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Fans, family, friends gather for 'The Game'

Melissa Topey • Nov 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM

A perfect season left some perfectly happy, others perfectly disappointed but as long as it was with family and friends it was a perfect day.

We are talking about the thousands who turned out at their favorite area bars to watch Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game.

The final score of “The Game”: Ohio State 26, Michigan 21.

The “Scarlet and Gray” completed its first undefeated season since 2002 by just edging out Michigan.

Bob Peters sat among his family dressed as Ohio State University’s legendary Woody Hayes. About 25 of the Peters clan were among the crowd at Cameo Pizza on West Monroe Street.

In fact, they took up three tables lined against a wall of the pizzeria.

Most of the Peters’ family were dressed in scarlet and gray with one black sheep standing out among them.

Peters’ grandson, Joe Chambers, proudly wore his Michigan gear.

“I never root for the right team,” Chambers said.

But no matter what colors they were wearing, Peters smiled as he looked over his family.

“No matter what it is a good day. I am so proud of my family,” Bob Peters said.

Bob Peters’ son, Tom, came up from Florida, his family in tow. They decided to stay an extra day in the cold before heading back to warmer weather.

“My three boys have never been in Ohio for the game,” Tom Peters said.

Tom graduated from The Ohio State University in 1990.

His boys Quentin, 13, Logan, 12, and Wyatt, 8, cheered, yelled, ate pizza and bounded up and down the tables with the best of them.

“It is exciting,” Quentin said.

The entire Peters family, including the boys, took time on Friday to play some backyard football in the snow.

“It was cold,” Quentin said.

And it was friends that gathered at Cameo as well.

Even if it came with a price tag.

Dan McCoy, Mike Shover and Tim Shaw have been meeting for the Ohio State-Michigan game for 32 years. The friends estimate

90 percent of those years they have come together at Cameo.

This year required a little dealing to keep the tradition alive.

“I had to buy a van to get him (McCoy) off work,” Shover said.

McCoy works at Smiley Automotive in Norwalk.

“It is a nice van though,” McCoy said.

Shover admits he needed a van and it was well worth “taking one for the team” to keep them coming together.

Another person “taking one for the team” was Larry Gerold, owner of Gerold’s Old Dutch tavern on East Perkins Avenue.

Gerold, also an Ohio State University alumni, had tickets for this year’s game. His son is a sophomore at the university and Gerold would have liked to have been with him to watch the game.

But with this day being the busiest day for the bar, he could not go. Instead he raffled off the tickets.

He has owned the bar for about 22 years and many of those there he considers his friends.

“Knowing I have this, it did not hurt too bad,” Gerold said, throwing up his hands as he looked over the crowds all throughout the bar.

One of those friends was Chris “Pudge” Mann.

The Old Dutch has been his hometown bar since he turned 21 a couple decades ago, he said.

He tries to never miss the big game at his favorite watering hole.

“Everyone knows this is the Ohio State bar in the area,” Mann said. “We are the biggest fans. It is just good friends and family here.”


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