OT: I'm having dinner with Jim Tressel - What should I ask him?

Submitted by mGrowOld on April 11th, 2013 at 12:11 PM

This coming May 14th my company is getting something known as the "Manny Award" here in Northern Ohio.  I have been asked to accept the award for my firm and because of that I will be sitting at the podium for the dinner and award ceremony next to the Keynote speaker Jim Tressel.  My question is if you had the opportunity to sit next to him for the evening what would you ask him?


I might add I have had the opportunity to meet Tressel on two other occasions and found him to be extremely personable and friendly (and yes he knew I was a Michigan alum) so I don't want to say anything extremely offensive but I do want to take the opportunity to talk to him a bit about what went really went on at OSU during his tenure.  Any suggestions on how to word it so I don't cause a scene but still get him to open up a bit?  Any other topics you guys think I should broach while I've got him cornered for the night?

And yes, I plan to wear a yellow dress shirt, navy blue sport coat and my best Michigan tie for the night!



April 11th, 2013 at 12:16 PM ^

I LOL at the fact that it sounds completely unprofessional, and I LOL at how awkward this sounds, and I LOL at the insinuation that he'd want to talk about at all with a random guy.

Benoit Balls

April 11th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

If it were me (which is my way of saying I have no idea if this is the "right" or "wrong" way to go about it, only my opinion of what I would do) I would avoid bringing up OSU all together. Ask him how he's doing at Akron, what he thought of his work for the Colts, basically anything but OSU. The best revenge is living well, and further by asking him about his life since then you are subtly reminding him he isn't as OSU anymore.

Again, thats just me.  I don't figure he's going to say "Oh yeah, I had my brother handing out wads of cash like it was lunch" and "yeah, we circumvented every rule we could"...I mean, unless you go all Jack Burns and inject him with sodium pentathol in the bathroom.


April 11th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

I like the way you initially come across classy, as if you are just suggesting a civil conversation with another human being who happened to coach at a rival school, but then it turns out the entire line of conversation is a passive-aggressive attempt to undermine him.


April 11th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

I would just see if he'd be up for telling you some good (i.e., positive) stories about Lloyd Carr or Rich Rodriguez or other Michigan stuff.  You might ask him what he thinks of what Meyer has brought to OSU, too...There's no way he'll talk about "tat-gate" or anything like that, and I don't think it would be fair to put him on the spot about it.  He's been punished plenty. 

Full disclosure:  Tressel helped a kid I know get a football scholarship (not to OSU).  My opinion of him - and my respect for him - is considerably higher than that of the average Mgoblogger.   


April 11th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

Well I'm anything but an AVERAGE MGoblogger Eric so I know that wasnt directed at me.  Seriously though I 100% agree about Tressel.  As I said in the OP, I've met him twice and found him to be very charming and friendly - even to a MIchigan guy like me.

I was actually talking to him more about if he felt he got a fair shake from OSU or if he thought he was made a fall guy for others.  


April 11th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

I wasn't saying that you were the average Mgoblogger.  I know better than that.  I was just anticipating attacks from others for defending Tressel. 

I still don't know if I'd ask him if he thinks he got a fair shake, but I don't think that's a terrible idea either.  He might give you a little smile and then say something basically non-responsive.


April 11th, 2013 at 2:06 PM ^

Maybe just ask him about the NCAA and whether he thinks the organizations policies are the best for student athletes. Focus on trying to maneuver through the administrative bs entailed by the organization and if he thinks there are ways the NCAA can be better serving student athletes. You could reference our trouble with reporting and maintaining proper practice hours and cite how ridiculous countable hours are (see Bacon noting how many countable hours the hockey team gets for it's trip to Alaska). Maybe just ask about how tough it is to be serving so many interests (NCAA, osu, state of Ohio, fans, recruits, parents etc.) while tryin to coach and look out for the players best interests.


April 11th, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

In many of the Bo books there are stories about him from other teams players and coaches as well as the opposite for woody. It'd be great to hear any coaching stories or good interactions with michigan players. Avoid the controversial stuff.

Totally random, but reading your paragraph, there was a fortuitous line stop that initially made me think you were going to where a yellow dress.


April 11th, 2013 at 6:39 PM ^

This is the first time I have ever heard someone use the technical definition of fortuitous--a case of fortune, either good or bad. I have only heard it used as "fortunate," and frankly I've never been able to get past that usage myself. Well done.


April 11th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

It might be best to stay away from that whole NCAA violations thing entirely.  It's not like he's going to say anything especially revealing to someone he doesn't know.

I would be interested in getting his opinion on the new coaching staff at Michigan, both with respect to coaching and recruiting.  Does he think his "fence around Ohio" would have held against Michigan's current recruiting prowess?


April 11th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

That's actually a great way to start the question off, with a compliment - "you really did a great job of building a fence around Ohio, keeping almost all of those great recruits in state". Then you throw a little barb in there - "it seems like Urban is more focused on out of state kids. Do you think that will eventually come back to hurt the OSU football program?"

If you want him to open at all, you're really going to have to start with a few questions that are really going to stroke his ego. That will get him to talk a little bit. After that, you can tactfully ask a couple of more delicate questions, but ultimately, he's not going to open up much at all. This guy has been answering questions like this for years. He's a pro at deflecting.


April 11th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

he was recruiting a kid in a school that i teach at the week after the '09 'The Game'...i good naturedly said 'go blue' and he talked to me for a second, then another teacher showed up with a pad of sticky notes and he asked if i wanted an autograph.

i said 'nah....wait. well i do if you'll write 'go blue' on it'. 

it says,


go bucks

go blue

jim tressel

obviously i promptly took it down to the lamenating machine, folded over the 'go bucks' part, and it is now still lamenated (good enough that you honestly can't tell it's folded over' with a string around it for a necklace hanging off one of my book shelves...


go blue

jim tressel



April 12th, 2013 at 7:36 AM ^

They post the pictures on the Inside Business website after the event.  I'm sure they'll be there plus given that everyone else in my company are big OSU fans I'm sure the hilarity of me accepting the award from Tressel will be captured by everyone's cameras.  

I'll have pics.


April 11th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

I'd be curious if he thinks that the spread offense is a good fit for OSU/B1G given that he is known for conservative Tresselball.  Obviously, the transition from Tressel to Meyer went as good as one could hope for.  As Michigan beefs up for manball, which offense is going to have the advantage in the big game?


April 11th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

Not to thread-jack my own post but my company sells an intra-operative nerve stimulator/locator that is used by surgeons when assessing & repairing nerve damage.  And we just got approved by University of Michigan for trial use last week and literally in the past five minutes they just placed their first order!!!!!

Go Blue.