Today we are going to the very first Buckeyes game. It’s looking like lousy weather (no camera for me!) – cold, rainy, icky. No matter. We will have warm bellies from the shouting and it gives us an excuse to cuddle up like college co-eds. We can buy hot chocolate in souvenir mugs, eat greasy brats, revel in the campus setting.

Going to a Buckeyes game brings back college day memories for me, some of them good, some of them bad. There is the ritual of the day, for one thing. The band, the students, the cheering, the electricity in the air, the tailgates and tents full of nearly-drunk people, the crazy outfits. So much about a Buckeyes game is constant for me. Even with the renovation of the Stadium a few years ago, it’s like I erase years off my life.

Sometimes we go to HineyGate, that maelstrom of fanatics and drunks. We don’t usually drink much, because we’re not there to get drunk. We’re actually there for the music and the big screen pre-game. Sometimes we go through the throngs into the stores. We don’t usually buy anything, but it’s fun to look at just how much stuff they’ll put that logo on, and then how much they’ll charge you.

Sometimes we walk around campus, holding hands and dreaming together. I spend some of that time remembering and sharing with dear hubby different tidbits about my college days. He often muses on what buildings he’ll be in when he is finally there (soon, I hope). In this tour of campus, we always go to the Oval. The Oval represents all of my hope for him in his college endeavors, and it reminds me of how he tricked me with our engagement. We have done the Long Walk many times together, and I always feel like I am taking it with a group of people from the past – my past, and the University’s past.

Going back to Ohio State holds similar reverence for as walking into a Catholic Church. A little extreme, you say? Well, I’m certainly not alone in my enthusiasm for the Buckeyes (though I’m much lower-key than many others I have seen). That said, I don’t put the Church and the University on the same level (don’t want you to be confused on that one!). Ohio State’s definitely second (I shall go to Michigan for that little bit of heresy, I’m sure). But in being second, it’s above all the others.

Every time I hear Carmen, I feel tears stinging at my lashes. It’s a similar feeling to a really good Ave Maria (in Latin, thank you very much)…a heavy stomach and a dry throat and welling eyes. My lips tremble, even as I’m singing, and then I just stop trying.

Then there’s Script Ohio. The marching band (TBDBITL, which stands for “The Best Damn Band in the Land” for you non-Bucks) spells out OHIO. Yes, we pay money to see this. We clap, we cheer, we feel the fluttering in our stomachs as the chosen senior dots the I.

It’s Game Day: a day with my husband in one of our favorite places watching our favorite sport. It’s Game Day: a chance to reminisce, a chance to dream, a chance to wear my buckeye necklace and my funky buckeye hat. It’s Game Day: I can’t wait!