint our faces or temporarily dye our hair red for the game. I can’t wait to see the Gorillas in action this year.”