I think we all know it’s inevitable. Not Meyer taking the job, I still have a minimal amount of unrealistic hope that he’ll turn them down, and that I get to laugh at my OSU acquaintances. But they’re going to offer, if they haven’t already. They aren’t going to handle things in a businesslike manner, waiting until after the season wraps up in January, getting together with Fickel for a few chats, and sleeping a few nights on it. No. They are moving now, in season, and reminding us that a metaphorical discipline bomb could be dropped at the 50 of the Horseshoe and this organization’s immediate response would be : “Well, what can we do to keep winning football games at any cost?”
Should Urban Meyer take the job, what would it mean for Ohio State and Michigan both in short terms and a few years from now? Here are my thoughts:
Do you remember when you were a child, and did something very bad? Do you remember a disciplinary figure giving you hell for it? Do you remember the day your father, or older brother, or mentor, or person that everyone in the room loved and respected, stepped in on your behalf and told those in charge of keeping order that “they’d talk to you about it”?
If Urban Meyer takes over at OSU, put your popcorn carts away. He’ll intercede for them. With Tressel at the helm the Buckeyes would have suffered the long dick of the law. With anybody else, they’d still get nailed for pulling off and covering up a scandal rivaled only by the past three decades at Miami, but not with Meyer.
Just like a pastor, or a youth care worker, he’ll step in, have a short chat with the NCAA board and say exactly this, or something like it, “I’ll talk to them about it.” At this point, everyone in the room will put on their bedroom eyes, and look fondly on Meyer as though he is a returning vet with a purple heart. Someone might even say “You go get em’ TIGER!”
Meyer will save Ohio the slap on the wrist. Write this down.
THE YEARS AHEAD:
This is going to end in one of two ways. Both of them will benefit Michigan.
Option 1: This whole thing blows up in their face. We’ve beaten Urban Meyer before. We will continue to beat him. The recruiting momentum is in our favor right now, and with this Michigan team rising to the current occasion, I don’t see it changing any time soon. Even if Les Miles showed up in Columbus with a scarlet hoodie and a headset. And remember, while Meyer is one hell of a coach, he’s a quitter. When the going got tough in Gainesville, he left, for health reasons. I am not going all conspiracy theorist on this. He probably had shit going on. But then he came back, swept in and took his Castle back a la Jay Leno, and when the ratings didn’t go back up, it was all of a sudden “family-time” for the Meyers. He proceeded to bail on Florida once more, and then proceeded to
spend considerable amounts of time with his family travel around the country producing editorial segments and calling games for ESPN. Now that college football season is winding down and he will finally have that valuable time with his kids and wife, he is settling in at home, and making plans for vacations and down time with his family talking about and addressing rumors about a return to Columbus as if he were waiting on the phone call. If he takes the job this winter, and we’re looking at an 8-4 buckeye squad in 2013 and 2014, will he stick around? The only thing more entertaining than Braxton Miller’s attempt at passing the ball fourteen yards will be Meyer’s newest excuse. Grandchildren? Erectile Dysfunction? Time to spend a few months responding to fan mail?
It works. Two years from now, the Buckeyes are looking at 10-3 post bowl game, and as a result are ranked #3 in the preseason polls for the next year. Don’t get me wrong, while I wish we Beat Ohio every year, instead of rolling a squad that can’t put a decent drive together, I’d rather take a big old piss in their chicken noodle soup. I don’t just want Michigan to beat them, I want them to ruin Ohio’s season. And as a result, our path to a National Championship just got a little straighter. We need our #1 rival to be a top ten team. It’s just how it is. Texas-Oklahoma Alabama-Auburn-LSU, Michigan-Ohio State. It’s rare that any one of these teams makes waves in the annual run at the BCS championship when their (or one of their) corresponding rivals don’t have a decent shot at 10-11 wins.
Meyer may mean we go from taking the Buckeyes 9 times out of 10 to maybe 6 or 7, but at least with him at the helm, we’ll not only get beat by a clean, talented program, we’ll have the opportunity to do it to them, just after thanksgiving, every year.
Either way, bring it on! Whichever one of our rivals (Notre Dame. Lolz) (Michigan State. Perpetual dream state that I’m confident will end soon. Very soon.) (Ohio. A big fat mess right now) wants to try and derail us….I say let them in.
In one year, Hoke and Co. have taught this team to play like Michigan again. But they’ve only gotten the job halfway done. Last off season, the fundamentals were laid in place. Last off season, they learned (and are finally showing it) how to play the game right. But his spring and summer, these athletes learn the other half of what Michigan football is: The toughness, the swagger, the Tremendous Tremendousosity. We’re only at the summit, friends.
And whether he’s in the media booth, or on the opposite sideline, Urban Meyer won’t change that.
Human beings to do not like being rebuked. I’m not talking about sitting around, blabbering on and on about matters of opinion. If you and your friends are arguing about who was supposed to win the game this weekend, then rebuke, no matter how wrong you think your friend, roommate, or barstool neighbor is, should not enter into the equation. However, sometimes a human being or an organization does something wrong; flat out, unanimously guilty, infinitely, inescapably, wrong.
