What Makes The Cut In Your Sports & Entertainment Pantheon?

By Chris Lauderback on July 19, 2014 at 8:15a
If you build it, they will come.

Sports and Entertainment.

It's incredible how those two words encapsulate so much of what is important to us as individuals and to society as a whole.

Naturally, there's a laundry list of things significantly more meaningful such as family, faith and country but the prominent role sports and entertainment play in our daily lives is undeniable. The avalanche of offerings in both only increases the likelihood we'll be sucked in to follow a team, a band or a television series. 

With all those choices comes a diversity in what each of us truly cling to in such a way that they actually help define who we are as individuals and also assist us in making friends (or even an entire community such as this one in our corner of the internet) who share a passion for a common interest.

So what are your top three passions in the realm of sports and entertainment and how did they evolve to find a landing spot in that upper crust of your interests? It's a safe bet Ohio State football is in the top three of nearly all of you or else you wouldn't be here reading this on a summer Saturday but is it number one? 

Here's one man's top three to get things started: 

Woody was Lieutenant Commander of the USS Rinehart

As you'd expect, Ohio State football tops my list and it's not really that close. Born and raised in Columbus by a dad who revered Woody just as much for his military background and deep rooted patriotism as his ability to win football games, I was rocking an Archie Griffin jersey at age three (plus some long and sexy locks).

My first vivid game memory however was the 1981 edition of The Game, specifically Art Schlichter's 8-yard touchdown run with just a few minutes left to seal a 14-9 win. I remember watching the game while sprawled out in front of the coffee table because there were no other seats to be had. My dad, uncle and the usual crew had packed the place and when Schlichter rolled right and got that sweet block from Vaughn Broadnax, springing him into the end zone before he was blasted into a mountain of swept snow, the place erupted with that special joy only a win over Michigan invokes. 

I didn't realize it at the time but Buckeye football, like with many of you, became something my dad and I would bond over until he passed away suddenly some nine years later. 

Seeing him mostly on the weekends due to divorce, I treasured all our time together but especially game day. Even when I was little I felt like and adult – like one of the guys – as my dad, uncle and dad's friends conveniently allowed me to serve as bartender, put me in charge of retrieving the "buckeye" to pass around for good luck which appeared to be nothing more than a painted rock yet was so much more.

As I've grown older I now watch every game with my brother and I'm sure that won't change until one of us bites the dust. It's now our common bond and that constant amidst all the other noise life brings. I know I'll never forgot watching the 2002 national championship game with him, 14x20 of Woody in the old school coaching pose right there with us, from a dingy hotel room in Hampton, Virginia. A simple man, I have just one photo framed in my house and it's a snapshot of our drunken asses holding Woody's picture and celebrating after Ken Dorsey's wobbly duck fell harmlessly to the turf. 

In the two hole on my list is the band Phish, specifically seeing them live. I get that it's not for everyone but for me, going to a show is like watching Ohio State play Michigan and you know in advance the Buckeyes are going to win by about 30. 

Interestingly, my first ever show – the one that hooked me for life – way back on August 17, 1996, was part of a 10-day mini-van trek to various sporting and music events in the northeast part of the country with Jason and Corey (former 11W writer). 

Being a mature lad, Jason would eventually outgrow traveling the country to see Phish but I'm still going strong with other degenerates that I'm privileged to call friends. Similar to a Buckeye game, especially a roadie, there's a community feel at a Phish show in which (I know this sounds cheesy but it's true) everyone has the same intense passion for what they're watching as they celebrate life with close friends. 

It's probably true that the only reason I even picked this as a post topic is that as I write in the early hours of Friday morning, four of us are headed to Chicago for a three night run at Northerly Island in about six hours. I'm 40 and I can't sleep because I'm that pumped to see shows 56, 57 and 58 in my Phishtory with some of my best friends including the first ever show for my girlfriend.

Donnie Baseball back in 1983

Third on my list is the assuredly unpopular choice of the New York Yankees. Like OSU football, my love for the Yankees traces back to my dad who was a baseball junkie of the highest order. Never a rich man, my dad carried season tickets to the Columbus Clippers from 1977 until his death and during that time the Clippers were the AAA affiliate of the Yankees. 

During those years, I attended waves of games and saw tons of great players come through as either Clippers or opponents including Roger Clemens, Tony Gwynn, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Kirby Puckett, Dave Righetti, the list goes on and on but one player stood above them all and is the sole reason I became a Yankees fan.

Don Mattingly didn't look like a big time guy as he stood under six foot and as a 19th round selection by New York in the '79 draft, it's not like he was destined for stardom but for the Clippers in 1982, Mattingly flashed mean leather in mostly left field and that sweet lefty stroke that filled the gaps with doubles. A year later, as a 10 year old kid, I got to meet Mattingly during the old school on-field clinic the Clippers would host once a year before a game in which you could run out to your position and get tips from a player. Mattingly had moved to 1st base by then and even though I was a shortstop, I dutifully ran to first to be near my who would become my baseball idol. He signed my glove and I like to think he was pretty impressed when I asked him knowledgeable questions such as how was he adjusting to the position switch. 

Later that season, Mattingly would be recalled by the Yankees, locking down 1st base in New York and the following season he'd win the batting title. He was AL MVP in '85 and hit a career-best .352 in '86. In '87 he hit six grand slams. During that handful of years, before he hurt his back, Mattingly was the best player in the game and as classy as they come. 

