Celebration of Champions one to remember

It was a special day in Columbus today as the Celebration of Champions took place in Ohio Stadium in front of what some thought was 50,000 fans. Several special moments took place, including the seniors dotting the I during Script Ohio, Lane Avenue being renamed in honor of the team, and more.

The ceremony started as the team entered the stadium, and then Andy Geiger introduced the band, who then made the ramp entrance.  University President Karen Holbrook spoke, and then Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman took the mic and boisterously announced that Lane Avenue was being renamed "Champions Lane," firing up the team and the crowd. January 18th was also named as a day in honor of OSU's championship team.

After Governor Bob Taft spoke and discussed how Florida governor Jeb Bush lost a bet that would require him to wear a Buckeye jersey in front of all of the nation's governors in Washington next month, Andy Geiger introduced Archie Griffin to the crowd, who got a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.  Griffin then introduced Coach Tressel (who, in case you were wondering, has yet to change his hairdo).

"Thank you so much for everything you have done to make this happen," Coach Tressel said to the crowd.  "This group of young people (the team) is the best... We couldn't have done it without each and every one of you."

Coach Tressel then introduced the seniors, who he referred to as the best leaders in the country.  "Everything they asked of their teammates," Tressel said, "they were willing to do themselves and then some."

After introducing the seniors one-by-one, Tressel introduced captains Donnie Nickey and Mike Doss last.  Nickey said a few words, concluding with "They can never take this away from us... we did it!"  Doss then took over for a few words, and spoke one of the days more memorable quotes when he addressed Coach Tressel and said "A year ago, we sat in a room, and we had a mission.  Coach, mission accomplished!  Go Bucks!!!"

After a video highlight film, there was another special moment as the band performed a rendition of Script Ohio, during which the I was dotted by the OSU seniors.  The seniors high-stepped their way out to the I and huddled around to make maybe the largest I dot ever. 

Following Script Ohio, Cie Grant brought the house down as he performed a solo a capella version of "Carmen Ohio."  Then, to conclude the ceremony, the band performed "Carmen Ohio" one last time.  Players and fans sung along, and at its conclusion, players kissed and posed with the national championship trophy as fans departed the stadium.

And so the final chapter has been written in the story of the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes.  Everyone is already talking about next season, but today's event was just one more way this team will be cemented in OSU history.  Congratulations Buckeyes!

Buckeye Sports Top Stories