Archive for August, 2010



A couple weeks ago, we talked about the fact that Nike wasn’t content to make my head explode with throwback uniforms for the Michigan game once. No, they had to go and do it a second time.

The pic that Eleven Warriors had up was actually close. Here’s what we get for this year’s Michigan game instead:

Thanks, Eleven Warriors.

Yeah. OK. This time we’re paying tribute to the 1942 national championship team, and the Nike version seems pretty faithful to the originals:

I just showed the picture of the new ones to Mrs. Crappy. She said, “Eh. The red helmets make them look like Alabama.”



new beginning.

This is Ethel, reporting in from Fred’s Facebook status:

“[Fred] knows that for a few hours this Thursday, life will seem less complicated…neither January nor spring is the beginning. I always have felt like everything starts with fall.”


down to business.

This is a tailgating blog. So let’s talk about some tailgating.

We’re a couple days away from the first party of the season, and this one will be a little different:

  • Night game. Not terribly unusual, but a number of other factors make the Marshall game unique.
  • Weeknight game. This doesn’t happen very often. As in, this has happened only once before, when Ohio State hosted Wyoming in a Thursday night game — also a season opener — a few years back.
  • Weeknight traffic. Football parking doesn’t open until 3 p.m., so we can only hope that the folks who actually have to work at the university heed the warnings to head out early or work from home. OSU has said that some of the parking pass lots — one of which we’ve used for 10 years — could still have cars of university employees in them, which would limit the spaces available for us football types.
  • Parking, Part II. This has less to do with the weeknight thing, although it will help make Thursday’s tailgate interesting. We’ve been hearing stuff about our lot being unavailable for football parking this year, and apparently, that’s going to be an issue. Bud and Pat have been scouting for a while — and hadn’t noticed anything different — but Ethel sent this message today:

I have been looking and looking at the football parking info trying to figure out the situation in our lot. I just came across this: “Due to construction, there will be no parking in the South Lincoln and Parks Hall lots.” Parks Hall – that is us. I don’t know if they bothered to inform you. Have you given thought to another location? I don’t know how those season passes work – ie if they mandate where you park based on the type of pass you get.

Ouch. That doesn’t sound good. I did notice that the map run in the Dispatch over the weekend still listed one of the lots directly south of our regular spot as a permit lot, so I’m hopeful we’ll still find something close. There’s little use in worrying about it on Thursday, because that’s a whole different situation, but we’ll see what happens for the rest of the season.

And then we have food. We occasionally try to come up with main dishes that involve eating the other team’s mascot; this was especially easy when we played a home-and-home against Texas a few years ago. Of course, Marshall’s official mascot is the Thundering Herd, and I have no idea what that means in terms of food. But if you take a look at the logo, you’ll notice a prominent bison head — which, to me, is pretty much the tastiest beef you’ll ever put in your mouth.

We generally pride ourselves on cooking for these things, but in this case — time limitations, potential parking issues and a relatively short time in the lot — we’re going to buy instead. Here’s what Bud suggested:

Hey KNTGers:  Cocktails /appetizers are from 3:30 until dinner (about 5:30 or so)  Here’s what everyone can bring…us: beef brisket/sauce;  Fred and Ethel:  baked beans (ok cold);  Mary K:  appetizers;  Coochie Doctor/Matlock:  green salad;  Uncle Crappy:  lotsa beer;  Juan:  HB buns (probably need 18 to be safe) and potato chips (couple of bags);  JB/Suz;  dessert (and maybe some beer if you want).  I’ll also be bringing some manhattans and cosmos.  LETS GO BUCKS!

I should specify: the meat — brisket, in this case — will come from City Barbeque, the excellent local chain in Columbus. We seem to settle on something from City about once a season, and it doesn’t feel much like we’re settling for anything.

That’s the plan, boys and girls. Once we figure out the parking thing, we’re going to eat and drink well, and then head inside for the first game of the year. I’ll let you know how the preparations are going on Thursday morning, and I think you can expect an update from the lot before we wrap it up. See yinz in Columbus.


save the game.

While Mrs. Crappy and I were lounging through our island vacation, the discussion over what would happen to Ohio State’s annual game against Michigan once the conference is split into divisions apparently bubbled over, with Gene Smith, Ohio State’s AD, and Gordon Gee, the university’s president, getting buried with emailed demands that we preserve not only the annual game but also its spot as the final game of the regular season.

When my friend Kelly and I wrote about conference realignment back in June, Kelly said she assumed that keeping the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry intact would be a priority of mine, and I said she was correct. I think I assumed at that point that we wouldn’t be talking about playing the game in, say, mid-October. Different divisions? Sure, as long as we’re still playing every season — on the final weekend of the year.

The detractors are saying they don’t like the possibility of Ohio State playing Michigan on consecutive weekends, in their regular-season game and then the championship game the following week. But that makes one very large assumption, that both teams are going to win their divisions with enough regularity that their title-game appearances would become monotonous — and I think Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa or Nebraska might have something to say about that. And I seem to recall an awful lot of people suggesting that Ohio State and the Team Up North should have played a second time for the national championship after the No. 1 Bucks narrowly defeated the No. 2 Wolverines in 2006.

