NEWSFLASH: There’s life outside of college football. Apparently some Penn State fans didn’t get the memo.
Sometimes it takes a sensible person to understand that concept, and so far this season, there’s been multiple fan overreactions. The most recent, and one of the worst yet, was when the Nittany Lion Nation rebelled following their loss to Minnesota on November 16.
If you recall, both Minnesota and Penn State went into their game with undefeated records. This season has been one of the best in recent Gopher history, while Penn State has ascended the Big 10 ladder as a perennial powerhouse in the last handful of years.
While that’s been the case, the Nittany Lions haven’t had much success in the postseason. The best they’ve done is making the Rose Bowl in 2016 and they’ve won twice in five bowl games under James Franklin. This season seemed like another shot at making the elusive Playoff, but those hopes are now shattered.
The thought of seeing their team be beat by a surging Minnesota team clearly didn’t sit well with fans. Throughout the season, they’ve voiced their displeasure with various players, including QB Sean Clifford. It reached a breaking point however, when numerous death threats were made following the Nittany Lions’ 31-26 loss.
Granted, Clifford had an overall forgettable performance, throwing three interceptions to one touchdown. Despite the numbers, there’s no justification for fans to make such threats against one of their star players. Those would be regarded as “fair-weather fans” or those who only cheer when their team succeeds, otherwise trashing them when they fail.
They weren’t routed though, and maybe that’s what really struck some of their fans the most. It’s one thing to go into a highly anticipated game and fail to show up. It can be another thing entirely to suffer a painstakingly close loss, especially with the talent their team boasts.
The Nittany Lions have a golden opportunity on their doorstep as they prepare to upset Ohio State this Saturday. While they struggled against a pretty decent Hoosiers squad, maybe they’ll play up to their talent against the Buckeyes. If, somehow, someway, they were to defeat Ohio State, they’d throw a HUGE wrinkle into the Playoff picture. It’d sure be interesting to see what their fans would have to say after that, or better yet, if they lose another close one with so much on the line.
Let’s all just root for the chaos to ensue, but remember, there’s life outside of football. Disregard those that find it acceptable to make active threats against players revered by 95 percent of the fan base. Whether they say they’re “trying to light a spark under a player” or “trying to give them some adversity to deal with”, they’re flat out wrong.
Death. Threats. Are. Not. Justified.