This is Madness


Yeah you all should know what comes after that quote. Our good friend King Leonidas proceeds to Tae Bo the heck out of that Persian messenger and send him into the depths. As much as I would love to dedicate a blog to the 300 Spartans, that kind of madness is not what this post is about.

This Is March

You all know him, you all might love him. Jon Rothstein’s “This is March” tweets have become infamously famous(is that even a thing?) The reference being to the NCAA tournament and granted, March does have it’s fair share of madness with some of the biggest examples coming this year.

  • UMBC being the first EVER 16 seed to upset a 1 seed
  • Loyola-Chicago making it to the Final Four as an 11 seed
  • Sister Jean becoming the biggest international celebrity of the tournament
  • Plenty of buzzer beaters, massive dunks, etc.
  • St. Patrick’s Day

Yeah, one of those doesn’t necessarily fit in with the others, but the point is that March does have some solid examples of madness.

However if we look at the definition of madness that apply to this post it reads this:

  1. Extremely foolish behavior
  2. A state of frenzied or chaotic behavior

The madness I refer to is the beginning of Cincinnati Reds baseball. I have and plan to write about the Cincinnati Reds every single year(shameless plugs continue) because of how much I love the Reds and the city of Cincinnati.

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”

Friedrich Nietzsche was not talking about baseball when he said these words, of that I am certain. Little did he know that when he said those words that they would perfectly describe the game of baseball. Some people think that I am foolish for loving the Reds so much when all they’ve given me is heartbreak thus far in life. I say to them they must not know true allegiance. Being a Reds fan isn’t necessarily about watching a winning team every year though.


It’s the nights at the ballpark with friends. It’s listening to Marty and Joe on the radio with Dad in the backyard and going inside to watch the game on Fox Sports Ohio when it gets too dark to keep tossing the baseball. It’s the God awful FSO commercials. It’s bonding over the team and the city with friends met 100 miles away from home. It’s Crosley field, Riverfront Stadium, Cinergy Field, and now Great American Ballpark.


It’s walking along the river bank before or after a game. It’s the first baseball team ever. It’s the 7th inning stretch. It’s perfect games, no hitters, and grand slams. It’s lemon chills, frosty malts, peanuts, Skyline, and that one vendor that sings about “IIIICCCCEEEE COOOOOOOOOOOOOLD Beer”

It’s 4192. It’s the Holy Grail on a gameday. It’s the Big Red Machine. It’s Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Sr., Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Larkin, Tom Browning, and i’ll stop now because I could go on for quite a while.

Obviously being a Reds fan means that I want them to win. I want to beat the Cubs from Chicago, I want to sink the jolly roger from Pittsburgh, I want to empty the kegs from Milwaukee, and I want to crush the dirty birds from St. Louis. Please, beat the Cardinals.

Cincinnati Reds baseball represents everything great about the entire city of Cincinnati.

Granted there are aspects of the actual game that is being played in that 90′ diamond that skirt on the edge of madness.

  • 4 home runs in one game?? Yes it may have thrown me into a frenzy, but that is more history than madness
  • Going from first to home on a single? That’s just plain fast
  • Throwing 100 mph fastballs? Defying the laws of physics
  • Having the fastest player in baseball on your team but he can’t get on base? Maddening…not madness though
  • Thinking that one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game of baseball isn’t good because he walks too much(thanks twitter)? Okay, now that might be madness

But through all the things that can drive me crazy as a Reds fan, I will still be here each and every year. Anticipating Opening Day more than Christmas just like every Cincinnati-an does. Because Lord knows that the madness of rooting for the Cincinnati Reds will all be worth it once we hoist that World Series trophy, and the city of Cincinnati erupts not into madness, but pure euphoria.

Rounding Third, and Heading for Home.


One Nation, One Team

“Sports don’t matter because of who wins, sports win because of the hope they give other people.”

Okay I’ll address your first question, yes I care about winning in sports. The whole reason to train, practice, lift weights, and compete is to win the competition. But teams and individuals that lose can still give hope to other people, and that is why all sports matter.

Check Twitter or Facebook during the Olympics and you will see a lot more posts about country pride and more specifically USA pride. I have plenty of pride in my country and especially all the incredible athletes that we send to the Olympics. I enjoy drinking Budweiser and wearing any and all USA gear, but that’s because of the respect and hope for this country that I have.

I have friends and family that have served or continue to serve in our armed forces and words cannot describe how much I respect that. Seriously, I searched the internet(and the dictionary) and couldn’t find any words that accurately describe the respect that I have My friends and family that have served hopefully know that. But I don’t have that pride and wear that clothing to try and be cool. I wear  things like a USA basketball shirt because of how awesome it is to see a group of large ego’s(and professional paychecks) can come together to consistently win gold medals. I wear a USA hat made by a company called Compete Every Day because I believe as Americans we should compete every day to be the best we can be for ourselves, our families, and our country. I wear an shirt that says American Made on the back because not only was that shirt made in the USA but I am too. And made in America means something to me.

Olympic Matt

Just as Aly Raisman and all the USA gymnasts did 2 years ago…Chloe Kim, 17 year old snowboarder will give kids hope that they can one day be an Olympian. She will also teach us that sometimes your biggest fans are your family, and also to always finish your breakfast sandwich. Speaking of family, the only Mom that is a part of team USA won Gold in cross country skiing, which is the first medal in that sport for team USA ever!

