If you are ever presented with the opportunity to attend a College Football Game at a major US College, DO IT!
Last weekend my Grandson, Maverick, high school football player at Mount Douglas Secondary in Victoria, and I flew to Columbus, Ohio to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes destroy the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Son Jackson and daughter in law Josee joined us from TORONTO For the weekend as well. It was a once in a lifetime trip made possible because of the generosity of my Niece Sheila and her husband Gene Smith, the Athletic Director of The Ohio State University. As a result we had seats in row 8 on the 50 yard line behind the Ohio bench. The game was great made all the better by the crowd of 106,000 in Ohio Stadium, aka the Horseshoe. The crowd noise was unbelievable. It was a ‘black out’ pub night so virtually every fan was wearing black, with Buckeye logos, of course, as was the team. And then there is the Ohio State Marching Band, ‘THE BEST DAMN BAND IN THE LAND’. It’s more than a band, it’s a drill team. Before the game they play and March on the field culminating on spelling Ohio and ‘Dotting the I’. If you have never seen this enormous band search on YouTube.
Our VIP passes included access to the famous ‘SKULL SESSION, held in a basketball/hockey arena. The band is introduced and play a medley of numbers. Finally the football team march in in street clothes much to the delight of perhaps 20,000 fans.
Our passes also included the opportunity to go on the sidelines for the warm up which was a thrill for the Canadian Running Back. Great seats, great game, great crowd.
However, the experience is much more than the game. The atmosphere in Columbus for a home game weekend is Mardi Gras, July 4th and Super Bowl wrapped into one. Outside the stadium is the famous tailgate area where there are tents set up in the parking lot for fans. All manner of BBQ’s, coolers, flat screens etc. it’s is like a carnival. It’s difficult to describe the atmosphere. You really have to be there. Near our hotel was a commercial area with food trucks, outdoor wine gardens and including TWO Jack Daniel‘s trucks, a Corona Beer truck. Live music was all over the place. Shops selling all manner of Buckeye gear were packed with shoppers. One can purchase everything from a T Shirt to a front door mat to a Buckeye Bedspread. it is amazing. And everyone is is wearing Ohio State clothing.
It’s not just a football game. It is a grand SPECTACLE. We loved it all. And you would too.
We took part, enjoyed and survived a truly Great American Experience.