I still want to vomit at the fact he only had one chance to perform in the playoffs (thanks, '94 strike), well past his prime after back injuries robbed him of his power no less, but he provided probably my favorite non-World Series Yankees moment as he and Ruben Sierra hit back-to-back jacks in the Stadium in game two of the '95 ALDS. Everyone knew this was his final season and the fans wanted so badly for him to be able to play well. He followed through by hitting .421 with a .440 OBP with six ribbies in five games. 

As depressing as it was to see the Yankees eliminated and Mattingly's career end on a walk-off double by Edgar Martinez, the '96, '98, '99, '00 and '09 clubs led by the just-as-classy Derek Jeter helped heal the wound. 

So with my top three out of the way, it's your turn. 


Comments Show All Comments

BuckeyeDevil's picture

Obviously Buckeye Football is at the top of my list. My first vivid memories are watching Archie, Pete, and Cornelius in the 70's on TV. I was too young to appreciate too much prior to that. But what got me really amped was getting to attend the 1982 Michigan game in the Shoe. Somehow we got a hold of 4 tickets and the weather was absolutely awful-cold and rainy and needless to say we weren't under C Deck. 90,000 was a huge crowd in those days. Ohio State won 24-14 due in part to a lot of UM turnovers, one of which was by Anthony Carter due to a hammering tackle by Marcus Marek over the middle if my memory serves me right. Marek also had a pick at the end of the game. That team had a lot of good players like Tomczak, Tim Spencer, Rowland Tatum, Jerome Foster, Glen Cobb, etc. OSU had one less league game that year, I think and went to the Holiday Bowl where it walloped BYU while Michigan went on to lose in the Rose Bowl (go figure) to UCLA. I have had the good fortune of seeing many games but that one was my first ever and sent me along the path to where my absolute favorite thing to do in life is to go to the Shoe on a fall afternoon.

A tie for second exists between my love for OSU basketball and gulp (this will be like Chris' love for the Yankees-and by the way I watched a lot of good players pass through the Clippers when they were the Yankee affiliate, the funniest probably being Steve Balboni who had the biggest forearms I had ever seen at the time) Duke basketball. I had season tix back in the Gary Williams days and my high school team played Jay Burson in the OHSAA tournament one year. Jay was really one of the most enjoyable players I had ever seen suit up for the Bucks. He looked like me running around out there-a 6' white kid who didn't seem to belong but man could he play and take a beating. Duke? Well, I remember Gene Banks, Mike Gminski, and Jim Spanarkel from the '78 team that went to the Final 4. They were a fun group and what can I say about the quality there with Coach K? They filled a void for me in my younger days when OSU was languishing and the toughest thing for me was to have them play OSU in the challenge in recent years.

Third, the Reds. A distant third. Growing up in the Big Red Machine era, the memories are endless in spite of a 24 year drought of being World Series Champions in 1990. My first game was at Riverfront in 1971 with my dad and brother where they lost against the Dodgers. That was a great stadium.  

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

I remember that OSU football team. If memory serves me right we lost 3 early. I was at the Wisky loss and left with a few minutes remaining when things looked hopeless and by the time I got to the car we were on their goal line before fumbling it away. They caught fire after that and played as good as any OSU football team. The running attack could not be stopped and the BYU coach commented it was the best team he had ever seen. 

Go Buckeyes14's picture

The first of my top 3 is OSU football followed closely by OSU hoops with Browns football in third. 

I too was introduced to Buckeye football at a young age. My first real memories were of the 95' team ripping Notre Dame apart. The first OSU football game that I attended was the 1998 michigan game with my dad. Now every time he and I talk on the phone not a conversation goes by with out some kind of mention of Buckeye football. 

I remember falling in love with the hoops squad during the 1999 run to the final four. I loved Scoonie Penn because I too was an undersized point guard. 

I just kind of picked the Browns (and all other cleveland teams) because I despised everything about Cincinnati haha 

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Thanks for sharing Chris. Here goes:

1) Ohio State Football:  It's actually more than a passion. At the expense of sounding corny, it's part of me. I was born and raised with it. My dad had an Ohio State Michigan party for 35 straight years. I went to school there in the 90s and experienced the pain of the Cooper years. I was in Ann Arbor in 1995 and remember all 313 of Biakabatuka's yards. I was there in Tempe in January of 2003 for that experience. I was in Glendale in January of 2007 to experience the opposite. Urban owes us at least one, here, by the way. I truly feel that way, and will be extremely disappointed if his tenure ends without one. I wish away summer every year, it controls our family schedule in the fall. It affects my mood in the fall, and my wife knows this. I have a hard time watching games with people I dont know and will not go to parties to watch. It's beyond passion and what is probably healthy, but I'm sure I have some company here. With a career and family, the isn't much room on the schedule or in the heart for much else, but here are a distant 2nd and 3rd:

2) Ohio State Basketball:  I love all my Buckeye Sports. Growing up in the 80s, there wasn't much to root for, but I started school when Jimmy Jackson was there. We've had some lapses since then, but this program is in the best shape it's ever been. Now with BTN, I get almost every game. If not on the road, I'll normally catch them all. I don't watch any college hoops anymore until the tourney, except for the Buckeyes. I faithfully, and frustratingly watched most of the games this past year. Honestly, you had to be a die hard to stomach that. 