Mikaela Shiffrin will give the same hope to kids that they can compete and succeed at the highest level. The US Womens National Hockey Team will be battling for Gold later tonight and show that sometimes you have to go through your biggest rival to win Gold.

Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn will show that setbacks do not define you, and will give people hope that their legacy will not be known for failing. That their prime isn’t past them.

There are countless other stories with all the athletes from all the countries competing. The shirtless Tongan guy is not just a ripped dude with oil on him, he qualified for the summer AND winter Olympics! How cool is that!? I am happy if I can walk through the parking lot and not slip on the ice to my car!

There is a commercial that is airing during the broadcasts that declare that sport brings us together and can give us a medium in which to connect with people that are not exactly like us. It asks us to join team USA during the Olympics. I for one will join them and root on each and every one of our athletes.

I think the Olympics also show how so many different countries can come together and speak the same language of sports. A halfpipe is a halfpipe no matter where it’s built, 1500m is 1500m everywhere. These athletes are all at the pinnacle of the sports and are able to respectfully compete against each other for the top prize, a Gold freaking medal!

There is a Physical Therapist that works at the Wexner Medical Center that competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and actually helped team USA win the Silver Medal. I can now say that my coworker is an Olympian and that is super dope. She was quoted in an article about her experience in Vancouver that perfectly captures the spirit of the Olympics.

“The Olympics display all that is amazing about the human race—strength, courage, spirit, passion, honor, determination, the list goes on and on. I absolutely loved being a part of this peaceful, worldwide celebration of the human spirit.” – Karen Thatcher

It might be hard to think that we are even a Team USA, what with the shootings occuring in our schools, and when even the American Olympians are annoyed with how the flag bearing is determined for the opening ceremony. But I believe that team USA exists. And I believe that the sports we will watch through the end of the Olympics have the ability to bring us together as one team. Team USA.


For Those About To Rock

Let me ask you a question.

What is your favorite song to rock out to?

Not a song that you can play when your coworkers get in your car to go to lunch that you know won’t offend anyone. No soft rock music station song. I’m talking about a song that as soon as you hear it, you crank that SOB up as loud as you possible can.

You sing along until you sing a note completely wrong…then you sing even louder. (never done that, by the way.)

A song that makes you think air drumming in the car is a good idea; let me tell you…from what I’ve heard and I emphasize heard, it isn’t.

One that when you listen to it, you think that it might actually blow the speakers out…and for however long that song lasts it doesn’t matter to you if they do because you are so lost in the music.

I’m hoping that there are plenty of songs that you are thinking of right now. Probably thinking of the specific times and memories where what I just described actually happened. There is usually a situation attached to these songs.

It could be at The O Patio (RIP, eventually) on a Weds. night in college and “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show comes on. Of course you find your friends and you clear the vocal cords.

“For Those About To Rock….*Cannon Fire* WE SALUTE YOU……Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.” and if you aren’t dancing around and singing to that at the Blue Jackets game you clearly are not defending NWA.

Maybe you are in the car driving with your best friends at 3AM and none of you can fall asleep…and then all the sudden “Can’t Stop” by RHCP comes on. You all say a quick prayer for your ear drums and then all four of you start belting that song out like you are on stage in front of a million people.

Or picture that you are on your way to an interview for your dream job and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem comes on. You turn into one of the transcendent rappers of your generation and you rap out every single word to get yourself in the moment.

I know one that every Buckeye fan, and at this point every football fan who has been to a stadium, will love to hear on a Saturday and that one is “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Bobby Vegas is still Buckeye Bouncing from the first time we heard it in 2009 in The ‘Shoe.

“Rocky Top”, “Fight On”, “Anchors Away”, and of course: “Buckeye Battle Cry”, “Fight the Team”, and really anything played by The Ohio State Marching Band. All songs that get turned up rather loudly when they come on.

For all of these songs that you crank as loud as possible, there are plenty of songs that will require a much more peaceful mindset in order to enjoy the way they were meant to enjoy. “The Architect” by O.A.R. is one that comes to my mind. “Just a Feeling” by Maroon 5. “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. There are plenty of songs that don’t belong over the loud speakers of your favorite stadium.

But you still get lost in these songs that are meant for long peaceful drives just the same as you do as the loud party fuel songs that used to bump through your college house.

I’m used to those types of songs…the ones that you can’t wait to play for your friends during a celebration. I’m used to that type of living as well: nonstop, can’t sleep, got somewhere to go and not enough time to get there kind of life. It certainly has gotten me into some trouble at times in my life but I’m slowly learning that both of these kinds of songs are worth getting lost in.

But this Saturday we have the opportunity to get lost in a different type of song. Saturday will be the first night game this year in the Horseshoe and yes, we will be able to Buckeye Bounce as much as we would like. Just don’t spill anything on a purse in front of you that belongs to a lady in a fur coat (shameless plug, read my last post because that happened to me.)

We, the 12th man of Buckeye Football will be asked this coming Saturday by players and coaches alike to get the Horseshoe rocking. Night games at Ohio Stadium have become much more frequent now that Urban Meyer is our head coach but in my mind that does not take anything away from how amazing they are. The many traditions that Ohio State already has along with other awe inducing features that happen when kickoff happens late at night should make it “Harder To Breathe.”

