To the Victor

By Chris Lauderback on July 30, 2012 at 1:00p
We're going to see plenty of this from Hyde in 2012

So we laid my aunt to rest this morning.

She was only 55 and it definitely was not expected.

I wasn’t really that close with her anymore – we saw each other typically just on holidays or when my stepdad and brother’s band played at various questionable bars around Columbus – but she was always an incredibly upbeat lady and my brother and I were much closer to her when we were kids.

Before I go any further, my apologies for not bringing 1,000-1,500 words on how Carlos Hyde is going to be the guy that most exceeds expectations on offense with Bradley Roby doing the same on the other side of the ball. The good news, though, is that both are inevitable. 

Anyway, despite usually doing pretty much whatever I can to avoid dealing with death, I did spend a good bit of last night thinking about those times when my bro and I were kids, moving from baseball season right into football season followed by a basketball-heavy winter. 

From age 5 until we eventually took our sports playing to the high school level, my stepdad coached virtually every single one of those teams and besides my mom, it was my aunt that made a run at nearly a decade’s worth of perfect attendance.

I always thought that was pretty impressive – how dedicated she was to cheering us on – but I really credit her for was helping instill the importance of winning.

Back in those days, it was still okay for the really good teams (usually us) to beat the crap out lesser squads. Winning was important. Participation trophies meant nothing. During baseball season and through the start of football we were only allowed to go the pool for a few hours so we didn’t blow all our energy before first pitch or kickoff.

My aunt’s role in all of this was to pony up a trip to Dairy Queen provided we brought home a victory.

Losses didn’t earn a banana split with all hot fudge. Hell, they didn’t even earn a dollar to load up on a cocktail of Lemonheads, Jawbreakers, Cow Tales and Fun Dip.

That was a big deal to us. We wanted to kick ass and when the game was over, I guess you could say we wanted our just desserts. Mere seconds after the postgame coach speak, we’d be in her bad ass orange Trans Am complete with t-tops and a huge, black hood bird before she could even fold up her lawn chair.

The chariot - before powering its champions to DQ

We’d relive the key moments during the game that served as a catalyst for our trip to sugar town and we’d have the same debates on what we were going to get.

I usually acted like I was going to change things up with a peanut buster parfait but I always found my way back to a large heath bar blizzard before we rolled up on the set, hoping our uniforms were dirty enough to make it evident to any onlookers that we had won, and done so convincingly.

The more I think about it, dangling of a free trip to Dairy Queen where things like glorious hot fudge and ridiculously hot high school coeds lurked behind the counter essentially helped guide us toward understanding the essence of life.

Life is about winning. To the driven, that means trying to be the best as a father, husband, person, employee, friend and the like. I tip my cap to my aunt for doing her small part to instill a desire to not only win, but to simply want to have something “on the line”.

A direct byproduct of this for many is carried over into our extra-curricular activities. Because of an ingrained appetite for winning, aka being successful, we gravitate toward competition.

That’s why we’re such diehards when it comes to our favorite sports teams. When the Buckeyes win, it feels like we won with them. The ‘they’ morphs into ‘we’ and we drink to old Ohio to we wobble in our shoes.

With the one year post-season ban in place, the ultimate spoils for the Buckeyes won’t be in play this year. No BCS title berth, no BCS bowl, not even a Gator. All that remains is a shot to put Michigan back in their place.

Once victory is secured, I hope Urban steals a page from my aunt’s book and takes the boys out for a Brownie Earthquake. What better way to celebrate sweet redemption than with the should-be-illegal combination of ice cream, brownies, Oreos, hot fudge, and whipped cream?

Life is about winning. To the victor go the spoils.


Comments Show All Comments

Ethos's picture

Sorry for your loss, Funerals are awful no matter how close you were to the person.  On a positive note, Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard is >*

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

buckeyeEddie27's picture

^ nail, meet head

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

E2Brutus's picture

I can whole-heartedly agree with you Ethos. The Combo of Chocolate, PB and ice cream is just the best.
As we get older things like parties, girls and alcohol replace those tasty treats as the spoils of victory but that doesn't mean they are any less delicious. BTW that TransAm is Boss!

Buckeyeneer's picture

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard with peanut butter sauce mixed in is my fave. Had one last night to celebrate spending all weekend rebuilding my deck. Sorry about your aunt Chris.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

ccollins0325's picture

Yeah, baby! 

(Sorry for your loss)

Rapping Bum's picture

Sorry about your loss. 
Now I want some DQ.

