Archive for the 'Recap' Category



19
Sep
12

we punted.

Yes, we’re late. That’s mostly my fault, as a cold has kept me nailed to the couch for most of the week; Mrs. Crappy did her part, filing this on Monday. Whoops. As always, my comments are in italics. -UC

Week three of the 2012 season found the Buckeyes on a beautiful Saturday playing not-so-beautiful game against the California University at Berkley, who came very, very close to winning, but I’ll leave the game analysis to Uncle Crappy.

Just win, baby.

As for the food analysis, Sept. 15 proved to be an odd day, as the Crappy parents were out of town all week and I had to work late Friday. So early on in the week, we decided to let someone else do the cooking, an option that most of our tailgaters picked as well.

By Friday, we had a count of 15 for the party (very glad to have Aunt Mary up and around again!), so Uncle Crappy had to up our takeout order from City BBQ in Columbus with their “Pig Up and Go” party packages. Our preferred location is on Henderson Road and you can check out the menu here. We got the BP7, which includes, 5 pounds of meat, two 2 1/2 quart sides, sauce and buns. Pulled pork, beef brisket, cole salw and baked beans were the fixings we picked. Crappy Dad looked at it all and told Uncle Crappy there would be tons left over. Yeah, he ended up with enough meat for a sandwich of each. We love our barbecue!

We are thankful to have excellent barbecue options in Pittsburgh; I think City holds up to any of them.

The vinegar-based cole slaw, however, was not a favorite of the crowd and we ended up bring a whole quart back to Pittsburgh, where we plan to make grilled Rachel sandwiches for dinner Tuesday night (Thanks to my illness, we waited until Wednesday night. Totally worth the wait, by the way). Since no one cooked this weekend, and grilled Rachels are easy to make on a Coleman griddle at, say, a tailgate, here is the recipe:

Grilled Rachels, aka the Roasted Turkey Reuben

  • Use either deli turkey or leftover roasted turkey, say after Thanksgiving
  • Deli or marble rye bread, although Martha Stewart recommends sourdough (Martha Stewart would be wrong about that one.)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Coleslaw, whatever kind you like — creamy or vinegar-based (But the vinegar-based one we had was excellent.)
  • Thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • Russian or Thousand Island dressing

Butter one or both sides of each slice of bread. You pick how much butter you want. Heat frying pan or griddle, like you would for making grilled cheese sandwiches. Spread schmear of dressing on one or both slices of bread. Put one slice butter-side down, on griddle or pan, layering Swiss cheese, turkey and cole slaw on slice. Top with other slice of bread, butter side out, and grill until cheese is melty and the bread is as toasted as you like. Avoid burning bread and feel free to mush down on sandwich with a spatula or to use one of those weights used to make bacon cook flat. You could also use a panni or George Foreman grill. Cut in half and serve with additional dressing if you like extra (and I like extra!)

Deeeelicious.

We also had Suzanne’s cheese dip, potato chips and, this week’s bonus recipe, pumpkin roll.

Easy Pumpkin Roll

  • 3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix stuff)
  • 1 cup boxed spice cake mix (preferably a kind with pudding or that says super moist)
  • powdered sugar
  • 1 can creamy style cream cheese frosting at room temp or little warmer

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a mixer on high until they are thick and yellow – about 2 minutes (or just shake the container of egg substitute really well). Mix in the pumpkin. Mix in the cake mix.

Spread in a 10 x 15″ jelly roll pan lined with greased wax paper or foil. Bake for about 10 minutes at 375.

Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cotton kitchen , not terry cloth, towel well dusted with powdered sugar. Roll the cake up in the towel and let it cool on a wire rack for around 1/2 hour with seam down. Unroll and spread with the cream cheese frosting. Roll it back up without the kitchen towel this time. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar, roll in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Chilling helps to keep the roll shape.

Or you can make your own cream cheese spread:

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup real butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add remaining powdered sugar and vanilla, blending well.

