Memories to last a lifetime
Saturday, October 4, 2014, a day I’d looked forward to for more than a year, is forever a day that I’ll cherish! Our son, Ben, is one of the world’s greatest Ohio State Buckeye fans. Last Christmas, we gave him a certificate to be redeemed for tickets to the inaugural B1G game between his team and the Maryland Terrapins. (For non-football fans, Maryland just moved from the ACC conference to the B1G… making them an automatic Ohio State rival. For a super-fan like Ben, to be at the inaugural game between the two teams is HUGE!!!)
As the day approached, I watched the weather forecast. One week out, they predicted rain and 50’s — horrible. I wondered if Ben’s big day would be drowned in a sea of raindrops. A few days out, the forecast improved, with rain ending by game time. And then the day came, bright sun, puffy clouds and warmer than forecasted temperatures. Relief!
We arrived at the University of Maryland early and mingled with the Ohio State tailgaters for a bit. Then, we headed over to the stadium and climbed up, up, up for our birdseye view of the game. Ellie, only 10 and not quite sure she’s a football fan yet, enjoyed the festivities throughout the stadium: songs, cheers, cheerleaders, mascots and friendly neighbors in the stands. Ben watched the teams warm up — soaking in every moment, most of the time grinning. He definitely enjoyed the day!
The Buckeyes scored first and kept a comfortable lead throughout the game. It was exactly as I’d hoped. A close game is exciting, certainly, but for Ben’s first live game, I think a blowout was a bit easier to enjoy! No tense moments for my intense boy to endure. In the third quarter, his favorite receiver, Devin Smith (#9), scored a touchdown pretty much securing the win.
Watching Ben’s excitement as Buckeye defenders sacked the Maryland quarterback and ran interceptions back for touchdowns (especially Doran Grant’s almost touchdown) was even better than the game for me.
After the game, we joined hundreds of other Buckeye fans to “salute” the team as they headed to the buses. Doran Grant’s mom and I chatted (I have never met a stranger). She made sure Ben got photos with Devin Smith and Doran. Talk about a perfect day! Thank you!!!
Sometimes a splurge fits the budget
This game certainly was a splurge for us. But, it was Ben’s Christmas present last year. We used accumulated hotel points to pay for lodging and packed a picnic lunch and snacks to keep costs down. For us, the value was worth the expense — as I explain in this recent post. We won’t regularly purchase tickets to Big Ten football games — that’s just not in the budget. But this time, it was the right thing to do!
A #B1G shoutout to a record setter
In general, Buckeye fans are a friendly bunch. Certainly the Buckeye crew in Maryland was friendly — no taunts or jabs (though we kinda took over the cheering in the stands toward the end of the game….) As a friendly ambassador of the Big Ten (B1G), I would be remiss not to congratulate Terrapins punter, Brad Craddock (15), for his record setting 57 yard field goal in the first quarter. Impressive, to say the least!