True Love

By Johnny Ginter on February 14, 2012 at 2:00p
"Keep at it and never lose your cool"

Dear Reanimated Corpse of Woody Hayes,

My girlfriend wants to watch a movie with me, but the only things playing in theaters are girly romantic comedies and live action remakes of 80s cartoons! Do you have any suggestions for a helpless guy? Thanks,

Confused in Clintonville


Lt. Com. Hayes

Love is beautiful. It really is.

It also takes many forms. For example, some people see love as an all day Bones marathon on TNT, sighing as they stare deeply into the murky pools of David Boreanaz's eyes. Other people see love as manifested through a five pound bag of pork rinds, three liters of Mountain Dew, and a limited edition copy of Skyrim. And I guess still others see love in human connections and relationships, expressed in bonds manifested through family and friends that last throughout the ages blah blah blah who cares.

But if you're reading Eleven Warriors you know that another, weirder, yet just as valid kind of love is football love.

I know football love exists, because I know what happened in my heart on November 25th 1995 as a ten year old me (likely wearing sweatpants and sporting a Lloyd Christmas bowl cut) watched Eddie George commit various felonious acts against 11 defensive players from Illinois over the course of an evening to the tune of 314 yards rushing. I blame that game for two things: ruining my ability to play football videogames with any sort of proficiency as I refused and still refuse to pass the ball under any circumstances, and also planting a spore in my heart. A spore that's grown into a debilitating fungus that causes respiratory distress and prevents me from enjoying anything at all unless it's filtered through the context of Ohio State football.

This is only a slight exaggeration.

Dear James Louis,

I want to make my boyfriend a special dinner for Valentine's that he won't forget. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Cooking in Columbus


I knw dats bout right doe, pasta pasta pasta gotta have it tonight. I wanna fart so bad right now but dis gurl sitting behind me adn I'm afraid she gonna smell it. Dese cookies are too good. I will never drink dis much milk again mane. Dat lifestyle ain't fa everybody fa real doe.


This past fall, I was sitting on my couch, watching the Penn State game with a girl I had just started dating. As Ohio State was somehow outcoached and outplayed by a Nittany Lion team made up of bits of string and moxie, I tried to show her how Not Mad I was by denying my inner rage at the absolute lunacy of Matt McGloin outplaying Braxton Miller by going 10/18 for 88 yards and an INT seriously that was enough to beat Ohio State at home holy crap I'm going to break something I swear to-

"Ah, sweet pity."

"Are you mad?"

"What? H-ha ha. No, of course not. I mean, it's just football, right? Come on. Whatever! You know? Geez. I'm cool. Great, even."

"You seem mad."


And then we made out.

A few months later and the relationship was over. I could only sustain such manly rage and vitriol for so long; the Michigan game, which sent me into a downward spiral of shame and apathy, was just a mopey appetizer to the grand ennui entree that was the Gator Bowl. My Ohio State fandom had let me down, and childishly I wanted to put it aside for a while.

In reality I don't actually attribute the breakup to Ohio State losing the Michigan game. Sometimes things just don't work out between two people, even when Jim Bollman isn't actively sabotaging the entire operation. However it is probable that Miller hitting Posey in stride for a touchdown and giving OSU an insurmountable lead would've made me way more attractive by proxy. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

Dear Gene Smith,

I need some advice. I told my wife that I'd make her a fancy dinner for tonight; candles, steak, wine, the works. Instead, I fell asleep in bed while reading Doonesbury and she's going to be home in 15 minutes. Will she be angry?

Frightened in Franklinton


No way. I can say, with absolute certainty, that your wife will have no problem whatsoever with you breaking your promise, your "contract," so to speak. I forsee no additional punishment from either her or her mother, and if she forces you to sleep on the couch you will see behavior from me you haven't witnessed. Put on some pants, get some Arby's, and don't worry about it. You'll be fine.


The hiring of Urban Meyer and his subsequent dominance of the recruiting scene turned my mood around in a hurry. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and in this case said fish is an incredibly intense and motivated 47 year old man who energizes all around him with a weird, testosterone-y vibe that you can't help but get sucked into.

And that's a good thing. Since Meyer has been hired, he's hit all the right notes to make us love him: he's put his family first, declared that he wants his coaching staff to have strong Ohio connections, made Bret Bielema look like a tremendous crybaby, put together a semi-miraculous recruiting class, and generally been the type-A hardass coach that people in the Midwest identify the most with.

More importantly, he's made people excited. There ain't no kind of love like new love, and Urban Meyer has a grace period of roughly eight months to bask in the adulation of grumpy Ohioans who generally express themselves through squinted eyes and half nods to indicate that something that meets with their approval, like a hot dog that's still steaming hot or a billion dollar gift card to Lowe's.

