It’s been a weird winter for Ohio State. Ebbs and flows, moments of excitement, moments of frustration, moments of something bordering on apathy, followed almost immediately by moments of pure ecstasy.
If that sounds like it could describe a romantic relationship, that’s because it could. Because our love for Ohio State is a deep love, one that is unshakable even when the going gets tough. And so, on this Valentine’s Day, I’m honoring one of my truest, deepest loves – Ohio State sports.
Dear Ohio State Sports,
Oh come, let’s sing Ohio’s praise, for you have given us much to love. You fill our Fall Saturdays and our Mad Marches and our Olympic summers and winters with delight, cheer, and joy which death alone can still.
Whether you are running up the field, swinging your bat, shooting hoops, rowing through the water, or spiking the ball, you give us an outlet for our emotional expression. Whether we need a few hours of enthusiastic cheering or a way to release some pent-up rage, you provide the channel for us at home.
We are so lucky to do this dance with you, to cheer you on from the sidelines, the stands, or our couches at home. You provide the escape from the real world we so often need, and you do so while upholding the standard of excellence Buckeye fans have come to know.
Your athleticism inspires us in our own lives. When things become heavy, we are reminded of the physical and mental hurdles you overcome to win games and represent THE Ohio State. Whether you are overcoming injuries, bouncing back from a tough loss, or simply pushing yourself to the limits to come out on top in a game, your hard work is motivation for the rest of us to keep going, to persevere, and to channel your resilience in our everyday lives.
But most of all, you are a key part in creating the beautiful Buckeye community. You are a reason for us to gather. You give us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. Anyone who has put their arms around each other’s shoulders at the end of a football game to sing Carmen, who has chanted O-H-I-O in the Schott, or who has piled into someone’s living room to watch the game has found comfort in knowing that hundreds of thousands of other people are doing the same thing. Some of these people are our best friends or family. Some of them are strangers. We come from different backgrounds, we have different skill sets. And yet, for a few hours, you are the uniting force that gets us to set aside our differences and unite toward a common goal.
The atmosphere at Ohio State is better because of you – all of you, no matter what sport you play. Even when it gets shaky. Even in a “rebuilding year.” Even if you’re on the bench. Even if you make a mistake. Our love runs as deep in those moments as it does when we smash through to victory, and no matter the outcome, we cheer you as you go.
So on this Valentine’s Day, I just wanted to say we, the fans, love you – the athletes, coaches, and trainers that make Ohio State great.
Roses are Red. We hate Gold and Blue. The OSU Buckeyes are a love that is true.