MnB B1G Preview/YFD Q&A: Talking tailgating with Black Shoe Diaries

Mario Tama

We got the scoop on tailgating in Happy Valley from our friend Cari over at Black Shoe Diaries.

Where should visiting fans go when they come to State College?

You should definitely try to stop by the We Are! 2013 tailgate, which we're organizing with mgoblog's Seth (sorry for the shoutout of a rival). Personally, I'll be switching between that one and my normal tailgate with friends. It's homecoming, so there'll likely be more than the usual amount of tents on the road leading up to Beaver Stadium-the last few years, there've been autograph sessions with notable football alumni, like Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins (/swoons).

What kind of reception should Michigan fans expect when visiting for a game?

Generally, for opposing fans, if you're not a dick, most PSU fans won't be either-even if you're an Ohio State fan (just ask HumbleBuckeye). Obviously, though, as with every fanbase, there are exceptions to this rule. Opposing fans should always be able to find a tailgate they can hang out at, with plenty of Yeungling and a wide variety of food options. If you're having your own tailgate, Prospector's does great barbeque and will deliver to your tailgate from the trailer they set up on the road by Beaver Stadium.

Let's say Michigan has a night game on your campus. Where do I go for food/beer before?

The night before or the night after the game, the bar scene in State College will be pretty busy-but the best thing about State College is that everything downtown is within walking distance and right by campus, and if you have to take a cab back to your hotel, cabs are pretty cheap. For bars, I recommend the Rathskellar or Zeno's for alumni, and Café 210 West or the Saloon if you're still a student. For food, you can't go wrong at the Corner Room (grilled stickies there aren't quite as good as the Diner, but the rest of the food's better) or the Waffle House (note: closes at 3pm every day), and Hi Way Pizza on North Atherton for the best homemade creamy garlic salad dressing I've ever had (and they do have plenty of TVs in the bar area for watching other games).

Fridays before Michigan home games, students paint The Rock, drink at Ashley's, have midnight Mud Bowl practices, and streak The Diag. What crazy traditions does your campus have before games?

As I said before, this is homecoming, so the Lion Ambassadors will be guarding the Nittany Lion Shrine for a few hours the night before the game, and that turns into a grill out/block party (the story goes, in the ‘60s when the Syracuse rivalry was hot, opposing fans snuck in one night the night before homecoming and painted the lion shrine orange-though some will say that it wasn't Cuse fans, it was Sue Paterno, who painted the shrine to fire up the student body for the game the next day). We'll also have the traditional homecoming parade the night before, so if you're coming into town, I recommend getting there early-the best views of the parade are on campus and downtown, so parking will likely be more limited than regular Friday nights before a home game. There will also likely be hundreds of students camped out for the best stadium seats at Nittanyville (formerly Paternoville), right by the stadium, where they should be for 5-7 days straight before the game.

Often there's also women's volleyball in Rec Hall during home football games, and if there is, get to the arena early-these matches usually sell out if it's a decent team, and PSU women's volleyball is a sight to see.

What is the best local beer from your school's region?

Okay, don't kill me, but I don't drink a lot of craft brews-and I especially didn't when I went to Penn State. My go-to is Yeungling, which is of course now a PA staple-and two years ago, they introduced an Oktoberfest that was so popular most distributors were sold out shortly into October. This will be the third year of this seasonal, and only the second it's been available to buy in cans and bottles, so if you're in town and no one has any left on tap, try to pick some up-if you can.

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