Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Shoe and Lavell Edwards Stadium

For all you laymen out there, this is in reference to the Horseshoe, also known as Ohio Stadium of THE Ohio State University Buckeyes, losers to Wisconsin, and 10th best team in the land (or 9th worst, whichever way you slice it).

I wanted to do a piece dedicated to the comparison of a game day atmosphere at Lavell Edwards Stadium and Ohio Stadium. I will draw comparisons between the following categories: tailgating, game day apparel, game experience, half-time performances by marching bands, mascots, head coaches, and finally fan comparisons.

First things first.


Here is a picture of the tailgating experience outside of Ohio Stadium:

And now a visage of the tailgating scene at BYU:

Uh, just kidding =) Still OSU, or is this Oktoberfest?

Here we go:

Not that I consider tailgating overly important for the game, but it does serve as an indication of general fan support and enthusiasm. Here tailgaters arrive early in the morning, if not the night before. Some people have hitches on their red pickups where they connect flat screen t.v.’s to watch Lee Corso and co. do the Game Day thing. They also have “eggs and kegs” here which means that you don’t drink anything, but beer all day, starting early in the morning. They would probably even have it in cold cereal, if they ate it. Instead they eat eggs and bratwursts in the morning. Then they have brats and baked beans for lunch washing it down with cold sixers (then they all have “sensible dinners” remember that from the Slim Fast commercials?). When they aren’t cooking or drinking, they play corn hole and drink.

Corn-hole is essentially horshoes, just minus the horse. Oh, and the shoes. Instead they use bean bags with a slanted box with holes in it. It’s wicked fun, not that I’ve ever tried it.

Okay, enough of this nonsense.

Game Day Apparel

Typical BYU fan apparel:

You’ll notice that 90% of the fans seems to grasps the notion to wear blue when it’s a home game. I’ll forgive white, but come on man, red? Seriously?

To be fair, here is a shot of the stadium on game day:

I’d say the majority are wearing blue, but navy 1) belongs to USU and 2) does not stand out very much.

That’s why I say we should bring back the old light blue uniforms from the 1996 Cotton Bowl Champs team:

Tell me that is not a great uniform and what’s more that would stick out a lot better than navy.

Here is a shot of Ohio Stadium against Indiana two weeks ago:

Notice the difference? It is salient? A vibrant color like this sticks out and is intimidating.

Game Experience

The town shuts down. It literally does here. But I have noticed that there is not a lot of commotion going on around Provo either on game day. Despite the fact that Ohio has not one, but two professional football teams, Columbus might as well be a different state, because here Ohio State is the professional team (also considering recent allegations against former Buckeye, Santonio Holmes, there may be some professionally paid collegiate athletes on the team as well). No one cares about the Browns or the Bengals gear here. It's all scarlet and gray here.

Most eveyone wears red all day.

If you showed up wearing anything, but OSU gear, people would most definitely let you know about it. Notice how there is not a single nave blue shirt anywhere. That's right, some folks in Provo (Exhibit A above) seem to think that there is nothing wrong with wearing rival's colors to cheer on their team. Silly heads

It was totally impressive to be at the game. The stadium really is awe inspiring. But the fans weren’t really into it that much. Maybe because it was just Indiana and OSU steam rolled them from the get go, but the crowd got more into the band playing (which will be addressed later) than into the game. To be honest, 100,000+ people were not that loud. I have heard louder at Lavell Edwards. Plus, the lack of Cougar tails was a real negative. On the flip side, the pulled pork sandwiches at the Horseshoe were unbelievable.

I was also surprised at how uninspired the student section was. We sat next to a couple who did not utter a single word the whole game. Not even a “I need to pee.” or “Did you put deordorant on today?” Silence.

I am going to reserve judgment on this crowd noise thing until tomorrow when Purdue comes to town (OSU’s only loss last season), and later when Penn State and Michigan are here to really say how loud or quiet it gets. BYU was definitely louder. I remember back in 2007 against TCU and Utah where it was so loud, I could not hear anything that the person right next to me was saying. That was fun.

