Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Michigan Week-Traditions

Today I will share with you some of the Ohio State traditions.

Gold Pants Club
Although not a game that changed the season for a player, the game against the University of Michigan in 1934 placed new coach Francis Schmidt into the hearts of Buckeye fans. Ohio State won the game 34-0, its largest margin of victory in the series to that point. Coach Schmidt changed Buckeye lore forever when, before the season, he was asked about beating Michigan. Schmidt commented that he didn’t see the problem. After all, the University of Michigan football players “put their pants on one leg at a time same as everybody else.” This comment created the “Gold Pants Club,” a group of businessmen who award a miniature gold football pants charm to all players who participate in a win over the Wolverines. The charms are engraved with each player’s initials, the date of the game, and the final score.
Tunnel of Pride
Former OSU Director of Athletics Andy Geiger and 1968 National Championship quarterback Rex Kern worked together to come up with a way to connect the current Buckeyes with those who played before them. It started with the 1994 Michigan game, when all former players who were in attendance for the game, formed a tunnel that the Buckeyes ran through to take the field for the game. Ohio State beat its rival that day by a 22-6 score, and in each home game against Michigan since, the tradition has been repeated. The tunnel of pride was also formed for the 1995 Notre Dame game, another big OSU win.
Buckeye Leaves

The first game of each season, those gray Buckeye helmets always look a little too clean. That's because players earn buckeye leaf stickers for their play on the field, but only if the team wins. As you'll remember, OSU headgear was covered in buckeye leaves in the national championship season of 2002.

The practice was started in 1968 by longtime trainer Ernie Biggs. The tradition was captured in a 1996 ESPN2 commercial featuring then-Ohio State trainer Danny Swain. Aside from the leaves shown on the helmets of players, a chart in the Woody Hayes facility keeps track of the leaves earned by each player, for each game.

Victory Bell
Following each Ohio State win at Ohio Stadium, members of Alpha Phi Omega fraternity ring the victory bell for 15 minutes or up to a half-hour for wins over Michigan.
That practice has been occurring for the past 50 years, with the first victory celebrated with it on October 2m 1954 against California. The bell was a gift from the classes of 1943, 1944 and 1945, weighing 2,420 pounds.

Brutus Buckeye
1965October 30 - A Buckeye mascot first appears at the OSU vs. Minnesota Homecoming game. The idea and design for the mascot came from Ray Bourhis, who then got help making the nut from his student organization, Ohio Staters, Inc. This large paper-mache shell was well received by the thousands of Ohio State fans at the game. The mascot was a smiling nut with human legs.

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