Now beware…I speak from experience here, but late kickoffs can also mean a little too much time to listen to your freshmen year Bangerz playlist that I definitely have never made(I made one), that someone made in the dorms freshmen year(it was me.) It gives you a little too much time to rock as hard as you can if you catch me. I too still love to jam to “Opposite of Adults” by Chiddy Bang on occasion but there is no need to play that before 3:37PM this Saturday. There is no need to create an all-day playlist of 537 songs to listen to. Who would do such a thing? Just kidding, where my River Rats at?? But seriously, don’t make one for Saturday. You will need to start it at approximately 34 hours before kickoff.

The best song we hear all night on Saturday will hopefully be the sound of the team singing Carmen Ohio after going 2-0. We have already seen in this college football season that no matter what the score is that the game ain’t over till it’s over. So if you are going to the game you should know that “You Get What You Give”: cheer loud, stay till Carmen, and lose your voice as well as yourself in the moment.

As always, Go Bucks! Beat OU!


The Crescendo

“You know I’m back, like I never left” – Me, maybe

Tomorrow, August 31st there will be an electrifying crescendo.

The Orchestra?

Buckeye Nation’s collective restlessness.

The Instruments?

The Ohio State University Football Team.

The Crowd?

The Rest of the College Football World.

Welcome back College Football, we need you now more than ever. Just writing these words about Ohio State football gives me this transcendent energy(it’s a good thing that I’m writing this at 9:45PM, sorry sleep schedule) that will reverberate throughout the land come tomorrow.

That energy is what gives Columbus, OH and all other college towns all across America the unique feeling that only college football can bring. I am excited for the NFL, although it is somewhat similar to a football version of the Saw movie series; in which the Bengals find yet another way to rip my heart out of my chest. But the real excitement that I have for this football season begins in Bloomington, Indiana at 8:00PM.

That is when the city comes alive, water cooler discussions on Monday begin and end with Ohio State Football, and even the construction barrels change colors to Scarlet and Gray…just kidding, that’s ridiculous. No matter where you are, if you are living in the city of Columbus or are a part of Buckeye Nation dispersed throughout the World, life will feel a little better come Thursday night.

College football can seem like a somewhat trivial thing…a sport played by college kids. Where the NCAA makes head-scratching rules, and the coaches make more money than I can imagine. But there are reasons to care deeply about this sport and these players. These reasons are accentuated leading up to the season opener, because we have gone 7 months without this great sport.

“You know I’m back, like I never left” – College Football, probably

In my mind Buckeye Nation collectively cares for a multitude of reasons. We care because of the tradition that Buckeye football brings. Not just the football tradition, but all the other traditions that come with Buckeye Football. Pre-gaming and tailgating with friends that may have traveled from all over. Playing backyard football while grilling out. Letting the Aunt that has indulged a little too much have the microphone while simultaneously asking where in the hell we got a microphone. Simply being with friends and family, rooting and cheering for a common cause. We care because Buckeye Football brings us back together.

We care because of the indescribable feelings that the sport and our team gives us. For 4 hours last November during The Game I had quite the experience. I had who I am assuming was a very nice lady hating me because of an accidental spill that slightly got on her purse. But when Curtis Samuel crossed that goal line and our Buckeyes defeated that team up north, Fur Coat lady and I embraced like the weight of the world had been lifted off our shoulders. Not a lot of things these days can destroy animosity like those 6 points did. Similarly, not a lot of things can bring together a group of thousands wherever they are located throughout the world.

Lastly, I think that us as fans care so much about watching this great sport is because of the players. I finally feel old as heck not because I have to ice my knees after working out. I feel old because these players are younger than my younger sister. Where the hell is Never-land when you need it?

These players seemed like super heroes when we were children, they represented our future when we were high school kids, peers when we were in college, and now they are just kids playing a game. One of the greatest things about kids is watching them grow up, and that is what we as fans get to do each and every football season.

We have had the ability to watch one player in particular grow up from a kid out of Texas to the man and leader he is these days. Of course I am talking about JT Barrett IV.

From the moment he stepped on the field to lead the Buckeyes he has been a natural leader, a great teammate and by all accounts a great friend. But he has had his share of ups and downs. This article written by Bill Landis of Cleveland.com describes everything that I could say here but don’t need to. We are witnessing one of the greatest Ohio State players of all time, and we have one more year to appreciate it.

This year is unlike any other year and at the same time it is just like any other year. We will witness Heisman moments, we will witness insane upsets, we will sing along to Hang on Sloopy. And we will drink until we wobble in our shoes.

“You know I’m back, like I never left” – Macklemore, actually

We’re going to rekindle old friendships, make memories, forget our dignity at times(along with our wallets), and create lifelong friends.

That is what this and every football season is about…and like Macklemore said(probably not about college football but whatever) it is glorious.

As always Go Bucks, Beat IU!



The Adventure

Do you guys ever think about yesterday? Not the Beatles song, not actually the day before today, but the days and times that feel like they were just yesterday?

Sometimes I do, and I think that it is perfect timing because that exact thing happened to me the other day. I saw a picture of myself from my graduation from Ohio State University in 2013 and I said to myself…that felt like it was just yesterday. I may have said it out loud to myself but that is besides the point!

