Born in the Big Sky Country of Montana and now living in the Buckeye State of Ohio, Richard is the creative mind behind Big Sky Buckeye. Retired after 40 years of teaching, I enjoy writing, photography, traveling, and following a healthy lifestyle.
An early winter blizzard covers the immense ranching country. The harshness of the storm threatens everyone’s safety, both people and cattle.
Phone lines are disconnected, with most on the ground. Electricity is off except where well-prepared ranchers turn on generators to provide for their needs. All roads into each ranch are drifted shut with the heavy, dense snow.
One rancher is overly concerned for the welfare of his family and his cattle herd. The family is warm and safe inside their home, and they have enough groceries to last for several more days.
However, the cattle stand in harm’s way. Their water supply and feeding schedule have been disrupted, and the rancher worries about the length of the storm and the consequences for his 300 plus head of Black Angus cows.
At suppertime on the third night of the storm, the atmosphere is tense. The rancher’s son sees the worry painted on his father’s face. This faithful, little soul of a five-year old reminds his father with words filled with hope, “Jesus will be with us.”
Overnight the storm begins to abate and move on. In the morning, crews begin to slowly and carefully clear the roads. In a matter of hours, they will reach the isolated ranch.
Using his powerful four-wheel tractor with its giant dozer blade, the rancher clears a path to where his precious cattle are nestled against the wall of a massive shelter. While he makes sure the water is running, and the cattle receive their hay with a helping of rolled oats, he smiles and remembers the faithful words of his young son, “Jesus will be with us.”
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Ohio Stadium is hallowed ground for The Ohio State University football team. The Buckeyes have played here since 1922.
Nicknamed the “Horseshoe,” the venerable stadium graces the west side of campus near the Olentangy River. The journey to build this magnificent home goes back to the World War I era.
The Buckeyes playing field back in the 1910s is Ohio Field. The unassuming name cannot hide the fact that this football home is less than adequate. Seating is limited to 14,000, but some games find more fans viewing from the perimeter of the field as a standing-room only (sometimes in excess of 20,000).
The catalyst behind the need for a much larger stadium for the Buckeyes is traced to the success of the team in 1916, 1917, and 1919. Ohio State’s first three-time All-American, Charles “Chic” Harley leads the team to numerous victories and conference championships. Playing in the period before college football’s Heisman Trophy, Harley would have been a cinch to win this prestigious award as college football’s most outstanding player. One might say that Ohio Stadium is the field Chic built.
Needing a much bigger stadium, Ohio Stadium is constructed with its unique horseshoe design. Ohio Wesleyen becomes the first opponent to play here on October 7, 1922. The original stadium’s seating capacity is 66,000, but it is far exceeded later in the 1922 season when the Buckeyes host the Michigan Wolverines before 71,138 spectators.
Here are some quick facts about the “Horseshoe.”
Current seating capacity: 102,780
Fourth largest on-campus facility in the United States
Largest crowd: 110,045 for the 2016 Michigan game
Over 36 million fans have entered the stadium since 1922