Archive for the 'Gear' Category


north and south.

The very definition of north and south.

The very definition of north and south.

Mrs. Crappy would have been a fan of Pete Johnson. And she might have found Archie Griffin a bit irritating.

The people who sit near us in the stadium undoubtedly recognize the chatter that comes from seats 9 and 10, Row 22 in 14 C. I sometimes have difficulty forming complete sentences, particularly when Ohio State has the ball, but Mrs. Crappy is able to clearly — and loudly — express her displeasure with running backs who stutter-step too much before hitting the hole.


She recognizes that a certain amount of, uh, juking around is necessary, but her patience with the practice is thin. After two games watching Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson, she’s going to be very happy when Carlos Hyde — Ohio State’s premiere north-south tailback — is permitted to return to the lineup.

When Hyde is back on the field, it could be that 14 C won’t hear “Quit juking around!” quite as often for the rest of the season. But so we don’t forget — and to honor Mrs. Crappy’s contention that a downhill running game is the best kind of running game — the Killer Nuts Tailgating shirt shop has unveiled its very first new design for the 2013 season:


There’s more than a week before the next home game. Order now, and we can all carry Mrs. Crappy’s message into Ohio Stadium against Florida A&M.

Your favorite KNT shirts — Pork Division Champs, Leaders Champs, Urban Renewal and We Are Killer Nuts — are still available in the store as well, as as always, your purchases assure that I’ll have two or three extra dollars to spend on our tailgate parties. Thank you once again for your support.



We’ll talk more later this week about the specifics about what needs to happen in Ohio Stadium Saturday night when Nebraska visits.

But to begin, we’re going to take a cue from Urban Meyer. Prior to the Cal game, he was asked what he expects to see once Ohio State’s offense starts clicking. His response:

I expect the stadium to be an inferno.


Order now, boys and girls.


commercial break.

It’s a new era. And the Killer Nuts Tailgating store has a new shirt.


Sure, you’ve seen this phrase around since Urban was hired last fall, but given that this is the official Killer Nuts Tailgating version, I know you’ll want to pick up one — or maybe even several — for yourself. And given that the season begins IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, I know you’ll want to order today. It’s available in men’s and women’s versions, in multiple colors.

And as a final incentive, do keep in mind that I get One American Dollar for each shirt sold, and I promise to re-invest that princely sum in our tailgate parties. We’re talking the difference between Tostitos and store-brand tortilla chips here, people. Dig deep.


sticking my neck out.

I had other buckeye necklaces before this one, but they were usually pretty simple ones, maybe a single buckeye strung on a piece of suede cord. Prior to the start of the 2002 season — yes, THAT season — I decided I wanted more. I went to a bead store and found a couple things that seemed like they would work. I also grabbed some buckeyes from the tree back home, drilled them out with my old yankee drill and put it together.

And Ohio State proceeded to have a pretty good decade — not to mention the national title the team won while I wore that necklace in Tempe.

Fairly early in his tenure, Jim Tressel made it clear that unlike his predecessor, he understood that the Michigan game was different. He did things differently for the final game of the season, and he made sure that everyone — the team and the fans in particular — knew that the Team Up North required a special effort from everyone.

Happy with this change from the Cooper era — when I had come to dread the Michigan game, for obvious reasons — I thought I’d make a special TUN-only necklace, to be worn on just one day every year. That was 2003, when I was still giddy both from the title the year before and two straight wins against the rival.

And then we lost that year.

I stuck with it, though, and it’s paid off. That buckeye necklace is 7-2* so far, and it’s not going anywhere.

And then came The Unpleasantness.

And prior to the start of the 2011 season, I knew there had to be a new necklace. The original had a great run, but I felt the need for a clean break from the bad stuff that left Ohio State with a new coach and a slew of players who had to sit out significant portions of the season while they contemplated their new tattoos.

I came up with this one, a combination of new buckeyes, some beads I found at a shop on Bethel Road and a few old ones I had in my bead bag.

To be honest: I’m not sure whether it was the season itself or something about the combination of beads, but the 2011 necklace never felt quite right. And once last fall’s Michigan game was complete — and once Ohio State hired Urban Meyer — I knew immediately I would assemble a new necklace for this new era.

