Ohio State asks fans to salute Navy on Sept. 5

August, 26, 2009
8/26/09
11:50
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio Stadium remains one of the nation's least hospitable and most intimidating venues for visiting teams. Ever since I covered my first game at The Shoe in 2001, I've considered it the toughest place to play in the Big Ten.

Buckeye Nation undoubtedly will make things tough for Navy when toe meets ball around noon ET on Sept. 5, but for a few moments before, Ohio State fans are being asked to serve as a welcoming committee. Ohio State wants its supporters to stand and cheer when Navy's players and coaches take the field before the opener. The athletic department has produced an online video that outlines the request and reads:
"Buckeyes know there are some things more important than football ... On September 5th, Buckeye fans can show our appreciation with a simple, yet powerful gesture ... rise to your feet and cheer when the U.S. Navy team when they take the field."

It's hard not to like this, and I hope more teams follow suit when they face the service academies. Navy players make tremendous sacrifices to play football.

I'd expect Buckeye fans to follow through and create a memorable scene on Sept. 5. Something tells me, though, that the reception won't be nearly as warm when USC takes the field a week later.

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