The other nice thing about BYU was that no matter who the opponent was, fans were generally excited. We could be spanking UNLV and fans were stoked. Here people, were really ho-hum about the fact that OSU had only allowed 3 rushing yards and 57 overall yards at halftime against a QB, who was averaging over 300 per game up until that point. That was shocking and to be honest, it really made the game pretty boring as a result. I have never been bored at a BYU game. Mad, yes, but never bored.

This may be due to emotional investment, but I was not terribly disappointed when OSU lost last week, but I was mad that BYU could not even throw a pass to a receiver. Jake, what are you flippin’ scared? You can’t throw to a check down receiver as your initial option every time you drop back, especially on 3rd and long. When you need 14 yards for a first down, three yards is not going to cut it my friend?

Based on one game, I would have to give LES the edge in game experience over The Shoe.

Half-time Performance by the Band

Do you even remember what the BYU, "The Power of the Wasatch" band played at the last home game for half-time? Exactly. The band is lame my friends. I purposely did not look at the field during half-time just so I wouldn’t be bored to tears. Just so I wouldn’t gouge my own eyes out and stab myself in the ear drums with a sharp number two pencil. In fact, I would often purposely drink as much water as I could during the first and second quarter just so I would have to go to the restroom and not have to listen to the band. OSU’s band on the other hand plays “Sloopy”, with all the fans singing O-H-I-O instead of “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” during the chorus. The whole stadium was singing it, which was pretty amazing. The other thing about the band is that they are called “The Best Damn Band in the Land”. How’s that for a title? They were very entertaining. Also, the choreography was pretty awesome:

I don’t know what game this is from, but the band typically has some famous alumni, like Jack Niklaus, dot the “I” in Ohio.


In a fight, who do you take, Cosmo or Brutus?

I’d take Cosmo any day. How can you do flips and karate chops with a head like Brutus’? However, here is Webster’s Dictionary of a buckeye: “a large nut-like seed of the horse-chestnut tree family. The fruit contain tannic acid, and are poisonous for cattle, and possibly humans, although often eaten by squirrels and badgers” (well this explains the loss to Wisconsin). So careful there Cosmo, this guy may have been tackled by the U. of Ohio Bobcat (though he did evade him the first time: ), if eaten, we Cougar fans may be forced to ask “Y tu Brute?” Okay, that was bad.


They’ve got “The Vest”.

We’ve got the horse man (Bronco).

I’d take both over this knothead:

They had Woody.

We had Lavell.

Atleast Lavell never punched an opposing player. He won an NC. Hayes won five. Big Whoop!

Both Tressel and Bronco are classy guys and great coaches who endure a lot of criticism for being successful. Go figure!

Anyway, this sums up this post. Ohio State is great, but I would not rather be anyway else on a game day on Saturday than LES. That place is special my friends.




  1. I love the gary patterson photo

  2. How was the Purdue game? I guess that I can't be so hard on BYU "fans." The stadium has been a little on the lower intensity side, but they were rocking today for the most part during our struggle with Wyo. Here's to being more fired up than THE Ohio State fan base during blow outs!

  3. Great job Seth. You would have been proud of the sixth man yesterday. You also would have loved the insight of some of the fans, "go for it on 4th and 1 at midfield with 2 minutes left while we have a 5 point lead!! cmon bronco!"

  4. Actually the thing I like about BYU in comparison to hear is that generally fans are into blowouts and close-ones alike. Again, on Saturday the fans were fairly ho-hum about the victory. Mid-way through the third, they sent the scrubs in and then it was as exciting as watching an OSU practice.

    One thing that is a huge plus here is that on third-down, a bell tolls twice when the opposing team is on offense and it sends chills down my spine every time I hear. The fans really start to get up for it when it does ring. I failed to mention that on the blog.

    They ring it far in advance of the snap count so that fans have a chance to really get up for the count and make it really loud. It is pretty awesome like the bells of hell are ringing. I wish BYU had something like this rather than just a silent video on the screen that says: "Get Loud". Something like that would really be signal to the fans to get really loud.

