Let me preface this with today’s post might be bias. As many of you know I am an Ohio State fan. I love college football and traditions help make the sport unique compared to every other sport. Ohio State has one of my favorite traditions in college football with Script Ohio. Marching bands are special to college football because they provide pregame and halftime performances. Marching bands help include the student body and make more people feel they are involved with the team. Ohio State’s band is known as “The Best Damn Band in The Land” because of their creative performances which include the creation of Script Ohio. Today’s 99 Things is about Script Ohio.
Script Ohio was first performed on October 24, 1936 when Ohio State played Indiana. The original formation and routines have evolved since the conception of the tradition. The band now performs Script Ohio at every home game and some away games when the band travels to opposing stadiums. The formation was created by Eugene J. Weigel who based the design off a sign located in downtown Columbus. The band starts in a block O formation before unwinding into the script Ohio formation. The fans will get on their feet for the entirety of the performance clapping their hands in anticipation for the end result. This has become one of the signatures of the Ohio State marching band and a favorite tradition of Buckeye fans.
One of the best parts of Script Ohio is the tradition of dotting the I. Only certain performers will have the opportunity to dot the I. The person with the honor must be a fourth or fifth year sousaphone player. When the musician takes their place dotting the I they will take their hat off and bow to the crowd on the East and west sideline. Occasionally the band will have honorary “I” dotters. Woody Hayes, Bob Hope, Jack Nicklaus, James “Buster” Douglas and John Glenn are a few of the honorary members to be part of Script Ohio. The most recent non band member to dot the I was Earle Bruce who did it in 2016. Very few non band members will ever have the opportunity to be part of this tradition.
Every college football fan should have a bucket list of traditions they want to experience. watching the Ohio State marching band is one I would recommend to every college football fan. The halftime shows continue to be unique and are never the same. Script Ohio is mesmerizing and thrilling to watch in person. I never played an instrument but I have the appreciation for those who do and also walk in formation at the same time. Going to the Horseshoe to see a game is great but when you do, don’t leave your seat when the band is about to perform. They are just as good as the team on the field.