Observations: PSU At The ‘Shoe
For the second time in my career as a student, I witnessed a victory in Ohio Stadium. Here’s what I took away from the atmosphere at The Horseshoe during Penn State’s ninth victory of the season.
- The vast majority of Ohio State fans we encountered were nothing but welcoming and respectful to us. The treatment we received from them made our trip an overwhelmingly positive experience, the result of the game withstanding. Special shout-out to the parents of an OSU band member who sat in front of us and the guy who stepped away from his tailgate to shake our hands and thank us for making the trip to Columbus. Yes, we dealt with a few idiots, but that’s to be expected anywhere, including in Happy Valley.
- Many Ohio State fans extended their sympathies for what’s been happening at Penn State over the past two weeks. Though our situations obviously do not share many similarities, I got the sense that the OSU fans we spoke with could relate to having their (once) proud program dragged through the mud by the national media. Mutual respect between two universities built on tradition and excellence.
- Ohio Stadium’s event staff were among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve been to a decent number of college and pro venues. Many welcomed us warmly and were very accommodating, even offering to take pictures for us.
- Some of you may know this, and forgive me if this was mentioned during the telecast, but Ohio Stadium does not have permanent lights. The lights used during Saturday’s game were portable lights that are customarily brought in for late-season and/or primetime games.
- Why in the world did OSU play Zombie Nation over the stadium PA system near the end of the game?! Also, according to @mikehiggzpsu, they played the theme to Gladiator as Penn State players were entering the stadium. Did Guido somehow sneak into their control room?
- If you had told me a few years ago that I would witness two Penn State victories at The Horseshoe in person as a student, I would have told you to get your head checked out. Yes, I know the Buckeyes we saw Saturday were a shell of what we’ve come to expect from an Ohio State team, but a win is a win.
- Before every third down on defense, the bells from “Hells Bells” play over the stadium PA system, a cue for fans to get loud. Without fail, the majority of the stadium would get on their feet (if they weren’t already) and make noise as soon as the clip was played. Some may see this as cheesy, but I liked it.
- I was extremely unimpressed with Ohio State’s student sections (they have multiple). Save for the placards they held up at various times during the game, they appeared to be a non-factor to the stadium atmosphere. Many in my group commented how difficult it was to distinguish where their student sections even started and ended.
- Fans on hand witnessed history, as “The Best Damn Band In The Land” performed their famous “Script Ohio” twice during Saturday’s contest, which is believed to never have occurred before. The halftime performance of “Script Ohio” paid tribute to Dr. Jon Woods, who served as band director for his last game after 28 years at Ohio State.