In the spirit of being fashionably late to the party, we arrive upon the confessional with sins in our hearts, but with this platform to let it all out and seek forgiveness. If you've already bared your burden elsewhere, worry not: you've probably sinned a lot. We know we have. In fact, yours truly took his penance publicly for committing unspeakable crimes of the heart a few years prior, but like bills, over time, the sins keep on piling up.
In order to break the ice for the rest of y'all, I'll take my lumps first:
5. I couldn't care less about who starts at tailback for Ohio State -- so long as they're effective.I really don't.
These sorts of micro-managerial debates don't interest me in the least. More so than probably any other position, two running backs are not just beneficial but required to maintain any kind of sustained ground attack. If Ohio State spreads the wealth and Boom and Saine rack up 2K yards, I'll be happy as a clam. If one does it and the other is relegated to F5 duty? I won't lose any sleep.It may seem a bit utilitarian, but as long as either a healthy mix of guys or one stud is putting the pain on opposing D's, I couldn't care less if their jerseys read "L. ROSS" and "CLARETT" on the back. It's only when, let's say... both inexplicably fail to make any kind of tangible impact will I then pick up a pitchfork and join some of y'all.
4. I slept through an entire Ohio State home game -- I had tickets to.The story is stupid and yes, embarrassing, but such is college. During the 5 quarters I was eligible to purchase football tickets, only once did a prior night in any way have any bearing on my being at an Ohio State game the next afternoon. While numerous of those afternoons involved little to no actually restful sleep, and others 5+ hours of "preparing" just to head down to the Shoe, one particular evening a roommate and I attended a house party on Indiana Ave. Some turn of events or another transpired, and suddenly all 5 of the house's occupants were calling it a night and we were the lone two still standing. However, the last housemate throwing in the red flag made the mistake of instructing us "feel free to stay as long as you guys want and have anything we have left from the party." We interpreted this as a green light to partake in their bounty which overfloweth and order multiple On Demand movies on their DVR until College GameDay started (the real irony -- both he and I wound up living in that very same house with some of the same guys later in our college careers).
After making the mile trek down to 13th after a night of indulgence and Denzel Washington blowing things up, no combination of Red Bull/Sparks and coffee could bring me back to life. I slept through the entire pre-game, sleep walking my way back to my room, and waking up without having seen so much as a single play. The roommate was less lucky as he actually made it into the stadium, only to nearly be removed by security for repeatedly falling asleep all over the unsuspecting co-eds in front of him in C-Deck. Live to win, sir.
Had Ohio State not rolled in a less-close-than-the-score indicated 21-10 fashion, there's no doubting I would've wound up more cripplingly superstitious than ever.
3. I wish I could get back to rooting against every team in the conference. All the time.This is a double confessional. Let me start by admitting that I was born and raised a Longhorn fan, and rooted for LSU and Florida 2nd and 3rd respectively until I was 18, saw the light, and moved to the Midwest. However, I never once in my 9-10 years of following the Longhorn football team can ever so much as recall a single incident where I rooted for a Big XII (or SWC) school to "better the conference". The very concept still just feels wrong more than it does right. The idea of rooting on a repeat enemy for any reason was irrational to me then, and in some ways, will continue to be until we live in a world where this can be done again without hive mind fan syndicates bellowing down the 3 letters representing entire conferences of other teams that should want nothing to do with the ones doing the baiting.
A buddy of mine made the trek from Columbus to New Orleans roughly 6 months after the Ohio State/LSU nightmare and ran into a group of LSU paraphernalia clad folks in their mid 20's. When the inevitable "where you boys from?" was ultimately uttered, the cat calls predictably began. "Hey, hats off. The Tigers were a great team and their championship was 100% deserved. Great game," my friend couldn't get out soon enough. No sooner did he offer up the sportsmanly olive branch than one of the Tiger faithful step up in his face and mutter, "so when were you going to congratulate us on last year's championship?"
2. I like Brent Musburger. A lot.Besides epitomizing an almost entirely gone culture of sports broadcasting, the dude is just plain awesome.
Degenerate gambler? Check -- his constant lip service to over/unders and lines is no coincidence, folks. Likes to crack a cold one after a hard day's work? You know it. Besides, how many announcers can you name that virtually 100% of the fan bases that listen to him are convinced he somehow has loyalties to the team they're rooting against? That's a gift.
While we're in the mode of confessing, I have to confess that Musburger's ceaseless awesomeness inspired this recent purchase of office desk decor. Oh my, indeed.
1. Jim Tressel is the best coach Ohio State's ever had.This one scares the hell out of me, but more each day do I come to realize that the era of Ohio State football we're living in may not be reciprocated for sometime after The Vest hangs it up. No disrespect to the General; Wayne Woodrow Hayes is an iconic, timeless, bigger-than-life-itself figure who in many ways represented everything good Ohio State and Ohio State football were about. But symbolicness aside, few have come close to the sort of decades (in this more regulated, truly national recruiting landscape modern era) Mr. James Patrick Tressel just led us all through while running a respectable, mostly spotless program.
It may not always be sexy to watch, and it certainly isn't en vogue to brag to your out of town family and co-workers from other schools about how proud you are to be a Buckeye, but you might want to consider making it a priority sooner rather than later. The odds of J.T.'s successor coming anywhere close to hitting the same mark are slimmer than we usually care to think about.