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My Adopted Family

Let's take a moment to remember why we love college football.
Ohio State players interacting with fans as they leave the field.

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Fans congratulate the Ohio State Buckeyes as they leave the field following their 42-7 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

To me, college football is about more than just wins and losses.

I was not "born and raised" a Buckeye. My parents did not dress me in scarlet and gray as a baby. I did not grow up idolizing Woody Hayes, or Archie Griffin, or Eddie George. I did not know the words to Carmen Ohio. It was never my dream to attend Ohio State. I arrived at this school in 2009 after wandering far from home, not quite sure what I had gotten myself into. I had lived in the same house my whole life and never spent any extended time in the Midwest. One of the main reasons I came to Ohio State was to get the experience of a big school with intense pride and competitive athletic teams. The moment I stepped on campus, I knew that this was a place where all of that could be found.

Many a fan base likes to refer to itself as a "nation" or some all-inclusive term that engenders a sense of connection. All major college programs have devoted fans, and Ohio State is no different; you really feel like you are related to everyone here. It was an especially welcoming feeling to a newcomer like me three years ago. I came in with zero connection to the Buckeyes, and immediately felt like a fan since birth.

Whether or not you are an Ohio State fan, this idea can be more broadly applied to the unifying capabilities of college football and sports as a whole. Sports bring people together who otherwise may have nothing in common. In the grand scheme of things, the results on the field have no real effect on the people in the stands. Win or lose, our lives will go on. But starting this weekend, strangers across the country will pack stadiums and unite over a common goal. And during that short amount of time, everyone will feel like family.

Now Check Out: The Most Amazing Moment Of My Young, Buckeye-Obsessed Life