The Friday after Thanksgiving I attended the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Northwestern.
As I sat in the crowd with my wife and parents, I reflected on how the sports experience I was having embodied the best of collegiate sports. The game was fun, fast-paced and exciting.
My grandfather, the late Eugene A. Myers, was a professor of economics at Penn State. During many summers in my childhood I would spend several idyllic weeks with my grandparents in Happy Valley. In our conversations, my grandfather often lamented that many sports had become so expensive that a working father or mother couldn’t afford to take their child to a game.
Not so with Penn State women’s volleyball. Tickets were $10 and countless children were having a blast dancing and celebrating the Lady Lions’ athletic prowess with their families. The game was exciting and the arena felt intimate and family friendly.
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At the Penn State football game the following day, attendees were far more limited to those able to pay exorbitant ticket prices to have an experience bearing far greater resemblance to a gladiator match in the coliseum during the waning years of the Roman Empire than a family-oriented sporting event. I was happy about the Penn State victory over Michigan State on Saturday, but as a country we need to embrace sports such as women’s volleyball as inclusive and entertaining events that reflect the best of what collegiate sports have to offer.
Rob Ryder, Columbus, Ohio