Traveling to Columbus

Submitted by drboud on November 8th, 2016 at 9:02 AM

I'm sure this question comes up every two years, but now it is my turn to ask it.

Going to Columbus for The Game. I have never been to Columbus before, but have heard plenty of horror stories from other peopel. Is there a section that Michigan fans generally sit in? How about parking? Do I need to worry about walking around in my Michigan jersey? Any and all information would be helpful. THANKS!



November 8th, 2016 at 9:09 AM ^

In the stadium isn't that bad. I've been to probably 8 of the last 10 in columbus since I was a kid and in teh stands is fine....

It's the festivities outside before the game I always got the most crap. Oddly enough I got more crap when I was a 12-18 year old versus now.



November 8th, 2016 at 9:11 AM ^

All Michigan related things off of and from your vehicle. If you have a Michigan plate, grab a Buckeye "friend", borrow a hoodie, and put that red ugliness in your back window for protection.


November 8th, 2016 at 9:23 AM ^

I live in the Columbus area and it's mostly what you have heard. I was wearing a Woodson jersey this one time, and a Ford F250 with OSU fans drove by me and yelled obscenities at me with young children all around me. That was a great experience. Additionally, this one time I walked into a bar, wearing a Michigan shirt before the game, and for 5 minutes, the entire bar chanted "ASSHOLE!" towards me. You learn a lot about yourself with self-control, and then even a little bit of pity on the population. The majority of them allow it to define who they are.


Truthfully, keep a low profile. If/When we win, walk swiftly back to your car and don't make eye contact with the fans. I am not saying don't wear maize and blue, but I would expect to see humanity at its worst. They take it to a new extreme down here. Businesses, local media, and even religious figures live and breathe OSU.


Also, OSU campus police are real jerks. I had a propane fire pit at a tailgate and they tried writing me a ticket for that one year. They also like to hand out tickets for cars that come even remotely too close to them when they direct traffic, and if they see you pour beer into a Solo cup, they'll write you up for open container.


November 8th, 2016 at 9:28 AM ^

Live in Cleveland and while it's way tamer up here you still get the random comment when I wear my Michigan gear.  

My best Columbus game story took place in 2002 walking in to the stadium.  We were in a group of four all wearing Michigan gear but saying nothing to anyone but ourselves.  Out of nowhere a drunken dude ran up and start dropping F bombs on us and then sucker-punched one of our guys in the side of the head RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COLUMBUS POLICEMAN.  Our guy goes down and he takes off into the crowd and the cop doesnt move an inch or say a word.  I look at the cop and say "arent you going to do anything?" and his response was "you shouldnt have worn the shirts guys."

So apparently it's ok to assult Michigan fans if they commit the crime of wearing anything that says Michigan on it.  

What's also funny is that they absolutely believe that the OSU fans are treated the same up in Ann Arbor even though you cant find one person who had it happen to them.  They are convinced that attacking opposing team's fans is normal behavior for all schools and wont hear otherwise.

I would expect it be pretty rough this year as the stakes are going to high and for the first time in forever they might actually lose and they know it.  They won't be happy.


November 8th, 2016 at 9:36 AM ^

"What's also funny is that they absolutely believe that the OSU fans are treated the same up in Ann Arbor even though you cant find one person who had it happen to them.  They are convinced that attacking opposing team's fans is normal behavior for all schools and wont hear otherwise."

I think that this is generally true across rivalries. Surely you are not suggesting extrapolating your anedoctal evidence across an entire fanbase? How should we extrapolate michigan fanbase/football players from this event?…


My experience matches common sense. You will be heckled out in public for wearing rival colors. Escelating the situation is probably not a good idea. In the stadium is fine.


November 8th, 2016 at 10:10 AM ^

If you've been to games in both cities you'd know that the level of hostility and physical violence the average OSU "fan" exhibits is on a whole nother level to that of any other school.  A few years ago Texas fans were treated similarly, Texas who had never even played OSU before, and the general response was "what's wrong with these people?"

I'm a Browns season ticket holder so I see it first-hand there too.  It's just not ok to these folks to support another team - it's just not.  I've been to probably 20 or more Michigan/OSU games and I've never seen anybody cursed out wearing scarlet & red much less punched in AA and I've never not seen it in Columbus.

I've been to games in every B1G stadium except Nebraska and I can tell you it's not even close to the same anywhere else.  People down here are insane.


