Thinking about jumping in Mirror Lake still sends a tingle down this aging veteran's spine.
Specific #shoutout to all the students that'll wake up today with an extra pep on their step but will end it in an unconscious, vomit-caked lump on a buddy's already disgustingly unsanitary couch.
But yeah, I have no idea why Ohio State is trying to distance itself from this sacred holiday.
Did they try to put up a fence around Valley Forge? Hell no.
George Washington and his grotesque hippo-tooth grill braved the elements. Sure, he didn't sip caffeinated FourLoko, but there's little doubt in my mind he'd rave of its powers if he could. (He also would still be alive.)
HARBAUGH'S GUARANTEE. We're on the literal highway to Hell this week, and I still have yet to muster any ill will in my heart for Jim Harbaugh.
But perhaps that would be different if I wasn't blogging from my mother's uterus in November 1986.
Kalis says Harbaugh shares his old rivalry stories with the team. He can't repeat them 'But let me tell you, he was the man.'— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) November 23, 2015
That's the kind of folk legend status you get in Michigan's locker room when you can say "I didn't have a losing record against Ohio State" with a straight face.
From espn.com's oral history of Jim Harbaugh's Michigan career, which started like an assassin accepting a contract offer from a mid-level crime boss:
"When we finally recruited him out of high school, we waited until the last minute," Schembechler wrote. "He came into my office, sat down, and I said, 'Jim, I want you here.' He nodded. That was that."
Fun fact I learned: Jim Harbaugh was headed to Miami University before Bo Schembechler poached him, which is cosmically poetic because Jim Harbaugh as a Miami Man is only bested by Jim Harbaugh as a Michigan Man.
Sadly, however, it culminated with this:
Wow, I never knew how much Player Jim Harbaugh looked like Zach Morris' socially awkward, non-sex havin' brother.
Urban Meyer said he'll "never forget" Harbaugh's guarantee, and it's easy to see why:
Meyer: [Bruce] got fired right here in my office. It used to be the staff meeting room and there was a big table right in the middle. [OSU athletics director] Rick Bay was an impeccable dresser, but when I walked into the room, his tie was off to the side and his hair was messed up. I was the last one to walk into the room. I looked around and said, "Oh, s---."
People forget Ohio State had a kick to win the game, and it fell to junior kicker Matt Frantz. Earle Bruce apparently told the team all week, with tears in his eyes, that nobody came into the Shoe and guaranteed victory.
Of course, the game came down to Frantz, 10-mph winds, a 45-year-old field goal... and Bo Schembechler's psychological warfare.
It did not end well for Frantz.
FRANTZ: Just before the timeout was over, I looked over and saw Bo Schembechler about three-quarters of the way out on the field. He was screaming, "Frantz, you little s---, you're going to miss this kick!" He was going nuts, and his coaches were trying to hold him back. [...]
After the game, I literally had to hide in a stall in the bathroom. When I finally got out of the locker room, it was like I was literally walking to the death chamber to go do media interviews. It was like a scene out of "Dead Man Walking." A tradition for my parents and me was going out for pizza after games. One of the restaurants changed its marquee to say: "Matt Frantz Does Not Eat Here."
The next year was brutal. At picture day the next summer, a kid came up to me and asked me for my autograph. His dad came up and asked him what he was doing. The guy told his kid, "Do you know who this is? This is the guy that made you cry last year. He lost the Michigan game." The kid scattered away.
Ah, the simpler times before Twitter ruined everything! Before petty people could download their life's failures onto college athletes!
I try not to let sports losses ruin my mood anymore (my lawyer, who is also one of my cats, calls it a Cleveland Browns coping mechanism to keep me out of prison) but if Ohio State lost like that fashion — including Jim Harbaugh taunting Sean Nuernberger with Sam Cassell's coconut testicle dance — just know I'm taking next week off.
BOSA EXPLAINS THE HUSTLE. Joey Bosa went offsides three times against Michigan State, which we all know is uncharacteristic of the player we've all come to know and love.
As it turns out, Bosa fell victim to a series of gambits by fifth-year Michigan State center Jack Allen, including once on a fourth quarter 4th and 8.
"Obviously going against a center like we did this week, a veteran who knows what he's doing, knows how to make people jump and knows that I'm every snap thinking to get off the ball as as fast as I can, they're gonna use that against me," Bosa said.
"He would point the ball up, and then put it down right before he snaps. I'm trained every single day of my life to move when the ball moves. I see the tiniest little bit of movement and I'm getting off the ball."
