Tom Herman Spent 19 Hours in an Atlanta Traffic Jam

January 29, 2014 at 10:09a    by Kyle Rowland    
I doubt he was smiling much.

Crazy recruiting stories are nothing new. But Tom Herman's Tuesday in Atlanta takes the cake this year. The OSU offensive coordinator spent 19 hours in his car, traveling a distance of 1.5 miles in 10 hours!

Luckily, he live-tweeted the entire adventure for our pleasure.

Herman eventually left his rental car on the highway and attempted to walk to Hartsfield International Airport before hitching a ride. 




1MechEng's picture

SEC Speed?!
Seriously ... that's amazing for Tom Herman to have that much patience and not abandon his vehicle sooner.

Baroclinicity's picture

Got a couple very close Buckeye friends there that I can't get a hold of.  Hoping they didn't spend the night in their cars...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

SilverState's picture

Lock for Recruiter of the Year.

BHT's picture

Definitely! I know I would not have the patience to be in a car traveling 1.5 miles in 10 HOURS. Not many recruters would do what Herman did here. The only good thing to do to keep yourself occupied is call recruits and say Muck Fichigan!

vtbuckeye's picture

My brother in law ditched his car in a grocery store parking lot and walked the last 1.3 miles home yesterday.  His friends ditched cars in mall parking lots and walked. 
I'm in Vermont. so the idea that cold and snow would stop everything is completely foreign to me.  I laughed a little bit my first year at tOSU when local schools were canceled due to cold.

Bucks's picture

Had this conversation with my GM this morning. I don't remember school being closed for cold my entire middle/high school duration in UA.

On the flip, spent tons of time in PA where kids are walking to the bus in 2ft.

Killer nuts's picture

I feel for the folks in the South during all of this. The cities are poorly equipped to handle this type of weather and the ice down there can get pretty bad. I just hope everyone is safe on the roads

OSUStu's picture

I think they will be fine.  Their real problems start when they have to play football in the cold.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

VestedInterest's picture

Hailing from NE Ohio and currently residing in Charleston, SC...
They have literally closed everything. While we laugh at the inability to navigate through what we consider a minor nuisance, they are completely ill equipped to handle snow/ice, no salt trucks, plows, sand etc...hell, you can't even buy an ice scraper at Wal-Mart because they just don't carry the item. Couple that with the fact that most drivers have zero experience in these conditions and it's best to stay home anyway. Still funny though.

osu07asu10's picture

Couple that with the fact that most drivers have zero experience in these conditions

I lived in Western NC for 5 years and it is this exact reason why I wouldn't drive when any snow or ice was forecasted.  People down there truly have no clue how to drive in it and make it really dangerous for others who do.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

osupolo's picture

I drove through Atlanta coming back form the Outback Bowl in January of '02 and it started snowing a little bit. The total accumulation was less than 1/4" and people were driving like there was a sheet of ice on the road.  Luckily there were three of us and we used the car pool lane.

JC-28's picture

I currently live in Atlanta. It's a complete mess. There are still cars on the road this morning that have been there since yesterday afternoon. I was lucky enough to beat a lot of the traffic and it "only" took me 4 hours to make my 30 minute drive home. Despite knowing for days this storm was coming the city was somehow caught completely unprepared. I know the city doesn't have the equipment to deal with this but a little bit of forward thinking would have made a huge difference. 

spqr2008's picture

The city might not have the appropriate equipment, and it might actually damage some equipment, but most seed dispensers (a lot can be tractor or truck mounted) can be converted to salt dispensers in a pinch.  You just have to rinse the living heck out of them before you put seed in them again, or you get dead grass.

VestedInterest's picture

From what I have heard, and maybe you can confirm this, is that the mayor chose not to take any preventative measures (ie; brine solution) despite having the ability to do so. Everything I have heard points to a money saving, poor judgment situation.

JC-28's picture

That pretty much sums it up. And to make things worse, both the mayor and the governor made statements saying the storm came up unexpectedly and caught everyone off guard and tried to pass the blame off to other people.

cplunk's picture

We had this happen here in DC a few years back. It took me fifteen hours to get home. Yes, that's 15, with a one and a five.
At one point I left my car in the traffic (hadn't moved for two hours), walked to a CVS, and bought food, gatorade (wide mouth bottles for dual use, if you know what I'm saying), a flashlight, a book, and a snuggie. Fully expected to spend the night in my car. 
Best of luck to those in Atlanta

703Buckeye's picture

Where in DC do you live? I've never seen a 15 hour traffic jam in my 12 years here.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

NCBuckeye1's picture

I was stuck on I-95 a few years ago for 11 hours during the first "Snowmageddon" just shy of Quantico, VA. We had been stopped so long when I got out to pee around hour 6 or 7, my car had 6 inches of snow on the roof. Unlike the OP, I was unable to get to anything that resembled a CVS.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

