I never thought a football game could make me sad. I certainly never expected to have tears in my eyes at the end of one.I’ve experienced various sentiments at games — excitement, boredom, exhaustion, disappointment — but never before have I felt any degree of sorrow, even when my team loses. Instead of crying, punching walls or getting in fights at bars the way that some Ohio State fans do, I get over losses pretty quickly. I like football, but I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal.The game against Iowa was my last as an OSU student and the full realization of this happened to hit me during the fourth quarter of the game.Things started out the same as any other OSU game I’ve attended. A super-drunk frat boy fell flat on his face and had to be picked up by four of his friends right outside the stadium. Everyone sitting around me was drunk, yelling obscenities and being generally ridiculous. And of course, strangers high-fived excessively through the whole game.I got tired of standing after the first quarter, as usual. A drunk kid near us engaged my boyfriend in captivating conversations about John Goodman, hot girls and whether he thought Chinese food could give you AIDS.OSU fans are crazy and have never failed to bring me amusement. It can be annoying at times, like when a drunk kid keeps running in to you or worse, vomits nearby, or when there is a serial farter sitting by you.But Saturday was different for some reason. I wasn’t annoyed, and when the game went into overtime and the cheering in the stadium was at its loudest, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic. I’d never seen an OSU game go into overtime before and I’ve only seen a few close games in my four years here.The four years of college that I thought would never end are about to. I have one quarter left and this exciting game was my last as a student.Looking around and seeing the thousands of people in red not only made me proud to be an OSU student, but grateful for the experience I’ve had at OSU and thankful I made the decision to come here four years ago.The fact that anywhere you go in the country, someone will yell “I-O!” back to your “O-H!” is such an awesome thing. There are things about OSU that can’t be experienced anywhere else, and Saturday I got to really feel that and be a part of one such experience.I didn’t come to OSU because of the football team, and it’s not the most important thing about college for me. But it is one part of it, and Saturday, for one last time, I could get that feeling of pride that can only come from being in the stands at an OSU game.It sounds cheesy, but I couldn’t help but think of other games I’d gone to, and with that, about the rest of my four years at OSU. I’m lucky for the time I’ve had here, for what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a person.I found myself tearing up for a split second. It was bittersweet; the win was exciting but the end of the game signaled the last time, at least for awhile, that I would be in the stadium.Drunk, ridiculous fans are all part of an OSU game, just like having to stand for the whole time, paying $50 for a soft pretzel and being crushed by the crowds of people at the end.I wouldn’t trade my time at OSU for anything, and though football doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to some at OSU, the games and all that goes along with them are a big part of the OSU experience.The Iowa game made me realize that and it made me realize I was happy and fortunate to be a Buckeye.
A bittersweet ending to college