There’s Football in the Air..

It’s happened.  OSU’s football season starts this weekend, and the entire campus (not to mention the city of Columbus) has a unique buzz.  There’s been a sudden influx of red and white jerseys proudly displayed by Columbus citizens from every walk of life.  A clock outside of the Polaris Fashion Place (an upscale mall north of Columbus) has a countdown, to the second, of the first game this coming Saturday.  Even the weather has changed its tune, dropping ten degrees and raining as if to signal that football season is here.

For those readers who have never experienced an OSU football Saturday, it is truly something to behold.  The entire city shuts down, making it therefore impossible to do anything but sit in front of a TV and watch the Buckeyes “fight the team across the field” to victory.  Picture the intensity of the stereotypical Texas high school football portrayed in the TV series “Friday Night Lights” and movie “Varsity Blues,” and translate it to a city with a population of almost a million people.  If you are trying to make it down 315 around campus, forget it.  Want to watch something different on TV?  Good luck.   Nothing is sacred; I have memories from shopping days growing up, when the stores would set up TV’s in order to provide shoppers the option of simultaneously watching the game.

Even though I grew up here, I never quite understood the whole idea of OSU football.  Both of my parents completed their post-undergraduate degrees here, three of my grandparents were associated with the University in some way (one English degree, one dental degree, and one Emeritus professor in the College of Medicine), and the fourth grandparent felt a strong association with OSU even though she was (gasp) a Purdue grad.  If scarlet and grey runs through anybody’s veins, it should be mine.  OSU home games always seemed like more of a nuisance to me, making it pretty close to impossible to drive within a ten-mile radius of campus.

But a few weeks ago something changed.  Almost like my DNA finally morphed to include the Buckeye gene, I now actually care that there is a football game this Saturday.  More than care, I plan to dress up in the new jersey I got for my birthday (it’s Laurinaitis in case you were wondering), and actually watch the game.  There is something here (I personally believe they put something in the water) that makes you ridiculously excited for a couple dozen guys dressed up and throwing a synthetic version of a dead pig around.  Now, when I hear “O-H,” I excitedly reply “I-O!”  And I am looking forward to being trapped on campus for an entire day with a city full of my closest OSU football friends.

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