Why I (We) Love College Football Saturdays
It’s a Fall Saturday Afternoon, a cool breeze rolls into the house as you and your family and friends are watching the Buckeyes take on another Big Ten foe. You look around and everyone is dressed in Scarlet and Gray with drinks in their hands and plates of random food sitting on the floor. Light conversations are going on between your fellow fans but all the while everyone has their eyes glued to the 60” HDTV hanging on the wall. Then, the Buckeyes make a huge play for a touchdown! The room erupts into cheers, with high fives being offered to everyone, big and small, old and young. This is what we as members of Buckeye Nation look forward to every Saturday during football season.
We all have our own traditions for what goes on during a “typical” Ohio State Football game. Whether you’re at The Shoe, a local bar, a friend’s house, or even hosting your own party, us Buckeye fans are bonded in the fact that we love watching our team play. Aside from that, it’s the atmosphere that gets so many of us excited for Saturdays. The aromas, the sounds, even the great fall Ohio weather bring back some of our favorite memories from seasons past. So now I’m going to try to explain why I (We) love College Football Saturday’s.
Its 8am, you wake up like a kid on Christmas morning not being able to contain your excitement. You jump in the shower (if you’re still in college you most definitely have a beer in your hand by now) and get out faster than you ever do for work and get dressed. You pull out your sacred Ohio State jersey and put it on like a hero’s cape. You think to yourself, “Its Saturday baby!!” You whip together a hearty breakfast and flip on ESPN. By 10am, College Gameday comes on and this gets you even more pumped for that afternoons’ game. For me, I don’t even need to see the TV at this point. Just hearing the voices of Chris, Lee, and Kirk (no, I’m not mentioning Desmond) gives me nostalgic feelings and usually puts a smile on my face. It’s a Fall Saturday. They flip around the country talking about the biggest games and storylines of the day. So instead of just being excited about the Buckeyes, now you’re looking forward to the other big time matchups including the primetime battle at 8 later that night. By 11:59, Corso is donning the headgear while the home crowd behind him either goes nuts or boos.
By this point it’s time to find the noon game of your preference. Perhaps a good Big Ten matchup is on or it’s also really fun to watch That Team Up North struggle against the Hoosiers or Appalachian State. But even though your beloved Buckeyes aren’t on yet, you get sucked in to the sounds of the game. The bands playing, fans cheering, pads crunching; it becomes addicting and you think to yourself again, “It’s Saturday.” How is it possible that while watching a game that doesn’t feature your favorite team or have any relative impact to your team, cause you to become so attached to watching and listening? It’s because it’s Saturday and you love College Football. There’s nothing else like it. By halftime of the noon slate, you’re cooking up all sorts of gameday food: Chicken Wings, Cheese Dip, Calzones, Pasta Salad, Meatballs, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and whatever you’re fellow Buckeyes decide to bring over for the game. You start to get even more excited for Ohio State to take the field.
30 minutes before kickoff, everyone is at your place filling themselves with food and beer (if in college, mostly beer). And for some people, it’s a reunion. Family members or old friends you haven’t seen in a while are able to make it over again, and it’s all possible because of college football. Finally, the Buckeyes run out onto the field as adrenaline pumps through your veins almost as if you had just chugged a case of Red Bull. You’ve been waiting for this moment since the final second ticked off the clock in last Saturday’s game. And now it’s finally here. The first big hit from the Silver Bullets always gets a roar from the crowd as well as the people huddled around your TV. Same goes for the first big play from the Buckeye offense. The anticipation for a touchdown is building by the second and when we score, roaring cheers erupt like a cork flying out of a bottle of champagne. It puts the whole room into a great mood and you feel like nothing could disrupt that feeling of ecstasy.
As the game goes on there are ups and downs with each play and series as you enjoy every minute of it. It gets to the point where you’re even excited to answer the Aflac trivia question and show off your immense knowledge of college football. You pump your chest and point at your jersey every time the number you’re wearing gets 6 for the Buckeyes. And hearing The Best Damn Band In The Land play the fight song after every score makes you proud to be a fan of Ohio State. Today is perfect. Today is Saturday. During halftime or commercial breaks it feels good to go outside and toss around the pigskin, perhaps pretending your Braxton Miller or Buckeyes of the past like Archie, Troy, Eddie, or Galloway. You have your Buckeye sweatshirt on under your jersey as the cool, fall breeze hits your face. It even smells like a Fall Saturday.
As the game comes to a close you are happy yet a little disappointed. Happy because the Buckeyes notched another W, yet disappointed because another College Football Saturday is coming to a close and you’re already thinking about next week. But you cheer up as you realize that the 8pm primetime game is coming on soon and you can’t wait to see who can win this one. The night game almost always provides a great game and a great atmosphere for college football. But eventually, that game has to end as well. Saturday is over, and now all you have to look forward to the rest of the weekend is watching the NFL which isn’t exactly fun in the state of Ohio (I’m looking at you Browns and Bengals).
College Football may not be the most important thing in the world, but it can provide a distraction for some of life’s problems. It can bind relationships together. Many fathers and sons go through life with the hopes of watching this sport together every Saturday in the fall. There are always a couple stories that you tell which have nothing to do with the football yet the story begins by you recurring, “Well, we were watching the Ohio State game that day and…” But as each Saturday ends you look back on the day with a sense of pride. And by the time you’re waking up on Sunday morning you think to yourself, “6 days to Saturday!”
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