3) Cincinnati Reds:  Also born and raised. I remember summer evenings with my dad and hearing Marty Brenneman's voice on the radio. It's still comforting to hear. I lived in Cincinnati for 5 years and it's a great baseball city, with the history to support it. The 1990 season was my Sr year in HS, and was especially neat considering I grew up in Eastern OH, and hour from Pittsburgh. All my buddies were Bucco fans, and we watched the playoff games together. I stay hopeful for the Reds, and the recent years have taken that hope beyond the month of June. 

Note:  I used to be nearly as passionate about the Browns as I was for Ohio State. I watched The Drive. I cried after The Fumble. Truly, though, when Modell took them in '96, that was about it for me. It was really never the same. With my Saturdays in the fall consumed, and having a family, I've found other things to do on Sundays in the fall. 

+4 HS
Colerainbuck's picture

For sure number one is Ohio State football. As, I'm sure for a great number of fans here, it all starts from sitting on the floor in front of an old black and white tv with Dad. He was taken way too soon and oh how I'd like to see how excited he'd be for what this team has been doing.

Now the tradition continues w/ me and my sons and hopefully passed on to their kids when they come along.

Number two w/o a doubt is the Reds. Living in Cinti and having the Big Red Machine growing up was just incredible! My greatest memory was the 1990 World Series game 2. Me and my buddy had tickets, paid the Hudepohl beer vendor guy to stay w/ us, drank all his beer and had to have him get another case, never made it to our seats, ended up standing watching game in SRO section and watched as Billy Bates scored in the 10th inning.

Number 3 is too hard to call. Its between Xavier basketball and the incredible run that they've had going for the last 25 yrs. The little Jesuit college continues to put a quality team every year on the floor. The intensity of the Crosstown Shootout is something that unless you live here its hard to understand how strong it is.

Tied for 3rd is Friday night high school football. I know the NE Ohio guys on the site are always talking about their HS football but I don't think you can beat Cinti HS football. This is another one of those Dad memories. Can remember every Fri dad taking us boys to the HS football game and then to Frisch's or LaRosa's afterward. The type of thing that as it's happening you don't realize how special it is....then as you grow older and they're no longer w/ you to share it, you realize how much of a positive influence that was!

+1 HS
CTBuckeye's picture

1. Ohio State Football - I still recall watching games every Saturday with my Dad...him yelling at the TV in frustration during the John Cooper years.  The funniest part is I've adopted every one of his tendencies without even realizing it until my wife pointed it out last season - yelling at the TV, making outrageous accusations about the officials pulling for the other team, getting unnecessarily angry without no one in particular.  I honestly hope I can share this experience with my kids one day...for now it's just my wife rolling her eyes and my dog getting nervous when I jump up and start yelling at the TV with no warning.

2. Golf - I know this is very general, but again comes back to spending time with my Dad and brother.  We watch it on TV together, go playing together, and now that we're all older can travel to some of the major tournaments together and every few years take a long golf trip together.  It's all added to a lot of bonding time that otherwise might not happen.

3. New York Yankees - while my parents were both born and raised in Youngstown (we all moved when I was 5 to the east coast), my Dad has had random favorite teams.  He loved Micky Mantle so was a Yankees fan and Bart Starr so followed the Packers.  We've gone to many games together throughout the years and has again added to shared experiences that we can look back on.

I guess it's not surprising, and I'm sure many with have similar sentiments, but the passion comes not just from the sport/team itself, but from those we share those experiences with.

Great thread, and glad I got to relive some memories.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+1 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture


It's pretty simple for me. Football has always been the one constant in my life. My parents divorced shortly after I was born, so I never really had much of a father figure as a youngster. My mother had me when she was 17, and she partied hard and ran around a lot. I rarely saw my Dad because my Mom intentionally kept me away from him by moving me around a lot. Kind of screwed up. Once I was 12 years old I decided to move in with my Dad full time, and it was the best decision I ever made. So without typing an essay on my childhood, I'll cut to the chase. Football became my getaway. I fell in love with the sport for a number of reasons the first time I really watched it. I was probably 9 years old. I just loved everything about the game. I didn't have a favorite team as a kid, I just wanted to watch whomever was on at the time. I loved the strategy and the collisions. I loved watching a guy field a punt and run for his life while 11 guys tried to kill him.  I loved watching the leaves turning and a team running out of the tunnel to a fight song. For me football was a release. I learned most of what I knew of the game from TV. I lived for recess breaks at school so that I could practice catching my simulated punts or kickoffs. I used to throw the ball up on top of a roof, stand under the overhang and react to the odd bounce, try to catch it and run around the playground and juke things like they were defenders.  Football was a way for me to channel a lot of my aggression as a kid into something worthwhile. I had a lot of pent up anger over my mother and her numerous partners trying to play step dad for a while. I wanted to prove to my real father that I was good at something, that I was tough and not afraid. I used to run angry, I would run mad until my legs began to buckle from fatigue. I was very undisciplined as a young kid.... until I met my football coach. I moved in with my Dad in the 7th grade and a new chapter in my life began. I embraced the challenge and the fear. I lived to prove myself. I didn't know anyone at this new school so I figured if there was anywhere I could make friends maybe it was through football. I remember how excited I was to finally put on a real football helmet and pads. It was like the baptism I never had. It became my obsession, it was all I thought about all day in school. I remember staring out at the practice field when in class all year around. I became a student of the game. I spent every Saturday and Sunday watching football all day. Especially Saturdays. I remember watching Texas A&M upset Kansas State and Michael Bishop in the Big12 championship and dash their title hopes. I just remember the excitement I felt whenever there was a big time football game on. College especially. I would go out into the yard and practice a juke or cutback I might have saw Peter Warrick or Michael Vick do. Tim Dwight was one of my favorite guys to watch at Iowa. I wore #6 because of him. I loved how fearless he was fielding punts.

