Columbus Survival Advice

Submitted by Mr. Robot on November 22nd, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Two years ago I made the trip to Columbus in the company of a friend who's entire extended family lives there, so the experience was silky smooth apart from the game result. This time around, I am completely on my own, and would like the advice of road trip veteran's on how to survive a gameday in the lake of fire.

In paticular, any advice on good, safe parking locations would be awesome. I can blend in very well with a crowd when I need to, but I want to do everything I can to make certain my way out of Columbus is safe and sound when the game is over so I can get out of dodge.

Any good Michigan locations for tailgating or general what-have-you would be awesome to know too. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering all of these things. If you're reading this and also going to the game alone from Ann Arbor, I'd be totally open to picking up a co-pilot for Saturday to, as long as heading down Saturday morning and leaving right after the game suits your fancy. You can never be too careful down there.

Go Blue, Beat Ohio.



November 22nd, 2012 at 11:03 PM ^

I went in 2006.  Wore the colors, cheered as loud as I could.  Got lots of verbal abuse, but that's about it.  Just make up your mind you're not going to react to that stuff.  It was hard to not get into it at first, but after awhile they just sound like Charlie Brown's parents.  I agree with others that have said C'bus is probably safer when the Buckeyes win, partly because the urge to talk smack after we win would be hard to resist, and removing the satisfied smile from my face would be impossible.

We did rent a car shortly after crossing into Ohio, so avoided the whole Michigan license plate = vandalism thing. 

Two Hearted Ale

November 23rd, 2012 at 8:40 AM ^

I've been to a lot of games in Columbus and taken my fair share of verbal abuse. Most of it is good fun but some is not. It can be very hard to differentiate so the best action is not to engage. If you are the sarcastic type (I am) this can be difficult. A noon start helps. The maniacs have a limited time to lube up.


November 22nd, 2012 at 11:55 PM ^

I'm pretty sure jingling keys or a Fake Eddie George sighting will get me out of the OSU mayhem. If that doesn't work just grab someone who looks like your sister and start making out with'll fit right in.

Seriously though, I wear 2 jackets or sweatshirts into the game with my Michigan one on the outside. In the 4th quarter I switch them so my plain gray one is on the outside. Call me what you will but it's kept me alive.

Secondly, if we win, I treat it like when I win an argument with my wife...I keep it to myself until I am safely out of earshot. Good luck, god bless, and go blue.


November 22nd, 2012 at 11:56 PM ^

watch from the comfort and safety of your couch.  Why walk where the bear walks, poke the bear and then have to defend yourself because they lose.  Bunch of neanderthals!


November 23rd, 2012 at 12:25 AM ^

I live here in Ohio.  Don't go.

Unless your idea of fun is getting swore at, having beer thrown at you and having to defend the occasional sucker punch thrown by a drunk.  If that sounds like fun then by all means go.

I cannot possibly explain to people whose experience in attending games has occurred in AA that Columbus is NOTHING like what you're used to.  Nothing.

A friend of mine who went to Texas attended the game here a few years ago.  He could not believe how the fans behaved and that the police and security condoned it.  His remark was "these people are animals".  I simply said "welcome to my world."

Do not go.

Interestingly enough many Ohio fans believe the behavior at their stadium is reflective of EVERY stadium.  My response has always been the same to my friends.  I offer to take them to a MIchigan Ohio State game in Ann Arbor and I tell them I'll wear Ohio gear to the game and they can observe how I'm treated IF they'll where Michigan gear to a game in Columbus.  At that point none of them want to take the deal.

Do not go.


November 23rd, 2012 at 1:34 AM ^

I work in Toledo and am astounded when Bucknuts try to rationalize their insane behavior with the "it's this way everywhere" excuse.

It's not. Not at all. write it off as mass delusion as a defense mechanism against their subconscious acknowledgment that they are, in fact, bat-shit crazy and fringing on sociopathic.

