Before I came to America, I hardly know anything about football because I lived in a country where football means soccer! However, now I’m a real buckeye fan and I know many things about Ohio State football! How did it happen?
Last Saturday, Ohio State played against UCF (University of Central Florida). We international students were all invited by David Smith, who works for international students services in Fisher, to have a football 101 lesson and watch the game. David definitely is a big Ohio State fan. As we all know, a characteristic about sports fans is that they always want everybody know and love the team they support, and so was David. However, instead of introducing football to us directly, he asked us to have an Ohio State treasure hunt game!
We were divided into several groups and each group got a list of objectives. I was with 3 other Chinese guys, but we were forbidden to speak Chinese during the game. After we took a quick look at the list, we rushed out to the stadium. At first, we were shocked by the number of people going to watch OSU’s game. It’s such a great scene when more than 100,000 people in red shirts or jerseys moving, talking, cheering and screaming. Lost in that atmosphere, we almost forgot our task(s)!
There were around 15 photo-taking tasks on our list. We did easy things at first like taking photo in front of stadium, asking OSU fans to do O-H-I-O, taking photo of someone wearing Ohio State jersey. Then, we started to deal with some special demands on that list. We took photo of Ohio State faculty member, Ohio fan and UCF fan together, band member, superfan, food vendor and fans who were wearing jerseys of number 27, 45 and 10. Finally, we came to challenging tasks. Photos of Buckeye Grove, two specific tailgates, and Woody Hayes were on the list, so we turned to some OSU fans and asked them for locations and details. I was deeply impressed by them, the fans. They were so passinate and proud of Ohio State. Everytime I asked them about Woody Hayes or tailgates, they couldn’t wait to tell me everything they know about Ohio State, almost like they were talking about their own kids. And, I would high-five with them and say “Go Buckeyes” after every chat. Gradually, I felt more and more involved in that thing. I’m an OSU student and I’m really proud to be part of it.
After one and a half hour of searching, we finally finished all the tasks except one – go find and take photo of someone wearing Michigan jersey. Well, all of us seriously doubted whether David put that goal in the list just for fun. Because in that atmosphere, a guy in Michigan jersey would might be punched by OSU fans in the face! So, we just came back to Gerlach and turned in our work. Surprisingly, only two teams, including us, finished the most goals on that list. And the other team didn’t get a Michigan fan, either! In the end, we two teams tied and both got the first prize.
Then we watched the game. There is no wonder that Ohio State would win. We enjoyed the game, pizzas and David’s 101 lessons about football rules. It was an amazing day and all of our international students can say: WE ARE BUCKEYES FANS NOW!