Then came my High school coach. He was from Latrobe, PA. He was old school. Diehard Steelers and Penn State guy. I idolized him because of his way with words. He knew how to motivate and understood the game inside out. He was the Dad I never had. Looking back at it all one of my favorite things about this guy was he didn't judge. He didn't care if a guy was on the homecoming court and popular and another kid was in trouble, rough around the edges and didn't wear nice clothes. He played the best guy. In a small town he brought us together. He merged the gap that stood between kids and made is a unit of one despite differences between us off the field or in the classroom. We went from a bunch of kids in Jr high who struggled to win a handful of games to a perennial State playoff team each season. We bought in as a team, as a group. Football requires serious dedication. Winning and being successful in life requires a drive to achieve. I learned more about my life from the good and more importantly the bad times in football. They shape you as a person, competitor, a worker  and a family man.  I feel like I can never fully pay back football for what it has done for me as a person. It turned me from an insecure, angry, undisciplined kid into a hard working, team orientated, goal driven, and caring person.

The other two things on my list pale in comparison.

Antiques:  why? I just liked when things were more simple and people took their time to build things. I love history and traditional homes. I guess a part of me wishes I could have lived back then. Maybe fought in WWII and came home to play College football, start a family, then work in a steel mill.

Home repair:  I love the feeling of doing something nice to upgrade my home for my family. I'm getting close to moving into my forever home. A nice house on 10 acres in Amish country. I love remodeling and making huge changes or upgrades to my home. Something I spent a lot of time doing with my dad.

I'm sorry for the novel, but you asked OP!

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+7 HS
Young_Turk's picture

Imagine I pasted the best slow-clap gif ever, right here.  

Awesome right-up GFL.  11W should hire you for their next opening for writer.


+1 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Thanks. I would be an SEC level writer at best. Maybe Sun-Belt if and only IF I happened to be playing Stanford football that day.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

FitzBuck's picture

1. OSU Football

2. OSU Football

3. Browns 

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Just curious Chris, if you don't mind me asking: what's your age? You sound about my age, or a little younger.

I went through a divorce in 2010 after a 20 year marriage, and I credit God, my mother[who passed away last year  :( ], my son who lived with me, and Buckeye football/Jim Tressel for helping me get through it. I can relate.

For all the things that change in life, God and Buckeye football remain constants for me.

Everything else(all of the other sports) remain a distant second and third.



+1 HS
Chris Lauderback's picture

I'll be 41 in December. 

buckeyedude's picture

10-4! Thanks! And thanks for being a part of this great website!



Mortc15's picture

1) OSU football-Is there anything better than a game in the shoe with family or friends that love OSU as much as you do? 

2) Steelers football-an unpopular opinion on here, I know, but I love that they're a class organization and have rarely not been at least a playoff contender since the latest I can remember: the days of Kordell Stewart. Will never forget my first live game in Cincinnati with my dad, who has always loved the steelers and AC/DC above all else in the entertainment category. 

3) OSU basketball-It's something to watch a few days a week during the dreadful Ohio winters with friends and family in the cozy confines of heated house, and I love the passion that most of the players Matta gets plays with. 


Tater_Schroeder's picture

For me:

1. Ohio State Football
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Cleveland Browns
HM. Ohio State Basketball

I want to thank you Chris for writing this article. It was a pleasure to read and, more importantly, great to read the discussion that followed. It's been one of the better threads we've had on this site recently.


+1 HS
Michael Citro's picture

1. Buckeye sports (primarily football and hoops, but also hockey, women's hoops and anything I can find on TV)

2. Progressive rock (particularly Genesis, Rush, Porcupine Tree and Spock's Beard)

3. Soccer (particularly the USMNT, Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, AS Roma, Celtic, Columbus Crew, and Orlando City)

3a. Tribe baseball

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

#1 tOSU Football and Woody Hayes.  I've written before about Grandma Buckeye, so I'll try and keep it short.  When I was born, my Mom (the aforementioned Grandma Buckeye) brought into the delivery room an ashtray that had a football glued to the middle of it.  It was a music box that played "Across The Field".  When the doctor slapped my ass, my Mom played that song so that the first sound I heard would be the right sound.  From my earliest memories, my Mom had OSUMB records and on football Saturdays, there were no cartoons for my sister and I.  It was OSUMB music that played over and over until kickoff.  Then it was sitting around the radio listening to Marv Homan and the Nationwide Insurance broadcast of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  

November 5, 1966, I was less than a month shy of my tenth birthday when my Mom caught the flu and my Dad and our next door neighbor (Michigan grad and Tom Harmon's blocking fullback Bob Kreisja (sp?)) decided to leave their wives at home and take my sister and I to our first game.  Grandma Buckeye later told me she faked being sick, because she wanted her children to see their first game...and the weather sucked.  So my sister and I watched a really boring 7-0 win vs Indiana,  

The one regret my Mom took to her grave was that she wouldn't let me go to Ohio State.  She was afraid I would spend too much time on High Street, so I ended up in Pennsylvania and spent all my time on Market Street.  After my junior year, I was kicked out of school and came home and got a job.  Shit, I'm an adult!  I knew I couldn't count on Mom and Dad for tickets the rest of my life, so I took out a life insurance policy and gave it to Ohio State.  This put me in the President's Club.  Its not that easy to get in there any more.  I guess they saw who got in, and changed the rules so it couldn't happen again.  Art Schlichter and I made our debuts at the same game.  From then until this year, I always was a season ticket holder.  The Passion is still there, but the money ain't so for the first time since 1977, I won't visit the 'shoe.

