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GAME #32
Saturday, November 21, 2015

#9 Michigan State Spartans: 9-1
@ #3 Ohio State Buckeyes: 10-0

Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

Trip Dates 11/20/2015 – 11/22/2015
School Ohio State University
Visiting Team Michigan State Spartans
Pre-game Record: 9-1
Home Team Ohio State Buckeyes
Pre-game Record: 10-0
Game Time (ET) 3:30 PM Eastern
Weather 51 Light Rain Wind 10 mph
Attendees Jarrett, Al, & Brett
Jarrett’s Pick Ohio State Buckeyes (19 and 12 record)
Al’s Pick Ohio State Buckeyes (15 and 16 record)
Attendance 108,975
Capacity 104,944
Length of Game 3:06
Seat Location Sideline End Zone – 1st Row Upper Deck
Miles Traveled 1,060
Photo Album Click here for the Ohio State Photo Album

I could take the easy way out and say “See Oregon trip report” to cover our trip to The Ohio State University. There were many similarities between the two trips, most of all the arrogance. Let me explain….We put in a lot of time researching our trips, reaching out to local folks, as well as reaching out to the school, all in an effort to make the most of our one trip to each location. Talking to Ohio State was like talking to the Maestro from Seinfeld.

MAESTRO: Oh yeah, I’ve been at my house in Tuscany.
JERRY: I hear it’s ah beautiful there.
MAESTRO: Well if you’re thinking of getting a place there don’t bother. There’s
really nothing available.
JERRY: (Surprised) Huh?

JERRY: You know when I told him it was beautiful there, out of the clear blue sky
he says there’s nothing to rent. As if he doesn’t want anyone else there.

JERRY: Yeah, ya know the other day how you mentioned that there were no houses available in Tuscany?
MAESTRO: You didn’t find one, did you?
JERRY: No. I’m not really looking.
MAESTRO: Nor should you.
JERRY: So are you telling me there’s not one house to rent in all of Tuscany?
MAESTRO: The houses are passed down from generation to generation, it’s very hard.
JERRY: I can’t get a sublet, a guest room, a cot, nothing?

Well, Ohio State had the same attitude concerning tickets. We were not looking for a handout, just reaching out to do our usual research and we got, ”Oh, you are coming to Ohio State. Well don’t bother. There are no tickets for sale. Don’t even think of coming here without tickets. And if you think you can get tickets once you arrive, forget about it. Don’t even try. Thanks for calling us and we’d say enjoy your visit, but we don’t want you visiting so…Maybe next year you will buy season tickets and then you can come.” Like a house in Tuscany.

At least that is what it seemed like to us. Very hospitable folks there in Columbus. It really made us excited to be coming.

It was an 8:30am flight from LaGuardia, a somewhat reasonable time of departure. I like me some short flights. All was good until the security checkpoint when the guy behind me in the PreCheck line waits until the guy directly in front of me has emptied his entire bag into the bin before telling him, “This is PreCheck, you don’t need to take out your computer, take off your coat, and take out your liquids.” So of course, the guy now proceeds to put everything back on and in, taking twice as long as if the guy just shut his mouth. Thanks, dude.

Another travel note, this one to the fancy LaGuardia folks who went high tech so you can only order food from an iPad…$10 for a bagel with cream cheese and coffee is a bit much. I understand the whole captive audience thing, but that’s just highway robbery.

We arrive in Columbus without incident and proceed to the hotel for check in. As Brett had nothing to do with the travel arrangements, we were in a decent hotel, in a good location.

Ohio State University
The hotel even had a shuttle that would take us anywhere within a three mile radius. Nice! It took us to campus.

First stop, Woody’s Tavern, an on campus bar serving cafeteria quality food. Nice environment, don’t eat the food. Actually, it was not that bad but it is going to take a lot for me to give Ohio State credit for anything.

After lunch, it was pictures with the National Championship trophy which was making the rounds. This week it was in Columbus.I do not think many people appreciated the Ole Miss, Florida, and Boston College gear we had on, but it made for some interesting conversations.

We then proceeded with our self guided walking tour of OSU. And by self guided, I mean us wandering around aimlessly. Well not aimlessly, but aimed in a very poor direction as I was using a campus map on my iPad.

First stop was the ESPN College GameDay set. Yes, GameDay was here for this game. And yes Beth, that means Kirk is here. Then we proceeded to Ohio Stadium. But alas, there was no getting in. A little steak-loving birdie told us to try Gate 23, which we were able to get into, but then dragged out by security. In other words, it was locked tight. But then how did all those cars get in there? Oh well. I will say that the architecture from the outside looked quite nice. I particularly liked the stained glass accents.