Unlike the others, though, this one isn’t all new. The buckeyes and most of the beads return from last year’s model, and that’s OK. I view 2011 as a transition; Luke Fickell is still on the staff, and we saw glimmers — Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Ryan Shazier, for example — of what could be down the road.

We saw a lot of ugly football. We had more than our share of rough Saturdays. But we also saw reasons to hope.

So — I have a “new” necklace. We’ve broken from the previous era, we’ve acknowledged the sweeping changes of a year ago — and we’re ready for 2012 and what it will bring.

*Yes, I’m counting 2010. Bite me.


stand down.

As we discussed back in July, Ohio State will once again participate in Nike’s Moneygrab Alternate Uniform Freakout* program in 2011, and as I mentioned back then, I had some concerns about the leaked picture that purported to show this year’s version, shown below:

I wondered about the wisdom of wearing all-black unis for a night game — Nike is dressing the Bucks for this year’s home game against Wisconsin — and these seemed to astray from the other two versions in that they didn’t at least attempt to mimic a uniform of the past.

When I’ve come across these leaked pix in the past, they’ve turned out to be accurate. This time? Not so much.

Nike and the university released pictures of the 2011 unis on Tuesday, and they are indeed throwbacks, this time to the undefeated 1961 team:

Wow. Rod Smith's gotta be happy that his number is being used in the Nike promos.

I’m good with these. I still have doubts about the necessity of Ohio State’s participation in the program — with a climbing number of schools boast about having dozens of potential uniform combinations, I’m still happy to see that Ohio State has only two — but if we’re going to participate, a continued emphasis on honoring teams of the past is the right way to go for us.

Unless we Nike proposes a uniform based on the Ohio state flag. How cool would that be?

(Insert eyeroll here.)

*You may also know this program as the Nike Pro Combat uniform.


it’s time.

Did you feel it this morning? I did.

I’m sure it has more to with the northerly wind pulled down towards Pittsburgh by Hurricane Irene than it does an actual change of seasons, but when we walked out of the house today to hunt down some breakfast, I was hit by a cool breeze crossing our front porch.

And it felt like fall.

We’re just a few days away from the start of the season, one that felt like it would never actually get here. It’s going to be an unusual one, with the suspensions, the addition of a new rival that could win the conference in its first season … and the possibility that the NCAA could still drop a nasty surprise in our laps before the end of November.

That’s all real, and it will all have a bearing on what happens in Columbus in the fall of 2011.

But once I felt that breeze this morning, none of it mattered.

What does matter? Arriving in Columbus on Friday. Visiting Buckeye Corner and The Andersons and Giant Eagle. Checking on all the gear Friday afternoon. Checking it again Friday night. Trying, unsuccessfully, to get enough sleep on Friday night that the alarm going off at 5 Saturday morning won’t be too painful. Getting in the lot — whichever lot it turns out to be — at 8, pulling out chairs, starting up the stove, having the first bloody mary, welcoming friends back for the first time since the end of November — that’s what matters.

In terms of the weather, I don’t think it’s going to feel much like fall on Saturday — it’s supposed to be close to 90 by the time the game against Akron is done — but that won’t matter either.

Fall is here. Football is here. And I’m ready to go.



As the season gets closer, the energy we have to spend on The Unpleasantness seems to dwindle each and every day. Sure, we’ll have one more day to think about all that stuff — when the NCAA announces its findings and whatever sanctions it has ready for us — in two or three months — but in the meantime, we’re going to be thinking about football.


There is no question that the most recent off-season is going to at least color everything that happens during the season, from picking a quarterback to waiting on some very good players to finish up their suspensions to enduring what I’m sure will be endless carping about the program during televised games, especially on those televised by our friends at ESPN (Tip: Just don’t listen to anything — ANYTHING — that comes out of Mark May’s mouth for the rest of 2011).

Yes. No matter what we want to happen, The Unpleasantness isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s going to be the elephant in the stadium all year. And it’s going to be a challenge for everyone connected with the program — players, coaches, administrators and fans.

