Relive Onward State’s Road Trip To Columbus
Another road game, another blog road trip.
This weekend, Onward State traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to cover Penn State football’s road clash with the Ohio State Buckeyes. While the result of the game was not great for fans of the Nittany Lions, we tried our best to make the trip as fun as we could.
Let’s take a look back at Onward State’s journey to the Buckeye State.
For the first time this season, Penn State’s away game was less than 10 hours away, which was a nice treat. Most of us got up Friday, went to our morning classes like the academic weapons we are, and met up to begin our drive around 11:00 a.m.
The beginning of the drive was fairly dull thanks to some passing showers. Through the fog and rain, you could see western Pennsylvania beginning to show its fall colors.
Not long after, we finally crossed the border into enemy territory: Ohio. Once again, we carried on the Onward State tradition of grabbing some Panera for lunch before continuing on our way.
Once we reached the Columbus area, we stopped at Olentangy High School to interview four-star Penn State football quarterback commit Ethan Grunkemeyer. After talking with Grunkemeyer, we stuck around to catch some of his senior night game against Marysville High School.
Before we parted ways, Grunkemeyer even made his own score prediction for the big game the next day.
We headed to “short north,” which is what I’m told most Ohio State students call a particular area of downtown Columbus. The area was difficult to park in, but the streets were lined with plenty of bars and restaurants.
We met up with former staffer Frankie Marzano and current staffer Alex Petersen to grab a bit to eat. Not so surprisingly, every restaurant was packed, so we settled on Shake Shack for dinner rather than waiting an hour and a half for a local spot.
We headed to our luxurious Best Western to settle in for the evening. The three of us who claim to be from “outside of Philly” settled in to watch the Phillies blow game four of the NLCS before heading to bed.
We took advantage of our first non-motel breakfast of the year to grab some food before heading to Ohio Stadium. Fueled up with waffles, we were ready to go.
We arrived on campus, parked, and walked past the set of College Gameday before heading into Ohio Stadium.
Hailey and I got settled in the photographer’s
room tunnel while the beat writers headed up top to the press box.
On the field level, the players warmed up in sight of the crews for College Gameday and Big Noon Kickoff. Everyone got warm, we got ready, and before we knew it, it was go-time.
Unfortunately, you know what happens next.
As an unbiased journalist, I will refrain from acknowledging any strong personal feelings about Penn State’s 20-12 loss to Ohio State, since I definitely don’t have any strong personal feelings. However, we know that many of our readers were quite upset with the end result of this game.
After a long and emotionally draining day, we left Ohio Stadium and headed for the only good thing the Midwest has to offer: Culver’s.
Battered and emotionally scarred, we packed the car and decided to head home early. Rather than leaving on Sunday morning like originally planned, we all just wanted to get the heck out of Ohio.
We headed back to Pennsylvania, briefly passing through West Virginia on the way. Nolan wrote a sidebar, Hailey slept, Joe kept CJ awake, and I watched the Phillies beat the Diamondbacks in game five of the NLCS. Side note: if the Phillies had lost this game on the same day as Penn State lost to Ohio State, my mental health would’ve been in shambles.
We got back to State College just before 1 a.m. on Sunday. Dejected and tired, we completely forgot to take an end-of-trip selfie like we usually do. Just goes to show what the vibe was like in the car on the drive home.
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About the Author
Inspired by a truly awful cut three years ago, Shaun Flaherty started cutting hair to fix some questionable cuts from the barbers in upstate New York.
“I couldn’t really think of any other place to do it because everyone is the happiest there.”
Penn State fell to under .500 for the first time this season.