I grew up in New Hampshire. I am sure NH is famous for something, but whatever that is, it isn’t college football. So when I arrived on campus for my first OSU game (Indiana in 2002) it was unlike anything I had ever seen. The tailgating, the colors, the sound and fury of 100,000 people all cheering for the same thing.
After photographing the Buckeyes and their fans fairly extensively over the past 2 1/2 seasons, I have come to appreciate other aspects of Ohio State, mainly the connection it has with its fans and alumni, a connection forged through tradition. Alumni of Ohio State that I have met have passion and pride for their university. Not every school has that. Trust me.
On a personal level, people have their own traditions, on an institutional level there are others that cast a long shadow. Scarlet and Gray, the Block O, winning. Homecoming wraps them all up, educational and athletic, on a special day for those that have the closest connection, the alumni.
And to be on the court, well, that is pretty special. I spent my morning with the present and past court before watching the Buckeyes take on the Golden Gophers.
To me, the traditions I enjoy the most are aural. From the thunderous entrance of the band as it takes the field to Hang On Sloopy, football and music are intertwined at OSU. Many fans start their day at the Skull Session at least once during the season, and our collective homecoming day really started to gather steam on the floor of St. John Arena.
The band about to make their entrance.
The band gets pumped before taking the floor, still mostly out of sight in the tunnel. They storm into the building to great applause, and give the listener a peak into some of their traditions during the course of the show.