Friday, November 25, 2022

Hello Columbus

The Ohio State University football team faces the University of Michigan Wolverines on Saturday in a battle between the #2 and #3 teams in the college football rankings. So this seems like a perfect time to share my experiences visiting Columbus and attending the Ohio State-Arkansas State September...two months ago! 

For some background, I attended grad school at Ohio State and went to most of the home football games while I was there. I consider myself a Buckeyes fan, though I don't go out of my way to watch each game now. The team went 6-6 and 8-4 in my two years in Columbus. While this record might be fine in some places, this was unacceptable at Ohio State resulting in the firing of coach John Cooper, and I received emails about the coaching search process. The November 18th, 2000 game against Michigan (where the Buckeyes lost and I got hit in the back of the head by a Sprite bottle because someone was trying to hit a Michigan fan and missed) was the last time I attended an Ohio State football game. In addition, the last time I visited Columbus was for a friend's wedding when The Moose was only a few months old. He's 11 now.

For a few years, my grad school friends and I discussed having a reunion. It finally came together over the summer when we agreed to buy group tickets for a football game. Ohio State tickets are EXPENSIVE! There are no discounts for group sales. We got 20 tickets in groups of 2 and 3 several rows apart but all in the same section. My seats with The Moose and Pedro Tulo were located in the last row of the stadium. With only bleachers, the positive is that we were able to lean back against the wall. The negative is that The Moose is not a big fan of heights. When we went to Toronto this summer, he had no interest in going up the CN Tower. While I knew he didn't like heights, I didn't realize that he really didn't like heights, and I had no idea we were in the last row when we purchased tickets. He ended up being okay though he asked several times when we were leaving which was completely unlike him at a sporting event, and we walked down the steps very slowly when exiting the stadium in the fourth quarter.

* The Ohio State band is awesome. I can watch them do Script Ohio for days. They also performed a "karaoke" medley, so my friends who are Pitt fans will appreciate that they played Sweet Caroline.

* Switching away from football, while I didn't have the chance to show my kids everything I wanted to in Columbus, getting ice cream at Graeter's was a must. So good!

* Back to football, OSU wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. is really, really good. He had 7 catches for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game.

* Wearing an Art Schlichter jersey is a bold move. For those of you not familiar with Schlichter, he was a 4-year starting quarterback at Ohio State before getting drafted #4 overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1982. He was a massive gambler well before sports gambling became legal and got suspended by the NFL. He has been in and out of jail throughout his post-NFL career and was just in the news again last month. Again, quite the bold move to wear his jersey.

* We had brunch before we left Columbus at The Original Pancake House. The waiter made a mistake with the order and gave The Moose an order of hash browns and eggs and buckeye pancakes. He had absolutely no chance to finish the massive amount of food!

Overall, the trip was fantastic. It was great seeing friends from grad school and meeting some of their family members for the first time. I hadn't seen most of them in over 20 years. I also stayed with and saw friends that I've known since elementary school and earlier. It's nice to reconnect with people from your past and who have known you for years. Oh, I also met some hedgehogs, so I'll give a plug to the Handful of Hedgies Facebook group for hedgehog rescue and services in central Ohio.

Go Bucks! Beat Michigan!

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