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If The Shoe Fits: At Home with the Buckeyes in 21 Pictures

In this previous blog post, I detailed my first experience with Buckeye fanaticism in my former stomping grounds, when Mrs. 614orty-Niner and I traveled back to the San Francisco Bay Area back in 2013 to watch Ohio State play the Cal Berkeley Golden Bears. When all was said and done, it felt very much like a home game for the visiting Buckeyes, as scarlet and gray made up more than half of the stadium and some OSU traditions made their presence felt in the Golden Bears' own Memorial Stadium.

However, as impressive as that was, I decided that my experience wouldn't be complete until I attended a Buckeye home game to get the true local flavor. Luckily for me, my spouse was able to score two tickets to the Buckeyes' game against Kent State University earlier this September as a work-related thank you gesture.

Being an Ohio State alum, my spouse helped give me a primer on what to expect in terms of traditions and other football-game related minutiae, and I went into this day excited about this first full fledged initiation. However, as I immersed myself in the game day experience, I realized that that this is something that has been experienced by millions of people prior to me, and has been written about tens-of-thousands of times before this particular blog post. In other words, writing about this experience wasn't going to bring out anything particularly revealing or surprising.

So why not keep the comments minimal and let the pictures do most of the talking? Sounds like a good game plan, almost as good as Ohio State's this particular day (poor Kent State never knew what hit them, as the Buckeyes went on to trounce the Golden Flashes 66-0.)

Doesn't matter who the opponent is, That Team Up North will always get drilled...
...or screwed, depending on your point of view (this flag never
did unfurl fully and cooperate for a solid picture)
The Kent State University band made it up for the festivities
Per tradition, these ROTC members did push-ups to match any change in the
Buckeyes' score. They were noodle-armed by game's end as they knocked out over 350.
The crowd starts to file into the stadium amid the tailgate parties
Brutus Buckeye did his best to rally the crowd as the Skull Session
at St. John's Arena came to a close and the march to the stadium begun.
Members of TBDBITL march toward the stadium

TBDBITL bass drummers pound out the marching rhythm
Quad tom players from the Alumni Band revved up the gathered even more
Alumni Band members stand at ease waiting to enter the stadium
Hard to tell in this photo, but TBDBITL members were getting energized
for their traditional ramp entrance. For awhile, it reminded me of a mosh pit
Stained glass Block O from inside the main stadium rotunda
The gathered 104,000-plus people rise to cheer the entrance of the band
Flag-bearers lead the football team onto the field
Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett launches a pass toward a wideout streaking
wide open over the middle of the field
Seminal moment early in the game: embattled former band leader Jon Waters
takes the podium to lead the Alumni Band. Most people gathered at this end
end of the field gave Mr. Waters a long-lasting standing ovation.
One of many "H" formations performed by the audience. The mechanics of
and when to do the O-H-I-O movements are not natural for me
as a recent area newcomer, but I got better as the game went on.
TBDBITL performed a halftime show dedicated to the Armed Forces branches.
While these lower level end zone seats were great in general, the seats higher up
are the best for watching the band perform its formation wizardry.
Quadruple Script Ohio formations with Alumni Band members joining in.
Again, I wish I had a higher view for the band's show.
By the 4th quarter, most had left the game. The spouse and I were determined
to stick it out until the last note of "Carmen Ohio" had played.
While the blowout of Kent State was expected, the fact that the Buckeyes performed up to those expectations was actually promising. This week the Buckeyes face a tough test in their cross-state rivals: The Bearcats of the University of Cincinnati and their top-ten passing attack in terms of yardage. A solid win in this game would cement the promise I found in the Buckeyes at my first and rather memorable first home game ever at the Shoe.

Cincinnati Bearcats (unranked; 2-0)
Ohio State Buckeyes (#22; 2-1)
Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:00 PM  (BTN and BTN2)
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

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