Ohio State, College Football, and War: Through the Eyes of a Soldier

RyanCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2008

I have written quite a few articles on this site mostly having to do with The Ohio State University. I was sitting down reading some of the other articles which have been published and it got me to thinking about my job and how it relates to all these die hard fans of College Football.

I am always amazed to see the passion and love most fans have for their teams. I myself am a die hard Buckeye fan and I can honestly say it hurts me emotionally when they lose.

As I get older, and read about other teams and their fan bases, I come to the conclusion that most feel the same as I do when their team falls. This being the case, I couldn't be more proud at this moment to be a fan of college football.

Now for all you SEC fans, don't use this article against me later when I start talking smack about your team or your fans. This is just my perspective on why the college game is so special.

I had the privilege of going down to New Orleans to watch the National Championship Game and also enjoy some time on Bourbon Street. While I was down there, a few things stuck out to me.

First, LSU fans and SEC fans in general are as passionate about their teams as us Buckeyes are. Second, when you actually have some time to talk to fans from other conferences it gives both you and them a better perspective on each others football knowledge.

I was surprised and pleased that on the whole, SEC fans weren't nearly as bad as the blogs pegged them to be. Before my adventure to Louisiana, you would have thought that the LSU fans were going to reenact the scenes from Deliverance on us Buckeyes.

As it turned out, we both just love our team and have a pride in our state unmatched in any other sport. I know this sounds like a lovey dovey article about my feelings for the SEC, but like I said before, after this it's game on.

The main reason I felt the need to write this is that as I went through the bowl experience and read different fan sites, I got the feeling that college football is a large part of what makes our country so special.

As you may or may not know, I am a U.S. Army Soldier preparing for my third deployment to war. As I prepare to deploy, I look for the reasons to fight as hard as I can against the terrorists trying to take these very freedoms from us. I prepare in my head, a list of all the things I love and cherish about our country and I focus on those when I am having doubts or tough times.

First and foremost, I think of my family and all my fellow soldiers' families. Then I think of all the people before me who have sacrificed everything so that I can sit in the Shoe on a Saturday afternoon and listen to the crowd roar to "Hang on Sloopy," or as I walk by and scream O-H, knowing I am going to get a thunderous I-O in return.

I know similar traditions occur all throughout the country, whether it's the 12th Man at A&M, Clemson's players touching Howard's Rock, seeing UGA snap at the opposing team, the Trojan galloping on his horse, or hearing "Rocky Top" 10,000 times a game.

You see, it is all these special moments that I think about when I am away in a foreign country remembering how very lucky I am to be an American, especially a college football fan. I know most people would never like to admit they watch other teams, and most would definitely say the thing they hate the most is whatever your enemies fans are doing.

I fall into the same category, but deep down I don't know how my life would be without hearing "tigerbait, tigerbait" or "war eagle" or my personal favorite "Michigan Sucks," but truth be told, this is what makes the worlds of us, the true college football fans, go round.

It is also what brings us together each and every fall. Without these football traditions it just wouldn't be the same.

Remember, after blood has been spilled on the football field, and your team has won or lost, there is still American blood being shed on real battlefields across the world. Soldiers are fighting, and dying for our freedom, giving us the ability to enjoy each other's company each Saturday afternoon.

So, next time you are in a packed stadium screaming for your team to win, remember that in the grand scheme of things we are all on the same team, fighting for the same causes. We are all college football fans. Oh, and by the way, MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS!! Go BUCKS! blog.buckeyetopia.com