Archive for the 'Traditions' Category


not superstitious.

In 2012, my helmet-stripe underpants — picked by you guys — served me very well.

And that’s why I’m asking for your help again this year.

As you may recall, a year ago I asked for your help with picking out the boxer shorts I wear for each Saturday during the season, a habit I choose to refer to as a “tradition” rather than a “superstition.” And going with the pick you guys made, Ohio State ran through an undefeated season.

And maybe those helmet-stripe boxers are a good place to start. Do they have another 12 straight wins in them? Or 13? Or even 14? Or did I use up all of their luck in 2012?

I’m counting on you guys to come up with those answers.

Your contenders:

Helmet stripe.

Helmet stripe.


Bright red plaid.

Bright red plaid.





Gray pattern.

Gray pattern.


Block O.

Block O.


Not-as-bright red plaid.

Not-as-bright red plaid.


And here’s the deal: I’ll have all six pairs with me in Columbus this weekend. Once I finish loading the truck — probably about 6:30 Saturday morning, if all goes as planned — I’ll check the vote totals. The leader at that point will be the pick for the season.

Thank you once again for your support.







still summer.

As the home opener approaches every year, I want nothing more than to wake up on game day and be greeted by cool, fall air as I open the garage door and begin loading the truck.

And for the opener, at least, that almost never happens.

It’s not going to happen this year either. With tremendous disappointment, I present my annual weather forecast roundup for Saturday’s game against Buffalo:

The National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service.

The Weather Channel.

The Weather Channel.



Weather Bug.

Weather Bug.



triple-dog dare.

Sure, it’s May.

The days are getting warmer and longer.

Baseball is in full swing.

Your grill is already getting a workout.

You’ve probably already a regular at the local golf course.

And your first trip to the swimming pool is just a few weeks away.

We’re a long way from football season. But I dare you to watch this video — produced for Nike — and not get excited about showing up at Ohio Stadium on Aug. 31.

I DARE you.



First: As was the case two years ago, I am still not pleased with the names chosen by the B1G for its two football divisions. I am therefore making a Killer Nuts Tailgating style ruling: On this blog, the divisions shall be called the Pork and Beef Divisions, and Ohio State plays in the Pork Division.

This just became important today. I had assumed that with the postseason ban in place for this year, that even if Ohio State were to win whichever B1G division the team plays in (the Pork Division, as we now know), the actual division championship would go to the next-best eligible team.

And I was wrong. According to ESPN (and apparently confirmed by the conference), both Ohio State and Penn State are eligible to win the Pork Division championship this season (that goes for Penn State for the next three years as well); we’d get the trophy, but the next-best eligible team gets the berth to the conference title game.

Pork Division Champions. I like how that sounds.



We leave for Columbus in something like 34 hours. And it’s time to get ready.

(Oh, The Hat? If you don’t know the story already — it was hand-freaking-made for me by my friend AAA. And I will have it until the day I die. I will never be able to thank her enough.)



We’ve talked a lot about traditions here at Killer Nuts Tailgating. There are unshakeable traditions involved with our parties every week, and I have a few of my own — the buckeye in my pocket or the recently discussed necklace, to name a couple.

There is another. And for reasons I don’t quite understand myself, I’m going to ask for your help with it this season.

I’m not an overly superstitious guy. I don’t have lucky jerseys, and I don’t freak out if I’m sitting on a different seat cushion from one week to the next.

And I’m not sure if this is really a superstition or just a tradition, but here it is: I pick one pair of boxers and wear them for every game for the entire season.

Yes. I wash them. Don’t be gross.

I went up into the attic tonight, to bring down some shirts that have been stored since the completion of the 2011 season. I’m starting to get stuff organized for our trip to Columbus Friday morning, and I want to be pretty much packed tomorrow.

I have just about everything ready. But I don’t know which boxers will be the game boxers for this fall.

And that’s where you’re going to help.

I’m about 90-percent sure that these have all been football boxers in previous seasons; I couldn’t for the life of me begin to recall when I wore which ones though. In my eyes, they’re all equal — until this Saturday morning.

Here’s a look at your choices:

One: Sort of a Block O pattern.

Two: Hooboy bright.

Three: Sort of a classic.

Four: Almost matches the stripes on the helmets.

Here’s what we’ll do. After I load the truck early Saturday — I’ll be done around 6:30, if I’m on schedule — I’ll open the blog and take a look at the results of the poll below. All have all four with me, and the leader at that point will be the boxers for the 2012 season.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this pressing matter.


an early start.

As per Bud, we will be making sure we’re in the stadium in time to watch this Saturday morning:

Also, we may practice at the tailgate. If the first video goes through the routine too quickly, Coach Mick breaks it down in this one:



annual parking post.

In what has become a tradition since Ohio State announced the expansion of the medical center, it’s time to take a look at our parking options for the upcoming season.

First thing: Chances that we’ll be parking in the lot we used last year are zero; sources close to the tailgate (uh, that would be my mom) say the lot is currently a fenced-in part of the construction site for the new physical plant thing that’s being built as part of the hospital expansion. So there’s that.

Next thing: We did, however, set an interesting precedent in 2011 in that we got the OK from parking services to use a handicapped space in a lot that wasn’t otherwise available for football parking. And even though my father is newly bionic (after his hip replacement last winter), we still have that hang-tag, and we’re still willing to use it. I have no idea if there are other possibilities for us close to our traditional spot, but we’re certainly going to take a look.

The other thing: As was the case a year ago, another option is the lot north of St. John Arena, which is dedicated to vehicles with handicapped hang-tags. That option — with its wide swath of asphalt and dearth of green — is still available. I wasn’t excited about it last year, and I wasn’t excited about it again this summer when Bud started a round of emails to discuss the parking situation. It’s good in some ways — it’s much closer to the stadium than we’ve ever been, and there’s a shuttle that could get Bud to the game when his shiny new hip isn’t feeling so bionic — but still, it’s a far cry from what we’re used to.

And then I noticed something else.

Take a look at this map, which I clipped from the university’s official 2012 football parking map. The royal blue north of St. John is the handicapped parking. Note that it not only covers the area north of our old basketball barn, but that it includes a little swath around the ice rink. Given that that L-shaped finger curls around the rink building and abuts Remembrance Park, I wondered what those spaces might look like.

Yes, Google’s satellite photos can be outdated, but HEY — TREES. RIGHT ACROSS WOODY HAYES DRIVE FROM THE STADIUM. It might be that we’d have to arrive stupid early to get one of those spaces, BUT HOLY CRAP, ¬†WE COULD TAILGATE THERE.



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.

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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