Part 1: Baby Buckeye: This is Brutus, and he’s a Buckeye. So am I! When I was born in May of 1959, I didn’t know anything about the Buckeyes, but this is the story of how I became one . . .
First and most important, I was born in Ohio, the Buckeye state. But, I was born in Bowling Green. It’s a small university town where my dad went to college, and NO! I never, ever was a Falcon.
Back in the day if you were born in Ohio, you were automatically a Buckeye, but when I was teaching in the 80’s and 90’s, things changed. The state up north was winning, a lot. Suddenly kids in Ohio were rooting for the Wolverines. Me, never, ever! Well, OK, I’ll root for them, but only if it’s a bowl game. That’s when I’m a Big Ten kind of girl!
Sorry, I digress! Back to the 60’s! I wasn’t a Buckeye back then. Football wasn’t important to me, at all! I watched cartoons, not football. But I’m a daddy’s girl, and my daddy watched football.
Dad cheered for two teams – The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns. I remember him watching games, and I can still hear him yelling; I mean cheering😊 He’d be upstairs with our one TV watching the game. I’d be downstairs playing. He’d yell when they played well. Or, when they failed miserably. I could hear him clearly through the floor, like we were in the same room, but that didn’t make me a Buckeye.
Part 2: Dad, Woody, and a Football Game
In high school I was into football games and marching band. I was also figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up, and where I’d go to college.
Sometime in high school Dad took me to an OSU football game. I think he was hoping I’d decide to go to college there. If I did, I’d get a season ticket. My guess – he hoped I’d get him into a home game, or two! BTW – this wasn’t me or my 70’s hair!
We started the day at St. John’s Arena about 2-3 hours before the game. That’s when the band marched in. Back in the day, it was their final practice before the game. It was incredible to attend, and it was FREE! I still remember it, even though it was 45 years ago.
It wasn’t just music – it was fun! It was a time for the band members to play around, to release a little tension. When it was over, the band marched across the street and got into position to enter the stadium.
If you’re ever in Columbus on game day, head to St. John’s, you’ll love it. It sets the stage for the OSU football experience!
But the band experience isn’t over. When they leave St. John’s, you should leave too. Join the crowd heading to the ’Shoe. Find your seat because there’s no place like it on game day.
Listen for the drum cadence. They’ve been playing it for years. It signals the beginning of pregame. As soon as you hear it, watch the ramp! Then listen for the roar of the crowd! Dad told me back then there was nothing like it, and I’m glad some things haven’t changed!
If a picture’s worth 1000 words, I wonder about a video. It must be about a million! If you’d like to find out, use your search engine. Type in ‘osu marching band pregame,” and you’ll see what I mean.
Then came the big event . . . THE GAME! I don’t remember which year or who the Buckeyes played, but I remember the most important thing – how Dad and I tried to call plays – the Woody Hayes way.
Woody was THE football coach as far as Dad and I were concerned – forever. He was a legend in his own time. Before he arrived, OSU was the coach’s graveyard. Woody became an institution.
He was still popular after he left. I was in college in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was running for President. He held a fundraiser in Columbus. Woody was the draw, even though Reagan was running for national office.
Sorry, I digress again! Can you tell I love my Buckeyes AND Woody Hayes?!
Dad and I called plays during the whole game. We tried to guess what kind of play Woody would call. Our grade – we got about 80 – 90% of the calls right. That’s an A-/B-. How did we do it? It was easy! It depended on the yardage to get the next 1st down.
On 1st down plays, the quarterback would either throw, or hand it off to a running back. If it was short yardage, the quarterback would hand the ball to Pete Johnson. He was a HUGE guy, and he used the laws of gravity and motion to push forward for a yard or two. I heard on the Big 10 network that Master T is a lot like Pete – he can plow through the other team and get those yards.
It’s funny – I don’t remember what year it was, or who the quarterback or the running back was. I wonder now if it was 1975, the year Pete scored 25 rushing touchdowns. That year Archie Griffin also won his 2nd Heisman Trophy, something very few people do, but I don’t remember Archie. I remember Pete. What an athlete! But, BAM! He was a Buckeye! (That’s something we say in Ohio. And Bam! I’m a Buckeye too!)
Want to read more about the skull sessions in 2021? Click on this link:
- THE TRADITION … Skull Sessions – Ohio State Buckeyes
- Photo Source: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5865012
Want to read more about Woody Hayes or Pete Johnson? Try these links, or do your own search.
- Woody Hayes - Wikipedia
- An Emperor's Shadow | Eleven Warriors (An article about legends Bobby Knight and Woody Hayes)
- That Happened: Pete Johnson 25 Rushing Touchdowns in 1975 is an Astounding Achievement. | Eleven Warriors
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!