By Ramzy Nasrallah on March 11, 2020 at 1:05 pm
Dec 7, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Jeremy Ruckert (88) makes a one handed catch in the end zone for a touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during the third quarter in the 2019 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
© Brian Spurlock | USAT Sports

"This is not a game. This is not silly. This is a way of life."

Urban Meyer's final Gold Pants speech from last April was as heated as it was articulate. Ohio State's special sauce for beating Michigan every year is visible in - quite literally - every corner of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

We just had never heard one of its executive chefs talk about it like that. The main ingredient is respect. Don't panic because it's out in the open - it's a special sauce, not a secret one.

How do you show respect for a rivalry? You work that [expletive] every day. Every day.

Ohio State puts Michigan on a permanent pedestal and resets the urgency for winning that game every season. It does not matter if Shea Patterson, Tate Forcier or Chad Henne are under center - the Buckeyes are always on high alert where the Wolverines are concerned and they have ingrained into their culture that there's nothing to take for granted.

jim harbaugh losing again in 2017
Even brief contact can transfer sickening germs.

Ingrained into their culture. Nothing to take for granted. Friends, that's not just how you beat Michigan every year. That's how you avoid getting sick. 

You already know you're supposed to wash your hands a lot. Yeah, yeah whatever we get it. Here's what you need to understand: Nearly nobody washes their hands enough - the hand hygiene compliance rate for healthcare workers is under 40% and that's probably inflated because people are more likely to do what they're supposed to when they know they're being watched. When they're not, pfffft.

We suck at washing our hands because 1) we hate being told what to do, and 2) it's mundane and takes time. Well, let's do something about the second thing right now.

You need to scrub your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water every time you see a sink. That sounds exhausting. How can you make those 20 seconds less of a chore?

wash the purdue off of your hands

Make hand hygiene a celebration instead of an errand.

Reliving Brent Musberger's immortal Holy Buckeye call in your head while washing your hands (or out loud while staring menacingly at a stranger in a public restroom, your choice) will get you 20 good seconds and reduce your likelihood of getting sick, or transferring germs that get someone less robust, healthy, lucky or handsome as you sick.

At least 20 seconds, every time. Whenever you see a sink. You should look forward to it! It's 20 seconds that belong to you, not your boss, not your schedule - just you.

This will also get you 20 good seconds, but without quite as much script.

jonathan wells washed his hands of losing to Michigan

Tress didn't just race through his words. He said them with purpose and what those in the business of public speaking refer to as pregnant pauses. 

He wasn't in a hurry. You shouldn't be in a hurry to wash your hands - and you can't be. Enjoy the solitude. What did we say about Ohio State's special sauce for beating Michigan?

You need to put diseases on a permanent pedestal and reset the urgency for beating them every day. It does not matter if the common cold, season flu or coronavirus are in the news - you should always be on high alert where spreading diseases is concerned and ingrain into your own behavior that health is nothing to take for granted.

Weird how hand hygiene vs. diseases just snap-fits right into how Ohio State has successfully treated its greatest rival. Instead of getting Gold Pants, you get to not be sick or become the new Typhoid Xary.

Anyway, if you're impatient and don't have it in you to Tresselspeak while cleaning your hands:

zeke streak

Channeling Paul Keels while scrubbing your hands will get you 20 seconds through the heart of how most humans have died since we arrived on this rock. If you'd rather sing, there's one song in the Buckeye catalog that can get you just north of 20 seconds.

Ohio State prepares for Michigan all year. The Buckeyes don't wait until Thanksgiving; that's not how you treat a rival. It's similar to how you should treat invisible, dastardly germs which are always around and on you.

Make hand hygiene a celebration instead of an errand.

Your health is your most important asset. Revere and respect the environmental elements that can rob it from you. There are no Revenge Tours when it comes to your health. Germs are humanity's greatest rival, and:

How do you show respect for a rivalry? You work that [expletive] every day. Every day.

Many times, every day. And not just 4-6 seconds, A to B. A relentless 20 second scrub, with friction, from your wrists-up.

Not just during cold and flu season. Not just when there's a pandemic. Not just when after you've taken a dump. Germs don't care if you washed your hands 99 times in a row when you should have. They will ruin you the 100th time when you let your guard down.

"This is not a game. This is not silly. This is a way of life." 

Ingrain hand hygiene into your own culture. Take nothing for granted. Go Bucks. Wash your hands.

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