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Opinion & Editorial

A Humble Apology to OSU Football

Hey, Ohio State football. It’s high time I apologize. Ever since you’ve been a part of my life, I’ve judged you on the basis of your obnoxious fans and horrifying mascot. I’ve been using you, too. I’d frequent your tailgates to snag some quality barbecue, but when game time came around, I’d make my escape. Sure, I had been to a few games, but not even the revered “Script Ohio” could shake me of my superiority complex. I would think to myself, “Football’s for hicks, man!” without an ounce of shame.

I believed I was above the circus that is college football, but somewhere in my subconscious, buried beneath petty arrogance, was a subtle jealousy. One can only imagine the past few years’ worth of frustration I have endured as I’ve tried to conform to the raging scarlet and gray masses at tailgates and at OSU vs. Michigan parties. I often found myself cheering enthusiastically for a cause toward which I felt no enthusiasm.

On a whim, I recently started going to more Ohio State home games. I’ve only been to two so far this season; however, I have finally asked the people around me what was going on (and actually paid attention). These games have been a crash-course in football education, an education I probably should have pursued much earlier, as I think I may actually enjoy football.

That’s right: I like football. Alert the press! While I’m sure the majority of the Columbus population would sigh at my revelation, I was delighted my cheering at the Ohio State vs. California game was genuine. I could hi-five the guy standing next to me and actually know what I was hi-fiving him about! Sheer madness.

Perhaps my conversion is a result of  my current stage in life: as a senior, I know I will likely be moving away next year. I can’t help but to feel a bit guilty for not having embraced every aspect of Columbus’ culture. Besides, I’m rather fond of the old “Bus” and feel I owe it some respect for being a pretty decent place to grow up.

I still have  a lot to learn about football. You couldn’t pay me enough to even attempt to describe a play to someone else, but at least I’ve got the basic idea. Small steps are key.

More importantly, I am glad to finally feel apart of perhaps Columbus’ most prominent feature. There’s something very powerful, even humbling, when looking out into a sea of screaming, impassioned people and realizing you are above no one, that you are only one in an entire community bound together by a common interest.

So, even if I am a little (. . . very) late to the “Ohio State football” party, I’m thankful to have finally showed up.

Written by Mackenzie Bell’13


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