Upper Arlington students find themsleves choosing to cheer for the local legends or own their high school team during the fall football season.
By: Brian Hines
Every fall in Upper Arlington, football is all the buzz. Students and adults alike get their fix by watching the Bears on Friday night and then the Buckeyes on Saturday. It’s no surprise that football is a huge part of the UA community, as the Ohio State campus is in its backyard. Jake Bishop, a senior at UAHS, wake early Saturday morning, and knows its game time, he is a one of the Buckeye faithful, day in and day out.But what is more important to the residents of Upper Arlington when it comes to football? Supporting the Bears, or the Bucks? True, both are a big deal in the community, but it seems that the people are torn between the home town team- The Golden Bears, or the pride of Ohio football- the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Buckeye football is as almost as important as breathing in Columbus, so the idea of what students do to prep themselves for the game on Saturday and how they decide to watch the game is rather important as well. Bishop said he devotes his Saturday to the Buckeyes, “I throw on that scarlet and gray jersey when I get up and I’m ready to go.” he said. Bishop usually heads over to a friend’s house to watch the game on a big screen. Senior Kevyn Harer, doesn’t devote her whole entire day to OSU football, but she also said she puts on her OSU jersey, and if the game is at home Harer likes to tailgate down at the stadium. She also likes to watch the game in a calmer environment such as in front of a fireplace in a cozy room at someone’s house. Senior Dan Fazio, a member of the Golden Bear football team said he also tries to watch buckeye football every Saturday with a group of his friends.
Each of the students also said they attend almost every home football game for the bears, but only Harer said she would consider herself a bigger supporter of Golden Bear football as opposed to the beloveded Buckeyes. She is one of the many students who bring all their energy to the Friday night lights and cheer on the Bears. Large poritons of each grade level show up to the games on Fridays, pulling for their Bears to achive a big win, but often the game turns out as a heartbreaker.
During the school’s football season, students would try to support the Bears as much as possible, but were rather disappointed at times due to the teams loosing streaks. Students still had fun and most of the times there were large fan turn outs at the games. However, the turn out and energy for Ohio State games was exponentially better. The energy is always unreal, especially against teams like USC or Michigan. The OSU v. MICH game is the most important game of the season. The fans are all wearing tons of scarlet and grey, also jerseys for their team. Kick off is always highly anticipated after watching hours of pre-game and prepping all week. Lots of cheering and loud yelling at the TV when something either good or bad happens is a normal thing, there always is a ton of yelling in support of the team. Scoring a touchdown was in comparison to winning the lottery. It’s almost as if you’re in the stadium how much the fans cared about this game and how much they celebrated when the Buckeyes score, and also when they win. It’s always a relief to win because everyone is on the edge of their seat the whole entire game. Buckeye games are no joke in Columbus.
Ohio State vs. Michigan is kind of a big deal. Although it has never happened, an Ohio State and Michigan National Championship would defiantly stir up some heat, but would it be the best match up to watch seems to be more important. Fazio, who is a huge fan of the Indiana Hoosiers, said he wants to see the Hoosiers in the title, but second to them he wouldn’t care who the Buckeyes played, as long as they beat them easily. Bishop stated that he wouldn’t mind seeing a match up against the Wolverines for a future national title; but he also said he would love to see a game against Florida due to his hatred towards them after beating the Buckeyes in both the Football and Basketball National Championships, in the same year. Although he hates Florida, he said that nothing could be worse than Michigan. Harer said she would be fine seeing an OSU vs. Michigan title game, but she ultimately would just be happy to see the Buckeyes playing for the championship. As hated as the team up North is, it seems that a different foe in the biggest game of the year would be more interesting than a team that is played every year.
Although neither the Bears nor Buckeyes made it to a large title game, the Buckeyes did catch a bid to the Rose Bowl game on New Years Day in Pasadena California this year. The game has the Buckeye faithful pretty buzzed about the chance to play in such a prestigious game. Not all are too excited, Harer said she wouldn’t pay the large amounts of money to go at all, she would pay around $10. However Bishop stretched to willing to pay $80 for a ticket to the game. Fazio, was unsure in a price amount, but would like to see it either way.
The Rose Bowl is being pretty hyped up, but how hyped but would the students at UA be if their football team was playing for a State Title? “UA playing for a State Title might not happen ever again.” Bishop said, he would rather go to a UA State Final game as opposed to a game between Ohio State and Michigan because those happen every year, State Championships for a senior class is a one time thing. Harer agreed, state title due to the fact that it may never happen again in our lives. It’s a once in a lifetime thing, especially from Fazio’s standpoint as a player. “ There is no question, State Championship.” He said it would be so much more meaningful and an annual Ohio State game. It was an easy choice in this instance; the students sided with the high school team.
Responses seemed to balance the debate between which team to support with more enthusiasm. It tends to be weighed to the way each team’s season turns out. If the Golden Bears are winning, the fans will flock to the games and support with even more pride as before, but if the Buckeyes perform to their standards of achieving a BCS Bowl Game. It seems that the fans will remain the rowdy and energetic crowd that you can find all over central Ohio, no matter the opponent, the people of Upper Arlington will always be cheering in their scarlet and grey, and the Black and Gold will be in the closet hoping for a season in which the bears will prevail as a central Ohio powerhouse, similar to the Buckeyes.