Longtime dream of going to an Ohio State football game comes true

Oct 21, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Fans fill Ohio Stadium prior to the Penn State football game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.
Oct 21, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Fans fill Ohio Stadium prior to the Penn State football game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. /

It has long been this contributor’s dream of going to an Ohio State football home game. When I was a kid, I grew up watching Troy Smith make opposing defenses look silly. Eventually, I was blessed to watch one of my favorite Buckeyes of all time, Terrelle Pryor play for Ohio State. But there was one problem, all of these I watched from behind the TV screen.

I grew up over nine and a half hours away from the famous Ohio Stadium. I was never able to go up and catch a game. I wasn’t able to because of school work, work, playing sports, and just overall expenses. During my whole childhood, I would always put the first item on my Christmas list for Santa Claus as “Tickets to an Ohio State home game”.

Santa unfortunately was never able to bring me my tickets to a home Ohio State game. However, in the year 2022, I was finally able to go to an Ohio State football game. Not a home game, but I did not care, as I had saved up enough money to purchase a ticket to my first in-person Ohio State game. It was a bowl game. It was the 2022 Peach Bowl Game.

As hard as that experience was, most notably the ending of the game (Certainly one way to start off your 2023), I was able to bond with my fellow Buckeye fans. Ohio State football fans were outnumbered in Atlanta by Georgia fans. As someone who grew up in SEC country, where being a Buckeye fan is not a very popular idea, it was great to meet some fellow fans and become friends.

But as the new season began, it was back to reality. No tickets and a trip to a game in Columbus, Ohio. As a senior in college, studying while working at a radio station, I was just hoping I could land a job in Columbus after college and make the venture myself. Then I got a phone call.

It was my mother! Nothing new, I call my mom every day, I love my mom and I won’t hide that. She had a birthday present and a graduation present for me all bundled into one. She had gotten me tickets to the Ohio State vs Penn State game.

I was unable to believe it. I was going to an Ohio State football home game! I was going to Columbus! It was a surreal feeling. I had dreamed of it my whole life as a sports fan, it was a feeling of a childhood dream coming true.

I caught a flight from Atlanta, it was an easy flight, and decided when I was in Columbus to go explore campus. What I didn’t take into account was that it is a very big campus! Instead, I went to go see what I came to see, I wanted to see the Shoe and Buckeye Grove.

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Incredible, loss of words, even while writing this. Maybe it was the dream of seeing it, or maybe it was just truly how dang cool Ohio Stadium looks, I was at a loss for words. I took some pictures of the Buckeye trees and took many of Ohio Stadium.

Before it was time for bed, I needed more Buckeye gear. I already have enough, but the Buckeye Corner was too good to pass on. After shopping, It was time to go back and get ready for the game.

I could barely sleep due to excitement. But when the clock hit 7:00 A.m. I was up ready to roll. My best friend, Joey, who a few years ago I was able to convince to like college football, was ready as well. It was go time, my C.J. Stroud Jersey on, while Joey had on a Justin Fields jersey.

We decided to walk from the hotel to the stadium. It was nice, sure it was in the low 40’s, which is a little bit colder than our southern selves were used to. But it was calm. The calm before the storm you could say.

Once we made it to the stadium, it was chaos, it was a good chaos though. College Gameday was there, Big Noon Kickoff was there. We enjoyed both and got to see some of the Skull Session. But now it was time to walk into the gates.

As I scanned my ticket, the memories flashed into my head. Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, Braxton Miller, Ezekiel Elliott, all of the Buckeye greats I watched growing up. When I walked in, the stadium was an incredible sight. It is a feeling I can’t describe outside of just surreal.

The pregame festivities, the cheers, the boos, the singing of Carmen Ohio. But now, It was time, it was game time. It was great, very passionate fans. Very respectful as well. The Ohio State football team was able to shut down the Penn State offense for the majority of the game and get a critical victory. My favorite venue I have ever been in. My favorite game I have ever been to. I get goosebumps from remembering each side of the stadium chant the respective letters of “O-H-I-O”

Seeing the band dotting the I was something I’ll never forget. I could go on about all the incredible experiences I had. I had a blast in Columbus. It lived up to my childhood dreams. We finished up the Saturday with a visit to Thurman’s cafe, which was delicious.

Columbus is a great city. I enjoyed it, the people were nice. They were welcoming, and were always saying the words “Go Bucks!”. I think Columbus is a very underrated city.

Overall I had an amazing time. I could thank many people, but thank you fellow fans for showing out and making it a great atmosphere and being so welcoming. Without the atmosphere, it wouldn’t be the same. I can not wait to make my way back up there, sooner rather than later. Thank you, and Go Bucks!

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