#2  USA MNT.  This is a new passion, and frankly it surprised me.  But the US National soccer team has become a huge passion.  The single greatest sporting moment in my life wasn't 2002 (despite naming our new Dachshund puppy Krenzel).  It was sitting in the upper deck at Crew Stadium with my now adult son.  And when he turned to the Mexican fans sitting around us (damn there were ALOT), and started singing "You're Not going to Brazil.  You're Not going to Brazil.  you're not going, you're not going, your're not going to Brazil" and slowly the whole stadium started to pick it up...i started to cry with tears of joy I had never felt for a sporting event before.  Now I am a Local Director of the American Outlaws Chapter and I can't get enough.

#3.  Cleveland Pro Sports teams.  I can't separate them.  At one time, the Browns would've been number 2 by themselves.  But Paris Glendenning ruined that passion.  I was AT Red Right 88.  I was AT The Drive. But now, all the pro teams carry the same weight.

So there you have my answer.  Think of me when the TBDBITL hits the ramp before the Va Tech game.  I'll be in my living room...probably fighting back the tears.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Effing hilarious, Todd-Not Boeckmann. Where you been?



Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Lurking.  But all the whining/monday morning qbing drives me crazy.  Being half Croatian means I want to argue about everything, so I don't write as much as I used to.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

+1 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

1) OSU Football Regular Season

2) OSU Football Post/Bowl Season

3) OSU Football Recruiting/Spring Season

+2 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

1.  Buckeyes football - duh

Everything else kinda comes way behind this. Between a job that requires a lot of time, and two young ones (3rd on the way) I don't have much time to cultivate my interests. So that said:

2. Comic books: before I got married I found myself having extra cash and not wanting to do anything, like say, saving for my future, I bought vintage comics. All the ones that wanted as a kid but never thought I could afford. 

3. Brown's: they used to have the #1 slot but they left so, there you go.

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

THE Ohio State University

ITWASME's picture

1. Ohio State sports. When they're on I always have the time to watch and love every second of it.
2.Music. Couldn't live without it. I love pretty much all music but my two favorite bands are The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys.
3.Video Games. You guys might find this one weird but I absolutely love video games. They're just an escape from everyday life and in my opinion are an art form. I would actually love to be a game designer.

Ashtabula's picture

1. OSU football

2. Browns

3. (Tie) Indians, Cavs, OSU Basketball

4. Food

Gratefulbuck's picture

Ok, this article got me. I check and read this site about three times a day, but, not one to post comments. But, now I feel compelled to respond as mine somewhat mirrors the authors. 

1) OSU football

2) Grateful Dead music. Same genre (almost) as Phish, but, everything Phish aspires to be. 

3a) OSU basketball

3b) Tampa Bay Rays. But, grew up a Yankees fan. Jeter is the man. 

+2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Love this thread.

For me, I was a sports nut from the get...especially football, no surprise being born in Ohio. Spent my early years in the home state before moving to Virginia, and while I was aware of the Buckeyes I leaned towards pro football as a kid. The Redskins became my first love, and I was blessed to grow up during the glory years of the 80's. 

I started with baseball, before quickly shifting to playing football by second grade (Mom finally felt ok with it). Played through until my homecoming game senior year, when my knee was folded back about 90 degrees the wrong way our first play on offense. It's hard to this day to accept that I wasn't able to play the game anymore - not to say I was a serious college prospect, but never thought I'd leave the sport so suddenly. 

Rehabbed and decided to enlist in the Navy after high school - which was a very smart decision on my part in more ways than one. It was there that I was able to reconnect with my family in Ohio on a more frequent basis, and it was there my love for Buckeye football was rekindled. I survived the 90's, enjoyed Tresselball, worked through mixed emotions through TatGate and enjoy the program to the fullest as best I can through the 11W community. 

Love my free time (which is limited with my current job responsibilities, working to make a change soon), and I enjoy music (play a little guitar when I can) and spending as much time with my wife of eight (wow) years and our four year old son. 

I go nuts over football, where college ball rules my world. Still a big Redskins fan, and also enjoy going to Capitals (hockey) and Frederick Keys (Baltimore Oriole's A affiliate) baseball games. But, even 400+ miles away, nothing compares to Ohio State football for this kid. Since I don't get home very much these days, the Eleven Warriors community plays a huge part of my fandom - this site, and the people who take part, is like an extended family. 

So the list?

1) Family (because football isn't year round :)

2) Ohio State football

3) However I choose to spend my free time (take a look around, you'll figure out where I spend it)

Go Buckeyes.

