JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ohio State University hasn’t lost a home opener for 34 years, but Paul Ryan thought he could give his alma mater Miami of Ohio some good luck with a visit today at the game in Columbus, Ohio.
He greeted supporters, taking photos, and shaking hands and he even met up with some Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers from his time at Miami University at a tailgate before the game, taking photographs and catching up.
Ryan greeted supporters including, 18-year-old Ohio State supporter Kyle Hopkins, who gets to vote for the first time this year. He said voting for Romney and Ryan, “kind of just feels right.”
He said it doesn’t matter that Ryan roots for the other team.
“It doesn’t really matter too much,” Hopkins said. “It’s still in Ohio. I still like Miami. Can’t hold that against him. As long as he’s not from a state up north that doesn’t matter too much to me.”
Alice Homan is also a Ryan fan, but her son plays for the Buckeyes so she said: “I’ll still vote for him, but my son’s on the team, so I have to root for the Buckeyes.”
The event was a family affair for Ryan: He attended with his wife, Janna, three children, Janna’s father, Dan Little, Ryan’s mother, Betty Douglas, as well has Ryan’s brother Tobin and wife Oakleigh. They were also all on hand for the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa.
Dressed in a red polo shirt and jeans, he played a game of cornhole with 11-year-old Zachary Wymer, each scoring one point. He then flipped some burgers, although the health-conscious Ryan didn’t partake.
Ryan’s mother Betty Douglas said it was “just like he did at McDonalds.” The vice presidential candidate worked at the fast food chain in high school.
As he was flipping burgers he yelled, “O-H” with the crowd yelling back, “I-O!”
After the tailgate he went inside the stadium to give his beloved Redhawks a pep talk and then watched part of the game in a club level box with Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi.
When he left his team was winning 3-0. But, that didn’t last long.
By the time the vice presidential candidate was in the air on his way to a joint rally with the top of the ticket his alma mater was losing to Ohio State 35-10.
Reporters wanted to see what he thought of his university’s change in fortune, so they rolled an orange down the aisle on the flight from Columbus to Jacksonville.
The candidate rolled it back with a message: “We were winning when I was there. Paul.”
Miami of Ohio eventually did lose by an even bigger margin: 56-10.