What are the odds of your home team hosting an opponent they have not played in 100 years within the four years that you are in school? On Friday night, the Bobcats kicked off their 2021 football season against the Syracuse Orange, who they last faced in 1921 at Syracuse’s Archbold Stadium, prior to the construction of their Carrier Dome. To make matters even cooler, the game marks the first time that the Bobcats hosted an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. As if the situation was not bizarre enough, I happened to get to attend the game with a diehard Syracuse fan.
My dad is from Baldwinsville, New York, which is just outside of Syracuse. With the luck of scheduling and pre-purchased tickets (the minute that the Syracuse opener was revealed), we enjoyed a weekend in Athens highlighted by Bobcat football. With nine games on the football schedule, and Syracuse being one of nine, it was an opportunity not to be taken advantage of. Despite the loss on my end, the atmosphere at the game was incredibly fun, and it felt good to be among other students and fans alike at the event.
The evening started with the Marching 110’s pregame, which was accompanied by various high school bands. The bands included were as follows: Nelsonville York High School, Alexander High School, Olentangy Berlin High School, Southern Local High School, Clermont Northeastern High School, Southeastern High School, Federal Hocking High School, Olentangy Orange High School, Batavia High School, Northridge High School, Granville High School, West Muskingum High School, Colonel Crawford High School, Conotton Valley High School and Wellston High School. The bands also joined the 110 for “Watermelon Sugar” during their halftime performance show. The 110 certainly did not disappoint, nor did the accompanying acts, if the cheers erupting through Peden were any indication. The music set the mood and continuously remained hopeful, keeping everyone’s spirits up.
Bobcat fans also remained hopeful and lively throughout the game, adding to the positive experience. With a packed student section and ever-growing attendance upon Victory Hill, cheers and chants were constant and plentiful. My dad was even able to chuckle along with the chants, cheering the Orange on himself. Along the North end zone where we sat, alumni and parents filled the row behind us, and they were friendly and conversational. They chuckled at our “divided house” as represented on our respective shirts, and we all had a great time despite the lighthearted division. Athens has its welcoming, homey aura, and this was certainly reflected in people throughout the stadium.
Even with the evening ending in a loss, it was a great opening game and an all in all good time. It was exciting to see the two teams meet after a literal century, and to be able to do so with my dad against his “home team.” Serving as one of the many events at Ohio University to check out, football games are a fun event worth experiencing, with a lively, welcoming environment. The Bobcats host their next game on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Duquesne, grab some friends and check it out!
Lauren Patterson is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Lauren? Tweet her @lpaatt.