Penn State ‘Big Uglies’ make presence felt in Happy Valley

Local Sports

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Gamedays for John, David, and Paul Duda are different than most.

“It’s become a part of who we are,” John said.

The three brothers grew up just down the street from Penn State.

“As we got older, we started parking cars and taking booze away from college students, sorry college students,” John said.

Then in 1992, the Duda boys had an idea.

“We just started wearing the masks that we got at a garage sale after the ’85 Orange Bowl,” John said.

And with that 30 cent investment, three characters were born.

I’m not ashamed of it, I have an alter ego,” John said.

Originally designed to be the 12th Man, they are now known as the Big Uglies, a phrase coined by legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson, which morphed the Duda’s into superfan status.

“I think if anyone does something at Penn State, at a certain point, you’re going to get recognized. Sometimes it’s for something amazing and sometimes you’re just putting on tights and playing around for the weekend,” Paul said.

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