It is perfect timing because this weekend is yet another college graduation weekend. I have a couple people that mean a lot to me that are graduating this weekend from two very special places. To them I say congrats! To all the other grads I say good luck…kidding, congrats to you as well!

My little sister and one of my younger cousins are graduating this weekend from The University of Dayton and The Ohio State University respectively. Two amazing institutions that have given them tremendous opportunity and memories to last a lifetime. There are also a few other thousand people graduating from each school as well and this post is going to be advice and wise(ha!) words from me to all the soon to be graduates.

You all are probably either one or a combination of the following emotions: scared, nervous, excited, freaked out, etc. I could name basically any and all emotion here and I am sure you are feeling it this weekend. It is the turning of the page, the time where after graduation there is no real ‘set’ plan. Sure, you all have plans to do lots of things whether that be start a job, keep going to school, travel the world. But there is no guarantee that that plan will work out. That sure as heck is scary.

As much as the following advice might seem generic and like you heard the same thing from the dean of your college last night; (yes, I’d like some salt on the rim of that margarita please…lots of salt) this advice will definitely be more candid and realistic than what the dean said. Pretty sure he didn’t mention Dartys, Natty Light, or the movie Hook.

1. Work Really Really Hard:

I am not talking just about your job or your future schooling either. You will have to work really hard at those things no doubt, but also with your friendships, relationships, and even yourself. For those that are starting a job after school, it may seem like you are done with tests, homework, group projects(thank God Right!?)

Wait till the real world *Evil Laugh*……C’mon y’all you know I don’t have an evil laugh!

I once had a boss that told me that in the real world you had to “walk, talk, and kick ass at the same time.” This advice will ring true throughout the post grad life no matter what. So go do just that once you graduate.

2. Have a ton of fun:

Some of you might be thinking that the fun is over, that you will never have another TG, or Darty (that word will always be weird to me.) No more spring, winter, summer breaks, no more walking down the street to your best friends house just to order pizza. No more adventures to who knows where…we somehow ended up at a Friendly’s restaurant in the suburbs. No more drinking natty light…which is a good thing, actually.

You may be leaving best friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or all the above…and not going to lie, that will be extremely hard. Not just leaving those people, but continuing those relationships will be difficult as well, you will have to work really had at those.

But trust me, just because those things might seem like a thing of the past, in fact they aren’t completely. You will try to hang with college kids at a Darty as an alumni (spoiler, it won’t go well) and you will definitely drink a natty light as a post grad (spoiler, it still won’t taste good.) But those things don’t necessarily mean fun. There will be plenty of fun to be had as a post grad.

“But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move…”

This is a quote from Marina Keegan who graduated in the class of 2012 from Yale. She offers a unique perspective on life after graduation that I encourage any and all to read.


Replace the word “Yale” with either “UD” or “Ohio State” and “New York” with “Dayton” or “Columbus.” It will most likely bring you to tears.

Those times that were priceless in college will never occur exactly the same way again, nor should you want them to. But there will still be priceless unforgettable adventures as a post grad.

3. Explore and Never Stop Learning:

Easy to say, very hard to do. As a post grad you will have more, different, and unique opportunities to branch out. The kicker is there usually isn’t an involvement fair, you might have to explore to find these opportunities but you also might run into them full speed ahead not even knowing they were there. No matter what you do whether it be try to become an artist, play a new sport, read a book, start a blog(hey that’s me!), etc. you will learn something from it. It might not become your forte but sometimes the best learned lessons are from something you fail miserably at. Except golf won’t teach you anything if you suck at it except that golf carts don’t go as fast as you wish they would.

The late Robin Williams once said the following:

“…there is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.”

This will never be more true than in post grad life. The mistakes might seem terrible at the time, they might seem like they will define you forever. I am here to say that they will not unless you let them. If you can learn from anything, let it be the mistakes.

The biggest piece of advice that I have is to live. I just watched the movie Hook and it reminded me of two things. It reminded me how much I miss Robin Williams but it also reminded me how much I still want to have a massive food fight.

Image result for hook food fight
Seriously, how fun would this be?

In all seriousness, it reminded me not to ever lose that spark of adventure, and you shouldn’t either. Graduating might have you feeling like Wendy who said to Peter Pan

“So…your adventures are over.”

I say be like Peter, who responded with

“Oh no, to live…to live would be an awfully big adventure!”

Congratulations to all the graduates and Good Luck on your new adventure!!



Rounding Third and Heading for Home

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now in the midst of the best time of the year.

Yes you heard me.

The Best Time of The Year.

As much as I love playing Christmas music any and all times of the year, I am not talking about Christmas.


Baseball season, Cincinnati Reds baseball…yes, the best time of the year.

A lot of people I meet have very similar sports alliances as me. I live in Columbus. There are tons of Buckeye fans. There are plenty of (sad) Bengals fans here as well. But the one sports alliance that always elicits a different kind of response is meeting a fellow Cincinnati Reds fan.

The thing is, a lot of people don’t really understand why I am as big of a baseball fan as I am. I am going to try and explain it, but I do not think this post will do it justice.