703Buckeye's picture

That Snowmageddon was ridiculous, especially given that it was a real snowstorm. I actually left for Cleveland the morning before the first storm hit... best decision I made that year.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

NCBuckeye1's picture

Yeah, we were driving from NC to NH for Xmas and a family event, and had to be in NH by Sunday, but couldn't leave NC Friday night due to the snow in NC. It was just a giant cluster from the start.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

Go1Bucks's picture

I was there for that, just missed getting stuck. Made it home to Reston, va and didnt leave for 2 days after, but enjoyed the hell out of my Macallan 30. My neighbors and I had the most fun that could be when snowed in, close quarters and trying to stay warm.  Thank the gods they were 29 and nice looking females.

Go Bucks!

cplunk's picture

Work in Alexandria and live in Manassas. I made it about halfway and then all entrances to 66 were closed to new traffic. That jammed up all the roads around, which included me. I sat at Fairfax Circle for several hours without moving a single inch.
And I had many friends that day who were stuck on GW Parkway for almost a full 24 hours. The Parkway was, at one point, closed for traffic.
***edited to add one more link which has better summary of events***

703Buckeye's picture

Alexandria to Manassas? That's unfortunate, lol. I remember that storm now, I elected to not go out that day.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

CptBuckeye24's picture

19 hours?  I would've said the hell with this after about 2. 

osubuck57's picture

We live in Atlanta area and it was CRAZY traffic !! Took my wife almost 4 hours to get home instead of the normal 35 minutes. Folks were probably stranded all night depending on where they had to go.


GABuckeye's picture

I'm down here in Atlanta as well.  I live 3 miles from work, so luckily I got home in like 45 minutes (which actually pissed me off at the moment).  The problem here is, like everyone said, we just aren't prepared to deal with this stuff.  There are very few salt trucks, plows, etc.  Couple that with the fact that everyone here thinks they're the most important person on the road, so they try to go as fast as they can not knowing how to drive in this stuff (let alone icy roads).  Then you see cars spin out, end up in ditches, and block everyone else's way to get home.  

Buckeye06's picture

Since they knew this was coming, was there no way to drive some trucks down to the south to give them some help preparing (giving salt trucks etc)?
The north has plenty of them for their cities (obviously they are needed as well) but I mean maybe make some small sacrifices to help out the rest of the country who as we have said is ill equipped
I'm in Miami and have avoided all of this

BME_Buckeye's picture

Believe it or not most cities up here are struggling to balance their salt reserves throughout the city. Here in Cleveland, we've had to cut back on salting certain roads. I know Lorain and parts of Detroit have experienced this, and I would likely imagine others are feeling this strain in other cities up north.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


Go1Bucks's picture

Hell, I dont miss any of those roads, especially Brookpark, its bad enough when dry

Go Bucks!

Oyster's picture

Buckeye06, (in my best Southern drawl) you're not from around here, are you?  Nice idea, very generous indeed.  But a truck loaded with salt will only take care of a few miles of road before they are out.  Your idea follows the concept where electric companies come and help other states during storms, but it is not practical for snow removal.  Let Mother Nature take of it.
Also, what is the temp in Miami today?  Not really sure I want you to answer though ; )

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

Buckeye06's picture

Low to mid 70s I think.
It was gorgeous yesterday.
I just feel like if you know something is coming, and this is the best the entire country is prepared, it's bad news haha

NCBuckeye1's picture

While a lot of the areas were expecting this storm, at least here in NC they were forecasting it to hit a lot further east then it ultimately did, so my assumption is that they diverted a number of the salt trucks that direction to help out in those areas, and by the time the forecast changed it was too late.
Not saying this is what happened in Atlanta, but for them to have had school yesterday to begin with, shows that this storm impacted them a lot more than was forecasted. 
I live in north-central North Carolina and the forecast for my area was that we were going to be missed completely up until yesterday morning.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

thunderhawks51's picture

Woody would have only been impressed If he pushed the car all the way back to Ohio

Squirrel Master's picture

I love how you all are fixated on his 19 hour journey and not even thinking about the fact that some guy had the opportunity to give the OC for OSU a ride for a couple miles. That would be AWESOME!
I wouldn't take any money but I might think about trying to get on the field the next game I go to. Perhaps the UM game next year!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

PittBuckeye's picture

And I would have him write down the story and sign a copy of it so that everyone believed me. Because otherwise who's going to believe he picked up Ohio States offensive coordinator in Atlanta in the middle of an ice storm.

JDunc686's picture

You know that guy was like "c'mon Tom, who's really calling the plays on defense next season?"

GoBucks713's picture

 Sorry I had to. But that's actually pretty metal thinking about the fact that he sat in his car for 19 hours then decided to walk 5 miles in the cold.