Then onto the swimming venue as we heard there was a swim meet which included the Florida Gators Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving team. That is a must catch for us (or me anyway). But we were told it did not start until 6pm and then…”it ends at 9 because that’s when we close.” Umm, I do not think it works that way but ok.

Then it was onto more wandering around; mirror lake, RPAC, the Oval, Ice Rink, and Bookstore. It was mucho walking around.

Ohio State Campus Tour Notes and Lessons:

  • I like the door handles that spell Ohio
  • A better plan would have saved us a lot of walking
  • Brett should not feed the ducks at Mirror Lake
  • Mirror Lake is really a pond, at best
  • Al states “RPAC is the best place to sit and rest as it has it all; power for my iPhone and an XXXX(fill in Al’s favorite type) girl right in front of us”
  • This of course led to Al’s list of girls he will pursue after Alexis divorces Al (Hi Alexis, just checking to see if you read these things. Beth says there is no chance she reads these reports)

This seems like as good a time as any to mention that we need a game like this every once in awhile to remind us why WE DON’T GO TO GAMES IN OHIO IN NOVEMBER! It was cold. I write this in NY in December where thus far we have had one of the mildest winters in memory. Last weekend was 60 degrees, and to date there hasn’t even been a flurry from the sky. But the “weather was cold and angry that weekend my friends”and walking the campus four times did not help. We need to stop this absurd scheduling. Whose idea was this? November is for the Pac 12 or SEC, not the Big10.

Swim Meet
We did manage to make it to the Ohio State Invitational which was a five team meet in both men’s and women’s swimming and diving; Florida, Ohio State, Kentucky, Washington State, and Miami. This was Day 1. We opted for this instead of the Buckeyes versus Texas Arlington in basketball or a Columbus Blue Jackets NHL game. You can see how deep my Gator fanaticism goes, but it was a big mistake. We could have seen OSU lose to Texas Arlington 73-68. Oy vey. Instead, Al fell in love with the {Fill in Al’s favorite type yet again} swimmer on the Miami Hurricanes swim team. Add her to the list. Still just kidding Alexis, but please don’t find our hidden web pages on this site.

After the swim meet, we trekked to Eddie George’s restaurant on the other side of campus. After texting with my sister, I came to remember that her old roommate is good friends with Eddie. After a bunch of back and forth texts, we had a place to tailgate tomorrow morning; the private room at Eddie George’s restaurant.

Saturday Morning
Morning brought a hotel continental breakfast, before heading out to Eddie George’s for pre game festivities.. It was a lazy Saturday morning, just like we like them. Time came to head out to Eddie George’s and another nod to the hotel shuttle.

We met up with Andrew (my sister’s old room mate) who was our entry into the private room. Alas, Eddie was not in town, so we did not meet the man himself, but we met some big OSU fans who gave us the scoop on the Buckeye tailgate scene. OSU fans are a lot nicer than OSU officials. It does not normally work that way. A genuine shout out to Andrew for a place to hang. Time came to head out for taking in the tailgate scene.

I should note that I decided to wear an East Carolina shirt. Let me explain. There was no way I was wearing Ohio State. I also did not want to distract from the experience by wearing Gator stuff on game day. Friday and Sunday yes, but I try to stay away from that on game day, except when Florida State or Georgia are playing. So I went with a conversation starter in East Carolina. And I will say that it worked tremendously. I got many, “What the hell?” looks as well as comments.

Pre Game
Target separated from the Quest to meet up with a friend who he was going to the game with. Should we count this as a Quest game for Target given that he did not sit with the Quest and we can not be absolutely sure he was actually in Ohio Stadium for the game? Beth says “No, sorry Brett!” Should we really consider anything with Brett as “Quest Related”, considering his lack of follow-thru on the task list given to him at end of the 2014 season and his constant badgering that “Teddy Bridgewater is an elite fantasy QB”. How did that work out for you?

After a quick pit stop at McDonald’s (everything else had a ridiculous line), we proceeded to take in the tailgate scene. We surveyed the off campus bars in the immediate area which included the Varsity Club madhouse, and tried to locate the RV lot, of which we were unsuccessful. Ohio State seems like a much bigger bar tailgate scene than car/RV scene. This is not better or worse, just different. Actually to me it’s worse. I was looking forward to getting into it with some big boosters in huge RV’s, but either they were too far away or we just completely missed it. Oh well.

The Game
This is where I would typically provide details on the game itself, except if it’s a bad game or of no interest. This game was neither; it was a close hard fought battle of elite teams. But I will not go into details of the game. It was cold and wet and I spent the entire game hidden inside a poncho. Michigan State won 17-14 on a last second field goal. The Spartans had not led at any point in the game except when it counted most, at the final gun. The Buckeyes had 5 first downs and 132 total yards, but never trailed until the end. And the weather did not contribute to this offensive explosion (sarcasm). I have never heard of an undefeated team that was the previous undefeated national champion get booed at home. The Buckeyes had won 24 games in a row and were booed, deservedly so. It was a dreadful effort.