Anyway, i am going. Got a sweet deal on tix and will be with a group of ten

Go Blue. Beat ohio


November 23rd, 2012 at 6:20 AM ^

This. It is what I imagine a night game at LSU to be like except the atmosphere isn't so much about warm, night and booze driven fun with a hatred of the opposing team as much as a cold, bleak and unified fanbase that is given absolute authority to hate the FANS of opposing teams however they see fit. They win or make a good play? Expect more than many to talk trash before throwing a punch, beer or rock like a drunken retarded monkey whether you ignore them or not. They lose or make a bad play? Same exact thing. I absolutely hate saying "don't go" and many UM fans will go and not be bothered too badly. However, I promise you, there will be tales of horror after the game this year, win or lose. I am not kidding when I say that even having Michigan plates (not UM but merely Michigan state car plates) puts you in even the light danger of being pulled over the closer you get to that trash heap called Cbus. I've just heard too many first hand stories (after loss and victory) of fan violence and police looking the other way and/or participating with BS tickets and such to ever go by myself. Friend took his (now) wife to The Game during osu's title year a decade ago. He was personally hit by 4 random objects and said one grazed him with the feel, look and eventual thump of a AA battery. Sure, not a D or C but a battery still. After the game, a group of 8-10 guys he said ranged from 20-ish to 40-ish followed him as they speed walked to their ride. On the way they were called a ton of nasty shit before he finally had enough and turned around to defend himself and his then GF. The group stops, collectively yell random ways of how they'll beat his ass and "aren't afraid to hit a bitch" and one sexually threatned his now wife. One guy then spit at them but I guess it fell short before a group of random UM and osu fans collectively came to their defense (he said it seemed like a family of mixed fans as they all seemed to know each other). They got between the group and as soon as it was broken up they basically thanked the group and almost jogged back to their ride before getting out of town. He said he will NEVER go back with less than 10 people and no women. osu fan's are largely hooligans and they take pride in it. That is the scary part. They take pride in it, in throwing batteries and threatening opposing fans during games. Even MAC games and fans get messed with. Not like UM fans but it still shows their chimp herd like behavior.


November 23rd, 2012 at 8:12 AM ^

I think the best and most accurate portion of your post was the "they take pride in it" portion.

True story - on my last foray to Columbus (2002 game) we went with the same guys I tailgate with every Saturday at Michigan.  A bunch of slighly overweight, good natured, quiet Dentists in their then late 50's.  Not exactly a threatening bunch to say the least.  As we were walking into the game with a ton of people some drunks behind us started making the typical OSU "Fuck Michigan, Ann Arbor is whore, Fuck you guys" type chants people here in Ohio think are witty. No response from us we kept walking and ignoring them.  After listening to it for about 5-10 minutes one of our guys turned around and said "common guys - it's just a game...take it easy". That's it.  Then we turned around and started walking again.  About 30 seconds later - while standing at a light waiting to cross a street - in a large crowd of people - in FULL VIEW of a Policeman - my buddy got sucker-punched in the side of the head and went down hard.  The cop stared at the entire event and did nothing.  Nothing.  The crowd around us did nothing (some laughed though).  Once we got our guys back to his feet I went to the cop and was basically yelling "arent you going to DO anything?  You just saw what happened!"   His response?  "You shouldn't have worn the shirt".

You want to go into that hell-hole and deal with that to watch a game?  Have fun.  I will never, ever go there again and would strongly advise anybody I care about to do the same.  Until the city, the school and their idiot fanbase starts to realize it IS "just a game" it will be no fun for anybody to go.  Unless you enjoy fighting -then by all means attend and have a great,great time.  


November 23rd, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

Not BS'n you when I say that I think my friend mentioned seeing that! That (along with other stories) is why I said even the police join in as I truly recall him seeing someone physically assaulted and despite a couple of cops seeing it they did nothing. I'm truly not out to make it seem like Somolia or something as, again, most UM fans will be fine. It is just sad that many won't and the osu fanbase takes pride in it as it is allowed to happen. When they come here they get a lighthearted "GO BLUE!" or "osu sucks", etc. That is it. We and the AA police realize it is a game. Down there they take pride in being truly horrible in packs. Not every scarlett colored wolf will attack you near its home but enough will, especially in packs, to advise that you do not go without numbers. Again, my good buddy refuses to ever go there again without 10+ people and he can handle himself. They just form packs and attack both before, during and after the game. Sometimes with fists, sometimes with batteries and mostly with words. Sadly, most pathetically, even if you ignore the words they merely up the ante to the previously mentioned.