November 8th, 2016 at 3:59 PM ^

I'm calling bullshit on this one.  From 1986 through 2014 I went to every OSU game in AA and 5-6 in Columbus.  Each year in AA took OSU friends who wore their gear to the tailgate, in the stadium and to the bars afterwards.  The WORST I saw was a buddy who had a really cute drunken coed go up to him at Frasers Pub and said "Fuck you Ohio State man" and I think she was flirting with him.

My experience in Columbus was NOTHING like that.  Not once, not ever.  I would love to see just one pic of you in AA wearing OSU gear or vice versa.  The OSU fans here in Cleveland who claim "it's all the same" have, without exception, never stepped foot in Ann Arbor and just assume its the same everywhere.

That you went to OSU I believe.  That you went to Michigan and saw the same treatment of OSU fans that you did Michigan fans in Columbus I 100% do not believe.


November 8th, 2016 at 12:50 PM ^

accurate. And the behavior has only worsened over time. I went to two Michigan-Ohio State games in Ann Arbor and never witnessed any fan on fan violence instigated by school colors and believe me Buckeyes have no qualms about coming to Michigan and trying to take over when ticket avialability allows.

Also, the outrage that was spawned by Buckeye fan behavior toward Texas fans when they played a huge early season matchup when Pryor and company faced off against them led to a huge backlash against The Ohio State for thug-like shennanigans which other schools fanbase stories could easily reinforce and prompted the school itself after official action to begin a campaign of organized civil behavior that has more or less governed fan behavior ever since. Of course, most of this was about fan conduct inside the Horeshoe, not outside it where most of the rowdy and downright dangerous stuff goes on.

We routinely have these conversations here but I never felt comfortable driving through Ohio with Michigan plates on my car. Even now, when forced to go through That State and That Part of that state I feel a deep queasiness. Never like to spend a dollar in That Community or its environs because of it. And while many Buckeyes disavow this behavior it is part and parcel of the community's insecure makeup.


November 8th, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

Ann Arbor is much tamer for visiting Ohio State fans than the other way around.  It's not even close.

Also, unlike Columbus the activities outside Michigan stadium are even tamer.  There is no Hineygate qquivalent where you are a marked target for what is basically a contained mob.

I almost wish Ann Arbor was a little more hostile.



November 8th, 2016 at 3:12 PM ^

Would also argue that if you are of the home team you don't pay attention as much to what happens to the opposing teams fans. I would also say that any given rivalry game there would be 10-15% assholes who are looking to start something. 

I went to a Basketball game(I know it isn't football) wearing a Michigan shirt and I got nothing. I had an old guy come over and talk shop and inside the stadium it was all good humor. 

I too live in the Cleveland Area and I get the old O-H crap(which I find to be of the saddest of fan chants. Not because it is OSU, but who wants to need 2 people to spell a 4 letter word) Simple Go Bucks works or as I get often in Cleveland a Go Blue.

Maybe my face doesn't scream dickbag because I apparently attract the decent rival fans who enjoy talking about the teams and rivalries. 

I am just not a fan of the annoying Columbus sucks because it is a solid city. Ohio sucks because it is a great state. At some point people have to grow up and realize sports are drastically more enjoyable when you get above caveman and learn you can talk sports with rivals as adults and it is pretty cool.


Winchester Wolverine

November 8th, 2016 at 11:33 AM ^

My friend is a die hard Michigan fan that attended OSU. He frequently wore Michigan gear in defiance around the campus.

One night on his way back to his apartment , a group of OSU students dragged him inbetween two buildings and promptly kicked the ever living shit out of him.

His jaw had to be wired shut. He dropped out and continue his studies elsewhere.


November 8th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

"What's also funny is that they absolutely believe that the OSU fans are treated the same up in Ann Arbor even though you cant find one person who had it happen to them."

Well, there were those two kids who supposedly picked a fight with Taylor Lewan at Ricks . . . 


November 8th, 2016 at 9:19 AM ^

Eight Times over the past 20 years. First and foremst you are going to catch some grief win or lose for your Michigan jersey, especially if Michigan wins. Most of the ribbing you wil endure is in their spirit, not yours, so they mean it to be playful under their conditions. They like to bystander around complete a-holes, don't engage give them thumbs up and keep moving, the somewhat respectable OSU fans will not lend their support of decorum. Common ground is always Woody and Bo. Parking is parking, I generally like to park near or around the Varsity Club on Lane Ave. close to stadium lots of action and I have never had my car set on fire nor turned over. Also sits near High street where you can eat and so forth. I strongly suggest to get there early to parked, if the clock says 1030am youre screwed, be there at 9am.Have fun, Go Blue!