As much as this post is about the Cincinnati Reds, it is also about the game of baseball. It is a pure sport and I don’t really know what that means but it is the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks me about baseball. I hope that even though (hopefully) a lot of Indians, Cubs, and maybe even Yankees fans read this post, that they will appreciate the sentiment behind everything I about to say.

Baseball means that the weather is getting warmer. That I can go outside and toss the ball around any night of the week. It means that I get to spend time with my Dad, in the backyard, where nothing else matters but throwing another strike into his mitt. His mitt, that was always big enough to catch anything I threw his way.

“To some it’s just a mitt, but see that glove was him.”

It means getting to know the lightning bugs in the backyard because you were out a little too late throwing the ball. It was never too dark to stop throwing, but it was just dark enough to make you want to go inside and watch the Reds.

Baseball is a part of who I am, who I was brought up to be, and who I will always be.

It means that we get to make trips back to the ballpark. We get to eat the frosty malts, the lemon chills, the hot dogs, and of course the peanuts. But only the peanuts that are bought outside the stadium by the vendor on the street, because you got a bigger bag for less money. And if you don’t have a pile of shells at your feet at the end of the game, you did something wrong. Because even if the Redlegs somehow lost the titanic struggle, at least you had the crunch of peanut shells underneath your feet to send you away from the stadium.

It means walking through downtown Cincinnati, the Queen City. That walk certainly seemed like a long walk when I was a kid but it was really only a few blocks from the P&G lot down to the stadium. Fountain Square never looks more beautiful than it does on a day that the Cincinnati Reds take the field.

It means Skyline Chili. The smell of that chili means you are home, and smells especially good if you are on your way to the ballpark, glove in hand…ready for any foul ball that comes your way.

It means Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium, Cinergy Field, Great American Ballpark.

It means turning two, 6-4-3, headfirst slides, Grand Slams, walk-off wins,  suicide squeezes, small ball, cans of corn, web gems.

It means picking up where you left off with good friends, talking with a friend you haven’t seen in years like they never left.

It means falling asleep on the boat at Lake St. Mary’s while listening to the Reds on the radio.

It means actually listening to AM radio!

“The Voice on the other end might as well have been God”

Ask any Cincinnati Reds fan who Marty and Joe are and I guarantee they have a favorite story of listening to that legendary broadcast crew. I will never ever forget the call that Marty made as Jay Bruce was rounding the bases bringing the 2010 Cincinnati Reds the National League Central title. Fist in the air, running the bases like second place will never be good enough. Joe Nuxhall will forever live on as a Cincinnati Reds legend not only because he was the youngest pitcher ever to play in the MLB but also because of his tear inducing sign off from the radio, for which this blog post is named after.

It means history, perfect games, no hitters, you name it. It has happened in Cincinnati. The Nasty Boys, Tom Browning, The Kid, The Mayor, Dat Dude, Joey Votto. Reds baseball means Charlie Hustle(That’s Pete Rose for the uninitiated). It means 4192. The best hitter of all time in the game of baseball, and he played for the Cincinnati Reds. It means the Big Red Machine.

It means winning.

Being a Cincinnati Reds fan means more than words can describe. I have a pride for being born in 1990 because the Reds won the World Series that year. As far as welcomes go, that has got to be the best welcome to the world any kid could ask for.

“And this one belongs to the Reds!”

Baseball is a peaceful sport. The sound of the ballpark on an afternoon is indescribable. In the moment those sounds are the only sound you will ever need to hear for as long as you live…and the crack of the bat is the perfect sound to jolt you back to life.


The fans in Cincinnati are the best in all of sports. All of sports…you heard me correctly. For a season in which we were picked to finish last, the loyal fans of Reds baseball just happened to set a record for the highest attendance at Great American Ballpark. That’s insane.

That happened on Opening Day in which in the city of Cincinnati is a holiday bigger and better than Christmas. It’s the one day where becoming a sardine in a bar (I’m talkin’ about you, Holy Grail) becomes something you look forward to, because you are there with thousands of your best friends. The entire city absolutely shuts down that day for a parade, and the Banks of the Ohio River becomes the mecca for baseball if not just for that one day. See below for proof.

Image result for Cincinnati Reds Opening Day at the banks

I think that life is a beautiful game to be played, and baseball is the perfect metaphor for this life. We all are just playing the game until the day that God decides to wave us in. Living like we are under the lights of the stadium.

Rounding Third, and Heading For Home



Celebrate We Will

Well hello friends!

I am finally back after a solid 3 month hiatus from this  blog and I can tell you that it feels good to be back! I really didn’t have much to say after my Buckeyes layed a large goose egg on New Years eve, but here I am now with what I hope is some wisdom for my loyal readers(you guys are loyal….right?)

My last blog post(#Shamelessplugs2017) referenced a bible verse that I absolutely love and this post will lead off with that same verse. The verse is from the book of John and says:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

I have been thinking a lot recently about what it really means to have life and have it to the full. To be honest this is not an original thought. I began thinking more about this after a good friend lent me a book that adventured into what living really meant. The book is called “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. Paul was a Neurosurgeon and he spent his life trying to figure out the question “What makes a life worth living?”

I won’t give away the entire book because I think that everyone should read it. Once you do, you will want to purchase your own copy and re-read it many times over. But one of the biggest questions that Paul asks is if life is the accumulation of experiences or is life the accumulation of knowledge? Is it both?

