Toledo: Singed

Reflecting on Saturday’s game after a beer and a glass of wine, I am still presented with the same opinion.

What the what?

Seriously, Toledo is a fine team, and the cream of the Mid-American Conference. But that is still only a step above the little sisters of the disadvantaged. Maybe two.

You know when Chris Berman of ESPN fame starts blathering on about “rumbling, bumbling, stumbling” during a highlight? That was Ohio State damn near all day long. Things for click for a little while, but then they would sort of dry heave their way through a few series and the whole thing would go arse over teakettle.

Learning curve, I guess.

It was a beautiful day at the ‘Shoe though. The morning dawned clear and cool, and I wandered the outer campus region early, working on a specific project of awesomeness for The Association.

That same project found me in front of Ohio Stadium about an hour and a half before the game, in search of a very specific picture; four people going O-H-I-O with the stadium in the background.

I saw that happening seemingly every two minutes* while I was waiting for the band last week, so I figured it wouldn’t take too long to find it this week.

*not really. but enough that I remembered it happening a few times.

I was wrong. Kind of. I like people watching, but if I need a picture of something, I much prefer to watch them doing the thing I need a picture of. So I stood/slouched/wandered around in front of the grand entrance to Ohio Stadium, waiting for someone to do that most Buckeye* of all gestures.

Waited. And waited. I checked my phone. It had been five minutes.

O-H-I-O proud.

A few minutes later, I spotted a likely group and took their picture having their picture taken doing the O-H-I-O.

Seconds after the group left, a young couple (or maybe not, who knows) came up and asked if I took pictures for money and put them on a website. I told them no, that I worked for The Association. They seemed disappointed, so I told them I would take their picture and send it to them. They seemed very pleased by this, so I did.

While waiting to take a portrait on the west side of the building, I sat down next to a Toledo fan. After a few minutes, I leaned over and welcomed him to Columbus. We chatted a bit, he full of optimism for an upset, me full of hope for a decent* game. I liked the guy, riiiiight up until he said he was a big Michigan fan.

*a blowout isn’t really all that much fun to shoot. there are plenty of chances to take pictures of touchdowns and big plays, but no BIG play, no challenge to the footballphotography gods to be in the right spot on the field at the right time, pointing the camera at the right player when something magical happens.

Part of my assignment for the day was to take pictures of fans with certain attributes. Basically, the fans that non-believers would point to and say “look at how silly Ohio State fans are LOL!”

I thought a bit about just photographing the game through fan reactions, but I too was drawn to the action on the field, and found myself turning back to the field to watch the car wreck for myself. Maybe another time.

Besides. No one wants to look at pictures of glum Ohio State fans. In Ohio at least.*

*I know there are football fans in Ohio that don’t root for Ohio State, but they are obviously Bad People.

that was a joke. except for Michigan fans.

Learning from the best.

Off to a good start…

Happy dance.

The thing approves.

I was sitting near the end zone when a photographer from the Dispatch leaned over and said “I don’t think this is going how they expected it to.” I concurred, as I watched a Toledo fan waving her arms in the air. Get back to me in an hour, lady, I thought.

An hour later it wasn’t much better. My pictures weren’t very good either. Had both me and the Buckeyes lost our mojo?

Broke one.

Come to poppa.

Boogie down.

It’s cuddling time.

Our rocket.

In a way, we had. Nothing seemed to be going right. Even my attempt to a take a stadium overview shot came up wanting, just missing the September 11 formation the band did. And then trying to escape my lofty perch at the top of the south end zone, I went down a set of steps that ended in a locked door*. Useful.

*second time this season this has happened. why aren’t the doors at the top of the stairs locked too?

[wpaudio url=”″] Some Hang on Sloopy. Because you can’t help but feel good with some Sloopy.

Too many dressed in grey.

Coupled with the fact that Ohio State was losing, or at least in danger of it, I also didn’t have any good pictures from it. Being somewhat mercenary in my photographic tendencies, I wanted Ohio State to win, but if they didn’t, I at least wanted some good pictures from it. At the same time, no one who comes here is particularly interested in looking at pictures of smiling Rockets and sad-face Buckeyes.

I am this relieved!

Safe by a yard.

So I was pretty pleased when Domicone downed a punt inside the 5- until he turned away from me to celebrate. Still, it would prove to be a big play, and it was in my view finder, even if it wasn’t optimal. Then Simon, who I had seen laying on the sidelines earlier* came streaming around the corner and knocked down Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin to help quash a Toledo drive. With Toledo pinned back in their end, it looked like Ohio State had quelched another threat.

* on the sidelines, you don’t necessarily know all the gory details, like John Simon’s leg cramps. instead you just worry.

By the laces.

Hurtin’ time.

A few drives later, as Toledo began to receed into the distance toward the Ohio State end zone I scurried to the other end, to position myself both for the final Toledo push and the scrum for Carmen Ohio.

(Boy, I sure hope we don’t screw this up!)

There are two main positions for any football play, photographically speaking. In front of the line, or behind it. Behind it affords a position for sacks and defensive returns, and to an extent catches and interceptions. I put myself in the southwest corner of the end zone waited for the football universe to either collapse into itself, or carry on as normal.

How firm thy friendship … OHIO!

And as we all know, John Simon and the rest of the Buckeye defense held fast, Bauserman successfully executed the victory formation, and all was well with the college football universe. At least in Columbus. And that’s all that matters.

Now you can;

Check out a photo gallery of Saturday’s game.

Join the  OSUAA.

or you could become an OSUAA fan on Facebook.

You could like me, because who doesn’t like a liking?

You can keep up with my photographic musings by following me on Twitter; @crookphoto

And the OSUAA, too @OhioStateAlumni

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