Monday, November 13, 2006

Born Scarlet and Grey

For most sports fans and even for some that aren't there is a sports team that you are born into. It's a team that you have no choice in rooting for. The team that while a kid your father, mother, or both points out that they are the "good guys" on the TV. The fact that they are the good guys is only reinforced when you see the joy on your parents' faces when they do well. You smile too even though you have no concept of the sport. Your parents throw parties surrounding these "good guys." You get to eat the stuff your Mom usually won't allow when these "good guys" are on the TV. You really had no choice in the matter. This is your team. I love my Cubs, but the team in my blood is The Ohio State Buckeyes.

I think it all began when my grandfather went to OSU and played clarinet (or was it the oboe) for The Best Damn Band In The Land. I pretty sure this was the only time you were allowed to use the word "damn" in my family. Before I could even speak I was being initiated into becoming a Buckeye.Clearly, I had no choice. This began when my family lived in Georgia. Once we moved to Columbus when I was two, it was all over. I was a Buckeye. In the early years your education begins. You learn to say "Buckeye." "Hang on Sloopy" is the song you first learn. Screw "YMCA" you learn to sign O-H-I-O. Maize and blue are the colors the "bad guys" wear. Michigan is where the "bad guys" come from. Your friends all love the Buckeyes. Their parents love the Buckeyes. You get to play with all your friends when the Buckeyes play. The Buckeyes happen after cartoons. And that The Ohio State Buckeyes T-shirt becomes your favorite shirt.Look at that joy on my face. It's the shirt, and I wore that shirt all the time.

The thing is my parents deserve credit equally in training me to be a Buckeye. My father is the one that taught me the game. He taught me the players names. He taught my that you are a Buckeye no matter where you live. This was demonstrated to me when we moved to South Carolina after my parents divorced. The first thing he did when we moved into our new house was paint it. What did he paint it?Yes, he painted it grey with scarlet colored doors. The thing is he painted it in like 1981, and it was still this color in 1993. This is in the heart of Clemson country too.

My Mom on the other hand I think instilled my passion for the Buckeyes. My Mom didn't really care about sports as a whole except for the Buckeyes. There was nothing like listening to my Mom shout "Go! Go! Go!" as a player would make a big play. That would be quickly followed by a gleeful laugh, followed by an "Alright!" or a "Wow!" How many people get to call their mothers and talk football? Well, I could when it came to the Buckeyes. Before I moved out here to California, I spent the winter at my Mom's. My job at the time was working at one of The Buckeye Corner stores. You can imagine my Mom's excitement that she could now get 20% of Buckeye apparel.

So, I was born to be a Buckeye which leads up to perhaps the biggest game in my life as a Buckeye. The current top two are the 1997 Rose Bowl against Arizona State (There was a jewelery box at the Buckeye Corner that played the radio calls of famous plays in Buckeye History. I would keep opening and closing it till it played the game winning play in that Rose Bowl.) and of course the 2003 Fiesta Bowl where the Buckeyes won the National Championship in double OT.

The game this weekend though is one of the biggest game's in the history of sports greatest rivalry. You can try right now to come up with a better rivalry but you will come up with one that are either too short or too one sided. Simply known as "The Game," Ohio State and Michigan will meet for the first time ranked #1 and #2 in the nation. In many experts opinions this is basically the game that will decide the National Champion. All the ridiculous hype (Game of the Century? Please.) and the general consensus that the Buckeyes will win has had me nervous since Sunday about this game. You see the history of this rivalry shows that usually the team with less to lose usually wins this game. The problem is that they are both undefeated and both are playing for the right to play for the National Championship. So they both have the exact same thing to lose. How can anyone make a guess on how this will turn out? I'm too superstitious to make any claims about this game.

What I will say is: Please don't call me between 12:00 and 4:00pm. If the Buckeyes happen to lose, you probably want to wait till Sunday.


thefamousgrouse said...


Jaime said...

I have to say there was nothing like watching football with your mom. I can remember the first game I watched with the fam. over at the farm house. She went absolutely nuts over some play and I was shocked--where did THAT come from? I think outside of football the only time I saw her act like that was when she found out she was going to be a grandmother.

And didn't Moira have a little grey OSU t-shirt from your time at Buckeye Corner? I'll have to dig out the pictures.

Ben said...

For some reason this whole Buckeye thing and the whole sports thing with Dad never got passed on to me. Maybe it was my way of rebelling, "I'm not going to watch that game, I'm going to the theater." Although, I have to admit it when those big games come around, even I catch the fever.