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Continuing tradition: Block O to nod at its past during card stunt and 100 Years of Ohio Stadium Celebration Saturday

The Lantern
Ohio Stadium pylons dawn a 100 year anniversary patch this season in honor of the stadiums 100 year anniversary. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor

Around 4 hours before kickoff on a Buckeye football game day, Mackenzie Swartz and members of the Block O student section are already inside Ohio Stadium.

Founded in 1938, Block O is the Official Student Section of Ohio State Athletics and is commonly referred to as the voice of the ’Shoe. Saturday against Rutgers, the label means something a little different to Swartz, a fourth-year in psychology and president of Block O, as  the 100 Years of Ohio Stadium celebration will occur during the game.

“The anniversary is special to us as an organization because it allows us to reflect on how long we’ve been around,” Swartz said. “This year more than ever, we’ve been looking into the history of Block O, and it’s really cool to see how our traditions have evolved with the stadium itself.”

Yusty Sanchez, a fifth-year in communication and student football director, said Block O will look back to its spirited past with its traditional 1970s card stunt Saturday. Over 2,000 cards will be distributed for the stunt to show one image of the stadium from an aerial view. Block O will pay homage to both its foundation and the stadium by performing the stunt in its original section, 13A.

“The ‘Shoe has a rich history,” Sanchez said. “We wanted a way to tie everything together to honor 80 years of Block ‘O’ and the last 100 years of the stadium.”

Although the famous card stunt is a football-specific custom, Block O has expanded more traditions to other sports and facilities over the years. Now, students gather together and rally at nearly every athletic event.

However, Block O goes hand-in-hand with Ohio Stadium in its own way and acts as a school pride staple when the Buckeyes take the field.

“It’s both a home for me and the heartbeat of our organization,” Sanchez said. “Without Ohio Stadium, there is no Block O at all.”

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