Many moons ago, I feel like I botched the chance of a lifetime and ever since then I have this strange lingering feeling of regret that I just can't shake. I don't dwell on it too often, but once in a while I reflect and wish I could go back in time and kick myself.
A brief history of my fandom. I was born in M*chigan, raised in M*chigan, my entire extended family went/goes to M*chigan, my dad played golf for M*ichigan, I grew up rooting for M*chigan, I had planned on attending M*chigan my entire life....just like dad. That is until my family relocated to Cleveland, Ohio halfway through my junior year of high school. Although I was hell bent on graduating from a big ten school, out of state tuition was just not feasible, so I decided to play JuCo Baseball for a couple years while I sorted things out, eventually it became overwhelmingly clear that I had to go to The Ohio State University. I made my mind up without even visiting once. Obviously the rest is history, I was born a scUM fan and by the grace of God.....I will die a Buckeye.
My first quarter at Ohio State was winter quarter 2001 as I had played JuCo baseball prior to transferring to Ohio State. Although I was considered an upper classmen I was content living in the dorms because I really didn't want to miss out on that experience. When filling out my paperwork I specifically requested to live in Morrill Tower because I had read somewhere that that's where most of the athletes live. Much to my surprise, I was assigned to a suite on the 15th floor of Morrill Tower. Upon my arrival I introduced myself to my suite mates and as it turns out the two GIGANTIC quiet freshmen in the first suite were Ohio State football players Ryan Hamby and Reggie Arden. At the time I remember thinking "that's pretty cool" but wasn't too impressed cause I hadn't heard of them as I had only been a Buckeye fan for like 15 minutes.
As time went on I became friends with everyone and I got to meet a lot of cool people as Ryan Hamby turned out to be quite the social bug. Marcus Green, Lydell Ross, Brandon Fushcheatham, Matt Sylvester and many more were constantly in and out of our suite hanging out and playing Play Station....Hamby used to get so upset with me because I was THE MAN at 007: Agent Under Fire and would constantly take him to school.
One day after class, I believe in late March leading up to the spring game, after coming back from a four day weekend (everyone went home) Hamby came out of his suite and said it's probably best not to bother Reggie for a while. When I asked what was up he told me Reggie had gotten a second DUI while hanging out with friends at home. I felt really bad for the guy because Ryan had just been talking about how they moved Reggie to linebacker and how awesome he was doing and how mean he looked. Needless to say I took Ryan's advice. Not more than an hour later, I had forgotten about what Ryan had said, I heard a knock on the door of the suite. I got up and checked the peephole and there where two massive black guys and a smaller older white guy standing outside the door. I opened the door and who do you know is standing in front of me? JIM FREAKING TRESSEL!!!!! With blah-blah-blah and blah-blah-blah.
I wish I was more familiar with the coaching staff at the time because I don't know who the two accompanying assistants were. Now I can only assume they were position coaches. I was so stupefied I didn't even know what to say, I remember thinking "Nobody is going to believe this happened!" Part of me wanted to shake his hand/give him a hug, or jump up and down like an idiot, but I just stared at him like a moron. After a brief silence I uttered in a surprised voice "Coach Tressel? What can I do for you sir?" To which he replied "Is my guy Reggie around?" Pretending like I hadn't hear what happened over the weekend I said "Yeah, I'll show you to his door." (Like it was so hard to find). I was quiet as a funeral home while he knocked on Reggie's door. When Reggie opened the door Coach Tressel gave me a look that said "You can go about your business now." Which my business became to quietly knock on my other suitemates door to let me in so we could try and eavesdrop. Let me tell you, putting a solo cup to the wall and pressing your ear to the solo cup DOESN'T WORK!!!! Solo cups suck for eavesdropping. Expecting to hear a bunch of screaming and ass chewing, all we got was some very long winded soft spoken mumbling which was replied to with deep mumbling.
After their 20 minute or so meeting, Coach Tressel reemerged and came to my door. He made some small talk with me and asked that we keep his boys out of trouble. For that 20 minutes or so I was thinking to myself, what should I ask him? What should I say to him? And all I did before he left was ask him to sign my Ohio State Flag that was hanging on my wall to which he obliged. I felt pretty stupid for how I handled myself, I never considered myself to be the type to get star struck. Obviously those weren't the best circumstances to make small talk with the coach of your favorite football team, but ever since then I'll look back from time to time and wonder what I would ask him if I were better prepared.
Now it's time to play "What-If?".
Let's say you're sitting at a bar on Urban's side of town (Muirfield) watching an irrelevant basketball game. It's just you and the bartender and low and behold, my man Urban Meyer walks in and sits one bar stool away from you. Now, if you're like me you're quietly freaking out inside like a giddy school girl at a Justin Bieber concert but I'm older now and I have more composure. If this happens to you what five questions would you ask UFM? Obviously the gentlemen's agreement would be that his answers are off the record, so you can literally ask him anything you want and expect an honest answer that reflects what he really thinks rather than the contrived responses you have to give in press conferences.....although I do believe Urban is genuine in his pressers.
Now before I list my questions, I want to prequalify that I'm not confident my questions are the coolest, most unique or best questions one can come up with....I've probably had too much time to think about this. Obviously these questions would come after a brief introduction and friendly handshake. Also, an autograph before he leaves is a given so that can't be a question.
1) Come on man, you mean to tell me you weren’t concerned AT ALL when Teddy Ginn ran that kick return back in the NCG?
2) Just between us guys, do you and the staff have any good nicknames for any of the coaches around the B1G?
3) I’m an out of state must-get blue chip quarterback and we’re in my living room with my parents….sell me Ohio State! You have 3 minutes…..GO!
4) At this point in their careers, who would take who to school, Braxton or Tim? If you recruited both as freshmen, who do you think would win the starting job?
5) Apart from National Championships, what are your top three victories over another coaches in terms of, “Man, I really wanted to shut that guy up!”……Kiffin?
How do you think Urban would answer? What questions would you guys ask him given the chance to hang with the coach for a couple drinks?
*Another qualifier, if you're question is cooler or more interesting than mine and I run into the Coach sometime....I'm probably stealing your question. Haha!