Help is on the way.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Sorry to hear about that Chris.  My wife's Granmother passed just two weeks ago.  She was very close to her, it was basically more than a mother than her real mom.  Anyhow...hope syou're doing ok...death is never easy to deal with (especially when it's family).
On a funny note, that car reminds me of Frank the Tanks car from Old School;-)

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

sir rickithda3rd's picture

sorry for your loss. I just had to put my dog down after 17 yrs (whom i was beyond close to). def not comparing a dog to a person but it hurt all the same. in other news im so glad others grew up with the mentality that it wasnt ok to participate, winning is why you play, i still remember my dad telling my mom its not just about having fun lol. we always went to a fine establishment called the jer-zee after our victories :-)

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

flipbuckeye's picture

This was a great read.
I don't always eat DQ (we had our own local shake shoppe that offered up a more ecclectic variety of "blizzard" flavors), but when I do, I prefer the Heath bar blizzard.

Nappy's picture

Sorry for your loss.  As someone who has buried more friends than someone ever should, I can easily say there is no easy way to deal with death.  The best thing, for me, is to try to remember the good memories and appreciate the times you had.  Dealing with it as much as I have had to has taught me to enjoy what you have while you can and take nothing for granted.  Don't waste time in internet arguments with someone you never met about whether or not it's acceptable to boo college kids.  Live life as if you'll never have another opportunity to do it.
And this

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I almost lost my father this last week so as he was in the hospital and various operating rooms - the conversations with my brother, friends, and family always revolved around lessons learned or experienced and funny anecdotes related to the person you're hanging around to hear about.  
Condolences to you and your family!

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

btalbert25's picture

Today, well late tonight/early am tomorrow marks 2 years since I lost my grandpa. I was close with all my grandparents, but as I grew up he and I really formed a special bond.  He was that family member other than my mom or dad who went to watch me play baseball and basketball the most.  Hell he even came to my quick recall matches in high school to watch.  I went to a high school that didn't have football so he and I would pick games on Fridays to go watch.  Honestly, looking back that's the best thing I ever got out of sports, not the competion, not the wins and losses, or championships.  I formed bonds with friends, my dad, my grandpa, and others along the way that will give me life long memories. 

doodah_man's picture

Sorry for your have great memories of her....

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

20sider's picture

Sorry for your lose.
My t-ball coach had a black Trans-Am with gold bird on the hood. I can vividly remember riding to practice with him after a quick hot dog (bun and kethcup) dinner when my parents got home. And going for ice cream afterwards. I was always partial to grape slushies.
Lemonheads and fun dip... mmmm. <sugar buzz>
Carlos has definitely won the ice cream from the off season. Let's see him cash in on the opportunity. I wouldn't mind seeing Rod Smith bust out with a monster year also.


Geraffi's picture

Sorry for your loss, Chris.  You have honored your aunt with a great article. Couldn't help but reminisce about my childhood growing up in Columbus, chilling at Tamarak Pool, pounding fun dip and whatnot, and our post game trips to DQ.  Thanks for a great read. 

UFest57's picture

Sorry for your loss, Chris.
This past Friday I got a call telling me that my best friends father had passed away. Tragic news. It's funny how this article of death and desserts tie so well together with our situations. Growing up, my buddy and I played on the same little league teams and his dad, along with my own were there for every game. WIth the passing of my friends father, we sat and talked about those days when our dads would root and coach us on from the bench or the stands as we played. The victories were made even sweeter when we would get a ride to Archie's (the local sweet spot) for post game ice-cream.

Jdadams01's picture

Sorry for your loss, Chris. It sounds like no matter how close your were to her, your aunt made a permanent mark on you. That's the best thing about these situations; we remember how important those memories and impacts are and learn to cherish our loved ones even more. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Evansvillebuckeye's picture

Sorry for your loss - sounds like a great lady.
On the flip side, with the way the NCAA regulations are - if Urban were to do that after beating Meatchicken - it probably would be illegal....Go Bucks!!

AC1972's picture

This is why I love this site.  It is not just about sports. It's also about life...and why the two are indistinguishable.
Good job, Chris. 

JBuckeye's picture

Sorry about your aunt bro. 
I went to my nephews t-ball game for the first time a few weeks ago.  My nephew is the only one to not have to hit of the tee all season long.  However I was totally disgusted with the "everyone gets to hit, we don't keep score, here's your participation trophy" 
My hope is that if I'm ever blessed enough to have children I'll be able to find a sports league where they haven't turned into a bunch of namby pamby panty waisted nancies!
Oh..and Georgia Mud Fudge FTW!

buckeyedude's picture

Sorry here too bro, for your loss.
When I was a kid, after the game, rides to "Chilly Willy" were done in the back of my dad's Chevy Silverado pick up truck with the other 13 baseball players screaming, "We're #1!!!!" Try that today and see how far you get.
The only other thing I have to say is "Viva El Guapo!"
I was big on El Guapo, when it was uncool to be big on El Guapo.