"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Game

Game: a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.

As I sit in the Starbucks in Gahanna, Ohio, at 8:12am nonetheless, with my laptop whipped out; punching the keys like I'm some sort of coffee shop poet, I sheepishly let my eyes wander at the patrons.

What a loser. 

That's what they are thinking and that's what I would be thinking if I saw some dude hovering over his computer at 8:12am at a local Starbucks.

Complete loser.

I know this is a strong opinion, but anytime I see a person sitting in Starbucks, Panera Bread or any other neighborhood "living-room" reading, "casually" typing away on their iMac (dear God I want one so bad... all I have to do is skip one month of child support and that "baby"... wrong choice of words... that sucker would be mine) ,or even worse, checking out their facebook I think, "you're joking right". I always ask myself, "Self, don't they have a home." I assume they are starving for attention or they watch too many Hollywood romantic movies thinking Mr. or Mrs. Perfect is going to stroll in at any minute.

Honestly, I can't even look at the people in the store right now. I'm just going to put my headphones on and put my head down and watch my fingers type away.

I'm embarrassed for myself.

I'm sure all of you are wondering why I'm sitting in a Starbucks at 8:12am, well the reason is my son, Bryce, had basketball practice this morning at 8am and I needed to drop him off at the school at about 7:40am. So actually I was one of 3 people here at 7:50 this morning and since then one Ohio State fan after another has trotted, bounced, skipped, hurried and strolled through the door.

"Yes I'm going to watch the game you moron, I'm just waiting for my son's practice to end before I can pick him, and his little brother, up so we can go to Kroger's to get food and then go home." Is there anything else you would like to ask me with your stare?

I feel like shouting to all of them, "I love sports you know, I played basketball in college." 

Again, I'm such a loser.

Anyway, as I was driving to my son's practice I reflected upon all the practices my Dad took me to, all the games that my parents went to during my playing days and all of the joy, and pain, that was associated with those times earlier in my life. I can honestly say that my parents were, and still are, the best teammates (and the biggest fans) I've ever had. While I was driving I was reminded how the torch has been past to me and that the same behavior is expected of me as a father. This statement is redundant for anyone that has children that play sports, but there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, like watching your children play sports.


As I ponder that statement for a moment I begin to think of all the parents that will be  watching their kids play at the "Horseshoe" today. Thinking about all of the parents that will be full of joy today watching their son's participate in America's favorite sport I wondered if the parents that watched their boys play in the first college game were just as excited. 

Upon further review I'm sure they were.

The first college football game played was between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1869 at College Field at Rutgers University. Rutgers won that day 6 to 4, please don't ask me how they got the four points... I'm tired and if I start down that historical road opining about that day of many firsts I will be here the better part of the day. Also, for any of you reading this that thinks the NCAA is screwed up and that they should be able to remedy this situation we call a National Championship in football don't be dismayed. 

The governing body has been screwing it up since day one when in 1869 the National Championship was awarded to both Rutgers and Princeton. 

An artist's rendering of the first college football game
between Rutgers and Princeton, played on November 6, 1869
(Courtesy of


They were the only two teams that played that year.

Princeton was named the champion by the Billingsley Report and the National Championship Foundation, while college football research historian Parke H. Davis named the two teams co-champions.

Unbelievable, I will never say another thing about how we crown a National Champion in football again. We have been getting it wrong for 141 years.

Again, unbelievable. 

Though the Rutgers vs. Princeton was our country's first college game it is the Harvard vs. Yale game that is referred to as "The Game". The game was played in November of 1875 in New Haven, Connecticut. Harvard won 4 to 0. Again, don't ask me how they scored 4 points; they didn't even have "safeties" then. Nonetheless, it was and will always be considered "The Game."

Saturday Evening Post depiction of the Harvard vs. Yale football game.
(November 19, 1960)

Harvard vs. Yale. The game was played at Hamilton Park on a Saturday. 
(November 13, 1875.)

I know what many of you, or at least the three that are reading this, are thinking. There is only one "The Game" and it starts with the Scarlet and Gray versus the Maize and Blue. Now before we go there I believe there to be some great rivalry games that are as good, if not better, than the OSU-Michigan game. The Nebraska-Oklahoma, Michigan-Notre Dame, USC-Notre Dame and the Texas-Oklahoma are all great rivalries. Being a SEC fan as well as a Florida Gator fan there is nothing better than Florida-Tennessee and Florida-Florida State games, but in my humble estimation there is nothing better than the Alabama-Auburn and the OSU-Michigan games.

Bo & Woody... 

The tradition, the passion and the emotion is unbelievable and unparalleled. Well, the Duke-North Carolina basketball battle is pretty awesome too. Those games are "must see TV" every year.

Finally, "The Games" are part and parcel to what makes life great. During those times it is not the breaths we take, but the breath that is taken away while those games are being played that can bring us to tears and cause us to shout at the top of our lungs. Whether it is your daughter competing in volleyball, basketball or softball or you son excelling on the field or in arena, the joy, and the pride, which is felt during that experience is unprecedented. 

So today I salute, and envy, all the parents that get to watch their son's play in the greatest rivalry in college football. OK, they tie with Alabama-Auburn on this one. 

Anyway, I will share in your highs and lows, your utter joy and unbelievable pride. I will watch with a special eye towards Stoneburner and Mewhort because I went to college with both sets of their parents, Don Mewhort and I were captains of the Wittenberg basketball team, along with Steve Iannarino, in 1987, and Jake Stoneburner's Dad was almost my "Big Brother" when I thought about pledging ATO my freshman year. By the way, that was the best decision I ever made, sorry Mark, but fraternity life wasn't for me.

Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes 
(February 14, 1913 – March 12, 1987)
To all the parents at Ohio State and Michigan at Hilliard and Hartley enjoy these times. Silence yourself for a moment and thank God for how fortunate your family is to be able to build memories that most would sacrifice most anything to experience just once. I will be cheering along with all the parents, admiring your children's unbelievable skill and athletic ability. 

Good luck today and tonight and more importantly enjoy yourself as you watch your children excel in what they love to do always remembering that your family is very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful experience.

Woody doting the " i "...

OSU 32 - Michigan 24... I need Michigan to cover the 21 points.
Hilliard 17 - Huber Heights 14

sbb  27.11.10
Glory Days  .  Bruce Springsteen

1 comment:

Erica said...

I loved this post. I always thought people who sat at Starbucks and Panera on their computer were escaping the chaos at home and trying to write a biology paper but that must just be me!