"First" Buckeye Football Game at THE Ohio State University
By Bill Root
I took my oldest grandson, Cam, to his first Ohio State football game this season. We tailgated at our traditional place on the lawn in front of the Alumni House on Olentangy River Road. We made sure to leave the tailgate in time to walk to the stadium to see the band march in. I wanted Cam to see them on the ramp that leads into the stadium as they waited to march out onto the field for the pre-game show and flag raising. This has always been special to me since I played in TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band in The Land) for 5 years during my Ohio State days.
Just like I remembered it, the band members on the ramp were having fun singing school songs with the crowd and each other. Cam sat on his dad’s shoulders the whole time soaking it all in. As we were enjoying the show under the stadium, one of the ushers walked up and asked if this was Cam’s first game. We answered "yes" and she pointed to the hospitality booth where they give out first game certificates. Cam got his certificate and went to his seat with his dad, Brandon. He lasted until half time, which is pretty good for a three year old boy.
My grandparents lived on Lane Avenue before there were apartments and dorms and we would travel from our home in Mt. Vernon every game day Saturday to park cars in the driveway and watch the Ohio State Band march to the stadium. Since both of my parents attended Ohio State and my dad played in the Ohio State band, there was no chance of me going anywhere else to college. I do remember attending my first Ohio State game when my grandfather took my brother and me through the gate at the south end of the field at half time a long time ago. He knew an usher who let us in to sit at the end of a row on the bleachers at the south end of the Horseshoe. What a treat! We didn’t get a certificate, but have lots of good memories of Ohio State football with family and friends and playing in the band. Who knows, I might just have a grandson playing in TBDBITL in the years to come.