So here comes University of Alabama-Birmingham at noon on Saturday. Uncle Crappy and I are going camping and leaving Crappy Dad in charge of tailgate. Will report back on the game and the food next week. Until then — Go Buckeyes! P.S. — I hope we learned how to tackle during the week! (Yes, that would be good.)

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12
Sep
12

bureaucracy.

The Ohio State University is big.

More than 64,000 students, if you’re counting all campuses. And nearly 42,000 employees.

As is the case with any organization of its size, The Ohio State University can be a maddening, frustrating place. Trying to get answers — or even just finding the person to whom the questions should be asked — can feel like an impossible chore.

What we encountered in 2010 and 2011 as we tried to figure out where we were parking for the season is a good example. Call one person, get one answer. Hear another answer from a different office. Get a third answer from one of the people working the lot.

Baffling.

But sometimes, it pays to ask.

I have two examples. During the first game, I was dismayed to hear that the OSUMB’s spot in the South Stands had been mic’ed, and was being played over the stadium’s shiny new PA system. In some parts of the stadium, it sounded fine; in 14C, the delay made it sound awful. We heard everything twice, and it pretty much made the music unbearable to listen to.

Last week, I sent an email to a whole bunch of people: Gordon Gee, Gene Smith, the folks who manage game day operations in the stadium, the band’s director. I griped about the amplification and asked for something to change.

It took Jon Waters, the interim director of the Ohio State University Marching Band, to answer. He said amplification of the band had been a goal of his and Gene Smith’s coming into the season, but added right off the bat that he was aware there were some problems on Week One. He also made a good point — there is no real way to test the sound without a stadium full of people, so it might take some time to work out the issues.

Because he took a couple minutes to respond, I felt better about the problem. And, true to his word, the sound was much better last week.

I have another example.

As I said last week, our new parking spot is pretty much perfect. Close to the stadium, shade or sun to suit the weather, easy parking for everyone else and plenty of, uh, facilities nearby.

My father, who has a legitimate reason to hold a disabled parking hang-tag, made a good point, though; for him, it took a decent walk –and for him, an uncomfortable one — to get to the nearest porta-john or to the indoor plumbing in the library. And, he reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to have a porta-john available to patrons who are parking in handicapped lot.

Late in the week, Crappydad asked Ethel, who works for the university, for help in figuring out who should field a question about getting our own porta-potty. Ethel came through, and after a quick exchange of emails, we had been promised that a porta-john would be waiting for us Saturday morning (and it was actually in place on Friday night, as the Coochie Doctor confirmed during a quick trip through campus).

And there you are, boys and girls. Ethel, my father, and the one thing we were lacking to be able to call our new tailgating home truly perfect. We call him John.

And when you’re faced with the daunting task of figuring out how to approach a gigantic organization, remember this: It never hurts to just ask.

06
Sep
12

anxiety unfounded.

All three of us in the truck were a little anxious when we approached campus around 7:30 Saturday morning. We had settled on giving the lot behind Campbell Hall a try with the 12th and Cannon lots as our rather unpleasant backup option.

We cruised past our old space — or, rather, spaces — on Herrick Drive, approached the lot we saw the day before … and saw orange cones blocking the entrance.

Crap.

But. There were guys taking money for the adjacent parking garage at the end of the street that runs behind our desired home; we drove up and asked.

The answer? On football Saturdays, the lot we scoped out was a public disability lot. All you needed to park there was a handicapped hang-tag and fifteen American dollars.

And we had both.

It’s possible that I did a jumping happy dance after I parked the truck in the corner space, under a broad tree and next to a wide expanse of grass. I might have done that again when Mrs. Crappy wandered two blocks away — a short stroll past Mirror Lake — and found the William Oxley Thompson Library, with a coffee shop and large, clean restrooms. In a library. Which will always be open. As in, never closed. And then I might have danced a third time, when Bud asked and was told that Neil Avenue Parking Garage, just next door, was also public, save for spaces reserved for media. No more walks from 12th and Cannon lots for our fellow Killer Nuts Tailgaters.

 

It’s all right there. It’s all available to all of us, with only the possible hindrance of making sure we’re there early enough to get the spaces we want.

To summarize: We’re set, boys and girls. Unless the OSU Medical Center decides to swallow another chunk of campus, our parking worries are over.

***

Toward the end of the first quarter, there might have been a little anxiety about the football as well. Two breakdowns in pass coverage had given Miami two long gains; decent defensive recoveries — along with a missed field goal and a dropped pass or two — kept the Redhawks Redskins from building the 14-0 lead they probably deserved.

But the defense wasn’t the problem. It was the offense — the power spread we’ve all been dreaming about — that was. For the game’s first 15 minutes, it felt a lot like 2011. Running backs going nowhere. Braxton Miller scrambling. And nothing that resembled a drive, because there were no first downs. Ohio State finally started to move the ball towards the end of the quarter, and just a couple minutes into the second, the Buckeyes broke the ice in spectacular fashion.

And, really, that’s when the game was over. Miami quarterback Zac Dysert is a good one, and he rolled up 313 passing yards on the day — but got just one touchdown to show for it. After taking the first quarter off, Ohio State’s offense had a 500-yard day, and Braxton racked up Nintendo numbers: 161 yards rushing, with one touchdown; 14 of 24 yards passing for 207 yards and two touchdowns. We got a decent look at how the offense is going to work, as well. Miller’s targets were everywhere — receivers, tight ends, backs — and most of the passes were short routes, with potential for long gains after the catch. And especially after Miller’s 65-yard touchdown run at the start of the second half, play-action off an option look is going to be a killer play as the season progresses.

We started Saturday — both the tailgate and the game — wondering what was to come. By the time we were headed home in the afternoon, we had a much better idea.

30
May
12

happy anniversary.

 

Can we finally be done with this? Please?

26
Nov
11

an unpleasant end.

The Season of The Unpleasantness is done.

30
Oct
11

tastes great. less filling.

I have this conversation with my Ohio Stadium seatmates all the time — when you have a freshman quarterback, you’re going to have to put up with some ugly football along with the good stuff.

We’ve seen a bunch of ugly football this season. But if anyone had any doubts about Braxton Miller, Saturday’s game against Wisconsin should come as a great relief.

See this:

And, of course, this:

I remember screaming after the first play — my voice is still sitting somewhere near my seat in 14C, by the way — but after the second, my dad and I just sort of looked at each other while bedlam erupted around us.

Stunned. And overjoyed.

Dad’s seen more than his fair share of Ohio State football over the years, and he couldn’t come up with a game that finished the way that one did. We both thought of this play…

…but that came at the start of the fourth quarter, and we ended up scoring two more touchdowns before the game ended to turn what had been a tight game into a beating.

I’m stuck too. I’ve seen some close ones, but to win that way — a crazy scramble, a long touchdown pass, 30 seconds left in the game? Maybe the final drive at Michigan in 2005? I don’t know. I can’t think of anything else that compares.

So when the offense is plodding against Indiana or Purdue in the next couple of weeks, remember these plays. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff. Think about potential. We saw it last night. We’ll see it for four more games this year. And for at least a couple years after that.

09
Oct
11

because we have to laugh.

Thanks, Eleven Warriors.

03
Oct
11

back away from the ledge.

UPDATE: No Posey, no Herron and (surprise!) no Marcus Hall against Nebraska.

On the Friday before the opener against Akron, I met my dad, James Bond and Fred at the Varsity Club, for a kickoff lunch and the renewal of a high-stakes bet based on our predicted records for the season.

I don’t recall everyone’s predictions, but I think that at 9-3, I was the pessimist of the group.

And after Saturday, I think 9-3 would feel pretty good.

Because it’s not all that hard to imagine Ohio State not winning again until it plays Indiana. In November. Ouch.

