Thoughts from the USC-Ohio State Game

I know it’s a bit late but I’ll share my experience from the Ohio State game.

The weekend got off to a great start because the person taking boarding passes was wearing a USC jersey and the airplane had so many USC fans on board it looked like we chartered it. The crew were mostly USC fans and they played Conquest over the speaker system.

At last year’s OSU game I ran into some extremely rude and vulgar OSU fans while walking from campus to the Coliseum. They were some of the worst fans I’ve seen in all my years of following USC football. So while I was looking forward to the game at OSU I was not looking forward to being in their neck of the woods or interacting with their fans. I actually wore my cheap USC jersey on gameday because I anticipated having stuff thrown at me.

Well, to my pleasant surprise the OSU fans turned out to be very nice and cordial. Both before the game and after. I heard some USC fans didn’t have such a good experience but from what I’ve read online it sounds like most were treated well.

I didn’t get much sleep Friday night because our hotel had a nightclub that was blaring music until 2am. I woke up early Saturday morning, went for a run then headed to OSU for the ESPN Gameday taping which started at 10am. While looking for parking we drove right by the Horseshoe. I didn’t expect it to look so modern but it looked brand new and it was huge. It’s a very impressive venue and seeing the ‘Shoe in person got me really pumped up!

The Shoe

After Gameday we had eight hours to kill before kickoff so we went to a bar called the Varsity Club where there were tons of USC fans and then hung out at a tailgate with OSU & USC fans.

Once we got into the ‘Shoe it was pretty awesome. The atmosphere was amazing. The OSU fans filled the stadium early and they were all wearing scarlet. I’ve always wished more people would wear cardinal to USC football games at the Coliseum. I think it looks great when a stadium is filled with fans wearing the same color but it seems like only about 50% of fans wear cardinal at the Coliseum. WEAR CARDINAL!

CIMG8511

At first I thought the stadium was loud but I didn’t think it was that loud. Not louder than the coliseum can get on a good night. But when we had our first 4th down at the goal line, right before scoring our first touchdown, the place got crazy loud. That was probably the loudest I’ve ever heard a stadium get! And I’ve been in a lot of stadiums…

After scoring that first quick touchdown off of a turnover the OSU fans seemed resigned to the same fate as last year. But as the game wore on and the score remained close the tension got thicker and thicker. It felt like a BCS game. My best friend Mike lives in Las Vegas and we text each other A LOT during football games since we can’t watch together. With USC’s offense struggling I can’t remember a game where we exchanged more one-word text messages – mostly of the four-letter variety. Four letter texts were enough to express our feelings for most of the night.

During our last scoring drive the only thing I could compare the atmosphere to was USC’s drive at Notre Dame in 2005 with the Bush Push. After Matt Barkley was sacked inside the 10 yard line and then a penalty put us inside the 5, I texted Mike “This is going to take a major miracle.” Victory in the ‘Shoe seemed impossible tonight, just like it did that night at Notre Dame when we faced 4th and long. OSU fans were full of anticipation, sure that victory was in hand. USC fans hoped we could come from behind to win one more time but faced the possibility that we might be overrated instead of underrated for the first time in years. And from that point on the mood began to reverse with each play.

You would expect the stadium to be at its loudest during that final drive but it wasn’t. I think everyone was so engrossed by the game that they forgot to cheer. Everyone’s heart was racing and we all had lumps in our throats. When your season is on the line like that it’s hard to do anything but hold your breath, clinch your fists and beg God for a victory.

At some point as USC was driving down the field you got the feeling that USC’s victory was inevitable. It’s probably how Texas felt during their final drive to win the 2006 Rose Bowl against USC so I could definitely sympathize with the OSU fans because we’ve had our hearts crushed just as they did.

After we scored the final touchdown it was pure pandemonium in the USC section. We were jumping, screaming, high-fiving and hugging everyone within reach. I was sitting in the front row of the end zone where USC players came to celebrate with USC fans after the game. That was awesome. I love when they celebrate with us after an exciting victory. Unfortunately, the band didn’t get to play their traditional postgame concert because ESPN was doing their postgame show right in front of us. But hundreds of USC fans stuck around to watch ESPN and bask in the glory of victory for as long as we could!

Walking around Columbus after the game we didn’t have any issues with OSU fans which was another pleasant surprise. Everyone I encountered was gracious in defeat.

Sunday morning our plane was again loaded with very happy Trojans heading home after an exciting and satisfying win!

Fight On!

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2 Responses to “Thoughts from the USC-Ohio State Game”

  1. Christy Says:

    Roy, nice commentary. I like your angle for your blogs – personal experiences at the game. I look forward to reading the rest of them throughout the season. I really like the pictures too. Maybe there can be a pix of all of us at the Oregon State game in October. Can’t wait to be at the Coliseum again! Fight On! ~Christy

  2. Kerry Lothamer Says:

    your model is pimpin

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