-The Aristocrats!

TheShookster's picture

As much as I want to make fun of the South for not knowing how to drive in the snow/ice, I crashed my car 2 weeks ago thanks to icy conditions around yeah, it's still insane to think of sitting in a car, headed nowhere for 19 hours. I would go absolutely insane.

Oyster's picture

You see the same thing happen in the North when the first snow of the year hits.  Everyone seems to forget how to drive in it.  I also laugh when I see the SUV flying past everyone and then you see them in the ditch 2 miles later.  Kharma, she can be a bitch sometimes... 

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

TheShookster's picture

Couldn't agree more with the Karma thing anymore. The other driver involved in my crash was luckily not at all injured, but let's just say if you rolled up all your bad driver stereotypes into one entity, this person would be the end result...and IM THE ONE who caused the crash.

Oyster's picture

I was listening to 610 on the way home Saturday afternoon when the snow was still very bad (had to work last weekend).  There was a guy who called in, while driving, and in the middle of his call he hit a concrete barrier.  Why would you be on the phone when the roads are that bad?  We couldn't go over 35 on 270 at that time and he called a radio station to talk about windshield wipers.  I have no compassion for him.

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Is the old chinese woman ok?

TheShookster's picture

LOL I don't know if you directed that at me, but I'm taking it that way. and yes, she is okay.

Nick's picture

What's more dangerous then diving the speed limit or faster is the people that go way too slow and don't even have their lights on. I would say a good 50% of people don't know what lights are.

Kurt's picture

Another good argument for stronger public transit.  More specifically rail transit.

Oyster's picture

You still have to drive to the rail station/bus stop though.  Not everyplace is like NYC where you can walk to get public transportation.

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

Kurt's picture

Transit Oriented Development.  Some people can walk to the station, others can drive.

Jack_Q_Football's picture

I want to see Al Gore play in traffic.

Crimson's picture

Ummm, ice can cause derailing too.  We don't have the population density like Europe does.

Kurt's picture

Snow and ice can slow rail transit as well yes, but if Atlanta had better transit, they wouldn't be crippled to this level.
Because our entire built environment is focused around the automobile.  Other places have built smarter, with all means in mind, not one over all others.  

Nick's picture

Most American cities aren't cramped together and not designed for mass public transportation. Even if you can get public transportation somewhere that's only to one spot and you would need a car to travel anywhere else.

William's picture

You're ignoring the fact that the costs incurred by building up the necessary infrastructure for public transit are quite high, and that many of our cities are not designed for public transit. The city of Atlanta owns 30 salt spreaders and 40 snow plows. If Kasim Reed weren't an incompetent buffoon, this issue would have been entirely avoided. But hey, what can one expect from government, even at the municipal level? You want a real solution? Privatize infrastructure in the US. 

Oyster's picture

Before I left for Iraq in Dec, 2004, we had a 5 day pass for Christmas.  Our mob site was in Atterbury, Indiana and it is about a 3 hour drive from Columbus.  If you recall, there was a big ice storm on the 23rd of Dec.  It took me over 14 hours to get home because they kept closing I70 to pull trucks off the highway.  We would go about 3 miles and then stop for 20 minutes. Repeat the process all the way home.  Came home to no electric the whole time.  But, it is a Christmas I will never forget.  I fired up the woodburner and had the house at 67 degrees on Christmas morning.  Santa still made it and everyone was happy.  It's funny how the "worst' times are the ones you remember fondly. 
I will also add how ironic it was that we trained in 20 degree weather for a month to go fight in a desert.  Mother Army and her wisdom I guess.

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

Fugelere's picture

I feel your pain.  I too had to endure the winter months in CAIN only to make to Nangarhar province by springtime.

Sleepy's picture

The South will rise again!
~nobody intelligent, ever

toad1204's picture

Hopefully they dont try it in the winter... Or hopefully they do.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

OSUnathen's picture

From what I've heard there was some really bad planning for a storm they had plenty of time to prepare for. The fact that someone couldn't foresee a major traffic problem is ludicrous. I think the smart thing to do that day was basically close the city and declare what us northerners know as a level 3 snow emergency and not allow anyone on the roads unless it is an emergency. I'd be pretty pissed at my Mayor for this one. 

GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

I live here and it looks like a scene out of the Walking Dead..

Oyster's picture

NEXT SUNDAY!  Can't wait.

People with mean spirited signature lines just need a hug.

Ethos's picture

A Rental car? I would of been gone after 2 hours max.  What the heck would you do in a car for 19 hours?  *recalls final car scene from "the mist"*

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

irishfury's picture

I'm confused about this.  Can't you get sued for leaving a rental car?
N.M I see he called the rental car company.  

Jack_Q_Football's picture

Reminds me of Ray "School Bus" Nagin.
Never, ever rely on the government