On Saturday afternoon we joined our closest 105,000 “friends” and went to a Ohio State football game. The game was in Ohio Stadium, aka The Shoe, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is located on The Ohio State University main campus, which is in Columbus, OH.
The Shoe was packed.
After exiting from the highway, getting to our parking place, which was beside The Shoe, was an adventure in dodging
drunk psyched fans, driving hither & yon on surface streets– and highlighted by a bomb squad checkpoint.
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Then getting to our seats on a box level, accessible via huge dual-door elevators, turned into a lark. Fortunately the arena’s staff kept us laughing all along the way, as we two confused outsiders tried to find our box.
Very pleasant people.
The OSU marching band, aka The Best Damn Band in the Land, did script Ohio, which I maintain is the real reason anyone goes to these football games. And the home team won. So all was good.
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Here’s my takeaway:
Every person who attended this event, except us, was wearing team colors, scarlet & gray. I MEAN EVERYONE. And though no one dissed us for not having any team merchandise on our bodies, I felt odd about it.
I’m not one to wear showy clothes, nor have I ever felt comfortable in team apparel, so despite wanting to be part of the group, I couldn’t bring myself to spend monies on any of the
over-priced shirts, hats, shorts, sweatshirts, scarves, et cetera, that were available for purchase.
This wasn’t a problem, but it’s an observation that marketing has taken over the game. Meaning that looking the part of a fan is now as important as, if not more important than, being a fan.
This reality made for a visually weird overly enthusiastic-looking crowd of people wearing, what they hoped was scarlet but in actuality was multiple shades of red, emblazoned with the iconic Block O.
Fans? Perhaps. Followers? Definitely.
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