I did everything I could think of to not be in Columbus a ridiculous amount of time before kickoff on Thursday. I cut my hair, shaved, cleaned my car (kinda), tidied up the house (a little) and even drove slower than normal. When I got to Columbus, I stopped at Barnes and Noble on Olentangy River Road near campus and wandered the aisles for a little while.
I was still on campus at 3 p.m.
So much for not being early.
After a visit with my friends at The Association, I humped it across campus to the ‘Shoe, lingering among the beautiful people who love the Buckeyes. The tailgates were just getting started, and most of the parking lots were half empty. There were only a couple of people in the photo dungeon under the “open” end of the stadium, and the stands were empty except for a few knots of ushers and a bright yellow cluster of vendors.
Standing at the field level and looking up, my plan was to do a time-lapse series of photos of the stadium filling up. Halfway up, I began to seriously reconsider. Lacking a Sherpa for aid, even lightly loaded the trip was arduous- and of course once I got to the top I remembered the elevator. I had walked up from the bottom to check various vantage points, but it would have been much easier to start at the top and walk down, since I knew I wanted to be at least 2/3 of the way up the stadium.
Oh well. I could work of the ridiculous chocolatly drink thingy I had at the bookstore. Except, as usual, I was early. I chatted with an usher as I waited for the scarlet masses to arrive, while being buffeted by a fairly strong and warm wind.
At 5:00 the ushers took their positions, silent sentries posted at each exit. They could have been talking, but the wind whipped away half of every sentence I attempted with my usher companion. And then the first pair of fans appeared.
And a few more here, and a few more there until slowly, very slowly, the ‘shoe began to fill. Meanwhile, every 15 seconds, a picture.
Some half-a-thousand pictures later, leaving myself five minutes to get back to field level, I wrapped it up and headed for the elevator. Unfortunately, it took 6 minutes to get back to field level, and as I walked down the ramp I could hear the low roar of the pre-kick chant start. As I was gearing up, another massive roar and the Buckeyes were on the board. I had missed the first touchdown of the season.
…and Saine scores
Boom goes Herron, ring goes the bell.
Look on the bright side. Those are some nice uniforms.
Hey! You’re going the wrong way!
But as expected, it was not the last. The Buckeyes were rolling, apart from a brief miscue that lead to 7 Herd points. I had just gotten to the North end when Pryor dropped back and unleashed a 60+ yarder to Dane Sanzenbacher and everyone rushed down to the end zone to celebrate. So off I went to get pictures of Ohio State special teamers mauling whomever caught the resulting kickoff for Marshall.
Only if you beat Miami.
The kids called it “owned.”
Dusting the Herd.
As I approached the end zone, all I could see was a cruel wall of photographer backsides. An usher saw my predicatment, and stepped back, motioning me in just as the crowd began to cheer. I kneeled down, put my camera to my eye and picked up Saine charging through a bus-sized hole in the Marshall defense and into the end zone 30 or 40 yards later. My new usher friend bent over and said “tell me you got that.” I had, by mere seconds and only because of his kindness.
I hadn’t gone far when Rolle snagged an interception and lead a sea of green escorts into the end zone. The traditional defensive touchdown. A host of trailing defenders that call off the chase when they start tasting the bitter (rubberized) dust of six more points in the deficit.
On my signal, unleash horns.
You good? I’m good.
At half time the bands, both the current TBDBITL and past TBDBITLers in the form of the Alumni Band took the field. There were some pretty old dudes in the band, and one of the drum majors seemed to be enjoying himself very much. The sight of four script Ohio’s must have been something else. From field level you can’t really tell what is going on besides a lot of marching around. The video board view leaves a lot to be desired compared to the real thing.
Well Marty, we plan on hanging 70 on them, because really, they aren’t that good.
I also had my first Tressel sighting. He was speaking to a radio guy, telling him how bad OSU was going to kick Marshall’s arse, really mop the floor with them, lay some trample on the Thundering Herd.*
*this is not true. I don’t know what he said, but I know what he didn’t say. But you knew that already.
It was getting close to mop up time when I saw flash of scarlet out of the corner of my eye while focused on the Marshall quarterback and Tyler Moeller came around the corner and got chiropractic on Brian Anderson, leveling him with such ferocity that the photographers beside me let out a kind of sympathetic gasp. One said “I wouldn’t have gotten back up.”
I don’t know if he wouldn’t have gotten back up because he would have been dead, or to prove a point. Either way, I had to agree.
Meet Jaamal Berry.
As the game entered the fourth quarter, I plopped down next to a TV friend, who mentioned that Tressel must be padding Pryors Heisman stats. It did seem to be playing with fire a bit, especially since everyone in the buildling knew that Tressel wasn’t going to run up the score any more than the Buckeyes already had. I thought maybe he was trying to stretch Pryor out a little, to prepare him for next week, which is sure to be a dog fight. But moments later, Bauserman came into the game to put the ribbon on things. With a little luck, I figured we would all be out of here sooner rather than later. Of course The Thundering Herd stopped the clock at seemingly every opportunity with a string of incomplete passes.
We get to do this twice!
The game wound on to its inevitable conclusion, the second and third teamers getting some time, unfamiliar names ringing out through the public address system. Finally the Bucks ran out the clock and we all got down to the O-H-I-Oing. A fine way to end a game, that Carmen Ohio.
As I was pounding down I70 with a full stomach (thanks to a red haired moppet) and a caffeine buzz, I realized I was excited. Football time is here, and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Now you can do several things:
Join the OSUAA.
View a photo gallery of the game.
or you could become an OSUAA fan on Facebook.
You could like me, because who doesn’t like a liking?
Or you could take a look at last season by looking at previous posts.
View a photo gallery of the game.