Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Weekends in Ohio When Not Raking Leaves . . .

I am an Ohio State football fan.  I’m not ashamed to say it (even when they lose), but I’m not obnoxious about it when I’m in “enemy territory” during my travels.  My brother and I used to go to one game a year – our aunt always got us tickets from a friend of hers, who continued the tradition for several years after she died.  But I hadn’t been to a game for at least ten years until this past weekend.

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Karen and David’s son Scott is an Ohio State grad.  He invited me to go with him to a game this year, and I really looked forward to it.  The invitation even came with a reserved parking spot – Scott’s mother-in-law is an OSU professor who lives less than a mile from Ohio Stadium.  So I met him there and got to spend some time with the baby (much to Karen’s chagrin).  Somehow, I blocked Scott’s wife Alexis out of all of the pictures I took (sorry about that).  And I have to admit that their son has one of the bubbliest personalities I have ever seen.

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We arrived about an hour early for the 12:00 noon kickoff, and this was the view from our seats.  Things have changed since I was the last time I was here – most notably the big new videoboard, which was a touch nostalgic for me.  When this board’s predecessor was installed back in the early 1980s, one of the graduate assistants who ran it was a Waynesville kid – and like a lot of us, I have a big picture of that board saluting me as “OSU’s #1 Fan” on the wall in my house (Steve programmed them all, then went down to the field with a camera and took pictures one after another as he clicked from one name to another).

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Any true Ohio State fan is seated before the band takes the field.  I did not go to Ohio State, but I still get chills when the snare drums signal their entrance to the field from underneath the north stands.  The band’s “Script Ohio” is well-known, but on this day we got a special treat – the halftime show had an Elvis theme, so they did “Script Elvis”.  I didn’t find out until the next day that the Elvis impersonator (he is “dotting the i” in this picture) was a teammate of Ohio State coach Jim Tressel when both were students at Baldwin-Wallace College.


Oh yeah – there was also a game going on.  You can’t see much in pictures taken from the stands (this was an Ohio State extra point).  OSU beat Purdue 49-0.

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There is always a show going on at a Buckeye game.  After Ohio State touchdowns, members of our armed forces come out of the stands and do pushups.  And in the picture at right, OSU mascot Brutus Buckeye was joining them – doing his pushups on a board held up by the cheerleaders.

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When he got the job, Coach Tressel started his own tradition – after the game, the team goes to the end zone to join the band and fellow students in singing the OSU Alma Mater.  Then the band came on the field for a special performance of “Script Ohio”.  Every time I have ever been to Ohio Stadium, I have sat on the east side behind the visitor’s bench, so I have only seen Script Ohio upside-down.  This was my first time on the west side, so I was really looking forward to seeing it right-side-up – imagine my disappointment when the band “wrote” it on the other side!


And I did ask Scott to take my picture – figured it might come in handy sometime . . .


Yesterday was a Yardwork Afternoon at my house, and when I saw this I couldn’t resist.  We have almost an acre of green grass in our yard, and only one patch of brown dirt where I dug out a magnolia bush that didn’t survive last winter’s blast.  Apparently, Zoe saw it as a cool inviting place to take a nap . . .

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