The Real Jim Tressel

mastermiind's picture
January 4, 2012 at 6:56p

Great story I came across. Go Bucks.

You won't be able to read or hear about this story on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, or the Columbus Dispatch this week. You see there is nothing, as a fallen people, that we like better than a story of a good man who also has fallen - sad isn't it. (Believe me, I know from personal experience!) We get a weird sort of pleasure reading about it, listening to all the details, and then making comments about it to our friends, family, and posting comments about it all over the Internet. Twisted - I know, but think of how many times we participate in this. Well, this is my blog and I've decided I'm going to do something different. I'm not going to condemn anyone, but I'm also not going to excuse anyone. What I really want you to see after this blog entry is that our legacies do not have to be defined by our failures, our sins, our mistakes despite what some TV commentator might say, but they can be defined by the grace of God working through us day in and day out.

Well, in light of that, I would like to remind you or maybe tell you for the first time my story of Coach Tressel and the legacy that he will carry in my family.

On Aug 17th my son was run over by a lawnmower. It just so happened that on that day Bryson was wearing his brand new #33 jersey. Bryson was probably the biggest 4 year old OSU football fan ever and was so excited about his new jersey . In fact, his dad had on a matching jersey. Turns out his daddy used his jersey to tie around Bryson's leg to stop the bleeding and Bryson's jersey was cut off. While I was in the emergency room with Bryson before he was life-flighted to Columbus Children's hospital he let me know that he was upset about his new jersey . I assured him we would get him a new one, but never did I dream how things would turn out for him.

Bryson had his leg amputated and then spent quite a bit of time in the hospital as he healed. During that time, through a series of events that I'm not even sure of, Coach Tressel was made aware of Bryson's accident and his love for the Buckeye's. It wasn't a couple of days later and Coach Tressel came to meet Bryson in person. He came alone: no cameras, no media, no support crew. He came. He encouraged. He let us tell him Bryson's story. He let us take his picture with Bryson. He gave Bryson some signed hats and a covered note pad. He promised to get Bryson to a OSU football practice and to an Ohio vs Michigan game (since that always falls on the weekend of Bryson's birthday). All of that was great, but what left the biggest impression on me was when he handed us his business card and wrote his personal cell phone number on the back. He told us to call if we needed anything - are you kidding me! Who does that! I will tell you - not somebody who is only interested in lining his pockets or winning football games. We were of no value to him, my husband is a youth pastor, we don't live in Columbus , & we aren't alumni of the university. We were just a hurting family who he took time for, in the middle of football season, to encourage.

He fulfilled his promises to Bryson. Bryson was able to go to two OSU football practices and went to the Ohio State/Michigan game the next year and sat in the most amazing seats. On the notebook he gave Bryson he wrote, "The Buckeyes are cheering for you."

Comments Show All Comments

dbit's picture

Fantastic story.  I'm not nearly articulate enough to describe what a shame it is how the media has portrayed him as this evil man because he broke NCAA rules.


Reminds me of one of Ramzy's articles on Tressel awhile back.

BuckeyeNation's picture

Great story, awesome read! The Senator does it again! GO BUCKS!!!

LouGroza's picture

My view of Jim Tressel like it or not is that he was every one of his players second parent. He felt for them just as a parent does a son. He tried to teach them as a parent would and show them how to care for others. And he wanted so much for those players, all of them, to have every opportunity to succeed. Even when it came down to being too caring, too naive, or too willing to not see faults....just as an over-protective parent would. He cared so much about them and it ended up costing much more than he could have ever imagined.

acBuckeye's picture

The thing is Lou, I would be willing to bet that if you asked Tressel, he'd say it didn't cost him very much b/c he'd do whatever it took to protect his kids/players if that's what he thought he needed to do. He'd probably also tell you that he may have done a few things a little differently, but only b/c of how his decisions affected others, NOT b/c of how they affected himself. He seems very unselfish and very humble, and he knows what's important, unlike the narrow-minded media or public. I actually have more respect and admiration for Tressel now than I ever did when he was the head coach. Its b/c I, like so many others, took him (the person and the coach) for granted.

LouGroza's picture

You're on point and I as well have not lost one ounce of respect for him. Well done.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks for the touching post.

And thanks to JT for the tremendous positive impacts he had on so many lives, especially young ones. 

xtremebuckeye's picture

I've met Jim Tressel many times in the past 10 yrs and thats the kind of story that fits who he truely is. I beleive he will continue to be that, thoughtful unselfish type of person regaurdless of what the media has made him out to be.


Go Bucks

Go Bryson

Go Jim Tressel

O H I O is the Buckeye State

The Vest-er's picture

While I'm excited about what the future of the football team holds, I will never forget the rare kindness and true compassion JT showed. To semi quote woody: "he's a better man than a coach and he's one of the best coaches I've ever seen."

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Thanks for sharing. Coach knows what is important, and it has nothing to do with media or the NCAA.

Maestro's picture

I bet Bob Ryan would do the same thing..............NOT.

vacuuming sucks

buckeyeEddie27's picture

"The Buckeyes are cheering for you"       awesome.

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

Conroy's picture


sampy43138's picture

Coach Tress is a great coach, but most important, a great caring man! Good luck and God bless Coach Tress and Bryson! Thanks for the story made my day!

Poison nuts's picture

It was really nice to read this. As soon as the whole story broke about JT knowing but not reporting the violations, I truly felt and still do feel as though he was a man protecting his kids. I have no blind allegenses to anyone and will be the first to admit when I feel someone is wrong. Tressel made mistakes in handling the whole thing which is an impossible situation he shouldn't have been put in. Urban Meyer seems like a good coach &tOSU is lucky to have him...The future looks bright, but count me as one of the people who would have preffered to see JT as the captain of the ship until he was ready to stop coaching. Thanks so much for writing this & sharing your story. I hope and pray that time will reveal to the rest of the sports world the kind of character Jim Tressel really had.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

BuckeyeEd's picture

Coach Jim Tressel......The Greatest Coach in Buckeye History.....Period.