"We have different calls for holding the ball a little bit longer," Allen said. "You almost try to stay out of your rhythm sometimes with a cadence. A couple of those I was holding it a little longer, and it worked out."
Marionaires don't believe in sportsmanship, so I can't even get mad at Allen for this hustle. That's the kind of benign swindles a good team keeps on deck.
Bosa must not see that kind of sleight-of-hand often either due to the amount of times he was victimized. I'm just glad it happened against Sparty if it means it doesn't happen at Michigan.
ZEKE APOLOGIZES TO WRONG PEOPLE. Urban Meyer said Monday he won't discipline Ezekiel Elliott for his post-MSU comments in which Elliott criticized Ohio State's play calling.
Elliott apologized on Monday. Now, the question becomes, 'should he have?'
But then you have all this riffraff ... both sides taking extreme views. On ESPN, Skip Bayless said Meyer should bench Elliott for the Michigan game. And former Buckeyes receiver-turned-analyst Joey Galloway suggested that Elliott be left behind in Columbus on Saturday.
And then the “pay the players” crowd on Twitter chimes in and says Elliott shouldn’t apologize because Ohio State is taking advantage of him anyway.
The middle ground here is right. But, hey, what’s the fun of keeping things in perspective?
Elliott only owed his coaches an apology. I'd say teammates too, but that'd ignore the team-oriented comments strewn throughout Zeke's original monologue. It'd also ignore statements like this from yesterday's media availability:
Joey Bosa on Ezekiel Eliiott: "I think he said what a lot of people were scared to say."— Tim Shoemaker (@TimShoemaker) November 23, 2015
People accused Elliott of entitlement, but they're the same ones "accepting" Zeke's apology on social media.
Players (especially amateurs) do not owe anything to the fans other than clean and hard performances. That's the pact. Anything else is just synthesized expectation laid at the feet of athletes by people who long ago confused sports with a battle between good and evil.
Did Ezekiel Elliott quit playing hard? Did he bash the fans? No, and it's hilarious to me that the one man with a right to take umbrage — Urban Meyer, head coach — didn't (officially) discipline him.
*wipes brow with a Rally's napkin that doubles as a handkerchief* Whew, I'm preachin' today. Let me get off this Lokobox before I'm humbled with a broken ankle and a medical bill I can't afford.
TALENTED #TEEN MAKES CRYPTIC TWEET. It's funny how much can change in a week.
Last Tuesday, Ohio State was on a historical conference regular season winning streak and vying for its second championship in as many seasons.
This Tuesday, we're wondering if the offense will be able to muster 17 points against Michigan, who is now the betting favorite heading into The Game.
Boy if I could do it all again— Mike Weber (@mikeweber25) November 23, 2015
That's Mike Weber, the freshman RB that turned heads in camp before a knee injury condemned him to a redshirt season. Weber chose Ohio State over Michigan in a National Signing Day decision.
Others are worrying it's another sign of locker room strife.
Only Weber knows what he meant, but the only way I'm worrying about the locker room is if Ohio State gets smoked by Michigan. If they play a tough game and lose on some fufu, I can live with that.
I also hate that I'm thinking like this.
#BEATMICHIGANMEMORIES. In lieu of a 4:59 a.m. Loko (saving such a refreshing beverage for Saturday morning; 12 p.m. kicks are good, actually), let's throw it back to 1968.
The 8-0 Buckeyes met the Michigan Wolverines on November 23, 1968, in front of what was, at the time, the largest crowd to ever fill Ohio Stadium (85,371). Ohio State was ranked number 1; Michigan was ranked number 4. Michigan scored first to lead 7-0 in the first quarter. Ohio State followed with its own touchdown. Both teams scored at the end of the half, and the score at halftime was 21-14 for Ohio State.
Michigan would not score again. Jim Otis put on a display, scoring four of the Buckeye touchdowns, while Rex Kern directed the offense to 421 yards rushing. The final score was Ohio State 50, Michigan 14.
Drive-thru video courtesy of our good friend Vico:
It might be gambler's fallacy at this point, but Ohio State is due for an offensive performance like that one.
THOSE WMDs. We visited the world’s first real-life Pokémon 'gym' in Osaka, Japan... The Rutherford B. Hayes birthplace gas station... Britain's biggest jewel heist goes to trial... After Dropbox finds a child porn collector, a chess club stops his knife attack... One man spent $35,000 and four years to unmask his internet troll.