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Stories from a football school

 Written by    November 14, 2018

I chose to go to a football school. That isn’t to say that my school is not strong in academics, research, and global impact; actually, it’s great in all of those too. I just mean that football is such an integral part of life at Ohio State that you can’t get by without it, and it contributes a lot to the student experience.

I grew up in a town 20 minutes outside of Columbus. At church one day, I was talking to a lady who mentioned she needs to buy some new Ohio State apparel to wear. I asked if she was an alumni; she wasn’t.

In elementary school, we had “Buckeye days” where we wore our jerseys and beaded buckeye necklaces and Block O scrunchies.

I talked to a couple recently that had moved here from outside of Ohio. They were shocked to learn that it’s almost a requirement to be a Buckeye fan if you live in Columbus. It’s a given. Everybody expects it because everybody is one. Even if you went to a different school (or didn’t go to college at all), everyone around you expects you to support the Bucks.

At a recent Skull Session, my boyfriend and I sat behind the two cutest little boys I’ve ever seen, decked out in their very own TBDBITL uniforms. As we got talking to the family, they told us that they have no affiliation with the school, and they’re actually from Michigan. Their sons randomly fell in love with the band when they moved here, and they’ve become fans as a family. Of course, they’ve gotten so into it that they hand-made band uniforms.

This is what it’s like to go to a football school; it permeates the very fabric of the cities around it. It becomes part of the culture in which kids are raised. Football is something binding, something unifying, at Ohio State and everywhere within a 50-mile radius. The sport has come to define a part of Columbus.

As an Ohio State student, this brings me a lot of pride. The cities and towns around me are fans of the school go to. They know its name, its legacy, its reputation. In high school, I went on a cruise with my family, and my dad was wearing an Ohio State hat/shirt one day; we were in a different country and people shouted “O-H!” at him. There are fans and supporters everywhere. Celebrities and sports stars are both from your school and fans of your school. That’s something that you don’t get at every college.

Come on, even Lebron James is a Buckeye at heart.

Of course, that pride can be absolutely decimated when, say, your #2 football team gets beat by a team that’s 3-3 on the year, but hey, that’s just the cost of being a fan. Heading to the championships or not, Saturdays are still the best days on campus. People come from all over to tailgate and fill up the ‘Shoe, and I love seeing families and adults from all over check out my school. Going to a football school means having experiences you can’t get anywhere else — for example, being on TV next to Eddie George when College Gameday comes to campus:

That’s me, absolutely losing my mind on television.

I love my school, I love my team, and I love how universal support for the Buckeyes is. I love hearing shouts of “O-H” when my family wears Ohio State apparel in other states (or countries), and I love that the student and alumni population is only a small proportion of the fan base here. Football has become a huge part of my life and college experience, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Athletics, Campus Life, Football, School Spirit, Student Life, Why Ohio State?

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