As a student at Northwestern University, we proudly hated Ohio State University, for its pomposity and bullying holier-than-thou nature. Among other things, whenever the Daily Northwestern newspaper would do its annual pre-season ranking of the Big Ten football team, they would traditionally have Northwestern listed in 9th place -- despite their being in the midst of some huge losing streak, and have Ohio State (generally one of the powerhouses in the nation) predicted in 10th and last place. Just on general principal.
I remember my dad telling me about one game he went to alone (he had season tickets for 49 years -- an impressive feat for following any school's team, but all the more so when that team had the 4th worst record in the history of college. It was in the midst of another long losing streak by Northwestern, I believe this one was when they lost 34 games in a row between 1979-1982, the longest in NCAA history. (Hey, when I said they hag huge losing streaks, I meant it.)
They were playing Ohio State this one game, and not shockingly getting crushed, probably something like 49-3. Late in the fourth quarter, with time running out, OSU started on another drive and bizarrely was heading for yet another score, rather than taking the traditional knee and letting the time run out. Even more bizarrely, as the Buckeyes got in scoring position down to about the three yard line, and the clock almost down to zero...they called time out, to give them one more chance to score. The Northwestern home group start booing in annoyed disbelief.
Ohio State had time to run just one more play. And for perhaps the only time in the game, Northwestern actually stopped them, and kept OSU out of the end zone that one, final time, as the game ended. And when the clock when to 0:00, my dad said the students rushed down to the field and tore the goal posts out as if it had been a Northwestern victory! Which to the Wildcats, it had been, albeit a moral one. (Hey, when you have the longest losing streak in history, you take any victory you can.)
I might have had some of the details wrong, both from what he told me and my memory at the passage of time. But the story is pretty close. The point being that Northwestern really has always disliked Ohio State, deservedly, down to the idiotic "The" that they try to stupidly put in front of their name.
So, it speaks volumes when I say that Ohio State University does have a great marching band. And they did a remarkable tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address the other day.
Though this says 13:45 minutes, it's actually less than 10. The remaining time is a tribute to the graduating seniors in the band.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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