I wanted to write about those question with my own perspective because as soon as Paul asked that question in the book, I started to think. I started to think that I might be able to answer those questions, but what I realized is that I will probably spend my entire life trying to answer those questions, and maybe that’s the point.

Experiences allow us to see the world that we have been gifted in all its glory. The world that we live in and almost everything that occurs in it is amazing. Seeing things in person that make you feel so small in such a huge world, makes you almost feel bigger than ever. As Nick Miller once said “I need real life adventure!” Yep… I just quoted the show New Girl…in a blog post about life. But if you know me at all, it makes sense that I did because he does bring up a good point. He wants to go on real life experiences so that he can write like Hemingway…so naturally him and Winston go to the zoo. Trust me, I am not saying that I am trying to be like Hemingway either…but that’s besides the point!

Now the opposite of Nick Miller is to have the knowledge of the world around us. Seriously, he didn’t even know that there are more than one type of Turtle! Nick Miller needs to watch some Planet Earth am I right?

Does knowing so much about the world allow us to live life to the full? You can learn and gain knowledge by reading books and studying, and learning all you can. That might help you out at trivia, so if you do that please come to trivia with us. But as much as you can read about different things, I believe that where you really truly learn about them is to experience them.

“True knowledge is gained by experiencing the life we have been gifted”

I have seen it both ways. I have done my reading, I have learned through studies, and I have taken and (barely) passed tests. I have also been fortunate enough to have traveled quite a bit in my life so far. I have seen the Grand Canyon, I have zip-lined through the jungles of Costa Rica. I have been on the coasts of the United States and seen the beauty of both…with an Oldfield’s shirt on either end of the U.S.

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To my point that experiencing the things in life gives true knowledge, I will give an example from my own life. I am fortunate enough to be working at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and I recently got to learn about a DBS surgery. DBS stands for Deep Brain Stimulation and I thought I knew what the surgery did by reading and watching a couple videos. Boy, was I wrong. I never truly learned until I experienced the DBS surgery in person. I was able to witness the DBS surgery in the OR and see a person’s life change before my very eyes. Talk about a new perspective.

But now that I have explored my thoughts on one of the questions that Paul asked, I started thinking a lot about other things that made life worth living. I think that living life to the full means experiencing it with someone else. Whether that is a significant other, a best friend, or a family member. I am not just talking about the good times, but the bad as well. That time you did that dumb thing, that time you watched your favorite team get their rear ends handed to them(cough, cough…Fiesta Bowl.) Those are all made much better while experiencing them with great friends…even if you are the one doing that dumb thing, you’ll have your friends there to keep you humble and in my case keep me laughing.

Now sharing in misery is one thing but sharing in joyful moments is another. One of the coolest moments in my life was standing on the West Coast looking out on Haystack Rock with my Mom, Aunt, and Uncle standing there right next to me. Sharing in that experience makes it that much more special. That moment will be slightly different in each of our memories but Paul has a great quote in his book about this as well.

“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still is never complete”

Does living life to the full mean sharing this knowledge and experience and passing it on? I just met my “nephew” a couple weeks ago and it was an amazing moment. No, the cute baby in the above slideshow is not mine, that is Baby Cooper and words cannot describe how cute he is! After meeting him, it made me want to go out and learn as much as I can from experiencing life so that I can share what I have learned and seen with him. I want to be that cool uncle (me, cool, that’ll be the day) that has experienced life and knows what it means to truly be alive.

I also think that really truly being alive and living life to the full requires love. Old Dominion has a new song out titled “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” and the chorus states that we should “Love like there is no such thing as broken heart.” If you know me, you might say that it is easy for me to say because I wear my heart on my sleeve. I go all out in just about everything I do, sometimes to my own detriment. I am usually to one extreme or the other, but you know what? To me that is being alive. I just don’t think we have enough time on this Earth to not care. As Dave Matthews Band so eloquently puts it: “Celebrate we will for life is short but sweet for certain.”

The meaning of life is such a huge question and I don’t think a blog post that references Nick Miller, Old Dominion, and the Fiesta Bowl will answer that question. But maybe it can get you to start thinking.



And Not To Yield

2016 is almost over. I say again, 2016 is almost over.

I am sure that many of you are very happy about that fact too. It seems like every day this year something unfortunate has happened. Loved Celebrity deaths, senseless violence, and Cincinnati sports can still be classified as miserable but at least Cleveland did well this year!

I know that a lot of people are going to take the New Year celebration to forget about 2016 but I think that we need to look back at 2016, pour some out for the sad but celebrate the good, and if we think about it there really was a lot of good that happened in 2016.

I said the following line in my post last year at this time and I hold the same thoughts for 2017. Shameless plug for all my other posts assuming you like this one, and in my humble opinion…you should.

“This post is about a reflection period and then an overwhelming feeling that 2016 is about to be huge.”

There are a number of things we can do in 2017 to make this next year a successful one. A majority of you reading this will probably make New Year’s resolutions for a multitude of reasons and that is a great thing! I have seen a lot of articles and posts that New Year’s resolutions are dumb because if you want to make a change, make it today. I agree with the notion that any day you can make a change in your life. But I also love the ability to take a deep breath, reflect on the past year, and get ready for the next chapter in the book of life.