November 23rd, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

I've never been to an LSU night game but most SEC fans are actually quite respectful of each other from my own experiences ( I'd image an Alabama - Auburn game gets pretty ugly, but the southern equivalent of Ohio is Alabama) I'd never go to a game in CBus, they're all truckers and frat guys.


November 23rd, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

That was my point. Games down there are largely about fun and hatred of the opposing team. Fans largely do no more than gloat after the game. My analog was in how the South deeply hates the opposing team, osu fans are allowed to deeply hate opposing fans and almost do what they wish without any legal restraint.


November 23rd, 2012 at 7:33 AM ^

Not sure if this is information anyone has, but here it goes. Does anyone know the hotel and arrival time if the team in the Columbus area? Living only 20 minutes from downtown I'd like to give them a great welcome this evening.


November 23rd, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

I've been to Columbus twice - 1996 and 2006. I wore a Michigan sweatshirt both times. I kept my mouth shut and didn't draw attention to myself other than the shirt.

I was perfectly fine, nothing notable happened. A few people made comments along the line of "We're going to beat you". Someone may have said Michigan sucks. The OSU fans near me mostly joked about beating me up (yes, they were joking).

Everyone was too into the game to be into me.

You'll be fine if you're not an asshole.

Kilgore Trout

November 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

"You'll be fine if you're not an asshole" is not necessarily true. You may have been in your situation, but in the last six years I have been sworn at directly in my face, followed and verbally harassed and have had partially full beer cans thrown at my car. I go out of my way to keep my mouth and be non-confrontational. I think you got lucky.


November 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 AM ^

His 2006 experience is the exception.  Bo had died the day before and all over the radio that afternoon and the morning of the game people were being admonished to be "on their best behavior" out of respect for him. Everyone I know that went (and I had about 20 guys who worked for me go) said it was unlike any game they had ever been to from a fan perspective.

I guess if you classify saying "common's just a game" as being an asshole then we were guilty as charged.  That IS pretty inflamatory now that I think about it.  My 59 year old Dentist friend was probably asking for it when he said such provocative words out loud.


November 23rd, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

It sounds like you're fine. If being sworn at and having a half empty beer thrown at your car is the worst that happened to you then you're fine. I've been hit with worse than that in the Michigan student section in Michigan Stadium.

I have seen plenty of games at the 'shoe. I have never had a problem. If you must wear Michigan stuff and are concerned wear it so that you can cover it up. Cover it up when outside the stadium. Ignore everyone that yells at you or wave and smile. Inside the stadium no one will do anything because no one wants to get kicked out. Just steer clear of obviously wasted morons. They're drunk. They are easy to avoid. Don't hang out outside the stadium after the game. My experience is, after the game just outside the stadium is when most of crazy stuff goes down.

It's not a warzone. Don't be an asshole and keep walking.

If you have Michigan plates, it's probably a good idea not to park on campus. Even if you have Ohio plates, you should probably still try and park off campus. Off campus, no one will give a shit.


November 23rd, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

Well my Wolverine friend, let me tell u like this....I live in Cols, and I love the Wolverines and I dont miss a game here in the Snake Pit, but this year they've taking things to another level..SERIOUSLY....Best advice watch it on TV!!!!!!! these folk are ready to do what ever, to WHOM EVER!!!!!!!! So for the first time in a long time I'll be watching it on TV....Good Luck and God Bless

E. Gordon Gee

November 23rd, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

As an Alum I can attest to the fact that UM fans get treated worse than any other fan base here. Here are some of my tips... 

