And songs to alma mater raise
The funny thing, looking back, is that Cie Grant didn’t have any plans to sing “Carmen Ohio” at Ohio State’s 2002 national championship celebration.
Of course, now his rendition of the school alma mater is one of the things he’s known for in Buckeye Nation, along with bringing down Miami QB Ken Dorsey on the final play of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl to ensure the Buckeyes would win the national championship.
But when he arrived at Ohio Stadium on a frigid Saturday for the team’s on-campus celebration – which will be reprised tomorrow at a slightly warmer Horseshoe – the linebacker didn’t really have time to warm up his voice before being asked to cap the event with his version of the song.
While our hearts rebounding thrill/
With joy which death alone can still
Teammates knew he could belt out a tune, though – after all, he was good enough to sing in the Delphian Chorale, an elite choir, in high school in New Philadelphia, Ohio – and Grant stepped up to the challenge.
“If it wasn’t just sprung on me, I don’t know if I would have done it,” he recently told BSB. “It was one of those things where we were sitting out there, freezing our tails off, and Craig Krenzel came up to me and he’s like, ‘Hey, man, you need to sing Carmen Ohio.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, they don’t even know about that. That’s between our team.’ He said, ‘A couple of guys on the squad talked to Andy Geiger and said we need to have Cie Grant do it.’
“It was like our team, put up or shut up in crunch time, and I went for it. That could have turned out horribly, but I went for it just like our team went for it. I didn’t know what anyone was going to think, but I’m glad I did it for the simple fact that we’re not just football players. We have guys with a broad range of talents, and I was able to show that.”
Indeed, Grant did. He’s become known for his version of the alma mater, having performed it again at the 2002 team’s 10-year anniversary bash in 2012 and also recorded a version that took social media by storm leading up to this year’s playoff victory.
Summer's heat or winter's cold/
The seasons pass the years will roll
Whether another player will stand up and do it this year remains to be seen. Ohio State’s celebration will be held tomorrow in the stadium from 11-noon and be shown on Big Ten Network, which will also broadcast a half-hour highlights show before the event starting at 10:30. Such notables as Gov. John Kasich, Columbus mayor Mike Coleman, OSU president Michael Drake and head coach Urban Meyer are slated to speak.
“I like to sing but I can’t sing,” he said. “It’s a Grant thing. We’ll see. Cie Grant, I’ll do it next.”
Time will tell if there’s any musical surprises set in stone for Saturday. But to hear Cie tell it, having a Buckeye step up and do sing the alma mater would be, well, music to his ears.
“I would be tickled to death to see someone actually stand up there and give it a go,” he said. “I’ll back you up as much as possible, but no one has to do it. This is your team. That was something that was within our team, and of course now it’s become tradition, but I’d be tickled to see a guy – I don’t care if it’s Doran or whoever it is – get up there and sing the school alma mater.”
Time and change will surely show/
How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!
UPDATE: Ohio State has sent out addition info on Saturday's celebration.
- The celebration will be held at Ohio Stadium from 11 a.m. until 12 noon. Admission is free and the forecast is lovely (partly sunny and temps in the 40s).
- Fans can enter the stadium beginning at 9:15 a.m. at these gates: North Rotunda 1, NR2, NR3, 7, 9, 11, 15, 23, 25, 8, 14, 16 and 24.
- Parking is free at all surface lots and in the following garages: Lane Avenue, West Lane, Tuttle, Northwest, Neil and Arps. See attached PDF. (The exception is the West Stadium lot which will require a pass.) Parking map attached.
- Coffee (Tim Horton’s carts) and hot chocolate and popcorn will be sold at A Deck concession stands, including a souvenir hot chocolate for only $5.
- Free collectables include a Homage rally towel upon entrance and a souvenir poster when leaving.
- The second half of the national championship game will be played on the scoreboard starting at 9:30 a.m.
- The Columbus Dispatch will be selling copies of its Jan. 13, 2015, newspaper at two locations outside the stadium.
- Sight and sound delights will include the team, the band, pyro, smoke, videos and speeches from dignitaries and special guests.
- Coach Urban Meyer will speak around 11:30 a.m. and will receive national championship trophies from the American Football Coaches Association (from executive director Gary Darnell), the Associated Press (from regional vice-president Eva Parziale) and, of course, from the College Football Playoff (from Mike Kelly, chief operating officer).
- Numerous players will speak on behalf of the team.
- A season recap video, including 12 minutes of post-championship game celebration, will close out the event.