I am going to keep with the theme of quoting my favorite poet in my New Year’s post (2 shameless plugs in one post? You know we got it). This one is I think a solid guide on how we should use the resolutions that we make, and in general how we should live life.

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” –Alfred Lord Tennyson

New Year’s resolutions are great but only if they work, and for them to work they need to last longer than 2 months. We all want to work out more in 2017, we all want to eat healthier, we all want to go skydiving(right?) but there needs to be a relentless pursuit of accomplishing these goals.

I think that one of the coolest things about the human brain and soul is that all of us are looking for something all the time, oftentimes not telling anyone about it. Whether it is love, adventure, or even just a good book, we are all searching. Continue that search in 2017 because the reward for finding whatever it is you are looking for is great. Then find something else to search for.

The end of that line from the poem Ulysses is the best part of the whole poem. “And not to yield.” Those 4 words almost get me as fired up as hearing an “Michigan lost yet again.” Do not yield in the pursuit of accomplishing your goals for 2017, or succeeding in keeping your new years resolutions. Do not yield. Do not let anything stop you from succeeding in 2017. There are going to be too many things that are going to happen that will generally be out of our control. That is inevitable. Control what you can control and Do. Not. Yield.

This life was not meant to be slogged through. We are meant to be living lives full of meaning. I have not quoted any scripture in these posts but I absolutely love this line of scripture:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

There will be thieves out there in the world in 2017. Trying to steal our happiness, but we cannot let them permanently own that happiness. You have control over your happiness in 2017, own it! Winston Churchill once urged us to “Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The thieves might seem like a formidable enemy, but if I was a betting man I would go all in on you to succeed.

In also keeping with tradition of seeing parallels with life and the Ohio State football team, do you think we would be playing later today in the Tostitos Bowl if we had yielded? (Battlefrog and Playstation can go home, it’s always going to be Tostitos to me.) Just like everyone did in 2016, Ohio State suffered a setback. We lost in the sea of white clad crazy Nittany Lions. You know what happened after that? We kicked some ass the rest of the year and are now playing for all the Tostitos…and also a National Championship. The Buckeyes did not yield in their relentless pursuit for a bag of chips…I mean a National Championship. You shouldn’t either.

Strive to accomplish your goals and resolutions, seek to learn more about yourself and the world you live in, find something you are passionate about, and do not yield in your relentless pursuit of success.

Now it’s time for me to lose my voice for the last time in 2016 cheering my Buckeyes on to victory. Don’t worry, I’ll save some to sing Carmen Ohio as the ball drops and we begin 2017.

As always, GO BUCKS! Beat Clemson!



Buckeye Strong

In the past three days I have experienced firsthand two of the most memorable events of my life as a Buckeye. One was the one that you expect me to talk about since this blog very consistently talks about Ohio State athletics. It was the victory over our rival in the horseshoe in a very improbable comeback. That game showed me what over 100 thousand people screaming at the same time can do(hint, its literally to create an earthquake.)

But the other memorable event absolutely transcends any sort of football game. As yesterday morning started, news started rolling in of a potential shooter on the campus of The Ohio State University. From the initial confusion to the absolute terror for all my friends and family that could be on campus, it was a moment that I was not ready for. It did not make sense at first because it never crosses your mind that something like this could happen at a place you consider home.

I began gathering news from all potential sources: Twitter, Facebook, the local news sites. I finally was able to get a link to the police scanner and began listening. I started retweeting tweets in hope that anyone on campus that followed me would see the advice and live updates and that it might help. I started texting everyone I knew to ensure their safety. As most of you know the man responsible for this attack is now dead, shot by a hero the University, the city, and the state of Ohio.

I just got done writing a post about perspective on trivial things in life, but these events have really put into perspective what matters and what does not. The healing has just begun for this campus and the victims of this attack. For something so tragic to come on the heels of something so full of joy is shocking. However, the thing that both of these events showed me is just how amazing Buckeye Nation is.

It is one thing to have over 100 thousand screaming fans at a football game. It is an entire other to have 60,000 students, countless employees, and an entire alumni group that numbers about half a million all pull together. It has shown that no matter if the situation is joyful or tragic, we will always be Buckeye Strong.

Go Bucks.












Four more days until The Game.

There are a lot of things on my mind about this particular edition of The Game and I will get to talking about what this year’s game means to me shortly, but first let me talk about a little perspective.

What are some of the thoughts that roll through your mind when you hear that word? Hot takes on twitter dot com that you disagree with? A coworker that thinks something besides what you think?

“If only Brad saw that Panera salads are bad, actually!” Perspective.

“Red Vines are delicious!” “No, they actually aren’t.” Perspective.

My favorite: “Skyline Chili isn’t real chili.” Child Please. Perspective.

Also, it is real chili…don’t @ me.

Those are very trivial examples of what differing perspectives can show. Some people think that Skyline is bad (they are wrong) and some think it is good (they are probably from Cincinnati, and are also correct.) But there are a lot of things in life that if we looked at with a different perspective, we would be doing ourselves a favor. Also, I fully understand that some people don’t look at sports with the same perspective that I do. I think sports can actually teach us quite a bit about life which is pretty much everything I talk about in this blog….yeah, shameless plug already.