+2 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

There has to be some connection with Navy squids and the Washington Redskins. I'll add you to the list of people I know who fall into the profile. I was a Marine myself, but seriously I think I met a half dozen Navy guys whom were Skins fans.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I talk to many people that claim they are sports fans and love this team or that team - problem is they can't mention anyone more than the superstar. I think for most of us (Not All) it truly is a passion and consumes much of our time when we don't have things planned. I have to be very careful because the wife - who I adore - sometimes gets that look in her eyes during the off season and I know to shut down the laptop.

During the season is a different story and I know if i watch an OSU sports highlight ten times it's still not enough.

+2 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

1) Sex

2) Drugs

3) Rock N Roll

4a) College Football

4b) Soccer (mostly EPL, Chanpions League and USMNT - no MLS)

4c) Golf. 

+2 HS
cjmgobucks's picture

I'm from California yet my number one  passion (aside from my family) is...

  Ohio State Buckeye Football -- A die hard fan since my first game against UCLA in 1979 at the LA Coliseum.  UCLA and those spoiled idiots who worship a white mule and dudes in helmets and gowns shared the Coliseum back then... God bless Fall Saturdays and God Bless The Ohio State University

2.  LA Angels of Anaheim Baseball -- Don't blame me; I didn't name them.  Besides, we still have JB Shuck on our 40 man roster.  Solid dude and a joy to watch play the game. 

3.  Can't think of anything but I'm really trying to catch the golf bug....

"When I look in the mirror, I want to take a swing at me."

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

1. Riding my skateboard, even at the ripe old age of 43. After doing it for 30 years, I don't know how to stop.

2. Shooting/editing photo's & video.

3. OSU football.

Despite how these are listed, I'm probably most passionate about OSU football, but since it's not something I can watch or be fully into year round - it's a bit lower for me. The other 2 might not be traditional sports or entertainment, but for me at least, they are both. Music & movies are pretty damn big for me too btw...

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

+3 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

i enjoy my employment at 11w so here are my "top" 3:

1) cats

2) cats

3) warren g harding

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Barney's picture

Our one and two are the same which is why we are dudes.  Looking forward to getting down with you guys tonight!

Set your gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I don't know if I can narrow it to just 3, but: 

 1. Ohio State Football

 2. Travelling (get me anywhere adventurous that's away from work, and I'm happy)

 3a. Hunting (mainly whitetail, but I'm not picky)

 3b. Rock concerts (metal)

TedGinnIsFasterThanYou's picture

Don't like the triangle metal art in front of the stadium .


-1 HS
buckeyebfd's picture

1. OSU football, duh
2. Reds, born and raised Cincinnatian and still remember being at Homecoming in 90 when they swept the A's
3a. OSU bball
3b. Live concerts with Pearl Jam and Wilco being at the top of that list

bucknut94's picture

1.Family: They are the only folks I can trust to put up with me :-)

2.  Working out and eating healthy: I can forget other passions if I don't workout and I don't eat right.

3. Buckeye Football: My favorite addiction

Habu71's picture

1) OSU Football & Basketball - I had to delete much of what I began writing, and encorporate football & b-ball together. The names of the players I admired as a youngster got too long. The list of memories from the Shoe and St John's got too long. As an adult I worked for 1 company for 25 years. My position with this company that did business with TOSU allowed me to entertain clients, and a great deal of that meant sports functions. I was truely blessed to have attended many sporting events, including a trip with the football team on the team charter. There is nothing like Buckeye nation, nothing! 

2) Baseball - Most specifically the Reds. From attending opening day events, to listening to Marty & Joe for hours on end. I started with the Bjg Red Machine, and have not stopped yet.

3) Mentoring young athletes has allowed me to support those individuals from an early age, and follow them to the professional level. A brief stint on the staff of a state championship high school basketball team provided some moments that frame my life. I wear the ring from that championship team in memory of our head coach that passed away not long after that season. I'm not a jewelry person, but my wedding ring and that championship ring are two very valuable items to me. 

jhipbuck's picture

Born, raised and still in New York/New Jersey I have local sports favorites.  I attended and graduated Ohio State and have been hooked on Ohio State sports ever since (25 years).

1. OSU Football

2. New York Giants

2b. Ohio State Basketball and other OSU sports

3. New York Yankees

+1 HS
Baroclinicity's picture

1.  Ohio State football - not just for the team/sport, but my life with my friends surrounds Ohio State games.

2.  Weather.  It's my profession and hobby.

3.  Cleveland Indians baseball.

4.  Boats.

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

Balkestud's picture

1) Being the son of a single mother in Batavia, Ohio I fell in love with OSU football as a six year old watching marcus marek and company destroy people at my mom's boyfriend's house. TV turned up extra loud I might add. I am happy to say that passion has survived a move to SW Florida ('83), California ('10) and now Hawaii and is still going strong. in fact my best friend since I was 10 called me to wish me a happy 41'st birthday today but the call quickly degenerated in to a name calling, cuss out fest. Why you might ask? My friend graduated from FSU in '99 so I have had to listen to his bullshit for some time now. But not on my birthday!!

2) Still love my Bengals

3) Reds

It gets kind of rough in the back of my limousine,



+2 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

 Ohio State football followed by Ohio State basketball. I can't watch any other Ohio sports team living in Milwaukee unless they are playing a Wisconsin based team.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

jasonskaggs's picture

1. Ohio State Football and Basketball (Football comes first)

2. Cincinnati Bengals

3. Orlando Magic basketball

Honorable Mention: Cigars, Cincinnati Reds, Ohio University Bobcat football and basketball

BuckeyeChief's picture

1. Ohio State Football and Basketball: life or death here. I just left a German ship and talked up my university to guys; house parties with my buddies during "The Game", Jimmy Jackson, Greg Oden, everything.

