November 8, 2015

"We are...

We are Marshall Penn State.   Yep despite what many believe, the "We Are" chant originated at Penn State.  1946.  And it's always followed by "Penn State".  A fact that many do not realize.  And it's birth springs from a time in American history when most viewed the world in black/white.  Not just on the television.  But in life.

"We Are"
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania

1946.  A time when racism and segregation ruled American life.  Also a time when most collegiate football teams were segregated.  But not Penn State. The Penn State Nittany Lions roster included two African Americans...Wally Triplett and Dennie Hoggard.  When the segregated University of Miami informed Penn State that they could not play their two black players while in Miami, the Penn State team voted unanimously to cancel the game.  A bit of irony?  The fact that the University of Miami initially offered Wally Triplett a scholarship to play for them.  It was rescinded when Triplett informed them he was not white.

Two years later, in 1948, Wally Triplett was the lone African American on the Penn State team that earned the right to play Southern Methodist University (SMU) in the Cotton Bowl.  When the Penn State players heard that SMU wanted to discuss leaving Triplett at home, Penn State promptly refused.  Guard Steven Suhey replied with what would become Penn State's battle cry to this day...they wouldn't even discuss leaving Triplett home because "We are Penn State!".  As it turns out, Triplett scored the tying touchdown in a game that ended in a 13-13 tie.

"Beaver Stadium"
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania

"Saturday Night Lights"

"WE ARE...Penn State".  If you've ever been in Beaver Stadium at University Park, PA on a football Saturday you know that when this is chanted, it literally rocks the stadium.  107,000 fans.  One side of the stadium yelling WE ARE, followed by the other half with PENN STATE.  I imagine if you are the visiting team and fans, it could be intimidating. Luckily, I've always been on the "giving" end.

The interesting thing about the "We Are" chant is that it isn't about winning.  It's a chant woven deeply in the fabric and history of Penn State.  It's about pride.  And contrary to how the press has presented Penn State, it's football program, and it's students and alumni in the is about a long and proud tradition of moral and ethical behavior.  

"Wally Triplett and His Story"
(A 4 minute video.  If you skip to the end you will see the WE ARE chant in action)

And now you know the rest of the story.  WE ARE!

Here's where I "link up" today

(Join me on Tuesdays for Song-ography. Click on photo for a full description) 


  1. That's a very impressive statue and I love the reflections it creates. Works great as a motto for the stadium.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. I love that statue, it's completely unique

    Thank you for linking up

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Very interesting. Mathias is just loving PSU. Fits him like a glove. We hadn't talked to him in a couple weeks...we had to make an appointment for last Friday. LOL. Makes a mom happy even though I miss him.

    1. Sammy is loving it too! Interestingly tho...I probably "talk" with her more now than when she was at home. Texting is a mom's best friend apparently :)

  5. Wow....I've never really thought about the "we are" as coming from anywhere else, BUT I did not know the story behind it. I've just become a Penn State fan!!! And I love the WE ARE it reflects the diversity of all who stand before it. Loved this story!!

  6. Love this post... 'We Are..' never heard this story before... thanks for coming by and sharing on Weekly Top Shot after a long pause... :-)

  7. what fabulous shots. well this is an interesting story too. it is a very beautiful sculpture/installation, and such wonderful reflections on it.