Coming from an unusual family, I am used to the odd discussions, but the one my sister and I had a few weeks back was a real mind bender. Well, the conversation was quite one-sided and went something like this; Andrea: "Guess what? I put your name on the list of people to cover an Ohio State home game this season. Pick between Youngstown State and Minnesota." I was probably attracting flies with how wide open my mouth was.
My sister is one of my editors at the Messenger.
After flipping out for a few moments, I chose to see the Buckeyes take on Youngstown State because it was closer and I wouldn’t have to think about the date looming ahead as much.
Now, I love watching the Bucks, but being on the sidelines taking photos in front of 100,000 people and on television is a bit daunting. It also didn’t help matters that a few of the editors were worried I would end up getting our home game privileges revoked from flirting with players or doing any of the other crazy things I get myself into. Honestly, where’s the faith people?
The days leading up to the first home game consisted of deep breathing exercises and visions of being flattened by football players while trying to get a decent shot, and hoping my hair looked good just in case I was on the telly.
Before the game started, I had a few hours to kill, so I headed off to Hineygate, which I have heard many stories about. I must admit to being disappointed by the lack of debauchery.
I followed the crowd to watch the Skull Session at St. John Arena, where the ushers didn’t believe I was a member of the press (despite having the pass that said so) because they said I "looked too young and not stern enough." Harrumph. I hoped this wouldn’t be issue at stadium. Turns out it wasn’t, but the lady who let me onto the field said I looked like a deer caught in headlights.
Then I chatted with a nice photographer from Piqua who gave me many helpful hints on stadium etiquette. In fact, he was so nice I didn’t get annoyed when Jim Tressel was standing three feet away from us talking to a recruit and photog turned to me and said, "That’s Jim Tressel, the head coach for the football team."
Speaking of standing closely, the players started warming up by me and I swear they all lie about their height. No way were some of those guys as tall as they claim. And why didn’t I notice how cute AJ Trapasso was before?
In the second quarter when I switched field positions, I was introduced to fan behavior when there were two drunken men sitting close to each other playing ‘Let’s see who can be more annoying.’
I’m going to give the edge to the guy who yelled to the YSU players, "It must be hot down there with the Little Animal breathing down your necks! Grawwwwww!" as well as obscenities at Todd Boeckman. I don’t care if he takes forever to throw, cursing a student athlete in public is just wrong.
I decided to get out of the heat for a bit and find the press box during halftime (the way I see it, my sideline trip was a one-time thing this year and I might as well use my media pass to its full advantage). When I decided to go back down on the field, I was star-struck and flustered. Standing before me, waiting to get on the elevator, was Justin Zwick, whom I had a mini-crush on for years. Under normal circumstances, I may have went up and talked to him, but remembered I wasn’t to flirt with any players (didn’t ask if former players were included).
Didn’t see the injury to Chris Wells.
I stayed the entire game and didn’t get the paper into trouble, which was a bonus. Bummed at self for not being able to make eye contact with Justin Zwick, but heard funny stories about the television and newspaper sports writers from one of the gate men, which cheered me up immensely. I always thought Mr. Such and Such was a pompous jerk.
Despite being completely scared at the prospect of going to the game, naturally I had a blast. I think I can safely say this is the one time I’m glad Andrea (my sister and editor) is so bossy. I will also admit to hoping the other staffers going to the remaining home games get sick before their Saturday comes up (not seriously though, would be very bad) so I can go in their stead.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.