Welcome to the refreshed Land-Grant Holy Land! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Fandom isn’t binary. Fandom isn’t even the same from one family member to the next.
Maybe you were born into it. Maybe it was born into you.
No matter why you consider yourself an Ohio State devotee, there’s no better time than now for us to better get to know each other. Gather around the digital campfire and let’s talk about why we love us some Buckeyes.
Whether you’re from Ohio State, fell in love with Troy Smith’s play style as a kid, or anything in between, we want to know: what makes you bleed Scarlet and Gray?
I’m not an Ohio native. Pretty far from it. My only childhood memory of the Buckeyes is seeing a friend’s Toledo grad uncle give Jake Plummer the finger through the TV at the end of the ‘97 Rose Bowl.
I was on the school paper in high school and after a few scholastic competitions, I had some scholarship offers from the likes of OU and Bowling Green.
Being from Texas, I thought heck, might as well see what these Ohio schools are all about. And Columbus seemed to make sense as a home base somewhat equidistant between the two.
After checking out both schools, my parents convinced me I’d regret it if I never checked out what Ohio State, not too far from our downtown C-bus hotel, had to offer.
It’s hard to explain what I saw, but even visiting in February, it was love at first sight. I was never quite able to shake the idea that Ohio State was where I was supposed to end up.
Flash forward five years and two degrees later and I regret nothing about my decision. I may have electively chosen to be a Buckeye instead of being born into it, but I’d never change what it’s helped me become.
Columbus born, Buckeye bred. I’m the first one in my family to attend Ohio State, but was surrounded by Buckeye fandom my whole life. The tipping point for me from fan to ‘bleeder of scarlet and gray’ was the 2002 national championship. It was that game that influenced me to apply to OSU, and the rest is tailgating history.
Grew up with both sides of the family being born and raised in Ohio. On Saturdays, Ohio State football was the theme. Grew to love OSU even more due to family being alums. Growing up in Michigan, Ohio State drew hated, but due to my roots, I embraced the hate and that gave me all the more reason to keep loving the Bucks. I couldn't get enough, so every aspect that went into the program and covering recruiting became a hobby and helped grow my love of OSU and OSU football even stronger.
Growing up, I rooted for the Buckeyes, mostly due to the fact that both my parents went to Ohio State. My dad and I would make the trip to Columbus each year for a football game, which varied from Youngstown State to watching the Buckeyes dismantle Michigan's title hopes in the Game of the Century. For college, Ohio State was always my No.1 choice — it was practically OSU or bust — and in 2016, I walked out of The Shoe with a degree.
Ohio State has given me some of the biggest (and most memorable) moments in my life. From seeing Troy Smith torch Michigan, to owning a Todd Boeckman jersey with the 2008 BCS title game patch stitched on (which I thought was the coolest thing ever) to broadcasting the 2015 national title over Ohio State student radio, my roots of being a Buckeye have only become stronger with time.
Unlike those who were born in Ohio, I grew up in Western New York so my Buckeye fandom didn't come more until my teenage years. I was in high school looking at colleges and took a visit to Ohio State and after visiting the weekend of the 2002 Ohio State-Michigan game, I fell in love with Ohio State. September will mark 12 years that I have lived in Columbus, and even if I do move away some day, I'll always bleed Scarlet and Gray.
I'm a Buckeye fan because I was born in Columbus, and both my parents attended The Ohio State university along with my great uncle and great grandfather. Quite simply there was no other choice but becoming a fan so I did. Now as a student at Ohio State, I couldn't happier being a fan and my favorite fan moment is rushing the field after The Spot was good and Curtis' legs were better at the 2016 OSU-Michigan game.
I imagine my story is a lot like a lot of others. Mom was a Buckeye graduate as were many of my uncles. While Saturdays might not have revolved around the Buckeyes growing up, we always caught the game. After high school I ended up going to Wright State for college. That first fall I attended 2002 Ohio State/Michigan game and put in my transfer to Ohio State the next day. Three years later I met my wife at Ohio State and nine years after that our son was born at the Ohio State Medical Center. It’s those sort of real-life connections to a place that make rooting for its team so much fun.
