Ohio taught me the importance of college football

When a college football stadium fits more people than the Third Reich megalomaniac Berlin Olympic stadium, you know it is a sport to be taken seriously. Is there a sport in Finland that gathers an audience of 90 000 for a practice game? Hint: in Finland, ice hockey draws bigger audiences than any other sport and the Finnish Hockey League has an average of 4 300 viewers per game.


My Alabama-born boss takes it very seriously. That’s why I am officially the fan of Alabama Crimson tide. Sorry Columbus, you were nice and all but this is a political decision. Roll tide!


Back to Ohio. Overall, I was hugely impressed with the Ohio State campus. It felt like a city within a city, including a power plant, several parks and some of the most beautiful buildings in Columbus. Click on the map below to explore the campus area.


We were there on a Sunday, wondering why so many people were coming in and out of the halls so I sneaked into one of the buildings. I backed out quietly once I read the sign that said “exams in progress”.

University Hall

Continuing my series from Detroit of ice hockey arenas shot from the car window, I also managed to find the Nationwide Arena, the home stadium of Columbus Blue Jackets.


On West 5th street, I was introduced to the busiest Dairy Queen of Columbus, Ohio. We couldn’t figure out what makes the location so special but our guides told us that the drive-in queue often goes all the way around and sometimes even blocks traffic. Seriously, it’s just ice cream!


A little before midnight, we decided to go to the nearby drug store and stopped for a blizzard at the DQ. That is, soft ice with crushed cookies (Oreos, of course). While we were digging through our pockets to find Dollar coins instead of Euro cents, the lady who bought a blizzard before us handed her card to the cashier. I tried to tell her that it’s okay, we have the cash and that we just need to find it. But she would not take any of it and insisted on paying our blizzard. Such kindness, thank you!

That is two important lessons of the American culture in one stop: people are extremely nice and do not mess with college football. These are lessons that Hollywood does not teach you.

We visited Ohio on our way back north towards Toronto. The second time we stopped in Cleveland for the most amazing wedding.

The Canadian Bacon is a 3-week road trip in April – May 2015 around the Great Lakes starting and ending in Chicago.