How does one approach a challenge? A former coach we’re very familiar with suggested you embrace it (unless the challenge involves potentially ineligible players, I guess). And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take on the haters, and we’re going to enjoy it while we do.

We’ve just added the above designs — available in multiple colors and in men’s and women’s styles — to the Killer Nuts Tailgating store, and we’re hoping that you’ll see fit to have one or the other ready for the Sept. 3 season opener. We’ve spent weeks and weeks being appropriately ashamed, shocked and/or contrite (well, sort of); now that the season’s here, it’s time to put that crap behind us.

(And yes, we’re aware that 0-13 isn’t technically what happened to the 2010 season, but we don’t care — it’s funnier this way.)

You’ll find the store here, and ridiculously detailed directions on placing your orders here. Of course, the lovely “we are killer nuts” and “I blame the tailgate” designs are still available and, as always, if you need a different size or a different color, just let me know and I’ll make it happen.


old faithful.

It seems to happen every year. A picture of Nike’s planned alternate uniform for Ohio State leaks, and I freak out.

While I am happy to have something to write about besides the unpleasantness, I am so not happy about this year’s apparent choice. As has been the case in the past, this is a leaked photo, and there are no guarantees that this is how Nike will actually dress the team.

(But I should also point out — in both of the previous years, the leaked pix were accurate.)

With that background, boys and girls, I give you this, the 2011 Ohio State Football Nike Pro Combat Uniform (as posted on No Two-Minute Warning, via my friend Kelly):

OK. Let’s take a second and point out a couple things:

1) The uniforms are black.

2) They will be worn for the Oct. 29 game, when Ohio State hosts Wisconsin. At night.

3) Someone at Nike thinks it’s a good idea to wear all-black uniforms during a night game.

4) That person needs to be smacked in the head with something heavy. Like maybe one of those black helmets.

I’m at the point where I know this is going to happen every year. Fine. Nike shows off the latest in football uniform design and technology, and Ohio State makes a shit-ton of money selling replica jerseys. Woo, everyone’s happy.

If this is in fact OSU’s design for 2011, it will be the first time, though, that the Pro Combat unis might be a detriment to the team when it’s on the field. And I’m not OK with that.


a little help.

Apparently there has been some confusion over ordering shirts from the official Killer Nuts Tailgating site. So to make sure we can all get the goodies we want, here’s a step-by-step walkthrough:

1) Go to the store by clicking here:

2) Find the style you want.

3) In the window for that style, select the size you need in the drop-down menu (see below).

4) When you’ve picked the size, click on the shopping cart icon (see below), and that selection will be added to the cart. That will take you to a page where you can choose to proceed to purchase or continue shopping. If you continue shopping, you’ll go back to the store page, where you can make additional selections.

5) When you’ve picked out everything you want, hit proceed to purchase. You’ll go through successive screens where you enter shipping and billing addresses and credit card information. (If you have a PayPal account, you can also elect to pay that way — it will automatically take you to your PayPal account to complete the transaction.)

6) Finally, you’ll land on a page where you review your order. Click “Place your order” at the bottom of the page and you’re all set.

If you haven’t checked out the store since it was announced here a couple weeks ago, you should take a look. We’ve filled a couple of special requests — white Ts with red or gray letters — and we’ve added hoodies in scarlet or gray. And if you’re ordering soon, you have them in plenty of time for that last tailgate party of the year.

Additional questions? Additional requests? Just lemme know.


the required uniform.

We have shirts.

Thanks to the nice people at Spreadshirt, a Pittsburgh company that gives any idiot — and by that, I mean me — the opportunity to open up a small T-shirt shop, we have the first editions of Killer Nuts Tailgating shirts, available to anyone who wants them. Take a look:


For the ladies, in red, dark gray or black.




And for the guys, in red, light gray or black.


They’re inexpensive at $9.90 a pop, and Spreadshirt generally does a good job of getting them to you a few days. So if you order now, you’ll have yours by the Penn State game.

If you think we should add kids’ sizes or if you have an idea for another text-based design, just let me know. We’ll make it happen.

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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