After the game, star running back Ezekiel Elliot vented in his postgame interview, questioning the play calling and saying that he had just played his last home game. Elliott was annoyed and upset by the play calling of Coach Urban Meyer. He was not wrong in what he said but was a fool for saying them. Of course when you play for Coach Meyer, you know you can get away with such antics provided you will help him win. Decorum be damned. Enjoy probation in 3 years Buckeyes.

Ohio Stadium set a Buckeye attendance record of 108,975. I am not sure if it was the weather, where we were sitting, the lackluster performance by the Buckeyes or something else, but this was not a very loud 108,975.

A post game note to the event staff at Ohio Stadium, it was very comical to see you protecting the goalposts in a triangle formation, ON BIKES, IN A GAME WHERE THE BUCKEYES LOST! As an FYI, you generally do not need to protect the goalposts when the home team loses.

Post Game Swim Meet
Fortunately for us, day 2 of the Ohio State Invitational was taking place at the aquatic center just across from Ohio Stadium. In addition to us (Jarrett) being simply interested and my fanaticism towards anything Florida (Al was interested in going somewhere to dry), the Aquatic Center gave us a place to warm up, dry off, and dry out the shoes. The swim meet ended with Florida killing the competition and Ohio State coming in second, as they usually do when they face off head to head against Florida. Ohhhh sizzle burn or roasted, as my kids would say!

Sunday Culture
Sunday morning found us headed to the Ohio State Capitol. For those of you geographically challenged, Columbus is the capital of Ohio. When in a state capital, we have a tough time resisting a tour. And fortunately for us, they were giving tours on Sunday.

The tour was very interesting and yet I remember very little except that they had a really cool map of Ohio. The map showed all the counties, was made of different types of marble, and embedded into the floor. There were some other cool sights and the photo gallery has some cool pictures.

This bit of culture makes it easier to justify the next stop.

Hollywood Casino
We are loathe to pass up a chance to gamble here on the Quest. Just outside Columbus was Hollywood Casino and that combined with a later flight means gambling, and gambling losses. This time for all three of us. Yes, Target did make it back to the hotel Saturday night. No one knows where he was, or with whom he was with, and now that I think about it, no one really cared or mentioned it until now. Moving on…

Writing This
This was a very difficult trip report to write. Aside from my natural distaste for The Ohio State University due to the rivalry between my Gators and the the Buckeyes, the entire way we were treated by the administration left a bad taste with us. Most of the people we met were very nice and friendly but the arrogance of the school itself and those affiliated with the school has us placing this trip in the Oregon category. As a result, it was tough getting motivated to write this trip report as I like to have great things to say and be excited about detailing our adventures.

For clarity, unlike my dislike of the New York Yankees which comes from hating the fans and not the players and organization, which I really do like, my dislike of OSU comes from the school itself and not the fans. Well, not most of the fans anyway. We did have one huge OSU fan lay out things to do prior to our trip, and we are quite thankful, because otherwise we may have jumped into the lake/pond thing and ended it all. Peter Lugar’s on us when in NYC for you!

I should also point out that note taking was curtailed due to the weather which is why this report does not have as much detail as is typical of a CFQ Trip Report. Beth will be ecstatic about that! Al interjects, “Once again, thank you to Beth for proof reading for the 7th consecutive year. You are more a Quester than your cousin.” Beth adds, “Thanks Al!”.

Beth concludes the year with a quip, “And to the end of another year of trips!. And unlike my brother, I know you will not outgrow this!”

The Spartans finished the regular season at 11-1, the only loss being a 39-38 loss at Nebraska on an absolutely dreadful officiating mistake that allowed a Nebraska game winning TD to stand. An undefeated Sparty (in my mind) then beat Iowa in the BigTen championship game earning a spot in the College Football Playoff where they lost 38-0 to the eventual Champion, Alabama. Sparty did it with smoke and mirrors because in our two times seeing them live (and other times on tv), this did not look like a championship team. But the trophy looks the same in the trophy case.

The Buckeyes began the season 10-0 before dropping this one to the Spartans. They rebounded nicely to close the season with a resounding win at Michigan, but a 7-1 conference record was not good enough to win the BigTen East as they lost the tiebreaker due to this loss to MSU. A Fiesta Bowl appearance against Notre Dame would await the Buckeyes where they would end the season at 12-1 after beating the Irish 44-28.

Photo Gallery
For our Ohio State photo album, Please click here. You can view as a collage or run as a slideshow. There are comments to explain what is in the photo but most are self explanatory. Thanks to Google, I can no longer embed the slide show with comments.

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