Being a lifelong Ohio State Football fan I don’t know why it took so long to actually attend a game at Ohio Stadium. I received an invitation from the Ohio State/ IMG Sports Radio Network to attend the game and I figured now was as good of a time as any to make the trip. After 25 years of being a Buckeye fan I made the pilgrimage to “The Shoe” to watch the Buckeyes take on the San Diego State Aztecs. I didn’t really know what to expect although like many people I had heard the stories about how crazy things can get down there.
The day started with a hike from our parking lot through many of the RV lots to the Radio Network hospitality event at the Jack Nicklaus Museum. Walking through the lots was an experience. It was about 3 ½ hours before game time and the lots were already packed with people tailgating. Aside from the number of people out there I think the set ups of the RV’s was the most impressive part. From the elaborate paint jobs on the RV (or converted busses in many cases) to the huge flat screen TV & satellite setups to the huge grills, you can just see how serious fans are about their tailgating!
As part of the radio network group we had lunch at the Jack Nicklaus Museum and then made our way to the stadium for a trip down on the field to watch pregame warm ups from the sideline. Now by most every standard I am a big guy, but it was crazy just how big the players are when you’re up close and personal. We watched the defense warm up in the end zone and spent a big chunk of time watching the kickers warm up. The most we were able to see of Braxton Miller on the day was during the warm up session because he left the game early due to an injury. He of course looked impressive and had an absolute cannon.
The thing I take away most from the game is just how loud a crowd can be. I’m not sure I have ever been in a place with 104,984 other people all cheering for the same thing but the noise can be impressive. I sat back for most of the game just taking it all in. From the crowd all clapping in unison while the band took the field to the chants on kick off and third down it was better than I imagined. It almost gives you chills when the band starts playing “Carmen Ohio” and the stadium all sings along (I also found myself confused how I know all the words to Carmen Ohio yet I can't remember all the words of Sweet Alma Home which is the alma matter of Heidelberg and I actually went there…) Watching The Best Damn Band in the Land play “Are you smarter than a Wolverine?” at half time and watch the precision in which they operate was another highlight of the trip.
Overall I have to say I am glad that I was able to experience it and I can’t wait to go back! Or as they say… “I wanna go back to Ohio State to old Columbus town, I wanna go back, I gotta go back, to Ohio.”
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Go Bucks! - Josh