I recently told you about my history of being an Ohio State football fan and sitting in Ohio Stadium for many years. Here was a story I forgot to tell. I think it’s worth my time and yours.
It involved three Marysville High School grads from the class of ’61 who were in the OSU stadium watching a game. Two of them were in post-graduate school at Ohio State and the other had already graduated in microbiology and was working for the Food and Drug Administration. He was just home visiting for the weekend. He will be the character we are going to discuss.
They were at the Northwestern-OSU game. All were well over 21 and had a little alcohol with their Coke. I may have mentioned that many students did that back then. Today, the stadium serves tall beers about $10 each. You can buy two at a time – can you believe that? They serve them until the end of the third-quarter. You can imagine the potential for trouble. I’ll discuss that in the second story.
Here’s where this story gets really interesting. Another Marysville High School grad who was only one year younger, John Hale, was a member of the Northwestern marching band. His mother, Julia Hale, was an English teacher at MHS and his father, Dallas Hale, owned a funeral home.
The three class of ‘61 grads had just been talking about this in the stands and how John Hale was down there and it would be great if they could see him. I’m not sure two of them meant it literally. Shortly after that the microbiologist disappeared. His friends thought he went to get something to drink.
Then all of a sudden the Northwestern band came on to the field and right behind them was the microbiologist. His sudden desire to see John Hale must have taken over. Quickly, he worked his way through the band up and down the rows apparently looking for John. The crowd went wild and everybody was laughing.
Maybe he was going to march next to John, but by the time the band got to about the 40-yard line, the police made an appearance. He had been running along with both arms at right angles and the police just lifted him up into the air by his arms and hauled him out. As far as his classmates can remember, they went to the police station after the game and their friend was released with a stern warning. Today, he would probably have to stay in jail for a while for such an event. People might think he was some kind of terrorist. Isn’t that sad?
Funny things have happened to us in the stadium as well as other really wacky things. The game against Cincinnati two weeks ago was an example. We were in our usual seats where we have sat for four years. Next to us at each game are the same two people who are our children’s age. We have a great relationship with them. The seats in front of us, however, are occupied by somebody different every week and this last time it could have been ugly.
One of those in front was a young Cincinnati fan and he probably was slightly over-served before he got there. We have dealt with these situations before in the stadium. Sometimes people just drink too much and act too wacky and the police escort them out.
This fella just wanted to argue with everyone around him. There was the usual teasing about the score. (Frankly, I’m sorry that Cincinnati didn’t score, because I really like Luke Fickell.) Many beers later, this fella couldn’t take it and instead of being resigned to the Bearcats’ fate and funny, he got nastier and nastier.
By the third quarter, he was yelling at people … “hey you and your old grandpa and I’m going to get you for this. I’m just gonna take you out and pound you.” The fellow who sits next to us told him sternly to stop that kind of talk and grow up.
After several minutes of this, one of the men he was picking on actually asked for help from the ushers. The Cincinnati fan was totally out of control. Unfortunately the policeman had just left the area, and when the usher came, all he did was apologize to the man, even after Cincinnati fan continued his threats and his use of foul language. Either the usher had no authority to do anything or chose not to.
The score of the game was lopsided in OSU’s favor so we decided to leave quickly before anything worse occurred.
Oh how the angry world has come upon us. Usually, fans of rival teams can sit next to each other and banter about the game and everyone can have a good laugh over it. I’ve never seen an incident to this extreme. It went on for much of the entire game.
Anyway, we will be Buckeye fans the rest of our years, too. We begin each game with “Carmine Ohio” which ends …“How firm thy friendship, OHIO.”
(Melanie Behrens – email@example.com)
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