As I sit here, watching Block “O” slowly filling up an hour before kick-off, I try to remember what it was like two years ago when I was a freshman filling those same seats.
Today, I live a totally different life on Saturdays; one spent in the press box rather than in the stands.
I used to get angry and frustrated if my friends didn’t want to leave the dorm two-and-a-half hours early so we could get seats in the very front row of the section, with Luc Nutter, the president of Block “O” and my hero.
I woke up early in the morning, anxious and excited. I got dressed: Block “O” earrings, buckeye necklace, bright red No. 33 jersey, Brutus tattoos on both my cheeks, Under Armor to keep my arms warm, scarlet and gray gloves and beanie, and my lucky Ohio State socks and red Vans shoes.
Those were the days.
This morning, I had a much different ritual. I woke up and took a shower, did my hair nicely and put on my professional makeup. I got out my nice dark jeans and some professional shoes. I went to my closest and passed by my white No. 2 jersey, and my old beloved red No. 33 jersey, and pulled out my blue blouse and black sweater.
It was definitely not the same game-day outfit from those freshman year games.
After that, instead of blasting Hang on Sloopy and tailgating with everyone in the dorms, I sat down to study up on the press packet I had for today’s game against Wisconsin.
Did you know that this was the “75th meeting between these Big Ten conference opponents?” Or did you know that “Ohio State’s defensive squads have held opponents to fewer than 21 points 43 times since 2006, the best among division 1A teams?”
I do now.
When Ohio State gets that touchdown in the south end zone I will not be losing my voice in excitement; I will be quiet as a mouse, furiously typing notes so that I can recapture a moment that I’m barely experiencing myself. The game takes on an entirely new meaning in the press box.
Instead of waiting five minutes for enough cell phone reception to send my text message, I have five windows open in Safari and am sending Google chats.
Instead of joining in on Stadium Ohio, I am trying to figure out which players are suited up for today’s game.
Instead of running to get water after the first quarter, I am hand-delivered a stat sheet.
While I surely miss being a part of that sea of scarlet, being a member of the press has it perks on Ohio Stadium: free all-you-can-eat City Barbeque and McDonald’s McFlurries, riding in an elevator with NBA player and former OSU student Greg Oden and spending that last half of the fourth quarter on the field. And even though I will sacrifice sleep and fun tonight to write my article, I love covering Ohio State football.
So even though I can’t technically cheer in the press box while write this… Go Bucks!