2. NY Giants

3. Mets/ Indians baseball. wierd combo, but the 86 Mets were my team. During the '90s I pulled hard for the Tribe and fell in love with that team.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

+1 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

1. The Ohio State University football. My dad started taking me to games as a young kid during Woody's last season. Then Earle took over and I got to start. Going to all the home games with my dad and his friends.  Had season tickets for years. Great memories of awesome victories and great players. One of my greatest memories was my wife was pregnant and on bed rest at OSU at the time of the scum game when we won the 02 championship and I decided to stay with her and watch the game at the hospital instead of being in the shoe. I paced and paced until halftime and she told me to go watch the 2nd half from the stands. I married well!!!

2. Cincinnati Reds baseball. I grew up with the big red machine and parents who took me to many games even though it was a 3 hour drive. Listening to Marty and Joe was awesome loved hearing Marty say and this one belongs to the reds and joe saying this is the ole left handler rounding third headed for home.

3. High school football. Had the great experience of growing up in a small town that was a powerhouse winning a state championship and competing in the state playoffs a ton of times. Loved playing there. Now I get to teach in another strong football school near my childhood hometown. Love Friday nights.

Nothing is Impossible!!!

MichaelJ721984's picture

Going against the grain a bit here but...

1) Massillon Tigers football. Born and raised there (still have my football from when I was born) there is just a love and undying devotion to that city and the greats who came through. Something that is very hard to explain to people who aren't from there so I dont even try anymore lol. All of my earliest childhood memories come from that city and being a part of the games on Friday nights and that big one every week 10 Saturday. 

2) and this is more of a 1A than anything but it's Ohio State football. For the same reasons everyone else mentioned, it's just in our blood. There is just a sense of pride we all have about us and it's definitely evident when traveling and telling strangers you're from Ohio. The response is always "oh, you're a Buckeye?" You're damn right I am!

3) Live music. Namely country. My favorite thing outside of sports is enjoying a Brad Paisley concert with a bunch of friends drinking beer. Perfect way to spend a summer night.  

Michigan sucks.

Poison nuts's picture

There is just a sense of pride we all have about us and it's definitely evident when traveling and telling strangers you're from Ohio. The response is always "oh, you're a Buckeye?" You're damn right I am!

I just had a funny thing happen with this. I told a potential client I was meeting with that I'm from Ohio & he asked about me being an OSU fan & I said emphatically, "yes!". He said "oh you guys are pretty crazy for your Buckeyes huh?" To which I emphatically said "YES!". 

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

+1 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

I think that's awesome that Don Mattingly is on the list. He's a family friend, I have a dozen things signed by him, never knew anything about him until the internet. Found out he's one of the best players ever in the game. Oh, maybe I should take all those cards and put them in some protective covers...

"Quit skipping leg day bro" - Dr James Andrews


1. Buckeyes

2. Reds

3. Chicken wings

4. Oreos

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

+1 HS
M Man's picture

What a twisted thread!

I can forgive you guys for almost anything.  But I draw the line at the New York Yankees.  As would any civilized human being.

+3 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Can't believe I upvoted a Michigan man.... But the Tigers and Indians are my two favorite baseball teams.  I grew up in Northern Ohio 20 miles from Cedar Point and I got to watch both teams, love them both.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

-1 HS
Normal Buck's picture

1. OSU Football.

2.  Tribe Baseball.

3.  High School Football.

mr.green's picture

1. Buckeye football

2. Music, from Doors and Stones, Cars and Elvis (Costello)  to Twenty-one Pilots, New Politics and Cage the Elephant.

3a. Tampa Bay Bucs.

3b. Cleveland Browns. 

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I have to add another (fourth) one that I overlooked but reading these triggered.

Baseball History.  The greatest sports book ever written IMHO was called "The GLory of Their Times."  by Lawrence Ritter.  A compilation of first person accounts of the old greats and near greats as they were dying off.  At the same time I was going to my first tOSU football game (see earlier post), I was already engaged as a baseball historian.  We had a family friend, I called him Uncle Steve.  Have you ever known someone and referred to them as "a character"?  That was Uncle Steve.  In the mid to late sixties this dude was old.  I mean really old.  But man he had history.  Back when he was a young man, he was 'connected" in the city of Cleveland.  He was THE GUY when it came to gambling.  Long before the book "8 Men Out" came out, I knew who Arnold Rothstein was.  Because Uncle Steve claimed to have taught him everything about baseball.  Uncle Steve set the number for every baseball and football game in the city of Cleveland.  Every Bookmaker in town set their odds based on him.  Well, imagine the facination a guy like that would have for a baseball loving kid.  Uncle Steve would tell me stories about Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Napoleon Lajoie, Addie Joss. and on and on.  He knew them all personally.  Babe Ruth was at Uncle Steve's wedding to Aunt Helen.  Al Capone tried to recruit him to come move to Chicago.  But his stories fueled in me a passion for baseball history that I carry to this day.  One of my favorite leisure activities is reading baseball biographies and histories.  Sometimes, I read things that Uncle Steve told me, that at the time I didn't believe.  

