UNIVERSITY PARK — John Madril wore neutral colors Saturday because his allegiance was split.
The Penn State alumnus from Miami, who has served in the military for 23 years and is still an active reservist, said his family was torn over rooting for the Nittany Lions or the visiting Midshipmen from the Naval Academy.
If either team wins its a win for college football, Madril said of the game Penn State won 34-7, Bill OBriens first career win as head coach.
The game also marked Military Appreciation Day. Veterans and current military members were honored with a pregame video montage and an F-18 flyover. Some military members were honored on the field while all former, current and future members were asked to stand.
Though he also graduated from Penn State and served in the Navy for more than two decades, Peter Bell said his allegiance still relies with his alma mater.
There is a little conflict (of allegiance), he said, but in the end Im a Nittany Lion.
But he added that if Navy had pulled out the win he wouldnt be disappointed or upset.
Bell, of Portland, Ore., doesnt make many trips to Happy Valley,
but said he had to come back for the Navy game and Military Appreciation Day.
He said its especially gratifying to see military members getting recognition.
John Snell, another Penn State alumnus and Navy veteran, said he usually tries to come back to one Penn State game per year from his Harrisburg home, and this year the choice was easy.
Its a great day to be here, he said.
Snell also wore neutral colors not specifying which team he was pulling for, but his son donned a blue Penn State jersey to represent for the family, he said.
Madril was also impressed with the positive relationships between the opposing teams fans and said everyone was getting along.
This is the time to be here. Everybody has been phenomenal so far, he said adding that he was no animosity between the sides.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan