Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oh, the places you'll go!

Random thoughts and observations from a quick jaunt to and from Jacksonville, Florida:

We flew from Columbus to Charlotte, a first for us. And the first for us to experience the "benefits" of a restroom attendant all spiffied up who spends his/her (depending on your choice of restroom) day cheerfully greeting you and cleaning up after you, the poor slob of a traveler, for tips. To my mind there is something slightly creepy about a restroom attendant. For good measure, the attendant's name is shown in a placard as you enter, so you can better get to know him or her. Perhaps that will make him or her seem less creepy.

The Jacksonville airport offered another restroom "first" for us as well. This airport features no sinks in the restrooms, rather a counter top upon which all excess water and soap falls, and then rolls into a trough to be carried away. Almost takes me back to grade school, except that we had a circular fountain that sprayed water toward your hands, which fell into the large basin to be drained away. Ahh... good old SJS.

From what I have observed over the years at college football games, when one band starts to play their songs during a time out, the other band waits their turn. I had never seen this unwritten rule violated until yesterday at the Gator Bowl, wherein the Florida marching band repeatedly stepped on the music being played by TBDBITL. Very inconsiderate, Gators. Our distinguished marching band was very polite when the reverse situation occurred.

Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman trophy winner, is an effective and dynamic speaker. Dr. E. Gordon Gee, the only two-time president of The Ohio State University, tends to wander away from his speaking notes (at least in informal settings), and rambles about in a peripatetic manner, verbally, until apparently returning to his point or his notes. He is entertaining, but it seems as if ADHD is calling him.

No matter what the result is on the football field, the OSU fans are great supporters of the marching band. They clap and sing along enthusiastically when their favorite Buckeye songs are played.

OSU football fans are very, very, very happy to have seen the last of J.B. "False Start" Shugarts, (very) offensive lineman, who was usually good for at least two penalties of that ilk each game for four years, normally at critical points in the game. He obligingly rewarded his supporters (cough) by committing another two false start penalties in his final game, one in each half. I believe OSU should retire, then burn, the #76 jersey so that no other Buckeye player will ever commit said penalty again.

And what does it say about his coaches that in four years they were not able to either correct the problem or find someone who could manage, say, only ONE false start penalty per game?

While Gator and Buckeye fans commingled for hours before, during, and after the game, I only witnessed a very few drunken fans who were abusive of the other team's fans. Everyone else was on good behavior, from what I could tell. Perhaps a matchup between two 6-6 teams will do that to people.

Many OSU fans have bought into the "Urban Meyer is our (football) savior" mentality, whilst his former fans in the Sunshine State were generally full of dire warnings about him to us. They are not happy with his leaving them abruptly, despite the two national championships he brought them. They feel no compunction, however, to hand over the crystal trophy they won against Ohio State a few years back, though. I simply cannot understand this dichotomy in their behavior.

Despite the poor record this season, most OSU fans are supportive of local lad Luke Fickell, who coached the Buckeyes in adverse circumstances this season, his first as a head coach at any level. A learning experience, indeed.

We did have our first rickshaw ride while there; the return trip from the stadium, through heavy traffic while seated in a cart being pulled by a bicycle, was a delight, especially as we made it safely back to the hotel. No harm was done to anyone on the sidewalks, either.

We had (minor) celebrity sightings while there, a local sports reporter for a Columbus tv station, and the easily-recognized Buck I Guy, whom you may have seen at any OSU football game, especially if you are watching on the tube. Dressed all in white with some scarlet trim, a flowing cape, "Buck I Guy" on his chest (and stomach), this very friendly fellow is always found by the cameras, usually in the front row seats. We also saw the "other" frequently-camera'd favorite, Buckeye Man, but he is less interesting.

A quick trip, a good time, a not-unexpected loss, but it was worth doing, especially with my honey.


  1. You are officially now 1 and 1 in bowl games attended.

  2. Since we were in Phoenix the day before the National Championship victory over Thug U, I am taking that as a win.