November 8th, 2016 at 9:32 AM ^

I have a feeling most of this horror stories are coming from the 90s and early 00s.  I was there a few years back it it was more pity than anthing else.  That probably chnages this year since we'll be competitive.


November 8th, 2016 at 9:33 AM ^

Do you have an Ohio concealed carry permit? A very handy thing to have when dressed in Michigan clothing in Columbus!

Seriously, ignore the fools and their obscene gestures and words. Good idea to have no Michigan identifiers on your car, so those removable magnetic Michigan logos are great to have. I've never had a problem beyond drunken verbal abuse, but I'm 6 ft 2 in about 220 lbs and wear a NRA jacket with my Michigan hat and sweatshirt!


November 8th, 2016 at 9:49 AM ^

here and heed most of it. Definitely rent a car with Ohio plates, if you have Michigan plates there's a chance some drunk idiot will key your car.  Just ignore the idiots and keep walking if people start yelling and taunting. When in the stadium, cheer for Michigan, but don't be obnoxious about it.  Basically just enjoy the game, but don't draw attention to yourself and everything should be fine.


November 8th, 2016 at 9:51 AM ^

I will also be in Columbus that weekend. I have no idea where the Michigan allotment for tickets is, but I will be sitting in section 2C row 8. Seats are high up in the endzone. Would be happy to have as many Michigan fans nearby as possible. 

A Lot of Milk

November 8th, 2016 at 9:52 AM ^

Two years ago (and I'm gonna do it this year), I wore a plain, unmarked grey jacket. Once I got to the Michigan section, peeled it off and wore my jersey underneath. Cheered as loud as I could the whole game, and slipped the jacket back on after the game. No issues


November 8th, 2016 at 10:18 AM ^

It is my first time as well. My sister lives in Columbus and probably won't live there much longer so this may be my only chance for free lodging. I couldn't resist. I'm nervous but excited. I will continue to campaign for as many Michigan fans as possible to buy tickets in section 2C as that's where my ticket is.


November 8th, 2016 at 10:18 AM ^

If you go with the attitude that you're going to get vibed, it isn't a fun place, and keep your mouth shut - you'll be fine. I've gone numerous times but I go with the attitude I'm a guest in their dumpy house. I don't engage with anyone. Don't put your colors on until you walk to the stadium (or good luck parking and merging with traffic). Honestly, it's fine as long as you know your place. I've gone to dozens of European and Brazilian soccer matches - where there is a good chance of bodily harm. In Columbus, just know your place. I'd go to the UM alumni tailgate and then walk to the game. Get in the stadium early. High level of douche bags in Columbus, I've never had a good time.


November 8th, 2016 at 10:29 AM ^

Saw Henson run a naked bootleg to win, and haven't witnessed victory down there since then.  

In 2002, I went with some college buddies, fairly tame, lots of yelling and unwitty banter.

In 2004, more of the same, although I did witness a friend of a friend receive a full beer on her head.

In 2006, shit really hit the fan.  I took my girlfriend, now my wife and she was assaulted in the bathroom.  I also had 2 random guys come up to me on the walk down Lane Ave and sucker punch me or throw a shoulder in to my chest.  Keep in mind I was with 3 other women.  When we left, a couple beer bottles were tossed in our direction, but thankfully missed.

In 2008, literally nothing happened.

In 2010, I sat in a suite with some high rollers from Columbus, again, nothing happened.

In 2012, we sat in the Michigan section which is 5c.  Other than a few idiots inside the stadium yelling obscenities it wasn't bad.

In 2014, eerily similar to 2008, more pity than hate.

I expect this year to be fairly similar to 2006.  I have a parking pass for the lot outside the stadium.  

Parking/Tailgating - I would suggest not tailgating.  I disagree with the statement above, about getting there early.  The best approach is to try and get there at 11:30 and park in a fairly big lot.  If you get there early and try to tailgate and don't have Michigan colors on but don't have OSU colors on they will figure it out.  I have honestly parked every year with this philosophy and never had a problem.  And I always wear my Woodson jersey to this game and I have it on before we get in the car.

Walking in to the stadium - Keep your head on a swivel, walk in groups.  There will be other Michigan fans walking in as well, try to pair up.

Inside the stadium - Don't interact with anyone that is clearly drunk (remember they serve beer at the stadium).

Leaving - If we win, you need to migrate towards a section/area with a lot of Michigan fans.  Stay and enjoy the moment or leave right away, but make sure you do it with a larger group of fans.  


November 8th, 2016 at 10:29 AM ^

At my tailgate in Ann Arbor and get accepted. The same people wouldn't do the same for you in Columbus. Low grade mess ... fits the image perfectly.