Band of Brothers … 

I never served in the military.

In fact, my exposure to the armed forces has largely been limited to my childhood facination with General George S. Patton (the movie, Patton, was my first R-rated movie), and dozens of movies like The Dirty Dozen, Midway, and the Longest Day.

While I cannot profess to understand what it is like to be under fire, or have my fate rest in the hands of others, going to an away game, at least at some level, has a similar feel.

You are surrounded.

In Columbus, we will be out-numbered in Ohio Stadium by a ratio of about 25-1. The stadium holds over 100,000 fans, and while the Buffs did sell out their allotment of 4,000 seats, we will definitely be in enemy territory.

I’ve felt this feeling before, from Lincoln to Seattle, in Austin and in College Station. In Columbus, though, the numbers seem to be even more over-whelming. Enrollment at the campus of The Ohio State University (and don’t you dare leave out the “The”), is over 56,000. Graduation last spring included 9,500 caps and gowns (which is a large number of new ticket buying alumni each spring).

Other campuses (“campi” for those who have taken Latin) I have been too have a feel similar to Boulder’s quad and Varsity pond. I don’t get that feeling at Ohio State. It’s more like a midwest industrial assembly line, with the school cranking out graduates at an alarming rate.

Which was why the gathering at the Varsity Club on Friday night was so much fun. There, Colorado fans dominated the room. Black-and-gold was the order of the day, and there was safety in numbers. Chip was there, along with the CU dance team and/or cheerleaders (I’m too old to be able to tell the difference). Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn and Chancellor Phil DiStefano worked the room. I was able to chat with the AD, and introduce the Chancellor, who is a West Viriginia and Ohio State graduate, to my wife, an Ohio State alumna, and my mother, who attended West Virginia (Note: I’m not name-dropping. Though I have met Mike Bohn and Phil DiStefano at a number of these road game occassions, I would be very surprised if either man could pick me out of a lineup).

The Varsity Club was filled with fans from all over the country, from Washington to Florida, from California to Virginia. There was a disproportionate number from the east coast, which makes sense when you realize how rare it is for the Buffs to play in the eastern time zone (I will spare you the details of what the Buffs’ record is east of the Mississippi … it ain’t pretty).

Filled with bravado from having the safety of numbers (and a few beverages), the chances of an upset for Colorado seemed to improve as the night went on. Buff fans were heartened by the dissatisfaction the Buckeye fans have had with the start of their season. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Buffs could pull of the upset.

As the cool gray morning of Game Day dawned, though, reality returned.

Colorado will have to play a perfect game. There cannot be turnovers. There cannot be double digit penalties. There cannot be lapses in special teams play.

If the Buffs pull it off, there will be a new brick on the wall in the Dal Ward Center. The Buffs will be able to sing the fight song with the fans in the stands, and on the plane on the way home.

If not, we’ll always have the Varsity Club …

One Reply to “Band of Brothers”

  1. Great to meet you and keep the faith. All the areas you mentioned were their downfall. It was a fun gameday experience though, and keep up the great work on your site.

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