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Ohio State's Open Practice a Real Buckeye Opener For Optimistic Football Fans

Russell WightAnalyst IAugust 25, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 8:  The Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye cheers during the game against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 20-2. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

The weather could not have been more perfect for Ohio State's open practice last night at Ohio Stadium. This was my second year attending the event that serves as a real eye-opener that summer is coming to a close and football is right around the corner.

Despite the gorgeous scenery and free admission, the crowd was estimated to be a lot smaller than last year. However, that did not have an impact on the enthusiasm as the fans cheered every catch in the corner of the end zone and every kick that split the uprights.

As usual, Brutus Buckeye was a major attraction for fans both young and old. He posed for pictures, signed autographs, and caused many youngsters to form a big smile.

It's great to see grandparents, parents, and kids all sharing the excitement and enjoyment of something they all hold close to their hearts. There is no generation gap when it comes to Buckeye football.

About an hour into the practice, you could hear a rumbling behind the south stands. The crowd erupted as the best damn band in the land made its way into the stadium. The Buckeye Battle Cry brought many people to their feet, singing and clapping as if it were a Saturday in late November and the hated Michigan Wolverines were across the field.

One of the practice drills involved the quarterbacks attempting to connect with a receiver in the corner of the end zone. A complete pass would trigger loud cheers while a great defensive play would be followed by a collective sigh.

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I found it funny that the crowd was disappointed in seeing a Buckeye defensive back make a great play. I guess fans love offense.

I am not going to break down the Xs and Os of what went on last night. The open practice is not about how many passes are completed or how many guys step flawlessly through a set of orange cones while catching a pass.

It was about the fans. People who may not get a chance to see the team they root for so passionately every Saturday did so last night. Go Bucks!

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