This may change, because ultimately what'll decide how Meyer is thought of is wins and losses. It's exciting, fun, and a little scary. But that's the thing about love: unless you're dead inside (which in my case may be debatable), the prospect of something new, something that could be great, makes you believe in the whole enterprise all over again.


Football/basketball/Ohio State sports in general will always pale into comparison to the relationships that we form with other people; our families, friends and significant others. That love is something beyond what I'm talking about today, and we hold on to it like grim death because we don't want to lose it and would be devastated if we did. We guard it jealously, like Smaug's gold or Hoke's chocolate.

So no, love for Ohio State or sports in general isn't as important as that. Fate just spins some kind of goofy roulette wheel when we're born and arbitrarily choo-choo chooses that we'll be stamp collectors or mandolin enthusiasts or college sports fans at a young age. What that does mean is that we can get mad at that affection and chuck it into the fire sometimes, hoping it goes away for a while. But nope, that sucker is laden with asbestos, always right there on the swings afterwards to bee friends in the end.

And ultimately that's not too shabby of a thing to have.

Happy Valentine's Day everybody.


Comments Show All Comments

AltaBuck's picture

"My daddy's gun tastes like pennies" - Ralph Wiggum

I am Groot - Groot

bukyze's picture

I think this is the episode when Lisa gives Ralph a Valentines Day card (with a picture of a Choo Choo train on the front).  Ralph reads the inside of the card, and it says "You choo choo choo choose me!"  Classic episode.

Jdadams01's picture

The advice letters are fantastic. I think you nailed all three.

Johnny Ginter's picture

to be fair, j lou wrote his own via tweets

flipbuckeye's picture

With all due respect, J Lou's was missing how much he misses his mom's cooking. Besides that, it was spot on.

Johnny Ginter's picture

i know, i was just putting together random tweets of his and trying to come up with something semi-sensical. he's so great. i miss him on the team. :(

BuckeyeSki's picture

Three liter's of Mt Dew and Skyrim?

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Elika's picture

Johnny's recap of the Penn State game reminds me so much of my own love life. This explains so much... too much, really.

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

hodge's picture

I'm a Bengals fan whose been dating a Steelers fan for three years now...that Penn State recap was like the second game those two teams played this year.

I'm such a masochist.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Elika, much like that PSU game, better times are ahead of you.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I mean, what can be worse than that?

Ethos's picture

That Hayes letter was classic.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Joe Beale's picture

"The Longest Day" is a great movie. 

AltaBuck's picture

That cast was loaded: Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery...just to name a few.

I am Groot - Groot

RBuck's picture

So was this. I always think of Woody whenever I see this.

Long live the southend.

LadyBuck's picture

Happy Valentine's Day, 11W people. Hopefully, we'll all get to bond with our loved ones (friends, family, or significant others) over OSU sports tonight. 8)


Northbrook's picture

Johnny, brilliant.

Scott's picture

Good work, Johnny. Hope everyone on 11W is having a great day. Go Bucks.

Class of 2008

pcon258's picture

as so many great rappers have said: "ohio state over bitches." or maybe it was money over bitches, whatever, i prefer the former. 

(*hope the term "bitches" doesnt offend anyone, there was no way around it; i just can't imagine 2pac saying women, dont know if its in his vocabulary)



beyond that, great article, loved the woody advice letter. based on the stories i've heard that couldnt be more true

BucksfanXC's picture

Tupac certainly had the word women in his vocabulary. He differentiated between women and bitches frequently. He was raised by a woman and had nothing but respect for women who had respect for themselves. Likewise, not all bitches were female. So, in conclusion, you didn't offend me by using bitches, but you did offend me by slighting 2pac.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

There was a great special about The Game and rivalry on HBO where Archie was talking about when Woody threw out all of the waitresses at the team dinner and had them replaced with guys because he thought it was a ploy by Bo to distract his players!  Classic Woody!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

NeARBuckeye's picture

I was on a testosterone shrinking group date with my girlfriend and her friends during the Miami game. By the time I was able to usher everyone into the nearest Mexican restaurant for dinner and catch a glipse of the game, Ohio State promptly began screwing the pooch and bauserbombing balls into the stands. The following conversations ensued:

"Oh no, I'm not mad about that play. Though you know, a 4th grader could've made that throw."

"No I'm not mad."

"No it's okay, you don't have to leave."

"Please take me home so I don't break things in public."

"You pick the movie."

Worst night ever. I thought the Miami game was punishment enough for my sins, but nooooooo, some asshole wrote and produced The Notebook.

awwwwwwop's picture

The Notebook could have been worse.  Nothing is worse than Morning Glory. That is the worst movie I have ever seen that I wasn't watching solely for how awful it was.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

ArTbkward's picture

Funny story- this kindergartner must hate Charlie Weis too.  If I was this kid's parent, I would be beaming with pride.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Look in the tunk

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

741's picture

I love lamp.