When I was 14 years old, my dad scored two tickets to The Game. And while the annual matchup between Ohio State and Michigan is never just any game here in Columbus, this was a particularly important Game.
Because if the Buckeyes won, they clinched an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl—that year’s national title game. Standing in the freezing cold of Ohio Stadium while wearing my Eddie George throwback jersey, I watched my hometown team accomplish just that, as the Buckeyes prevailed by a score of 14-9.
Unsurprisingly, nearly all of the over-capacity crowd in riot-happy Columbus spilled onto the field to celebrate the Buckeyes’ first-ever BCS title game berth. Me? I stood there with my father, briefly soaking in the moment before demanding that we make it back to the car in time to hear the postgame press conferences.
Why would I want to be anywhere else?
Because for me, sports have always been about much more than stat lines and final scores. To me, sports are—and always have been—about the story.
I needed to know why, after not running it once that season, Jim Tressel opted for an option pitch on the most important play of the season. I needed to know what Will Allen felt as he came down with John Navarre’s final Hail Mary attempt. And most importantly, I needed to know how the Buckeyes were going to beat the almighty Miami Hurricanes.
Five years later, my college career carried me to Ohio State where there was far from a story shortage. From Terrelle…