Born in Columbus, Ohio, the heart of Buckeye Country, immediately christens one into “Buckeye fandom.” To an Ohioan, a college football game is a time honored tradition. For more than a century we have bled scarlet and gray, decked out in Buckeye pride, and planned our whole day around a certain three and a half hours. Doing so creates a special and unique camaraderie between people alike and immediately bonds hostile foes. Buckeyes, like myself, have an unofficial code for greeting one another when in “foreign territory” (other states) by saying “O-H…” and responding with an “I-O!” Unlike most capital cities, Columbus does not have a pro football team, which allows Ohio State to take on that role. It is difficult to truly encapsulate the sheer magnitude of being a Buckeye fan in Ohio. It is rightfully a one of a kind experience and environment that can often be replicated but never actually duplicated.
Buckeye fandom is family – passing down the love for Ohio State from generation to generation while filling it with stories of legends and championships from years past with hope of history repeating itself. It’s having a closet packed full with more Scarlet and Gray than all of the other colors combined. It’s about being animated with mighty cheers during a game after a big play and yelling at the TV as you, the fan, like the coaches, demand excellence. An Ohio State fan possesses expectations higher than most teams have achieved in the entire history of their program. It’s the standard that is held by not only the fans, but the university, itself. Being a Buckeye is about getting the chills when you hear the words, “Ezekiel Elliott…and he’s got an opening! Elliott off to the races, can they catch him? No they can’t! Touchdown! … 85 yards!” as it takes you back to the exact moment in time during the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in 2015 right before you took a lap around your house in celebration. Or in 2002 versus Purdue, “…Could be up to the offensive line, no Krenzel’s gonna throw for it! Gotta get it off, they go for the ball game…Touchdown! Touchdown! Michael Jenkins! On fourth and one, would you believe it?! Craig Krenzel strikes with a minute and a half left. Holy Buckeye!”
Being a Buckeye is embracing the rich history and culture of the great state of Ohio and bringing it to life during the season when the whole state becomes one big family for fourteen weeks and then once again around New Year’s for the bowl game(s). It’s about sharing good times with ones you love and making memories that will last a lifetime and maybe even become a piece to the ever growing puzzle, Buckeye Nation. We all, every player, coach, fan, critic, rival, have a role in shaping the atmosphere in Columbus as the seasons come and go as no two are alike which is what makes them special in their own right. The Ohio State fan base would not be what it is today without each and every person’s value and unique traits that are enclosed in their puzzle piece. What’s in yours?
Image Credit: The Blade | BCSN