I have been covering the Buckeyes since the beginning of the 2013 season, and I’ve seen every play through a camera lens. But the Big Ten Championship against Michigan State was different.
This time, I was not taking photos on the field, seeing as only two of The Lantern’s three photographers were allowed on the field, per Big Ten rules.
It was 12 games into the season, and I have been on the sideline for 11 of them, since I did not travel to California earlier in the season, and it has been all the same to me.
It’s my job.
I go to each stadium, grab my cameras, head down to the field and do my job before heading to the post game press conference to film OSU coach Urban Meyer, all the way up until the team’s 24th win.
But this game was different.
Not only did I not have a camera lens in front of me during the Big Ten Championship game, but I didn’t get to see Meyer talk about winning either.
It was an entire new experience for me as sports journalist.
I stood in the press box as the game began, instead of sitting by the Buckeyes end zone anticipating the kickoff with the rest of Lucas Oil Stadium. Instead, I was with countless other reporters, fingers hovering over their keyboards, ready to analyze the first play of the game.
I saw the Buckeyes and the Spartans begin the game from a birds eye view, I could see everything happening, against just what was through the lens of my camera.
It was almost like a culminating moment for me, the sign that the season was winding down and my football coverage at The Lantern was coming to a close. As I watched these athletes on the field, each snap was one snap closer to it being over, for me and for them.
Regardless of a win or a loss, one more game would be all there was left in this season.
One more, and it was over.
Time for me to leave the 2013 football season behind, and move on to coverage for other sports and move towards graduation in the spring. It was also time for some of these athletes to finish their college football careers and move onto graduation, and even the NFL for some.
If I would have been told a year ago that I would have covered the Buckeyes all season, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’ve been incredibly fortunate for the opportunities working for The Lantern has provided me.
And this game pulled it all together for me.
I saw the game from high above and even throughout the stadium when I took some time during the second half to go watch the game from the fans point of view.
I watched the Buckeyes and their fans look defeated when the clock hit zero and they were handed their first loss in just under two years.
I watched players walk into the locker room in tears, something I have never seen while covering this team.
I sat front row and watched Meyer tell the media he was proud of his team, despite the loss and the missed chance at the BCS National Championship Game.
I covered what was probably my last game for the Buckeyes, and I saw the entire experience from a whole new light.
What felt like the end to my football coverage at OSU, I’m sure felt like the end to many players as well. It was almost like a sign for me that while it was great while it lasted, it’s time to see what’s next.
It’s time to go see something new, and from another new point of view.