Cultural Experience | Ohio

Buckeye’s Guide to Football Saturday

An OSU Student’s Hour-by-Hour Guide to Game-Day

Although I grew up in Pittsburgh, I have always loved the Buckeyes. Even as a young girl I sported my Troy Smith jersey to school despite my peers’ obsessions with Pitt and Penn State.

Football is not just a sport. At a large university like Ohio State, football brings fans age one to one hundred together for a common cause. No matter what language you speak, where you’re from, or what you look like, on Saturdays you’ll forever be in the company of 100,000 other fans cheering on the Buckeyes.

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The atmosphere in Columbus on Saturdays is indescribable, but can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly how to make the most of game day.  So you have your tickets, your scarlet and grey gear, your buckeye necklace and face paint—now what? New students, or visitors to Columbus on Saturdays in the fall, this blog is for you. An hour-by-hour guide to game day—Buckeye style.


(No this is not a mistake. Despite kickoff time, fans begin the celebration as early as possible!)

Normally college students don’t see the light of day before noon, but come hell or high water, when the Buckeyes are playing, you better believe they’ll be up and rallied by 8AM.

On the off chance you had a little too much fun on Friday night and need to recover before you begin pre-gaming, there’s only one breakfast place in Columbus that can give you that fix—Hangover Easy.

This on-campus eatery is a breakfast diner meets bar, combining two of life’s greatest pleasures. I had the opportunity to speak with the diner’s owner, Nick Pedro, and he explained what separates Hangover Easy from the average breakfast joint:

“We make everything from scratch including all fresh ingredients. Best of all, we serve drinks at breakfast. We have weekend specials including $3 Screwdrivers, $4 Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. We also have $2.50 16 oz. Labatt and $3.50 Coors Light with a game day coozie. Breakfast with a cocktail will cure all!”

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My go-to order is always the Greek Omelette, stuffed with 3 eggs, spinach, onion, feta, tomato and gyro meat. Talk about delicious!


Now that you’ve fueled yourself with a little breakfast, let the tailgating begin!

Finding a tailgate on game day is about as difficult as finding water in the ocean, but finding the best tailgate may prove more challenging. With options on campus, off campus, and near the stadium, fans have a lot of options to gather to eat, drink, and be merry in celebration of the Buckeyes.

For students, though, off-campus tailgates are the primary go-to events. Sororities and fraternities host what are called “blocks” and from personal experience, I can tell you that these are the best tailgates Ohio State has to offer. Complete with grilled food like burgers & hot dogs, as well as never ending beer, they keep the party going until kickoff.

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Not Greek affiliated? No problem! I’m not in a sorority but I can still enjoy the tailgates the Greek community has to offer. It doesn’t matter if you wear letters or not, on Saturdays, we’re all Buckeyes.


Two hours before kick off, I always break away from the parties for my favorite pre-game tradition.

Members of the Men’s and Women’s Ohio State University Glee Clubs gather at various locations on campus to wish fans a bit of Buckeye cheer by singing our favorite Ohio State fight songs.

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I have always had a passion for singing, so why not combine it with my passion for the Buckeyes? Seeing fans, young and old, sing along truly touches my heart each and every week.


So you’ve spent the day eating and drinking, building anticipation for the reason you’re celebrating, and finally the time is here–kick off!

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Arrive early to see one of Ohio State’s greatest traditions featuring “the best damn band in the land”–Script Ohio. The band spells out “Ohio” while playing our favorite fight songs and gives its highest honor to a lucky band member who gets to “dot the i”.

Also, stick around during half time. While normally halftime is considered down time, The Ohio State band puts on perhaps the most incredible shows in the country–the first game this season was “Disney” themed, complete with Lion King music and the formation of Simba himself!

 During the game, if you’re seated in the student section, there are a few things you have to know:

1. Stand at all times. Cheering on the Buckeyes is a full commitment and staying on your feet for very second is essential. This rule is particularly not problematic for me, as I am 5 feet tall and can still always see the field perfectly.

2. Anytime Ohio State scores, you are obligated to high five everyone within arms reach–whether that’s your best friend or a complete stranger. This phenomenon is one of my favorite aspects during the game. Each student shares a joy for Ohio State the same as the next, and there’s nothing better than celebrating that.

3. Be loud. No questions, no explanation. No fan is a real fan if she still has her voice come Sunday.

ohio buckeye football image

When the game ends, naturally with a Buckeye victory, the band, players and coaches migrate to the south end-zone student section for another one of my favorite traditions. Arm in arm, we sing Ohio State’s Alma Matre, Carmen Ohio.

At my very first Ohio State game this was the moment I fully realized how special my university is, and for the first time I knew what I truly meant to be a Buckeye.

When the game ends, the parties continue at locals bars off campus and in downtown Columbus. No matter how you choose to celebrate, you’ll go to sleep smiling after an incredible Buckeye loving day.


Molly Tavoletti

The Ohio State University | 11 stories

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, I am now a junior at Ohio State University, majoring in Journalism and Political Science. I am obsessed with with all things health and fitness--I'm a blogger for an all female fitness organization at OSU as well as the health/fitness columnist for the OSU newspaper, The Lantern. In my free time, I am an intern at NBC4 in Columbus as well as a tutor at the OSU Writing Center. When I'm not writing (which is rare!) I spend my time singing with the OSU Women's Glee Club and of course--cheering on the Buckeyes at OSU football games!

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