Napoleon's Wiemken dots the 'I' twice in 2019

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Brett Wiemken's family is the typical Ohio State family which bleeds scarlet.

His parents are Ohio State graduates, so it is easy to imagine how it was growing up in their Napoleon home.

"I'm not saying we brain washed our kids, but they were Buckeye fans from day one," Brett's mother Patricia Wiemken said.

Except the athleticism on the field is not what grabbed young Wiemken's attention.

"I think it was 2009 against USC," Wiemken said reflecting on the moment he realized this was now his goal. "The I-Dotter actually when he went down for his bow, there was a cameraman in the way and he actually hit the cameraman and knocked the lens off the camera. I remember that very vividly."

Brett's father Jeff Wiemken has a similar memory of that moment.

"I came home after the game and he told me, 'Dad, I'm going to dot the I,'" Jeff said. "I was with my brother-in-law at the game, they were playing USC."

And so begins Brett's journey to this spotlight role with the Best Damn Band in the Land.

A piano player since age five, Brett spent the summer before his freshman year at Ohio State in the car with his parents driving three-days-a-week between Napoleon and OSU's campus in Columbus for band practice just so Brett could try out as a freshman.

"People don't really have an appreciation for the amount of time that it takes to make this happen," Patricia Wiemken said. "To even make the band in the first place."

Fourth-year sousaphone players pick their game to 'Dot the I' through a draft. Wiemken's status in his section allows him the first pick and Wisconsin was his choice.

The day starts with Skull Session at St. John Arena, where fans hear a preview of the tunes and of course see that day's "I Dotter."

The day begins well before this moment for Brett.

"Our report time was 6:30 that we had to be dressed in our uniform ready to go," Brett Wiemken said. "But I got up this morning around 3:45."

That's about eight hours before Wiemken plays Le Regiment in front of more than 102,000 people.

"I don't think anything could take anything special away from today," Brett Wiemken said. "Even if Mother Nature is having her storm and it just adds to the specialness of the day. It makes it more memorable."

Wiemken made the band every year and never lost a sousaphone challenge for his spot on game day.

"Overall all, I did pretty well," Brett Wiemken said. "I thought my strut looked pretty good. That's all I really wanted to pay attention to."

Wiemken also dotted the "I" when the band marched at a Cleveland Browns game this fall, and he also had a choice in the draft for the Michigan game since the band performs a double "Script Ohio" prior to the kick-off of The Game.

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