My dad is the biggest Buckeye I know. He roomed with Woody Hayes' kid at Ohio State in the 1960s, and has instilled Scarlet and Gray in my very soul — so much so that, during the 2002 National Championship Game, I missed Ken Dorsey's incomplete pass on 4th-and-1 because I was too nervous to watch. That love and level of support remains to this day, but at least now I can watch the whole game. Although I honestly still can't tell if blue and yellow go well together; I'm leaning towards no.
Coming from Beverly, MA, located next to Salem, MA (where Scoonie Penn played high school basketball), it might seem odd that I have an allegiance to Ohio State. It all started when I was roughly six years old, when my aunt and uncle moved to a suburb of Columbus. My family and I began driving out to Ohio annually to visit them. I started following the 1998 Ohio State football team obsessively and the basketball team (which featured Penn), and I was hooked right away.
Although our trips never aligned in the fall to see a game at The Shoe, my father bought us tickets to see Ohio State defeat Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Since then, I was also able to witness a second title victory in person, when I attended the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship. Coming from New England where college football is irrelevant, the Buckeyes have, and will always hold my college football fandom.
I'm a Buckeye fan because my parents, both upstate NYers, met in the laundry room at Nosker Hall in the late 70s as undergrads. They moved back to NY, but raised their kids in Scarlet and Gray so effectively that two of them went to Ohio State without really considering other options. (I only applied to two schools total.) From my first panic attack during the '97 Rose Bowl to the joy of the 2014 title season, it's been worth every second.
Even though my atrocious grades kept me from even applying to Ohio State, my mother being born and raised in Ohio and then attending OSU is what first got me into being a fan. It's an awesome bond I get to share with her, and it's the coolest thing in the world when she says how much it means to her that I rep the scarlet and gray. From watching Maurice Clarett streak up the sideline against Texas Tech, to now writing and podcasting bad takes on the internet about the team, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I was born at Ohio State Medical Center premature and with a collapsed lung. The least thing I could do was root for their sports teams after OSU doctors saved my life.
Harry Lyles Jr.
Despite being born in Atlanta, both my parents rooted for Ohio State, with my mom being from Cleveland and my dad working in Columbus for a number of years. The Buckeyes’ Sugar Bowl against Texas A&M in 1999 is one of the first sporting events I ever remember watching. Growing up in SEC country and getting tons of hate as one of the only Ohio State fans around only made my love for them grow even more, even after tough national championship losses to Florida and LSU. I didn’t attend Ohio State myself, but I grew up with it, and stuck with it.
My people had no ties to Ohio or Ohio State; my folks moved to Cleveland from Chicago in 1979, and I was the first in the family to be born in the state. But I grew up surrounded by Ohio State diehards, generations of alumni, and kids who were “Buckeyes born and bred”. It seemed inevitable that this would influence my allegiance, but the person most responsible was Jimmy Jackson. I became an Ohio State hoops fanatic in the early 90s and everything followed from there. Seven years ago, I became an alumnus myself.
Growing up in with my parents, there was never an option as to if I would be a Buckeye fan or not. My mom, an Ohio Stater alum, is the biggest diehard Buckeye fan I know, even converting my father, who was a big Notre Dame fan until meeting her. While my mom was never one to paint her face, our house was always painted scarlet and grey growing up, no matter where we lived. At the place where my parents currently live, their entire basement is decked out in OSU memorabilia: they have original copies of the Columbus Dispatch’s front page from both national championship games hanging on the walls, a signed Chris Spielman jersey, an autographed football from the ‘02-’03 national championship team, and countless bobbleheads and posters. It’s safe to say Ohio State is a part of my family’s DNA.
I went to Rutgers for undergrad and law school and you couldn't imagine a less exciting football team even when they were good. So imagine my surprise when I got into business school at Ohio State, when I'd never been further west than Pennsylvania. The culture, pride and unity that the OSU football team provide helped bring my class together and helped me feel a part of something that Rutgers never did. And winning a national title my first year at OSU sure didn't hurt.
I’m an Ohio State fan for one simple reason: even from an early age, I knew The Spot was and would forever be good.
Why are you an Ohio State fan? Hit the FanPosts and let us know why.
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