Purdue: Homecoming redemption

A beautiful dawn spread its golden rays across Mirror Lake Saturday morning, wiping away the bitter taste of last week’s defeat as past and present Buckeyes gathered for Homecoming.

Ok. That might be a touch of hyperbole. But hyperbole is one of the main fuels of college football, so it fits. It is not hyperbole that the excitement of the homecoming court was contagious. I caught up with them at the Kuhn House, home of the Honors and Scholars program. It is a lovely little chateau on the edge of Mirror Lake, where the court and other guests gathered for brunch.

After breakfast, we boarded buses and headed over to the Skull Session. Anyone looking to get the full experience of a football Saturday in Columbus should definitely check out the Skull Session.

We were all gathered together in a corner of the court, waiting for the band to make its thunderous appearance when I looked up the tunnel and saw Jim Tressel giving Elvis a hug. It felt a little bit like seeing a yeti and bigfoot, without the hair. Somehow, I didn’t see anyone with a camera phone, which is sort of like seeing a yeti riding a unicorn.

he lives

Like a phoenix.


nutty

Sharp dressed nut.

Shortly after, the band came down and blew the lid off the place, complete with an Elvis sighting. The team breezed through, with Chekwa making a little speech.

red coat escort

Clear a path.

And then we were swept across Lane Avenue, with a Red Coat escort. With me photographing every step.

At the gate, I had to leave the group for a moment to check in. They are keeping a really close eye on photographers and those with field passes this year, so I had to check in and go through the secret process that lets people know I am legal. Evidently, there are fake field passes floating around out there, which means that everyone with a field pass has to have their pass looked at umpteen times a game. It is understandable, but a pain in the bum. So if you think that it would be a good idea to fake a field pass, you are an idiot. So don’t do it.

The court was super excited to be on the field. A few players from Purdue were warming up near where we were gathered, and the court (some of them ) watched them intently. I am sure that various social media sites are full of photos from the morning.

court

Your 2010 Ohio State Homecoming Court.

After a while, the band came out and the court marched onto the field for their moment of suspense. Despite being grilled by last year’s queen, I didn’t give up the winners, despite being given that precious knowledge a few minutes before.

crowned

Homecoming queen Colleen Miller and king Adam Gerson.

raise the roof

Let’s dance.

When the crowning was completed, after I did a few more group shots, I headed to the photo hole to get my football shootin’ lens. As I was screwing my monopod to my lens, I heard the crowd roar, and for the third time this season, I had missed the Buckeyes first touchdown. My own little tradition.

Knowing that the Boilermakers had on occasion been a thorn in the Buckeye’s side, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And as usual, it was more of the same, each of the previous home games this season rolled into one, without the moments of suspense occasionally visited on the Buckeyes earlier this season.

It is hard to tell where the lousy Boilermakers end and the good Buckeyes begin. The domination was so thorough that I had a hard time telling if Purdue was that bad or the Buckeyes were that good. Ohio State was rolling though, thats for sure.

I marched out of the photo hole and plopped down on the sidelines, ruing my absent kneepads. The first shots of they football day were typical of the rest- the Buckyes defense abusing the Boilermaker offense. And special teams, and defense. It was abuse all the way around.

Not that I felt sorry for anyone. Maybe I felt a little bad for Eastern Michigan a few weeks ago, but this is the Big Ten. Step your game up, Purdue.

Listen to me. If I saw Nate Williams coming after me, I would turn into Jell-O, and hope the tears of a grown man would slow his charge.

danger!

Run!

So I am sitting there on the sidelines, next to my colleague and friend who shoots for an international wire service. Ol’ D. Posey catches a pass and dives to the one, where he rolls out of bounds, and all 7-foot, 275 pounds of him* comes rolling toward me. I deftly leap out of the way, thus securing my moment on TV.

*6-2, 213.

My colleague doesn’t move a hair. Before the scoreboard broadcast my agility across the ‘Shoe, he was being hit by text messages wondering why he didn’t get out of the way. We live for danger. Or at least maybe he does. I live to shoot another day. Those guys are big. I am not.

paydirt

Aim for the red.

Moments later, Boom blasted into the end zone, and the game was over.

curses!

Foiled!

We all tromped down to the other end at the quarter change, with the Buckeyes knocking on the door again. It took some work to score this time, scoring from the 3ish on the third try. Stoneburner met a brick wall and bounced off, sitting on the turf and pounding the football in his hand in frustration.

gaudy king

Cue the Mojo Nixon.

At half time, the band came out for its usual epic performance, and Elvis was sighted again, escorted onto the field by young men in jump suits labeled “police.” I am more of an early Elivis kind of guy, if I had to choose, but it was good to see the king again. I usually run into him at old folks homes.

champs

Champs.

They also honored a pair of past Buckeye teams, including the 1975 team. Adoration showered down on them as they stretched across the end zone. They went 11-1 and won the Big Ten. They deserved it.

camera, action

I said my good side.

During breaks in the action in the third quarter, two guys in old football uniforms and a trio of artistic types ran out onto the film and filmed a few shots near the end zone. It was pretty neat. After the game, I saw the guys by the photo hole, and asked them for the name of the film. It is called Touchback. There is not too much about it on the web yet, but I had heard of the film before. They were filming in one of the towns I work in. It was kind of neat to see them again.

squeeze play

Among giants.

the rage

Remember me.

happy

Happy Bucks = sad Boilermakers.

[wpaudio url=”http://www.crookphotography.com/audio/psloopy.mp3″]

Enjoy some third quarter tradition.

bad!

Bonus yards for facemask.

downed

You can see the sadness in his face.

The game continued, the Buckeyes rolled. Sort what you would expect.

click click click

Coming soon to a Facebook near you.

As the team converged for Carmen Ohio, I turned and saw a group of people taking pictures with their phones.

O

Carmen O.

After Carmen, as I geared up for my trip back into the heart of campus, I heard the glorious victory bells and the band doing its post game performance. The sounds of another Buckeye win.

[wpaudio url=”http://www.crookphotography.com/audio/bells.mp3″]

The sounds of victory.

Now you can do several things:

Join the  OSUAA.

View a photo gallery of the game and court.

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 and earlier games this season by looking at previous posts.

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