My Thoughts on Expansion

June 11, 2010

I am a rabid college football fan. Though I have never visited my favorite team’s stadium or gone to a game, I watch every game that I can on TV and the ones I can’t I follow on the radio or internet, I wear my team colors with pride on every Saturday in the fall, I have a matching bed set adorned with my team’s logo and I went as far as to have an Ohio State lightswitch cover. So with the expansion business fully underway, I find it necessary to throw my $.02 into the ring about the whole issue.

First the pros: It seems likely now that Nebraska has joined the Big Ten. I want to congratulate the Huskers on a VERY good decision to join. They will find that they are a perfectly natural fit for most of the conference as OSU, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin and (if they ever get their act together) Michigan all play tough, grind it out, hard nosed defensive football. Nebraska is exactly the same. They also fit in geographically. Nebraska is, for the most part, pretty close to a lot of the teams in the Big Ten. We could very easily see a Nebraska-Iowa or Nebraska-Minnesota started up by this new move. Academically they are part of the AAU which makes it attractive as well. From a purely selfish standpoint, I see this as adding a tough team with lots of history to come in and make the Big Ten even stronger heading into next year or the year after that. With Iowa, OSU, Penn State, Wisconsin and Nebraska all being legit national contenders for the next 5-10 years right off the bat and, with the consistent success those teams have had in the past, we could see all the above (and Michigan, if they ever get their act together) be national contenders for years after that.

As a side note, the conference championship game would be a push between a pro and a con, as I would likely get to see OSU play another game for the next many years, but it would obliterate the traditional last game of the year with That Team from Up North. It seems like for most fans of the Big Ten the addition of a conference championship game supersedes the loss of The Game’s symbolic placement at the end. But for me, it would be the worst thing to come out of expansion.

Now for the cons. First off, this might make for fewer non-con games. This might make games like OSU-USC (which arguably hasn’t been too good for us over the past two years, but if we played them at the end there is no question who would have won!), OSU-Miami, OSU-Nebraska (wait!) a thing of the past. Then again the conference would be tougher and a one loss Big Ten team might get the same respect as a 1 loss SEC team. Two, the addition of Nebraska might push the Pac-10 to add Texas, thereby giving credence to their toughness as a conference. Even so, a Big Ten with Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State is still better than a Pac-10 with Texas, USC, Oregon, UCLA and Stanford.

In any event, college football as we know it is changing, rapidly. The Big Ten was supposed to be on a timeline where a team was added in December, here it is in June and we already seemingly have our 12th member. Momentous changes could be occurring within days.

Obama Bashes Opponents In Meat-chicken Speech

May 3, 2010

In a recent speech given by president Obama at the U of Michigan, Obama didn’t encourage the next leaders of our nation, economy etc to become the great thinkers and doers of tomorrow, but he bashed opponents who disagree with his idea of large government becoming the answer to all of our problems: “But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” said Obama, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree. “When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”

Where do I start? First off let me address the idea that someone is saying all government is bad. No one is saying that, except the anarchists who are CRAZY. If there is too little government, things WILL fall apart. That is what led to the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation were so weak that the states were doing whatever they wanted and acting like their own countries. The Constitution was made so that the federal government was just strong enough to bond the states together and that’s it. Too much government leads to tyranny. The founders put us closer to anarchy, but far enough away that we’d stick together.

Secondly, our founders DID speak of government as a NECESSARY evil. George Washington said “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” They saw that we needed a government, but wanted to seriously constrain it so that our own would never enslave us as the British did. That is why a strict interpretation of the Constitution is the only true interpretation. Activist judges have lead us down the road to totalitarianism, we are almost there. The IRS has been given new powers to enforce the health care mandate, the IRS is seeking out individuals with ‘combat experience’ as well as ordering new shotguns. Why does a tax collection agency need new shotguns and 16,000+ agents, some with combat experience? But I digress.

Lastly, nitpicking a bit, we are not a democracy but a republic. Our president can now, not only be titled ‘The Worst President of Our Lifetime and Beyond’, but historically stupid as well. Bravo Mr. President, or should I say (in honor of the bashing of the ‘irresponsible’ actions of Arizona) Senor El Presidente.

‘The Game’

November 20, 2009

Tomorrow, at high noon, The Game, the most prolific rivalry in sports history, if not in the history of the world is renewed in Ann Arbor as the 9th ranked Buckeyes roll into town with a spot in the Rose Bowl already secured. Michigan is playing for respect as they started the season going 4-0 before dropping 5 of six down the stretch. They NEED to win this game against my beloved Ohio State to become bowl eligible.

From the ten year war between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler to the Lloyd Carr and John Cooper years to the Tressel Era in OSU, the two teams have a rich history of battling each other to the last play to determine Big Ten championships, Rose Bowl berths, BCS bids and National Titles.

One of my favorite stories about Ohio State-Michigan is from the Woody Hayes era. Legend says that Woody told someone that if his car ran out of gas north of the Ohio-Michigan border, he would push it across the border rather than spending any of his money in ‘that state up north’. (One thing that got me was, why was he up there unless he was driving back from a game. Hmm…)

One of my favorite quotes, (paraphrased a little) was from Jim Tressel when he was hired as head coach: “I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community and, most especially, in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field.” Don’t you love it Buckeyes? And he was telling the truth because since he took the helm of the program OSU is 7-1 against Michigan. It sends a tingle down my spine.

Tomorrow’s game will be played against a sad backdrop of the knowledge of Chris Spielman’s wife Stephanie passing at the hands of the cancer she fought so long and valiantly against. I’m sure that every Buckeye fan, player and coach alike are thinking of and praying for Chris and the whole family as they suffer this tremendous loss.

But no matter what happens tomorrow, we Buckeyes will always be Buckeyes. We will always cheer “Time and change will surely show, how firm our friendship O-HI-O!!!” and we will always thrill when Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse is played when the I is dotted in Script Ohio. We will always remember Woody, Earle, John and someday we will always remember Jim, we recall the only two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin, we take pride in our national championships in ’42, ’54, ’57, ’61, ’68, ’70 and 2002. I personally have been watching the Buckeyes only for about 7 years being a youngster in comparison to the older fans around me like my dad. But I know our history, and I cheer when the Best D*mn Band In The Land does Fight the Team or Hang on Sloopy. I sing to myself Carmen Ohio and do the O-H-I-O at the end. And I HATE MICHIGAN! So let’s go Buckeyes and beat that team from ‘up north’!