This year's Ohio State extravaganza sets sail Thursday from Tampa, and thousands of Buckeye fans will get the chance to spend five days at sea with celebrities like Urban Meyer and his family, Archie Griffin, Kirk Herbstreit, Brutus and a host of former Buckeyes who will do everything they can to bring scarlet-and-gray spirit to the open water.
Oh, and I'm going too.
That's right, I'M ON A BOAT.
Sorry, I had to.
But in all seriousness, since the inception of the cruise, Buckeye Sports Bulletin has given away a two tickets to a lucky subscriber each year, starting with the delightful Erma and Elmer Collins of Lima, Ohio, in 2008.
But this year, in order to bring all the spirit to fans across Buckeye Nation, I'm tagging along. My goal will be to provide as much color as I can about this truly magnificent event that has become an eagerly anticipated part of the Ohio State calendar in what is approaching a decade since its establishment.
There are numerous Buckeye-themed programs that will allow fans to get an up-close and personal look at what it means to bleed scarlet and gray. In the relaxed atmosphere, many of the Buckeye stars open up and show a fun side of their personalities in the on-stage shows put on by the cruise, something I'll try to capture along the way.
My goal will be to provide a story per day from the cruise, a small price to pay for spending some time in a warm climate after what has been a brutal Columbus winter. Will it happen? Who knows? I mean, do cruise ships even have wireless internet? And heck, I might fall overboard. To be honest, I've never been on a cruise before. This is kind of terrifying, and I know not what I am getting myself into. (Will I be able to watch Olympic hockey with Zach Boren? I need to know these things.)
Hopefully, this will be fun, and it will highlight what is one of the best causes out there when it comes to Ohio State athletics. The cruise, which is put together by Travel Partners in Dublin each year, has raised more than $3 million dollars for cancer research, including more topping the $1 million level last year.
This year's trip benefits the Urban and Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and we certainly hope you consider taking the cruise in the future or donating to this worthy cause.
So come sail away with us. Hopefully, it'll be a fun journey. And I won't die of a pirate attack.