Saturday afternoon was the first time Paul Anderson walked away with the Paul Frankhouser Most Penn State Spirit Award.
It was one of four awards handed out by the Penn State Homecoming committee that hosted a tailgate competition before the Nittany Lion’s football game against Maryland.
It’s also an award inspired by Frankhouser, a State College native who now lives in Florida, who has been proclaimed as the biggest Penn State football fan.
Nashville native snags award for most spirited tailgate
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With blue-and-white-stripped overalls, Penn State sunglasses, temporary face tattoos and a Penn State-colored wig, Frankhouser was an inspiration to Anderson, a Penn State Class of 1987 grad.
“I absolutely love it,” Anderson, of Nashville, said about Frankhouser’s game day attire.
That’s why about three years ago, Anderson also got his hands on blue-and-white-striped overalls, which he wears to home football games.
The two met about eight years ago when Anderson set up his tailgate party a short ways away from Frankhouser’s.
Located by Gate E of Beaver Stadium, Frankhouser’s tailgate is at the top of the hill near the entrance, while Anderson’s is in the same column of vehicles, at the bottom of the hill.
To take his fandom a step further, Anderson entered the Penn State Homecoming Tailgate Competition this year for the first time.
A homecoming committee annually hosts the event the day of the homecoming game.
12 tailgates entered in competition
Public Relations Director Ashley Kohley said 12 tailgates were entered this year, but some groups dropped out due to rainy weather.
“It happens once in a while, but we still get to see a lot of great tailgates,” she said.
The judges look at criteria that includes variety and taste of food, decor and presentation, atmosphere, the kinds of games tailgaters are playing, and more.
“It’s just a way to have fun and be recognized for their Penn State pride during homecoming weekend,” Kohley said.
A tailgate headed by Penn State Class of 2001 grad Mat Stoudnour was in the running Saturday for best overall tailgate. It would have been the fifth time the tailgate, called the “Broad Top Area Tailgate Society,” won the title.
Stoudnour’s motor home is parked in the green parking lot adjacent to Beaver Stadium. The parking spot next to his is a trailer from the San Roman family, of Long Island,N.Y., who joins the game day festivities.
We’ve known each other for a long time; it’s almost like another family so we combine our motor homes and make the best tailgate at Penn State.
Gus San Roman, Penn State fan and tailgater
“We’ve known each other for a long time; it’s almost like another family, so we combine our motor homes and make the best tailgate at Penn State,” Gus San Roman said.
San Roman is the mastermind behind some of the food served during the tailgate.
On Saturday, it featured “eggs in a crab trap,” a New York-style everything bagel with a lump of crab meat and glazed with bacon onion dip made by San Roman’s wife.
“We always have a themed menu,” San Roman said. “We like to always cook something that represents the other team.”
The tailgate generally includes 60 to 70 people, but could get up to 150 during a night game when the Nittany Lions play a team like Ohio State, Stoudnour said.
“We’re just a big bunch of Penn State fans that go back four generations,” Stoudnour said. “We call it the seven Saturdays of Christmas in the fall and it’s just a longtime tradition going back to the ’60s.”