    Also, how did you like Brandon's defense on that receiver on 3rd down? It was a pretty obvious hold or pass interference that went uncalled. I was impressed with Van Noy, he really came to play and he looks like he will be solid. I am nervous about the defensive secondary next season. We are losing three solid starters and Uale looks like me trying to play safety. How many wide open TDs is he going to give up before he starts reading the receivers rather than the QB's eyes the whole time?

  5. Seth my friend,
    Excellent post! I have a buddy who's a mad OSU fan. I've even played corn hole with him. Give Ohio a wave for me!

  6. Dante,

    I had almost forgotten all about the ol' sixth man. I assume that you guy's didn't make any t-shirts for this year, but next year should definitely be something like:

    BYU football sixth-man

    What was the seventh man? The turf if I remember correctly.

    I can't remember the rest, but I think we had a laundry list all the way up to the tenth man.

  7. Mike,

    The Purdue game was OSU-Indiana, Part Deux. What was cool was that OSU was up 28-0 with 6 minutes left in the first half and then an interception and touchdown pass from Pryor make it 35-0. With under two minutes to go another pick and TD pass from Pryor make it 42-0. You can really see that OSU has superior athletes, especially on defense.

    It is a little frustrating watching TP figure himself out. He is doing a much better job of staying in the pocket and throwing the ball a lot better than in year's past, but he needs one more year in college. He is focusing so much on being a pocket passer that he forgets that he has the arm of Elway, but also the legs of Vick. He waits too long and then has no way to run when the pocket collapses.

    I see Heaps making the same mistake, except he doesn't run like Vick. He waited too long on two plays deep in BYU's own territory and rather than making it 3rd and five by throwing the ball away, he takes a sack near the goal line and totally takes all the wind out of the offensive sails. I still saw two drops by DiLuigi (on the two point conversion attempt) and one of the TEs (after the second time Wyoming's punter hit his own player in the back) on a crucial third down. Who is the receiver's coach? That dude needs to shoulder some serious responsibility. At one point, Ashworth and Jacobson could not drop anything, and now we are surprised when they do catch it.

    Last note, DiLuigi may lead the team in all offensive categories, but I am not impressed at all with the kid. While Kariya was plowing ahead against TCU, DiLuigi was doing the two-step in the backfield and getting dropped for for yard losses.

  8. Seth,
    There is actually a new rap song that plays on third down. The first two games, the bass was so loud (and we were so far away from the speakers) that it was indiscernible. But I could feel the bass shaking my core. The last two games we have sat underneath the north scoreboard right next to the band so third downs have been getting crazy. I feel like third down in the last two games I went to were almost as loud as I have ever heard it at LaVell. A couple of times they had to call timeout because they couldn't change the play call.

    3 is the lucky number. We are going bowling this year!

  9. I Don't know if anyone reads these comments still, but I have to agree with Seth that Van Noy is a stud. He has really started to bring it since the injuries. I am excited about him. Ogletree has been playing well as of late as well which gets me excited for the future front 7. We'll have Van Noy and Pendleton on the outside and Kavenga (however you spell his name) and Ogletree at inside. Plus Alisa returning from his mission.

    The secondary will be hurting. Uale hopefully will stop blowing coverages and Eason gets a lot of playing time. We have a couple new guys (Gains and Everett) that should help out. Maybe Robbie Buckner can finally contribute. We'll also have Lee Aguirre if he can get academically eligible. So, there are guys, they just need to step up.

    I don't know if I'm not impressed with DiLuigi. He is the one offensive bright spot thus far (granted I did miss the TCU game as I was riding 105 miles on a seat no wider than a stapler).

    I am, however, really, REALLY, disappointed with Heaps. I don't think that he is progressing. I know that he is a true freshman, but he is not good and I don't think that the coaches have stepped up to the plate either. I will retract my statement if they can get something going after having 2 weeks to prepare for UNLV. I'll be happy with a long pass play. They need to get some sort of deep thread going. I'm hoping that Cody Hoffman steps up to the plate. He's going to be an excellent WR. IF I were Jake, I would put this season behind me and head out on my mission. I think that the starting position is up for grabs come next season.