When I first moved to Ohio, I couldn't figure out what the inflatable figure I saw in front of so many houses in the fall. After asking around, someone said "OH! That's Brutus Buckeye!"
Who? Brutus Buckeye is the mascot for the Ohio State Football program. Ohio's state tree is the Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) and there's a lot of history and legend about the Buckeye. You can read all about the tree and the stories and how that came to be here. Of course, it sort of amuses me that someone who moved here from Connecticut (the Nutmeg State) wound up being in the Buckeye State...but I digress (no surprise here, I know!).
To say that Ohio is heavily into football is a major understatement. Everywhere you see people wearing Ohio State University clothes. Houses have OSU emblems on their mailboxes, flags and even driveways.
However, I was a bit amazed when I went to the local grocery store and saw this.
A silver Volkswagon bug decked out as a helmet of an OSU player. The white stickers are a method for rewarding players on game day, ONLY if they win. The number of stickers indicates how valuable the player is. This program started in 1968 and has continued every year. For more on this phenomina, check out this. Riddell is the manufacturer of the helmets.
The side emblem on the car is Ohio State University's "block O", a highly controlled licensed emblem.
I thought that the owner must be REALLY into OSU....when I walked into the grocery store, I had no problem identifying its owner from among all the shoppers. Here he is. OSU visor, sweatshirt, and OSU lounge pants..... I have to note, this wasn't even a game day, but a Tuesday!
Ohio State has a long standing rivalry with the University of Michigan. As you can tell from my moniker, I'm originally from Michigan, but football doesn't stand for much in my family. I still have to quickly respond that I turned down a scholarship to U of M lest I be considered an enemy of the state...
Today is THE BIG GAME. It's one of the longest standing rivalries in college football. People are all decked out in their Buckeye paraphanalia. Even to wearing necklaces made out of drilled horse chestnuts and plastic pony beads in grey, red and white.
When we first moved here, my daughter and I were amazed. We were the local Meijer's store (something like a Target) and you could hear people shout "O-H" on one side of the store, and it was answered through out the store with "I-O". If you shout this anywhere in the world, and have it completed by someone else, you know you've found a Buckeye. In addition, you can do the arm movements....something like the Village People doing "Y.M.C.A", only a heck of a lot easier....
For this Michigander...errr Michigoose, it is an oddity as growing up in Michigan, I never saw this much furor over the team. In fact, it's not a good time to have a car with Michigan plates anywhere near Columbus..... Go figure.
Now, I have to sign off so I can call my friends Martha and Bob who both graduated from U of M...just to say "Go Bucks!" and....beware the nut...which one, I'm not sure.