  • If you are a thin skin UM fan or easily offended, stay at home. Columbus is not gonna be Sugar and Roses or Disneyland. If you can't take at minimum trash talk and/or dirty looks don't go. 
  • DO NOT park your car on any side streets (i.e. Indianola, 8th, 9th, ...) or near campus. If you do so, you're asking for something to happen to your car.
  • Don't do anything to attract attention to yourself. If you don't look for trouble it won't look for you. Do not feed or contribue to the rage, wearing Maize and Blue is enough...
  • Find some where safe to park your car. If you're coming off 71, get off at the 17th street exit. There is a lot by the Ohio State Fair grounds that you can park at with a shuttle back and forth to the game. 
  • If you know of an OSU fan who is willing to associate themselves with a UM fan during the game, stick with them. They can be your saving grace. 
  • When walking to the stadium try to avoid the following streets: High, Lane, Neil, or Woody Hayes Dr. Cut through campus and the Oval and follow the flow of people walking to the Shoe.
  • When in the stadium, don't do anything to attract your attention to yourself if you're in a mob of OSU fans. Every OSU fan has a pocket full of buckeyes read to throw at you, Jk. A few Wisconsin fans near my section learned the hard way after having drinks poured on their heads last year.
  • If UM wins, get the hell out of sight and don't do anything to attract attention to yourself. No victory chants, no waving of the M flag and etc. In 2008, a few Penn State fans had to learn the hard way. I have no idea what its like to lose at home to UM but if I was a UM fan I sure as hell wouldn't want to find out. 
  • In victory or defeat be respectful of the experiences you have. 

I can't say these are all the tips to having a good time in Columbus but its a start. Make the most of your experience and enjoy THE GAME.




November 23rd, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

All this "watch out or the Ohio fans will get you" is nonsense.  Take any normal precaution one might take when going to an away game.  Been there many times, besides some normal ribbing, never had a problem. 


November 23rd, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

To All Suckeyes Posting the Hell Fire and Brimstone Warnings:

We've been to your stadium and arm pit of a town.  It isn't the 7th circle of Hell like you want everyone to believe.  So you've got random assholes who throw stuff and fight?  Well, the thing about random assholes is they are everywhere, randomly.  Including the Big House unfortunately.  I'd accept the theory that there are a few more random assholes per capita in Columbus, but my opinion may be formed by other than fact.  So quit with the propoganda.  We'll go to your stadium in our colors, yell for our team, and then leave with the same number of arms/legs/digits/sensory organs as what we showed up with.


November 23rd, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

ohio is an open carry state. 

makes me wanna drive down with my 9mm in a thigh holster wearing blue and wander up and down high street. haha


November 23rd, 2012 at 5:09 PM ^

OK- so this year is marking my first ever trip to the horseshoe. I've traveled to many other stadiums in the B1G with Michigan, but scheduling never allowed for a trip to The Game. I'm heading down with a friend, but have NO idea where to park, where to walk (safely), etc... That being said, I am 6-8 and 290 pounds. I'm not a big slb either, I have a bodyfat % of about 11.5. That being said- anyone want to figure out a place we can meet up and head in safely? I feel pretty confident in defending myself, as I was also a police officer for 4 years- I just know the value of going in large groups. Hell, if anyone is planning on heading down bright and early, I'd even meet up and be good with following some other UM fans down. 


November 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 PM ^

I might be picking up a last minute ticket tonight and would also be going solo.

If you still want a co-pilot/driver (or anyone else does for that matter), I wouldn't mind splitting the gas and having someone else along for the ride.

Feel free to give me a shout at [email protected]


November 23rd, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

    Like any other fanatical base the b(s)ucknuts. Keep a pleasant smile on your face, avoid eye contact, cheer as much as you safely believe you can and STOP at the signs of any B.S

    This is a fan base that is 50% normal and 50% ---well, NOT. I has the misfortune to live in Gahanna, the S.W side of the city for 5 years. Age? 12-17. Place of birth. Ann Arbor Michigan. These people are delusional to the point of danger. That is a proven point. You're going to be surprised that an entire City can be so rude and classless over a Football team. Good luck, have fun, if we win---RUN;-)

                                                          GO BLUE!!!!!