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Posted on Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Undercover Michigander heads to Columbus to see what really goes down on gameday

By Kyle Feldscher

A few weeks ago, my editor approached me with what seemed like a simple proposition: Would I like to go down to Columbus for the Michigan-Ohio State game and chronicle how Michigan fans are treated by the Buckeye faithful?

Um, obviously.


At this point, I'm just hoping no one will hang me from an Ohio flag in Columbus on Saturday.

Lon Horwedel |

Since then, I’ve had a certain amount of bravado about the story idea. As you might remember, I’m a Michigan State University graduate and really have no dog in this fight. I would be a disinterested third-party observer, heading to Ohio to find the truth.

That bravery somewhat faded yesterday.I sent out a tweet asking Wolverines to send me their experiences and observations on how they’re treated when they go to enemy territory. After a steady stream of responses, I’m now wondering exactly what I’ve gotten myself into.

I’ve been to Columbus once for a game at The Horseshoe, cheering on my Spartans as they defeated the Buckeyes in a truly terrible game in October 2011. Perhaps it was because I was joined by a few Buckeye supporting friends — military men whose muscular physiques surely deterred a lot of potential hecklers — but I left with nothing but positive experiences.

I expect it to be slightly different today. Just a little bit. Especially after reading some “what to expect” tweets from Wolverine fans sent to me in since this morning.

Here’s a sampling:

I left for Columbus Friday afternoon and will wander the streets and tailgate areas of the city during the morning on Saturday. I don't know what to expect but Sgt. Rich Weiner, of the Columbus Police Department, said Michigan fans can expect "frustration and nervousness" (he was laughing and I'm assuming referring to events on the field).

Weiner said the Michigan-Ohio State game is definitely one of the top 10 biggest events that happens in Columbus every other year.

“It’s a huge deal and a lot of pride goes into this game,” he said. “The rivalry exists, not only between the teams but between the cities.”

While Wolverine fans can expect the usual jabs and jeers from their rivals, Weiner said major incidents between Buckeyes and Michigan supporters are few and far between. Police presence will be increased in the city's university district and off-campus housing areas, Weiner said.

"Whenever we have games, it's a huge deal, but Michigan just kind of takes it another step," he said.

Come back to for my full report from the streets of Columbus this weekend and check my Twitter feed (linked at the bottom of this page) for updates throughout the day from Buckeye-ville.

Oh, and if any Buckeyes are reading this and have designs on keying someone from Michigan's car, please spare me. It's a lease and it's almost up. I'll put some MSU gear in the window or something.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Luke Bromberg

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

It is unfair when us Michigan fans go to columbus the Ohio fans do something really bad to us and when they come here we treat them really nice.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

And if they do something bad here? We somehow find ways to retaliate.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

Yeah - good luck with that.

Leslie Hoerwinkle

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Beware of them putting a free tattoo on you.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Well, gee, as long as it's free . . .


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Whatever you do, keep your car locked - especially when you're in it.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

And windows up, of course.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

I don't even think MSU memorabilia would save your car down there. As long as it's related to the state of Michigan, it's vulnerable. Good luck and God speed to you! Having been there twice as an MMB member, I got the worst of the worst treatment. Couldn't pay me to go back. The problem is not just the crude and crass behavior one must endure, but the fact that you are physically in danger there. They take it too far. I had items thrown at my head. A band member got punched. It's simply not worth the risk to go to that city.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Oh, forgot to mention that we were spit on, as well. And finally, unless someone is willing to have their child hear the f-word and see the finger thousands of times during the day, I would not bring a kid into this atmosphere.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

RIP... :-)