Change was in the air Saturday as I wandered along the Olentangy in search of a tailgating spark to start my day. I don’t know if it was me, or if it was the day, but the spark wasn’t there. Just a feeling of going through the motions, as if everyone was going through the motions, counting down until it was all over. The tailgates were there, lodged into corners and spread across lawns, but it didn’t seem quite the same. It seemed fitting for the final home game for the 2011 edition of the Buckeyes, the last time most of us will see them this season. The end of a long and heartbreaking season.
But there was still hope, still a chance to go out with a bang, a chance at our own redemption by heaping another helping of heartache on the beleaguered Penn State football program.
I zig-zagged my way through the western campus, looking for something different to take a picture of, but I didn’t really see anything that caught my eye. The block O kids getting painted were on my mind, and I didn’t want to miss them. I headed to the ‘Shoe.
I timed my arrival perfectly for my memory of how things worked, but I was early for how things really work, so I hung out for a while, waiting for the students to show. They eventually trickled in for their turn under paint.