“You know that feeling that you got in the pit of your stomach, the night before Christmas? Now times it by a million!”
The reason for that feeling in the pit of your stomach is one that comes once a year, at the same time every year.
“It’s football, spiked with an acute sense of identity.”
It is the longest week of the year. The week where the fevered anticipation can simultaneously give you goosebumps and slow down time. The week where every single “M” on the campus of The Ohio State University is crossed off. The week where “productivity” at work means watching 5 minute videos of past fights from The Game. It is the week where students used to jump into a freezing cold lake because it helped the football team win a football game. It is in your DNA if you are a Buckeye.
The Horseshoe vs. The Big House
Good vs. Evil
Woody vs. Bo
“This is more than a game, this is war!” – Woody Hayes
Ohio State vs. Michigan
Full disclosure: the above video is one hour of a roller coaster of emotions, carry on.
This year’s edition of the game does not carry the same playoff implications as last years, but it doesn’t matter one bit. It is and will always be a one game season. It is also the definition of Schadenfreude: “Joy in the misery of others.” We don’t need to embarrass that team up north, but I sure hope like hell that we do.
There is a reason that just a few short weeks ago when I got up onto the stage at ESPN College Gameday to get a picture with the cast I made a distinct point to give Desmond Howard a hearty “Go Bucks!” to which he did not grace me with a response. Matt – 1 Desmond – 0
However, this year’s game is unique in a few ways. This year’s game should be one hell of a sendoff for a Buckeye Legend in JT Barrett. One more pair of Gold Pants for the best quarterback in Ohio State History should do the trick.
It also will make quite a few people wish for the good ole days. The days of the little 8 and the big 2. The days of 3 yards and a cloud of dust. The days of the traditional winged helmets vs. Buckeye leaves.
I say this because there are plenty of folks that are rather upset that the Buckeyes are going to be wearing alternate jerseys this year. They believe it ruins the feel of The Game and is a hindrance to the rivalry. I say that when we score 56 points against our most hated rival it won’t matter what we are wearing, plus we are going to look fresh as hell in those icy white jerseys.
I believe this game is actually one heck of a contrast between the good ole days and the new era.
No, there are no oversize numbers on jerseys anymore, nor is there a three yards and a cloud of dust offense. Woody Hayes is not walking through the tunnel on Saturday. But hey, at least there are no more leather helmets either. But there is one thing that most successful NCAA D1 programs do not have anymore. That is a 5th year senior starting at quarterback for The Ohio State Buckeyes. Rarely do you see many players stay through their senior year. Ohio State fans have witnessed players leaving early basically since Urban Meyer was hired as head coach. Now this “good ole days” quarterback is running a spread power offense; and that is where the contrast comes from.
Life will never give you the same exact thing each year either though; no matter if it is a football game or a friendship. That is the nature of life. Each year things will continue to change. Gray hairs will start to be found, friends will move and then move again; just as the calendar changes each year so will life. But if you look back and say “those were the good ole days” you are selling yourself and everyone around you short. These are the good ole days.
Ohio State will have on different jerseys, but on Saturday it is still Ohio State vs. Michigan. It is still the greatest rivalry in all of sports. Just as your friends, regardless of where they are living will still be there rooting on the Buckeyes with you…no matter the amount of gray in your hair.
“Time and Change Will Surely Show, How Firm Thy Friendship”
As always, Go Bucks and beat TTUN!!!!!