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Wandering with the Nittany Lions – 2019

With the release of the NFL schedule, it’s time to take a look to see if you can parlay a trip to see the Lions with any other events in the area.  Last year, I was able to string together a couple of these weekends. For example, we saw the Pirates host the Marlins the night before Penn State played at Pitt.  Later in the year, we saw Penn State play at Indiana in Bloomington, then caught my Bills against Indy on Sunday.

Let’s see if the schedule this year offers any unique combinations. Of course, State College isn’t the easiest place to get to, so you’re more likely to catch a weekend like this on the road, but if you’re flying in/out of Pittsburgh, Baltimore or Philly, you might have some options.

Aug. 31Idaho Football ScheduleIdaho Vandals

The season opener is always something special – regardless of the opponent. With Idaho coming to town, it should serve as a warm-up for our new starting QB – whoever that might be. If you’re flying to PHL, catch the Mets and Phils on Friday night or Sunday afternoon.

Sep. 7Buffalo Football ScheduleBuffalo Bulls

In Pittsburgh, the Pirates host the Cardinals on Friday-Sunday while over in Philly, the Eagles host the Redskins on Sunday. If BWI is your choice, the Orioles host the Rangers Thursday-Sunday.

Sep. 14Pitt Football SchedulePitt Panthers

Penn State looks to close out the renewed 4-game “rivalry” on a 3-game winning streak after dropping the first game in the series.  State College will be hoppin’! If you’re traveling through Pittsburgh, the Steelers host the Seahawks on Sunday. Down in Baltimore, the Ravens host the Cardinals. The Phils take on the Red Sox on Sunday at 1pm.

Sep. 21 OFF

Friday, Sep. 27Maryland Football Scheduleat Maryland Terrapins

Cleveland based Nittany Lion fans – this is your weekend. Friday night lights for college aren’t a great thing, but make the most of it this weekend.  Watch Bryce Harper and the Phillies pay a late-season visit to the Nats on Thursday evening before the Lions take on the Terps and their new head coach, Mike Locksley on Friday night.  Stick around Saturday night for the Indians vs the Nats in DC before heading up to Baltimore on Sunday for the Browns vs Ravens.

Oct. 5Purdue Football SchedulePurdue Boilermakers

With the MLB playoffs in play, check back for updates. If the NFL is your thing, the Steelers host the Ravens and the Eagles host the Jets. There’s a slim chance you can make it a double-header with the Pens hosting the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Oct. 12Iowa Football Scheduleat Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa ranks up there as one of my favorite places to see a game – and was one of my first Wandering Spectator experiences when we added a Suns vs Bulls game on Friday night, the Bears vs Titans on Sunday. With nothing else remotely close, we made the best of this location. If that’s too much driving for you, take the time to explore and enjoy the campus and Midwestern hospitality.

Oct. 19Michigan Football ScheduleMichigan Wolverines

A whiteout game in Happy Valley should be on every college football fan’s bucket list. The atmosphere is unlike any other I’ve ever encountered. Start your weekend off in Pittsburgh with the Pens hosting the Stars on Friday night.  Or you could try to take in a 49ers vs Washington game on Sunday, but expect a late night in State College.

Oct. 26Michigan State Football Scheduleat Michigan State Spartans

Are you missing seeing Saquon play as much as me? Start the weekend in Detroit with the Sabres vs the Wings on Friday night. Then head to East Lansing to catch the Lions as they take on Sparty, on Saturday. If you’re lucky with kickoff times, you can make it a double-header.  Head back to Detroit after the game for a Saturday night matchup of the Sixers vs Pistons. Make it another double-header on Sunday! Watch Saquon run all over the Lions on Sunday at 1pm. Then catch the Stanley Cup Champion Blues at the Wings just down the street at 5pm..  Oh, and Notre Dame will be taking on Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday as well.

Nov. 2 OFF

Nov. 9Minnesota Football Scheduleat Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Lions head to Minnesota but unfortunately, the Vikings are on the road, but there’s plenty of basketball in town.  Catch the Wolves vs the Warriors on Friday night or the Nuggets on Sunday afternoon.

Nov. 16Indiana Football ScheduleIndiana Hoosiers

Over in Philly, the Eagles host Brady and the boys. Let’s hope they recreate some Philly Special magic. Down in Baltimore, the Ravens host the Texans and a little further south, the Redskins host the Jets. Over in Pittsburgh, the Pens take on Toronto Saturday night.

Nov. 23Ohio State Football Scheduleat Ohio State Buckeyes

This game is always pivotal and always plays a role in the division championship. Regardless of what others have said, our experience in Columbus was outstanding – except the outcome of the game. The downtown location makes hotels plentiful and the walk along Short North has plenty of nightlife to offer.  For Steeler fans, head southwest to Cincy on Sunday morning for another division matchup with the Bengals. Or go northeast up to Cleveland for the new-look Browns against the Mike Gesicki and the Dolphins.

Nov. 30Rutgers Football ScheduleRutgers Scarlet Knights

Penn State closes out their regular season campaign against Rutgers. With classes out for Thanksgiving, tickets and hotels will be plentiful. Down in Maryland, the Ravens will host the 49ers on Sunday. And down in Philly, the Flyers host the Red Wings on Friday night or the Sixers host the Pacers on Saturday night.

Dec. 7 Big Ten Football Schedule Big Ten Championship

A trip to Indy for the B1G Championship is always something special – even if the Lions aren’t playing.  It is a Championship environment with a lively downtown. My first B1G was the inaugural season in 2011 with Michigan State and Russell Wilson’s Wisconsin Badgers. Of course, it’s always better with Penn State playing and 2016 didn’t disappoint.

Where will you be wandering to see the Nittany Lions?

Stop wondering. Start wandering!

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