"Chevy Runs Deep" "We Are Penn State" "On, Wisconsin!" These slogans, unmistakable to place, are seemingly all very different however they have one very common thread, Pride. Over our weekend on the road and in Wisconsin we came to realize how much pride fans have in each of these brands and how this pride creates a foundation for respect.
It's Friday morning, and the drive ahead is long but two things keep us going, the Chevy Sonic and our PSU Pride. As we called OnStar from the Stocker dealership in State College, we told Gloria our destination, Madison, Wisconsin. She laughed when she told us our ETA, "it looks like you are uh really far." We knew the journey would be long, but thankfully the 11-hour trip seemed effortless in the spacious back seat as we rehashed stories from PSU and played children's road trip games. When we arrived at the hotel in Middleton, we immediately felt welcomed as we saw the picture on our hotel key cards, the classic lion head logo. After a much needed sleep, we headed out early to Madison to explore the town.
Our first stop, Mickies Dairy Bar, showed us just how much respect fans had for us. Dressed in blue, we stuck out like sore thumbs in the sea of red, however all the locals in the restaurant came over to talk to us about the game or offer advice on what to order. Everyone was welcoming and friendly even wishing us luck out on the field. It didn't matter we came from different schools and different states, we were proud of our institutions and the common bond that sense of pride brings.
As we continued about our day, we met a variety of folks, seeking out anyone with a Chevy. Not surprisingly, they were everywhere. As soon as we parked, we walked over to the car in the next lot, a Tahoe, and started talking to the tailgate about their school and their car. The man, a die-hard Wisconsin fan commented that the love for his Chevy, aside from the car, comes from the fact that the company employs American workers and the car uses ethanol, which supports the production of corn.
The man was proud of his Chevy because, the Pride "Runs Deep." He was proud that his car supported his country and was proud of everything the car, and the company, offered. We found it easy to talk to the men at the tailgate about their cars and their alma mater. Continuing on our adventures to find Chevy owners we ran into a tailgate with an Equinox parked outside. As we started talking about the Chevy Sonic, and how we found ourselves all the way out in Wisconsin, one of the women told us that she had worked for Chevy for years and loved the company because of the atmosphere it provided. They welcomed us as friends, sharing Wisconsin-classic brats and cheese as well as college memories. Later on, when we entered the stadium, we felt a similar sense of Pride as is found in Happy Valley on game days.
Amidst the pouring rain, the stadium was packed and fans were decked out in the red Badger gear. The cheering was constant as was the excitement, even though the game did not prove to be a win for the Nittany Lions. When we returned to our car to head back to the hotel, we found our Tahoe friends waiting for us, not to gloat about their win, but to offer suggestions for food and to talk about our journey back. They were gracious hosts, who welcomed us over our initial bond, the love for Chevrolet.
Whether its Pride for the Waffle Shop or Mickies Dairy Bar, for creamery ice cream or cheese curds, for the Blue or the red uniform, for the Nittany Lions or the Badgers, each student lives on the Pride they have for their institution; knowing that their university was the best possible choice for them. We got out on game weekends, because we are proud to represent our school colors and team. College is all about having pride in your school, your academics, your school spirit, and your extra-curricular activities. We have Pride in our school because of the experiences we have had and the experience we all share. For four years we are all united for a once in a lifetime experience: cheering on our team, passing the final exam, or just hanging out with some friends. It is not the final diploma that really matters, but all of the years it took to get there. Luckily, in the Sonic, Chevy created the perfect vehicle to help get you through every step of the journey.