Combine an Ohio State football bowl game with New Year’s Eve and what is the result?
A big party — or parties — throughout Delaware and central Ohio.
Fans watching the game at Restoration Brew Worx Saturday night got plenty to eat and drink, even if the Buckeyes’ performance on the field was a bit disappointing.
Frank Barickman, a co-owner and head brewer, called it “a fun night. This is a good atmosphere. We got New Year’s Eve, it’s Saturday night and we have the Buckeye game.”
Barickman is a Grand Master II Beer Judge, and was formerly the beer critic for The Other Paper.
Diners at Restoration had their choice of about 10 craft beers. The dinner special was corned beef and cabbage, which paired nicely with Maltimatum, a Scottish ale.
Frank and Kim Volenik were among those at Restoration enjoying a meal prior to kickoff.
“Our son, Andy, graduated from Ohio State so we feel like we own a piece of it,” Frank joked.
The Buckeyes, heading into the Fiesta Bowl playoff game against Clemson, produced an 11-win season.
“It’s been an interesting season. I’m glad they’re in the playoffs and have done well,” Frank Volenik said. “They’re a pretty solid team.”
But turnovers and an anemic offense hurt OSU in the 31-0 loss to Clemson.
“Obviously Clemson is a great team and Alabama is outstanding.” Volenik said.
The Voleniks have been longtime Ohio State fans and have a connection with former head coach Jim Tressel.
“We both had Tressel as an instructor at the University of Akron in 1976. I had him for tennis,” Kim recalled.
After dinner and the game the couple headed back to Marion to watch the traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop downtown.
Other patrons like Dereck Keller and Lindsey Davenport wore Buckeye attire and watched from the bar.
“We’ll probably be home early,” Keller said.
Before kickoff Keller said he thought the Scarlet and Gray had “a really good shot at winning. They seem to pull it out. Urban Meyer is definitely one of the best college football coaches in the country.”
Keller was pulling for the Buckeyes and wanted a showdown with The Crimson Tide, an earlier victor over Washington in the other semi-final game.
An early interception by OSU cornerback Gareon Conley and a nifty run by Curtis Samuel produced chants of “OH-IO” inside the 25 N. Sandusky Street establishment. But those were short-lived as the Tigers built a 17-0 halftime lead and punched their ticket to next Monday’s championship game.
Jim Delatore summed up the feelings of many Ohio State faithful.
“It was still a great season.”
Reach Gazette Editor Anthony Conchel at 740-413-0900.