Greetings Hog Fans,
In just a few days we will see the kickoff between our Hogs and the Buckeyes. This matchup is particularly special to me given I have spent a few years strongly disliking Ohio State, so I figured I would share my dislike with you. Not in a "reasons to hate post"... oh no, I already hate them! I figure I'll just share with you why!
In 2006 I moved to Colorado Springs, CO with my wife. We quickly found an apartment in an area we both liked as there were several bars, restaurants and shopping within walking distance. In 2007 we watched Florida manhandle Ohio State at a nearby Old Chicago's. Great time considering I was the only SEC fan in the building. I didn't think much of it then, but I would soon come to realize that this area of Colorado has more Ohioans than I would have ever imagined. I still can't figure out why so many Ohioans relocate to Colorado Springs but in the rest of 2007-2008 football season my favorite sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, became the official gathering spot for the Pikes Peak Buckeyes Chapter.
I hated it with a passion. Celebrating mediocrity is how I referred to it. Week after week I would watch my beloved Razorbacks play top ten teams while the Buckeyes were playing lesser ranked Kent, Akron, Youngstown State... and at every shellacking touchdown the buckeye's would score, the 100 plus Ohio State fans packing Buffalo Wild Wings would play their fight song thanks to a few trumpet-alumni who couldn't get enough of playing that fight song.
Imagine my estatic joy when we beat LSU, at LSU, and they went on to play in the BCS National Championship game. I had made some LSU friends here in Colorado Springs. In fact, there was a Louisiana restaurant here that I visited the week before the game. While they were preparing to host a party there for the championship game, I graciously declined the offer to attend their party as I had made plans... to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. "You'll be killed" my new friends said when I announced my intentions. I replied, "Not a chance... by halftime the place will be empty!"
I then did something that I never thought I would do. I donned LSU paraphernalia. While I have friends and family in the various parishes of Louisiana, I had never thought I could possibly wear purple and gold. I made the exception given that my razorbacks had "brought the wood" two years in a row.
My wife happened to be 7 months pregnant with our daughter at the time and while she was reluctant to go she accompanied me to Buffalo Wild Wings. We arrived an hour prior to kickoff only to notice two inflatable Buckeyes greeting those who would enter. In addition to my LSU apparel, I was wearing a ton of mardi gras beads, which I offered to any of the persons jeering me when I walked into see the 300+ Ohio fans visiting their holy establishment.
At kickoff the roar of the room drowned the cranked sound system and it was clear to see I was the only person cheering for LSU in the establishment. I actually had people nearby me tip the waitress so as to give us poor service. I thought to myself, "They aren't going to get rid of me that easily." Meanwhile my wife was trying to hide the fact that she was with me. I didn't blame her for my endeavor was a risk I hadn't meant to involve her in; nevertheless, she gracefully stayed put while the jeers and fingers were directed more toward us than the game. When Ohio State scored first, the room when nuts. I thought the entire Ohio State band had forgone the game and had instead visited the Buffalo Wild Wings of Colorado Springs. With the celebration an Ohio State flag was run around the room and was held for 30 plus seconds over my head. I smiled, thinking of the many times that season I had watched LSU give up points only to later dominate the game. When LSU soon answered with a score of their own, my yell was heard by everyone of the dropped-jawed and silent Buckeye fans. Oh, how sweet it was.
At halftime things were starting to look more favorable for the Tigers, but the game wasn't over yet. I went to the bathroom only to have a guy get in my face and say, "I'll be surprised if you leave without broken arms!" to which I replied, "I'll be surprised if you leave with a win." Tensions were heating up.
The second half was a thing of beauty. By the end of the third quarter the room had been reduced from >300 to <150 and I was living it up. Victory was near. By the end of the game my wife and I were two of twenty or so that had stayed! LSU had put Ohio St to 0-9 against SEC teams and you could hear the crowd at the game start to chant "SEC! SEC! SEC!" I left satisfied that LSU had finished the job when no Jr college teams could that year.
Since that game, I have not gone back to Buffalo Wild Wings on a college football Saturday. Just can't stand the ease of the Buckeye's schedule and their expecting to be number one. Needless to say, our matchup should prove to be a good game, but like always, I think the majority of Ohio St fans are kidding themselves when they think of their team being superior.