Penn State Fans Pack The Streets Of Dublin For Pep Rally
DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Some Penn State football fans came to Dublin today. Others have been here for a week.
No matter how or when they got here they all met in downtown Dublin on Friday afternoon for an impressive pep rally.
"I've been to lots of these events," radio broadcaster Steve Jones said, "But I can't think of many as big and as energetic as this one."
"Penn State fans really are the best in the world," Hall of Famer Jack Ham said.
The pep rally lasted nearly 45 minutes. The band played, the cheerleaders led the crowd in Penn State cheers. There were all the typical sights and sounds of a Friday night in State College -- just half a world away. New athletic director Sandy Barbour and new president Eric Barron both spoke briefly and a handful of Penn State players took the stage to hype up the crowd as well.
"We came here as the finale of a bigger trip," Penn State fan Jeff Thompson said. "We started with stops in London and France and parts of Ireland before coming here. I'm tired but I'm looking forward to the game."
"I can't say enough great things about Dublin," Josh Evans said. "I have wanted to come here for a long time and this was a great excuse to do it. It has been a lot of fun the past few days seeing friends and new places."
If nothing else it was clear which team will have more support on Saturday. Only a few hundred or so fans showed up for a similar pep rally for UCF.
"We came in a few days ago to see the city," Steven Copper said at the UCF rally. "There might be more Penn State fans here but it has still been a great experience and a lot of fun. The people of Dublin have been fantastic."
Penn State fans will continue to party through the night and into the morning before free shuttles take them over to Croke Park.
"Beer early in the morning and a free shuttle to get me to the game?" said one fan who perhaps wisely refused to give his name. "I'm in Dublin, how could this possibly end poorly? I'm having a great time."
With all of the fun and festivities taking place, it certainly seems that Penn State only needs to win to cap off what has been a perfect week on the Emerald Isle.