I am one of those people who is from Cincinnati and absolutely loves Skyline Chili. I thought I knew that city front to back and as of very recently I realized that I did not. I have been downtown, seen Fountain Square, watched the Opening Day Parade, and played cornhole at Rhinegeist, but I saw Cincinnati from a whole new perspective this past weekend. I finally got to ride the new streetcar which runs from the Banks all the way up to Findlay Market. On this trip I got to see a good part of Cincinnati from a whole different physical perspective. It was incredible! All the amazing murals throughout the city and all the different architecture blew my mind, not to mention the diversity of the people I saw throughout the city.

It allowed me to see Cincinnati in a whole new light.  I had no idea how big Cincinnati was and how artistic the whole city was.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

Sometimes stepping back and forcing yourself to see something in a different light, or getting someone else’s perspective on something you have a preconceived notion on can do wonders. I had a preconceived notion that the city of Cleveland wasn’t that great, but after a couple years of visits and seeing it from some friends’ perspective I came to have a different type of respect for the city. It was as simple as going in with an open mind and seeing the city for what it was, not what I thought it was.

As humans we can get into a routine of thinking about or doing things a certain way and all it takes is a little bit of an open mind and some reconsideration to see things differently. As a senior in college, I gave a piece of advice to the younger guys in my fraternity that we can all apply to our daily lives. I told the guys to take their headphones out while they walk across campus to class. I said this for two reasons.

1. So that they might see campus in a different light; it isn’t just paths and construction, it is a beautiful campus.

2. So that they might be able to look someone (yes, that included girls) in the eye and say hi. Even if it was the ol’ Fetty “Hey, Whats Up, Hello!” version..just hopefully not in that voice you guys all just used in your head.

I think we can apply that to our daily lives of commutes and work too. Take a slightly different path to work one day. This will not only keep you on your toes on how to get to work, but it will also allow you to see different parts of the city that you normally don’t!

“You can change your perception on something by simply changing your perspective. “

One of the better examples of a change in perspective that comes to mind is when my Dad and two of my Uncles climbed and summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and rises about 19,000 ft. above sea level at its peak. Talk about a change in perspective! To allow the full justice of that accomplishment to be done, I will turn it over to my dad, who writes much more elegantly than I!

“Visually, talk about a different perspective…waking up in the morning, enjoying the sunrise, and realizing that the clouds are below you! That is surprising. The clarity of the night sky from above the clouds is astounding….the beauty is amazing and the harshness is a little eye opening. Once the sun was down, you had to beat it to the tent pretty fast to stay warm.”

The good news is that we don’t have to climb up a mountain to be able to see life with a different perspective! We can choose to see things differently each and every day.


However, there is one perspective that will not ever change.

You are either a Buckeye, or a fan of the team up north.

As far as I’m concerned, there is no way around it. People who move to the area quickly understand what the rivalry means. Everything between the two institutions is a competition. I have a close friend who moved down to Columbus from his hometown in New York about a year ago and I will never forget my first words to him. We worked together and as he was asking one of our HR reps if there was anything else he needed before his first day, I walked by and quipped “just don’t ever wear maize and blue together.” His Fiance and him now have a solid amount of Buckeye gear and are undoubtedly going to be watching this game intently.

This Saturday, the Buckeyes will face off against their rivals from the state up north in a match-up for the ages. This game has it all: top 5 match-up, future NFL talent lined up everywhere, and what is sure to be a raucous crowd. This game means a little bit more to me though, and it has to do with what my physical perspective will be while watching.

Four years ago as a college senior I took place in the yearly tradition of plunging into Mirror Lake while it was freezing cold out in order to beat TTUN. This was my fourth and last year doing the jump and as I was leaving the scene, I got dealt a bad hand. If you have jumped you know that the entire area is pandemonium; it is cold, wet, muddy, and all around insane. As I was running up the hill towards The Oval with pizza on my mind, someone cut in front of me and I caught one of his elbows right in the left eye.  I dropped like a sack of potatoes and luckily my friends stopped to make sure I was okay. I made it back to the house clutching my eye and not knowing what the damage was.

Yeah, that is frost on the trees

Back at the house I opened my eye, saw double of everything, and promptly declared “I’m good, Go Bucks, Lets go!” Needless to say I was not okay, and ended up in the Emergency Department shortly thereafter. They diagnosed me with a Orbital blowout, which is basically a fracture of my eye socket. I called my mom as I was sitting in the hospital bed and I didn’t know how to start so I just said “Mom, I’m in the hospital…” and then my phone died. Perfect timing right? A couple hours later I saw my mom strolling into my hospital room and I vehemently exclaimed “I’m going to that f****** game on Saturday!” Yeah I know, swear jar. Once I heard her say these five words: “Your dad and I agree” I knew that I was not going to that game.

I watched that 2012 game from my couch in Cincinnati instead of the student section with my fellow Buckeyes. I did not get to see the Buckeyes complete an undefeated season. I actually saw two of that game because I was still seeing double, but that’s not the point!

Talk about perspective.

This year I will have quite a different perspective for this game. I will be watching The Game in person with one of my best friends. Words cannot describe how excited I am, so I will not even try. I have been waiting for this game for four years, and Saturday cannot come soon enough.

As always,

Go Bucks, Beat TTUN!!!!