Weather, Loss Can’t Bring Down Homecoming Weekend at OSU
Ohio State Homecoming
Unigo Campus Rep at Ohio State University
Oct. 30, 2008
Not even miserable weather or a heartbreaking loss could deter the success of homecoming weekend at Ohio State. Despite cold, rainy conditions, the scarlet and gray weekend resulted in a flourishing 87th Homecoming at OSU.
The poor weather caused the cancellation of homecoming activities on Friday night, which disappointed many students and alumni, said Devin Graham, emcee for the homecoming pep rally.
“[OSU President] Gordon Gee was going to come, Jim Tressel and the football captains were coming, and Archie Griffin and old homecoming courts,” she said. “I was disappointed for all of the people that were supposed to come and the fact that we didn’t get to see them or introduce them, because that would have been fun. I was also disappointed for the person who planned it, because she had been planning it all for months.”
However, the rain and wind did not affect Saturday’s extensive list of activities.
When the Big Ten released the conference schedule months ago, many Buckeye fanatics circled the homecoming date against Penn State. Little did they know the contest would feature two teams with undefeated conference records, vying for a Big Ten title.
Due to the immense hype surrounding the game, ESPN sent their weekly College GameDay show to broadcast live the morning of the battle. Several hundred fans played the role of the audience, holding up signs slighting Penn State.
Overall, the GameDay experience provided a unique element to the momentous weekend, freshman Alec Marcantonio said.
“It was pretty fun,” he said. “I didn’t enjoy waking up early and standing in the cold for five hours, but when the show started and we were cheering, it was a blast.”
As common with any Saturday home game, hundreds of fans planted themselves in the parking lots outside of Ohio Stadium. Fans engaged in cornhole matches, watched college football games from around the country, and filled their bodies with cold beverages.
On a typical Saturday, Buckeye backers will fill the streets of campus early in the morning, preparing for the usual noon kickoff. The designated 8 p.m. start for the homecoming game didn’t alter too many plans. Ohio State supporters still brought out the grills and lounge chairs just after the crack of dawn.
As the sun set and the temperature dropped, a record crowd of 105,711 filled The Horseshoe. Throughout the week, the university encouraged fans to wear scarlet, in an effort to portray a stronger sense of school pride and unity at the most important game of the year.
The Shoe resembled a sea of red, and the fans brought their most intense cheering and support, junior safety Kurt Coleman said.
“The crowd was phenomenal,” he said. “They were into the game all the time. We need that every game, no matter what. They were great.”
The record crowd cheered on the world-renowned Ohio State marching band, which altered its pregame routine. The Best Damn Band in the Land held off on its famous “Script, Ohio” until halftime to allow for the presentation of the homecoming court. Also at halftime, former head football coach John Cooper was recognized on the field in anticipation of his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Penn State prevailed through a defensive struggle to win 13-6. Despite the disappointing loss, Ohio State displayed a strong sense of school unity, senior punter A.J. Trapasso said.
“We played hard,” he said. “We didn’t get it done. It’s been all about the seniors all year. We have a lot of pride. We’re a family. We have pride and it’s evident on the field.”