But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. There could be another five losses on the schedule — but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. This isn’t going to be a championship season — and it’s not even going to be close, boys and girls — but things aren’t as bad as they felt at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Look:

The defense is what we’re used to seeing at Ohio State. After Saturday’s game, our Buckeyes still had the 10th best scoring defense in the country. It’s easy to lose sight of this after a loss, but holding a senior quarterback and his very good offense to 10 points is a great day.

Help’s on the way. Returning to the field on Saturday: left tackle Mike Adams. He may or may not be joined by tailback Boom Herron and receiver DeVier Posey (it sounds like we’ll find out more about that this afternoon). The return of the skill players is important (Posey in particular — we’re already seeing injuries among the receivers and having an all-conference guy back can do nothing but help the confidence of whoever’s playing under center) but getting Adams back will be the biggest deal. The offensive line has struggled; having its anchor back in the huddle — and moving the other guys back to positions that more naturally suit them — is going to help.

It’s all in their heads. In 2008, there was a crushing road loss at USC and a devastating loss to Penn State at home; the team improved after both losses and won a bid to a BCS game. I’m not seeing a BCS berth at the end of this season, but we will see improvement. I’m not ready to make any predictions about wins and losses, but I guarantee we’re going to see a better team on the field against Wisconsin than we did against Michigan State. The current seniors were here for that 2008 season; they know what it takes to recover mentally, and they will bring the other guys along.

Youth movement. Think about it — four seniors, all starters, all among the better players at their positions in the country — and all gone for the first five games this year. Could we realistically expect the same kind of performance from replacements who A) had been perpetual backups or B) are true freshmen? Not if we’re being honest with ourselves, no. Think back to 2008 again. We saw occasional brilliance from that season’s freshman quarterback — but more often, we saw him play like he was a freshman quarterback. Braxton Miller’s in the same boat. We’ve seen great plays from him already, and I think he has a greater upside than did his predecessor. But if Ohio State is going to realize that potential for the next two or three years, we’re going to have to endure some mistakes now.

(Caveat to the above: We need to play Miller. Joe Bauserman’s performance against Akron had less to do with his ability than it had to do with what Akron lacked. It’s going to be better all the way around to suffer through Miller’s mistakes while he improves than to hope for a decent season from a mediocre caretaker — and have to go through Miller’s learning process next year.)

We’re going to be fine, boys and girls. We have the same talent on this team as we’ve had in the last decade. We have a ton of young guys — not to mention a young coach — and they’re not going to react like veterans when things get tough.

But later this season, they will. And they’re going to need us behind them when they’re ready.

Photo credit: The Ozone.

12
Sep
11

two weeks, one weak.

It was supposed to be like this anyway...

We’re two weeks into the season. The tailgates have been good, the parking has been ideal and the football … well, I’m not sure about the football yet. Here’s a rundown:

The Parking: Hooboy, this has been the best part about the season so far. you’ll recall that we felt pretty good about getting back to our usual lot before the season started, and so far, that’s worked perfectly. We have shade, we don’t have crowds and we have nearly all of the things — with the possible exception of grass — that we’ve enjoyed in the past. It could be that no one has questioned us about being there because no one has noticed us, but with each week, I’m feeling better about the prospects of us just being able to stay there.

The parties: As is often the case attendance was a little light the first week, but we recovered nicely on Saturday. The noon games are tough — tough on me, because I’m up at 5 a.m., and tough on the rest of y’all, because there just isn’t a whole lot of tailgate party to work with before it’s time to pack up and go inside. I am hopeful we won’t have many more noon starts for the rest of the year.

And did we eat well? Yes we did. Bud volunteered to make his breakfast hash for the first week; we’ve covered that recipe here before, and in spite of some technical difficulties with the propane skillet, it was as good as it always was.

I did the Groundhog-standard eggless breakfast casseroles on Saturday, and they were apparently popular. The basic recipe is here, but of course, I made some changes. One was simple — the base, but I substituted two pounds of bacon for the two pounds of sausage. The other was tweaked a little more. I used a pound of regular ground sausage and a pound of spicy; I also added a couple diced jalapenos to the mix, enough for flavor but not so much that it would blow anyone’s head off.

