Score: Buckeyes 34, Indiana 20, Attendance: 105,195
Weather: Fifty-five degrees and sunny; Price: $80 (Face $75) via Stub Hub, Parking $5
“Gotta have a plan.” by Tree
The Buckeyes play at the Horseshoe. It is a classic venue loaded with traditions. Ohio State has a long and storied history. I assumed a game with a perennial Big Ten doormat like Indiana would be an easy ticket to get. I should have known better. I was monitoring ticket prices on Stub Hub and prices kept constant. I ended up buying my ticket at $80, which was $5 over face value. I still felt like I had panicked and overpaid until I got to the stadium and saw the crowds. I might have gotten a better price but not a closer seat. At least the little pregame ticket planning paid off; the place was packed and scalpers were making a killing. My seat was corner end zone, seven rows up. Those seats are not the best but not the worst. I often end up in that area so I am used to it.
I, unfortunately, came right at kickoff so I missed the famous dotting of “i” when the band spells “Ohio.” I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t witness such a signature tradition but sometimes that is the price to pay when it is your first time at a stadium. I also came up empty on the tailgating but I am sure it is popular. During the game, the fans have a great cheer, “O H” then a pause followed by “I O”. It is infectious and resonates through the stadium the entire game. I also got to join in on the “Hang on Sloopy” sing-a-long. As I was leaving the stadium after the game, the campus bars were already jumping. I wished that I had planned my return trip better because it looked like it was going to be a good time at The Ohio University that night.
Undoubtedly, attending an OSU game should be on the list of any serious college football fan. I would suggest that this one warrants extensive planning and a full weekend commitment to get the entire experience.
There are a number of lots outside of campus that provide shuttles to the game. I took advantage of that, parking in a office building lot since the designated lots were already full. The office lot had plenty of signs declaring it as a tow away zone for unapproved vehicles, but I figured I was safe on a Saturday. The shuttle cost $5 and dropped me right off at the stadium. The only issue was that the shuttle ticket had the name of a different lot, “Fairgrounds”. I made sure to put my lot’s name in my phone. After the game there was one line for all the lots that broke into separate lines right before the shuttles. Since there was a discrepancy between my actual lot and the lot on my shuttle ticket, I specifically asked the guy at the shuttles which bus I should take. He said sarcastically that the lot on the ticket matches your lot. I tried to tell him my ticket was different than the lot, but that only made him look at me like I was a complete moron. Again he pointed me to the Fairgrounds shuttle. At that point, I figured the buses must make a loop, hitting both lots.
So I got on the shuttle and sure enough, it ended up at the Fairgrounds lot. I asked the driver if he’s heading to another lot. Of course, he wasn’t. He was heading back to the stadium where I could catch the correct bus. So as we were heading back, I was getting nervous that I am going to miss the last bus as traffic was really bad on campus. The bus driver kindly dropped me off, and I made a frantic run through campus, just managing to catch my bus. A stressful end to what was otherwise a great day.
With Indiana coming in with only one win, I figured this game to be a good old fashioned beating. The Hoosiers had different ideas. They stormed out to a ten point lead, before the Buckeyes ripped off an 81 yard touchdown run. The game was tied at 13-13 at the half. Ohio State went ahead by seven in the second half. Indiana would not quit and nearly tied the game up until they threw an interception deep in the 4th quarter. A couple of minutes later, OSU salted away the win with another touchdown.
I got on the back of the shuttle bus and not shortly afterward I struck up a conversation with some Buckeye fans. They were particularly friendly. So much so that one insisted I feel her breast. In my single days, I wouldn’t have required much prodding, but my married policy is the same as any proper gentleman’s club – “No Touching.” However, she kept at it and her friends then added more pressure. I like to bond with the locals, but this was going a bit far. Finally, she just took my hand it put it on her breast. I could immediately tell that was where she was smuggling a bag of booze. They all laughed at my look of relief. Clearly, they had a plan to stretch their buzz as long as possible.
When I learned that they were ER nurses out to blow off some steam, I knew they would have some great stories. These front-line medical professionals did not disappoint. My favorite tale centered on the patient who came in with a vibrator stuck completely inside where the sun doesn’t shine. The worst or funniest part, depending on your point of view, was that it was still running. The nurses told me that was the tip of the iceberg in terms those types of extractions. I am not an expert on such things and to this day, I struggle with how something would actually get stuck there. It’s not unlike the old internet yarn about the gerbil felching experiment gone horrible wrong. I can comprehend a wayward hamster but not completely losing a joy stick. If I was going to sodomize myself with an appliance, I would surely perform a job safety assessment prior to the act as to avoid an unpleasant and embarrassing trip to the ER. Apparently, whether it is going to a new stadium or testing sexual mores, a little bit of planning goes a long way.