Uncle Steve is long gone.  But, there are times I think of him and smile when I read or hear something about baseball.  And he ignited that passion that still burns 50 years later.  Recently, my eldest son and I were talking in the office (he works for me) about old time baseball stadiums because he had read something about League Park being renovated and he wanted to see it.  I said come on and we jumped in the car and drove out to E 66th and Lexington Ave in the middle of Hough.  And I showed him the stadium, or whats left of it.  But then started to describe the era and details. He was amazed at what I was telling him, saying "I know you're old, but you're not THAT old."  I smiled and told him to thank Uncle Steve.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

+1 HS
Eph97's picture

1. OSU football - My favorite memory is kinda sad, but it was the '03 title game. I had just moved out to LA for a new job and didn't know a soul there. So was watching the game solo in my apt. I was screaming so loud when Dorsey thew that duck that my neighbor probably thought someone was dying in my apt. My grades in the fall during my college years were always much lower because of all the time I "wasted" watching games and reading forums.

2. All the Cle pro teams, OSU bball, and Duke bball. Browns would have been a clear #2 years ago, but the passion just wasn't the same after they left in 95. I followed OSU bball much more fervently in the early 90's with the Jimmy Jackson teams, but lost a lot of interest afterwards for whatever reason. Now I only get into them during the NCAA's. Cavs and Indians depending if they are winning. Both are too boring to follow if they are not winning. I did enjoy going to the games though. Watching Mark Price and Co at Richfield and going to an empty Muni stadium in the 80's to watch the Tribe with my bro and dad were good times. Duke bball since I went to Duke for my MBA and did the whole camp out thing and learned to "hate" Carolina.

stubbzzz's picture

this is a cool thread.  I like reading through everyone's passions.  For me it's...

1) Jesus

2) Music

3) Sports

and if i divided up sports it would be... 

1) Buckeyes

2) Browns

3) Cavaliers/Lebron James

+1 HS
Crumb's picture

Ohio Sports, starting and ending with Buckeye football, then other Buckeye sports, then hockey with the Jackets and Cyclones, and finally I'm just a jaded Reds and Bengals fan.

A good story, whatever form it comes in, a joke, a TV show, a song, a movie, a book, I love a good story.

Shooting, I love to just get out to the range and fire off some rounds

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

Gratefulbuck's picture

Non sports/entertainment related?

1) cycling, hiking, running

2) traveling, usually combined with above, or Buckeye Bowl games

3) food/wine

On a somewhat related note, top three musicians to bring back to see one time:

1) Jerry Garcia

2) Bob Marley

3) Mozart

All musical geniuses. 

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

Ohio state football will always be my first passion and the NC in 68 and 02 highlighted all those years but remembering watching other sports moments has it's place also. Watching those John Wooden teams of UCLA's with Alcinder (Jabbar), Wicks and Rowe, Walton.. Mark Spits winning all those golds in swimming. Watching the Big Red machine beat the Yankees in the world series. Watching the Boston Celtics with Hondo Havlicek. Watching the US hockey team beat Russia. Watching Flo Jo run a 10.49 that still stands and breaking the WR winning in the 200m with a smile on her face. Watching Secretariat win the Triple Crown with three records that still stand today. Watching Mary Decker go to Russia and beat  supposedly unbeatable Russian runners with a last gasp effort. Watching NC state take down slamma jamma and jimmy V running around the court looking for someone to hug. Watching Vasili Alexeyev lift more than any human ever lifted to win Gold in "76". (562lbs) I'm looking forward to more before my time is up.

NatiBuck's picture

1. Football
2. Boobies
3. Wendy's

+2 HS
bafiesta's picture

Great topic

1a) Rock climbing (outdoor) 

1b) Ohio State football

3) Bengals

4) Tour de France

Winner Eleven Warriors 2014 Yahoo Sports College Bowl Pick'em

NuttyBuckeye's picture

Well as 99.9% of the rest of you, my CLEAR number 1 is Ohio State football.  I follow it all season long, as the rest of you do.

A distant second is high school football.  Ohio HS is #1.  I still look up scores from the entire state on the weekends and read articles from the papers to stay up on the talent.  Living in Michigan, I follow the HS here, but there is NO COMPARISON to Ohio with the MI football... Clearly third-rate to Ohio HS football.

A close third is Detroit Red Wing hockey.  When I was young, I had an AM radio and the only thing I could pick up at night (listening to it to fall asleep) was Red Wing games.  They weren't too good back then, but I have had some very nice years to celebrate with them.

Thank you for this article.  It was great to read you and all the other posters' comments.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Hockey Buck's picture

#1. What you said.

JDupler's picture

1) Ohio State Football

2) Cleveland Browns (1B)

3) Ohio State basketball/Cleveland Indians/Cleveland Cavs

Maxxxx's picture

1. Ohio State Basketball

2. Ohio State Football

3. tour de france,food,drink,music


Curt Heinrichs's picture

1) Ohio State football/ wrestling

2) music (heavy metal, classic rock especially Springsteen and The Stones, 90's alternative)

3) Reading. I'm on a history kick of late, but I'll read most anything. 

+1 HS
porkchop's picture

1. Browns

2. Buckeyes Football

3a- Bourbon and 3b -Tribe - Bourbon helps with 1 and 3b.

CanadianBuckeyeNut24's picture

1. Ohio State Football

2. Green Bay Packers

3. Following the career of Georges St. Pierre (praying he comes out of retirement!!)

+1 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

I'll upvote any fan of GSP

+1 HS