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Alabama fans enjoy great hospitality from PSU fans
September 10, 2011 - Cory Giger
After talking with Alabama fans for a half-hour before the game, it's clear they have been treated with the same kind of respect, generosity and class that they showed PSU fans last year.
Asked if the hospitality has been reciprocated, Reginald Hamner of Montgomery, Ala., said, "Wonderfully, many times over. The friendliest people. I was lucky enough to be here in '89, and I had the same hospitality then, and it's been extended this time."
As Hamner and his group were being interviewed, Penn State fan Brandon Wright from Bethlehem walked up to them and said, "Good luck, you guys."
That's just one small example of the mutual respect the fans showed each other.
"I've been talking to almost every group of Alabama fans that hasn't been talking to someone to make sure everyone's having a good time, make sure everyone's being treated well," Wright said.
"I hate Alabama for beating us last year, but today I have a new-found respect for Alabama fans. I had no idea that an SEC team could treat people so well and be so welcoming and be so humble. It's been a great day with a lot of great people."
Portage resident Tom Giles invited a couple of Alabama fans to join him at his tailgate.
"Years ago I was up here when Alabama came up here with the Bear [Bryant], and they always showed us respect, so we thought we'd pay them back," Giles said.
Wade Britton, who was born and raised in Alabama and now lives in Alexandria, Va., took Giles up on the offer to tailgate.
"We've had a good response so far," Britton said. "Most of the fans, they heard last year that they got a lot of good feedback from Alabama fans, and I think that respect is shared amongst the people at Penn State."
Bill Jones from Montgomery said he has never encountered anything but hospitality from PSU fans.
"We've played Penn State for years and years, and every time it's been just great," Jones said. "It has always been people coming back saying, 'These are wonderful sports.' We enjoy playing Penn State. I wish we could play every year."