Over the course of the summer, beginning with mumbled rumors in spring, we got to see an arch-rival, the hated Ohio State Buckeyes implode on a most incredibly entertaining level. Now, my point in this diary is not to discuss what the NCAA will do, or not do, not to shed light on Gee and Smith, not even to debate whether what they did was wrong. All of this has been covered. I’d like to look at the Ohio fan base response and ask, why?
We all have several stories of buckeye pals (if you’re willing to put them at “pal” status) who have responded to their beloved team’s recent moral short comings in outstandingly irrational ways. Hands down, the most frustrating conversation I’ve ever gotten into over the matter, which inspired this little written piece, occurred last Friday, at a local sports bar.
I was choking down buffalo wing after buffalo wing, chasing them with tall Coors originals, when I got into a conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me. You know how this goes:
Me: Yeah, I’ve been a Michigan fan since I was born.
My Neighbor: Oh, well that sucks.
(ENGAGE BATTLE MODE)
It turns out that the dude in the Tap-Out hat, with the beard that was longer at the goatee portion than his cheeks, with the gigantic metal bulb earrings was an Ohio State fan. I immediately went for the jugular, (rude, I know) and asked him if the Bucks were going to make a bowl game this year. As I’m sure you already know, things turned ugly…fast. What the conversation boiled down to was a debate of the violations that had been reported against that school down south. After I listed off only half of them (I hadn’t made it to the Pryor fiasco, yet) he stopped me and said, “You know, the way I see it, is that everybody does that stuff.” All I could hear in my mind were the words “You know, everybody murders people”, but I kept smiling and nodding. I asked him why hadn’t everybody been caught, or at least been the subject of a major scandal that snagged more ESPN headlines than the New York Yankees post-season departure. His response?
“That stuff doesn’t matter.”
I’ll make this clear, if any of you and I are ever in a conversation in which you tell me that not only the law, court decisions and well-backed investigative journalism, let alone pure founded logic “doesn’t matter”, our chat will probably end there, too.
I finished my wings, drank my beer, and spent the rest of the weekend wondering.
In reality, friends, human beings will do everything within their power to simply, not be wrong. Most Ohio fans didn’t even attend the school, or play for the team, but they still hold fast, denying any wrong doing, or referencing other unfounded cases of corruption in (not just) college sports. As a living being in a human body, we can force ourselves to accept our circumstances: being lied to, losing our job, being accused of a crime…but not being wrong.
And this is why, until the day I die, until the day my future children’s children die, the Ohio administration and fan base will always respond to accusations of corruption during that ten year stretch of domination thanks to Clarett, Smith and Pryor, with the following statement:
“You know it happens everywhere.”
When clearly, it doesn’t.
Let's just take a short, much deserved moment to step back out of the normal game week things we do, and look at the big picture. Now, I understand that the big picture has been looked at multiple times on this blog, In fact, my eyes are burning. But please permit me this.
Last Saturday was a surreal experience, even when witnessed from my couch in Evansville, Indiana, 500 miles south from where most of you got to sit. I'll just say that I firmly believe most of the Irish fans that are calling us lucky. No matter which way you look at it, when there were 30 seconds on the clock, I knew that even Christ Jesus couldn't pull it off by himself, but I knew we were going to, somehow.
This whole season is one big transition, which is kind of awesome, and kind of blows. On one hand, while there is still a glimmer of hope that we'll be smelling roses in a few months, most of us realists have come to terms with the fact that that just won't be the case, no matter how wrong we'd like to be. On the other hand, we don't have to spend every minute of every game tight-sphinctered wondering if we're finally going to have ten wins, if this is the game that got our coach ousted (whether we wanted it or not) or who was going to be the next man to take the field as Head Coach this coming September.
Folks, we are indeed playing with house chips.
We've already played a game that officially never happened. We also played another game that was so exciting that inmates in third world countries are talking about it. But as far as the rest of the season, what say we just enjoy this short amount of time when irrational expectations, over amped theories on what WE SHOULD DO THIS YEAR, and the general hub-bub of those amazing ESPN sooth seers who can not only predict the future, but don't lose their head at the request of the king after they are wrong year after year, when all of this nonsense that is sure to come, has decided to leave us alone for at least a little while.
Let's just sit back, and crack open our cans, and sing "The Victors" for the first time in a while, without a doom cloud hanging over us.
Here's to Hoke, in all of his stoic glory.
Here's to Denard, who I'd let date my daughter and I don't even have one yet.
Here's to that defense that wants so badly to be better at what they do.
And here's to waking up at 8am on that chilly late-November morning, my stomach wrenched in nervous tension, waiting for Ohio, and the only expectation i have of this season, or any season ever....winning on that day, that can be both macabre or marvelous, in every sense of the word.