You know what never gets old? Getting a Christmas gift that you didn’t expect….a good one that is…..not the “honey I totalled the car” ones. This past Christmas my parents surprised me with tickets to see the buckeyes play in the sugar bowl!

I immediately started planning a road trip down south for the game with my friend. We left on January 2nd, in the middle of all the New Years traffic. We arrived with a day to spare and enjoyed catching up on our sleep from the all day drive the day before. Finally, game day came! We took our seats earlier than most fans just to enjoy the sights and sounds of the stadium. It was then that we realized our tickets placed us on the Arkansas fans side of the stadium; far, far away from the safety of the Buckeyes.

Our seats put us right in front of the ESPN broadcast set. Which was really cool until we realized Lou Holtz was doing the broadcast. Lou was the former coach at Arkansas and all their fans where extremely excited to see him. Every single Arkansas fan that walked in immediately exclaimed, “Lou Holtz is here! Hey Lou!” As if he knew who they were, and of course he didn’t. This got very old after the first 4,000 fans arrived.

After pregame it was very clear that, even if we didn’t win the game, our band absolutely destroyed theirs. I mean 30 or 40 times better.

The game started and it got awkward quickly. There we were, in the midst of thousands of angry Arkansas fans as we were winning by 18 at halftime. Of course that feeling didn’t last long as awkwardness turned into frustration when the Arkansas Razorbacks starting coming back. Quiclkly we found ourselves standing with our arms crossed, shaking our heads in unbelief amoungst the roaring Arkansas crowd. Thankfully, the Buckeyes managed to hang on…….barely. A sigh of relief marked the end of the game and we quickly realized we were essentially the only ones on our side of the stadium. The Arkansas fans had all left in anger as soon as the game ended, while all the Buckeyes fans remained for the post game celebration.

The trip was not in vain as Ohio State came out on top. We drove back happy the next day. After a frustrating run through Louisville during rush hour we decided that Ohio drivers are the definitely the best. What a great Christmas Present!…..and a complete surprise.

– Jayme

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