And it was good.

The pigskin: Damn, we looked good against Akron. Bauserman had the kind of day I didn’t know he was capable of, the receivers were sharp — THREE TOUCHDOWN CATCHES BY A TIGHT END WHAT? — and we didn’t appear to miss the suspended starters a whole bunch. It was the kind of game that made you feel good — but you realize that the opponent was good enough that you learned a whole lot about what to expect from your team later on.

And then there was Toledo.

I’m hoping that the near-upset was because of a couple of things: the fact that the Rockets are really good (we’ll find out more about that this weekend, when they host Boise State), and the attention of the Buckeyes was focused more on Miami this week than the game last week. Whether or not that’s the case, here’s one thing that’s certain — if Toledo hadn’t racked up the penalties they had, we would have lost that game. To an in-state team. For the first time since 1921.

Ouch.

I don’t think a lack of focus will be a problem this weekend, but hooboy the competition gets a lot better. We don’t know if the NCAA will let us have the Charity Three — as opposed to the Tat Four — back for the game against the Hurricanes, but their guys who were suspended in Week One, including quarterback Jacory Harris, will be back on the field,  if they don’t crash any more Jet Skis into yachts in the interim.

How good is Ohio State? I think we’ll know the answer to that question by about 11 Saturday night.

23
Apr
11

spring forward.

I am happily watching the replay of Ohio State’s spring game, happy because I finally have some actual football to sink my teeth into.

Of course, it’s impossible to separate this afternoon’s game from the shitstorm my football team has been involved with for the past few months, and much of the discussion during the broadcast — and many of the thoughts I have about what transpired today — touch on the suspensions and how the Buckeyes deal with them in September.

  • I’m kind of digging the camo helmets.
  • Announced attendance was around 45,000. Product of the weather forecast or are people still irritate about the Tressel situation?
  • (To answer my own question — I think I’m pretty much the only one who’s still irritated about the Tressel situation.)
  • I wish Joe Bauserman had stepped up to lead the race to replace Pryor in the season’s first five games; he’s put in the time, he;s a senior, he’s been the backup for two seasons. But I didn’t see it today.
  • I’m not willing to anoint him yet, but Braxton Miller, pictured above, show flashes of why we should be excited having him in Columbus. He throws a good ball — although he needs to learn a little touch — and once he has a better sense of being in the pocket, he’s going to run as well as Troy Smith or Terrelle Pryor.
  • Like Bauserman, I was hoping to see more from an experienced quarterback like Kenny Guiton. He had one excellent touch pass for a touchdown, and a bunch of clunkers.
  • The Graham kid? Terrific arm, but just about zero sense in the pocket. Think he got sacked 38 times during the game.
  • The quarterbacks struggled early, in part, because the offensive line was shaky, especially against the defensive ones. For me, that underscores what I think will be the biggest loss of the Tat Five suspendees — left tackle Mike Adams. How Ohio State does in September will depend on finding a replacement.
  • Boom Herron’s out for the first five games too, but running back is the least of my concerns. Jordan Hall looked exceptional running and catching the ball, and Rod Smith looks like a keeper.
  • Wide receiver: who are these guys? They look young, but I think we’ll see a couple develop into clear-cut starters by the fall. I hope T.Y. Williams is one of them, because his size will be a challenge for opposing corners; I hope Philly Brown is the other, because how can you not root for a guy named Philly Brown?
  • Defense is tough to judge, especially if we’re talking about the DBs and all the injuries that unit has dealt with this spring. Front seven? No worries, at least not for me.

As I’ve stopped dwelling on the whys of the suspensions and started thinking about actual football, and I’m feeling better about September. The road game at Miami isn’t as scary as it might sound — new coach, and a half-full stadium — which means we may not see a really tough test until the fifth game, against Michigan State. I think Miller’s going to be starting at quarterback by the second game, and if the O-line is OK, the team will be OK as well.




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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