With football season fast approaching, some Ohio State freshmen have been looking for ways to learn Buckeye traditions.
A Saturday OSU Student Life Welcome Week event called Buckeye Kick-Off featuring multiple speakers and an OSU marching band performance helped get them riled up.
First-year in health sciences Brian Giannetti said Buckeye Kick-Off was a great start to his first OSU football season as a student.
“I think it’s going to be really fun to just go out there and cheer on the team with my closest friends,” Giannetti said.
When the gates to Ohio Stadium opened, the fans were seated in the west stands as highlights of the 2012 football season flashed on the scoreboard.
“Today we’re going to be introducing you to the sights and sounds of an OSU football game,” host Ray Sharp told the crowd. Sharp is a recent OSU graduate in industrial engineering who was the recipient of several scholarships and was involved in Greek life, the OSU Spirit Program and served as a student ambassador during his time at OSU.
Attendees were shown a message from two-time Heisman Trophy winner and President and CEO of the OSU Alumni Association, Archie Griffin. He implored students to support all Buckeye athletic teams and to take advantage of the numerous opportunities afforded them at OSU.
Meyer did not speak at the event.
The Block “O” director of football operations Jake Bradley unveiled the new banner that will be unfurled at every home game in the student section that reads, “The People. The Tradition. The Excellence.”
Then came the entrance of the OSU marching band, which performed what director Jon Waters described as “the greatest tradition in college band history,” Script Ohio.
Some in attendance said the band’s performance lived up to their expectations.
“It gives me chills every time,” said Kelsi Martin, a first-year in exploration. “It’s amazing, (the marching band members) are so good.”
The band then went through many of the different songs and chants that are heard during a football game, including “Hang On Sloopy” and Stadium O-H-I-O.
Anthony Schlegel, former Buckeye linebacker and the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach, told attendees sitting down at football games will not be permitted. He told everyone to “(turn) up the juice” and teaching everyone how to perform the pregame “quick cals,” a tradition Meyer started last season.
After hearing from members of many of the Buckeye sports teams, including football and men’s basketball, the fans were invited down to the field to get their picture taken in a giant Block “O.” As is custom for many Ohio State athletic events, the evening ended with a rendition of “Carmen Ohio.”
The kick-off event was a memorable one according to some students who went.
“It was great, I stood there (in the Block “O”) and I really felt like a part of OSU,” said Connor Basile, a first-year in engineering physics.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Kayla Hackenberg, a first-year in exploration. “It made me so happy to be a Buckeye.”
Some students who haven’t memorized the words of “Carmen Ohio” felt they got much needed extra practice.
“My favorite part was ‘Carmen Ohio,’” said Lexie Rindler, a first-year in psychology. “I’ve got the words down, finally.”
Students in attendance were already predicting perfection for the upcoming season before a ball has even been snapped — neither Giannetti nor Matt Groves, a first-year in biology, hesitated to say they expect the Buckeyes to go undefeated for the second year in a row.
The OSU football season kicks off Saturday at noon against Buffalo at Ohio Stadium.