Saturday’s game was one of the craziest games I have ever watched. I am only 21 so that limits the number of games I have seen, but I have still seen a lot! What made it even better was the fact that I was on the sidelines for the entire thing.
I work for The Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, and I am the Lead Sports Producer for Lantern TV, which is a fancy way of saying that I am in charge of all sports video content that we produce. Therefore, I get to cover every single game, which is so much fun!
Obviously, I had this one circled on my calendar ever since I accepted the job back in April. I had never been to Notre Dame before, so I was excited for that, but obviously more excited by a top-ten matchup between two historic programs!
The first thing I must say about Notre Dame is that its campus is BEAUTIFUL. Especially their stadium. Wow. Plus, everyone was extremely nice there. There really weren’t that many fans chirping at each other, which I feel is rare for Ohio State fans and whoever the opponent is that week.
Anyways, the stadium was insane. The press box was super nice and pretty similar to Ohio Stadium’s. The away team’s press conference room was smaller than a shoe box which was unfortunate, but oh well. I filmed warmups and posted some content onto The Lantern’s socials, and was ready for the game to start.
The time right before kickoff was honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. First off, the flyover was just insane— those never get old. Then, Notre Dame’s entrance gave me chills. The stadium went dark and all you could hear was a bell ringing (sort of like The Undertaker vibes) as they each slapped the “Play Like A Champion Today” sign. Plus, their green uniforms were just COLD. Loved them.
Then, it was Ohio State’s turn to come out single file through the away team’s tunnel. It was so tiny I could not believe it. The players came out to a loud crowd of boos, which probably fueled them up even more. Before you know it, it was time for kickoff.
I film every game from the endzones, and this game was particularly fun, yet frustrating to shoot. I would be proud of the way I shot something, but then it would get called back because of an overturned call or a penalty. Ugh!
It was an interesting feeling heading into halftime. I didn’t really know what to expect out of the second half after such an offensive letdown from both teams in the first half. But, all I knew was that I was starving, and Notre Dame’s press box hooked the media up! Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, cookies—they had it all. It was just what I needed to get me through the rest of the game.
Time for the third quarter, and what a rollercoaster. When TreVeyon Henderson scored, I was so focused on making sure I was filming him, I didn’t even notice Marvin Harrison Jr. got injured! I was happy with my shot, but then I realized a Buckeye was down. And then I saw it was #18. That made my stomach churn a bit, not going to lie.
Moving into the fourth quarter, crunch time. While I was switching sides of the field, the stadium went completely dark. All ND fans had green light-up bracelets that were synched up to the music, and it got LOUD. It was seriously so cool though. I must give props to the stadium DJ, PA announcer, and scoreboard operator because the whole game was such a fun production.
So, what were my emotions during those final few minutes? Probably the same as yours, just with another layer added to it. Obviously, I’m a lifelong OSU fan, but at the same time, I have to be a journalist, covering this team in an unbiased manner. When the Irish scored the go-ahead touchdown, I instantly got nervous. I thought the Bucks might actually lose. I wondered how Ryan Day’s press conference would go, what highlights I would put in my highlight video, and what I would say in my post-game analysis. I was spiraling.
But then, Kyle McCord happened. His pass to Emeka Egbuka to put them on the one-yard line was just INSANE. I can’t believe it happened right in front of me. Then, Chip Trayanum’s touchdown did too. My jaw was on the floor the entire time. I wasn’t outwardly cheering, but in my mind, I was FREAKING OUT. I could not contain my smile. The stadium just went silent. I’ve never been a part of anything like it.
After the game came Day’s fired-up press conference. I didn’t hear about Lou Holtz’s comments before the game, and I didn’t see Day’s post-game comments on the field since I was on my way to the conference room, so I was a bit confused at first. However, a few different reporters in the room let me know what was going on, so I got to fully enjoy all of Day’s comments. He certainly gave me some great content to post.
Following Day, McCord, and Trayanum at the podium, I went back up to the press box to film my post-game analysis on this nice balcony that was attached. I was in the middle of it when the stadium turned off all of its lights, and at this point, it was probably around 12:30-1 a.m., so I just decided to scrap it and start the drive to my hotel which was an hour away.
So yes, it was a very long day, but absolutely worth it. It is hard to be a fan and a journalist, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Being able to be on the field for the entirety of this game was such a blessing! The crowd and atmosphere were unreal, the game itself was legendary... now I am looking forward to Penn State at The Shoe.