Ohio State 35, Cal 28. Me – once in a million lifetime experience. Ohio State gave me a game day experience that is rare for a travel writer. I’ve experienced some of the best rivalries in college football (Army/Navy, South Carolina/Clemson) but I’ve never seen a game like this.
On Saturday, I experienced a college football game from a unique perspective. This is one hundreds and thousands of people experience every season. However, people like you and me rarely get a perspective like this.
As Ohio State and Cal took the field on Saturday, I watched the teams warm up from the press box at Ohio Stadium overlooking the historical Horseshoe. As the teams ran onto the field, I joined television crews on the camera deck as the “The Best Damn Band In The Land” formed “Ohio” and dotted the “i”.
And that was just the beginning.
On the field – a unique college football game day experience
As the first quarter started, I made my way down to the field and stood on the sidelines for the game. Since I had an all access press pass as a photographer for the game, I took photos that made me feel like I was playing the game.
I saw how big, fast, and strong these college football players were. I felt the roar of the crowd and experienced what it was like to have 100,000 people screaming down on you as you snap the football. At times, the noise was deafening. Yet I also knew that this was nothing compared to some B1G games and the big Ohio State and Michigan rivalry.
I walked the sidelines and sat on the edge of the end zone. I walked behind the Ohio State and Cal benches, heard the coaches yelling, and the players talking. I saw plays being diagrammed and could almost feel the sweat and the pressure inside the huddles.
I am not a sports photographer or journalist. However, on this day I was just like them and took some photos that were good enough to be featured in any newspaper or sports magazine in the country.
I stood a few feet from Jake Stoneburner as he caught a touchdown pass from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and celebrated right in front of me. A few minutes later Braxton Miller dove into the end zone for a two point conversion as I snapped one of my favorite photos of all time.
Ohio State rallied and scored a late touchdown to beat Cal 35-28 in an exciting, back and forth college football game. After the game, I stood inside the Ohio State press conference room as Urban Meyer shared his thoughts on the game. I snapped a few photos of players and listened to reporters and journalists ask questions. I also learned what these guys have to do every week to fight for position to take videos and photos.
After the game was over, I reflected on my game day experience. I was given full access to one of the biggest stadiums in college football for one of the most storied programs. I dined in the press box, rubbed elbows with sports reporters, and stood just a few feet away from some of the best athletes in college football in an exciting game.
I am not sure I will get another game day opportunity like this again. Thanks to Ohio State Sports Information Director Jerry Emig and Assistant SID Adam Widman for giving me a press pass and an exciting perspective for this College Football Travel Tour with Expedia.
Check out a few of my photos and videos from the Ohio State – Cal game day experience.
Get all the stories, travel tips, and unique perspectives on my College Football Travel Tour page as I attend 9 college football games this season. Get travel guides for each college town that I visit and great deals on travel on Expedia’s College Football page.