I can’t get through this post without writing cheesy-sounding stuff about “tradition,” but that’s what’s important here. It’s not just that we play every year, in a game that almost always has an impact on the Big Ten title; it’s that you can mark your calendar for the same time every year. It’s something that the players and the fans and the schools and both states gear up for — peaking in late November, for what is and, since the mid-1930s, when the game permanently took its season-ending spot, what always has been the biggest and most important game of the year.

Past players and coaches don’t want the date to change. The Dispatch’s Bob Hunter comes up with a good summation of what Woody and Bo would have thought of the proposal. And I don’t want it to change either.

Yes, change is coming. A new team. Two divisions. A championship game. Fine. But some things — and especially this one thing — is too big and too important to change.


they’re ready.

While Mrs. Crappy and I spent last week on Kelleys Island, we couldn’t help but notice that the locals seemed to have something on their minds:

They’re ready. And so are we.


the final approach.


The Crappys are going to be out of town — and largely away from technology — for a few days, which means there won’t be a lot of activity here. But rest assured, we’re still going to be thinking about and discussing the Marshall game while we’re gone — and we’re going to bury you with football and tailgating posts once we return.



White House photo of the day for Aug. 18, 2010. The president was visiting a home in Columbus.

I knew there was a reason why I liked this guy.


two weeks.

In two weeks from right now, I will have finished loading up my folks’ Expedition with all the gear. I will have taken a quick shower and will likely be yelling at my parents and Mrs. Crappy — if she’s able to make it — to hurry up and get in the car. I will be grumpy, impatient and more excited than a 6-year-old on Christmas morning.

I will have been up for a while. I probably drove to Columbus straight from work the night before, ate a couple White Castles upon my arrival — my mom will have complained about the smell of White Castles in her kitchen — and then gone to bed for what likely wasn’t a good night’s sleep. When I woke up, I headed to the stores — the Anderson’s, for beer; Buckeye Corner, for a couple things I’ll need for the season; and Giant Eagle, for food, other drinks, ice and any other goodies we need.

I’ll be feeling a little disconcerted, because of the whole shopping-on-the-same-day-as-the-game thing; that in and of itself is a significant change, and when you add the uncertainty about our parking situation — our regular lot doesn’t show up on the university’s game day parking maps any more — I’ll probably be pretty distracted. And I’ll probably forget some stuff.

I’ll come home and try to relax. I will fail.

I’ll eat a little lunch and then start to prepare, gathering my stuff, deciding what I’m going to wear in the lot and at the game. I’ll start loading the truck, ticking through the mental list I’ve compiled over the six or seven Saturday mornings each fall for the last decade.

I’ll forget to bring the damn seat cushions.

And then we’ll be in the car. The ride over to campus will be familiar — because we do it a lot — and off-kilter, because of the day and the time. We’ll turn on to Cannon Drive right at 3 p.m., the time when the lots open to pass-holders, and we’ll do our best to figure out what the parking situation is.

I’m still not relaxed yet.

Parking space. Chairs, tables, coolers, Brutus, food, grills ­– everything out of the truck. Mom will get the munchies squared away; Dad will open up each chair in a loose circle. I’ll still be distracted, checking over the stuff we have and making notes about what we don’t. If we — mostly meaning me — have made a serious omission, I’ll start calling our other regulars to see if they can bring whatever it is along.

We’ll crack open the first beers. The little boombox — which has been to more games in the last ten years than I have — will start playing OSUMB on a continuous loop. The rest of the crew will start to arrive. If she’s along, Mrs. Crappy will have told me to chill out several times already.

And I will finally listen. It’s not complete relaxation, not on a game day, but the anxiety over making sure we have everything we need for the tailgate party is replaced by something else — a nervous energy, an anticipation, a grin that spreads across my face and doesn’t disappear for the rest of the night.

In two weeks and five hours, we’ll all be inside Ohio Stadium. And we’ll be ready to start the season.


they worked last time.

Around the beginning of last November, I had a mild conniption over at my other blog after finding out that Ohio State was going to participate in Nike’s marketing/sales scams, otherwise known as the throwback uniform. And they were going to do it for the Michigan game.

As I have stated before, I may have overreacted a bit. Ohio State won the game without too much trouble, and maybe with the exception of the socks, I kind of liked the unis. And my guess would be that the university and Nike made a bundle selling replica jerseys.

So, naturally, we’re going to do it again.

Thanks, 11W.

As was the case a year ago, Eleven Warriors seems to be first to dig up a picture of the 2010 Nike Pro Combat uniforms. I don’t know if this pic is accurate yet, but 11W nailed it last November, and I have no reason to doubt that they did it again.

What do I think? It’s still unnecessary. I’m still a little annoyed that we have to do it for the Michigan game, especially when we’re on the brink of making some pretty significant changes to the structure of the conference that could disrupt all the traditions associated with the Team Up North even further.

But. No conniptions this time. Hell, I might even buy one of those suckers myself.


the season draws near.

An email I received from my mother last night:

THE TICKETS ARRIVED TODAY!!!  SAME SEATS. (Post this on the blog.)


2017 schedule

Aug. 31: vs. at Indiana, 8 p.m.
Sept. 9: Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Army, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: UNLV
Sept. 30: at Rutgers
Oct. 4: at Maryland
Oct. 7: Maryland
Oct. 14: at Nebraska
Oct. 28: Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Iowa
Nov. 11: Michigan State
Nov. 18: Illinois
Nov. 22: Indiana
Nov. 25: at Team Up North, noon
Dec. 2: B1G Championship, 8 p.m.

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