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It Would Not Have Been An Important Moment Without A Camera-Phone Picture [Thoughts From Visiting The Shoe]

Why I took this picture I have no idea. I never remember or care to use the crappy camera on my phone and I probably won’t ever look at this shot again. Hooray technological progress, I guess.

Some thoughts from a visit to Columbus, in no particular order…

  • Before the game, we were pretty much ignored by what I expected to be an obnoxious Ohio State fanbase; turns out they didn't live up to the hype. I mean this is the best way possible. It wasn't an arrogant disregard, but more like the reception you get when walking down the street of a crowded city. Not what I anticipated when reading comments like these at Mike's guest post on 11W:
    Had we said "Oh well we don’t want to be jerks like the Japs" after the bombing of Pearl Harbor I believe we would have lost some respect in the eyes of the world. This is on a smaller scale but It wasn’t just one kid it was hundreds. So im not saying throw beer at people wearing Penn St colors. However verbal abuse is totally within the realm of reason, and god forbid those beavers get mouthy. GO BUCKS!
    Um, okay.
  • The drinking policy on-campus might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever been a part of, and yes I know that's a bold statement from a guy who spent his college years dealing with the PA alcohol laws. So, under no circumstances are you to be drinking beer out of it's natural container; under-cover cops are apparently everywhere and open container tickers, in the $150-$200 range, are handed out liberally. This means that a pour into a red Solo cup, usually in the trunk of a car or behind a tailgate tent, is a precursor to actually drinking. It's perfectly okay to walk around with these Solo cups, and get as loaded as you please, but not out of aluminum or glass. There might not be a better example of a more backwards law anywhere in America. It has the effect of not curbing drinking in the slightest but doubling the amount of trash left behind in the parking lots.
  • In the game, where I would expect the treatment of visiting fans to get worse, things actually got better. The OSU fans surrounding us on all sides were more than friendly and, even when I occasionally bumped into them jumping from seat on big plays, they seemed to not be bothered at all. There was the occasional "Fu*k Penn State" from a passer by, but what are you going to do. That's pretty standard nationwide at this point.
  • Scarlet Fever (aka the red-out) was about as lame as it sounds. On top of not really looking like a sea of anything but Midwestern football fans, they took it a step further and handed out red and white terrible towels (ok, probably not their official name) to maybe 20% of the people in attendance. Ohio State has great fans and an energetic stadium, I don't know why they feel the need to try out all these gimmicks.
  • I'm not sure if this got any TV time, but the S Zone, orchestrated by the Penn State fans lucky enough to get one of the seats in the visiting allotment provided by OSU (at the very top of the corner section), was a nice touch. The small band and what I assume was the PSU parent section below made a lot of noise, often chanting to Seven Nation Army or doing the We Are...that is until it bothered the other 101,000 people in the stadium enough to drive them to end said chant with a series of loud boos.
  • And yes, it was very loud. You wouldn't know it by looking at the box scores (Ohio State was the only team with a false start, of course), but the crowd was very vocal during the first couple of series. It remained loud but with so few big plays it was not that surprising to hear the intensity lose it's edge a bit as the game progressed. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw these two things: (1) the crowd continuing to be very loud when their team had the ball, and (2) the wave starting, in the second quarter, with Ohio State backed up inside their own five yard line. The reason I found it so funny is because I witnessed these same two phenomenons in Happy Valley. Maybe we both need to start using that shooshing grandma that West Virginia has resorted to.
  • They didn't mention this at all inside the stadium, at least not when I was paying attention, but I heard on the radio on the way home that Saturday night was the largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history. I know it's true because I checked it at Wikipedia.
  • After the game, instead of getting attitude, 75% of the fans were either giving us the respectful head nod or simply walking up to us to talk about how they wish JoePa nothing but luck the rest of the season. Now I know part of this is compensation for the responsibility they feel regarding the Big Ten's PR image, but they were genuine reactions none the less. Yes, there were a couple of your more stereotypical pricks, but they were so outnumbered by people with class I don't even feel like I need to tell any of their stories.

    If you also attended the game, tell us your opinion of the trip in the comments.