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Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

First off, let me make it clear, if you ask me about my school, I’ll tell you I am a Saint, a Siena Heights University alumna. But, I did take a class at Ohio State. I did not take an Ohio State class. I took a class AT Ohio State. This mug doesn’t get me all worked up about semantics, but it does make me think about football, people's odd obsession with football teams from colleges they didn’t even attend and it does bring to mind the real purpose for me having this mug!

I picked the mug up at the campus bookstore in Columbus. Heather H and I went to Ohio State in July of 1995 to take Intro to Avid training, a 3-day course, being offered by Avid and taught at the Wexner Arts Center on the OSU campus. The dead of summer was the slow time for community sports at Omnicom, only little league baseball and there were just too many teams to be able to fairly select games to cover in full, so we did a scoreboard show for little league. The timing enabled both the producer and associate producer to take the same week off. The scoreboard show was Rich’s brainchild when he was a sports intern and he kept up the show while we were out. Truth is, he had time to do a lot with the scoreboard show anyway and he enjoyed doing it. Finding pleasure in a job is the key to being a star doing it!

Heather and I left on Saturday morning for the Monday-Wednesday class. We decided to make a vacation of it, leaving early to have time to settle in and catch a ball game on Sunday in Cincinnati. As I recall, my Reds beat her Cubs in extra innings. Looking at the old box score I remember, Mark Grace’s 2-run homer in the top of the 10th had Heather gently razzing me. Then after one run in the bottom, Brett Boone went yard with 2 on to finish with an heroic walk-off! Heather and I had known each other less than a year at the time, so I didn’t razz back that much. I suppose if it were now, we’d be a little more colorful in CONTINUED jibes after the game. A year later we saw the Cubs shut down the Braves 12-0 in the days of my plans to move to Atlanta and live out the rest of my days as a home team Braves fan. She still occasionally reminds me about that!

Since we were going to be as far south as Columbus, Ohio, anyway, we decided to go on to Atlanta for the end of our trip. John and his Dad were going to be stopping in Atlanta on their way home from vacation in Florida, so we all met up for the evening laser show at Stone Mountain and dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe. It was my birthday weekend, so I got free dessert. Free ice cream to me is better than free beer! Heather asked me which birthday it was for me. I told her that for a year, I’d tell the truth and everyone would think I was lying about my age. I was turning 29!

It was a fun trip and I got great memories with friends, my Avid class certificate and a wonderful college “weapon” to use at home.

My Dad is a University of Michigan football fan. He is not a graduate of any college, but he has more UofM logo stuff than I have of all the schools (junior college, trade school and university) that I went to combined! It has always puzzled me and always will, how it is that people who didn’t go to the school can be SO passionate about the football team.

I had often grilled him about it. He, with exuberance, cheers for the “maize and blue” when they play Michigan State in the annual state rivalry. His nephew. my cousin, John, is an alumnus of MSU. Family ties are not as thick as this curious loyalty to the team of a school with which he is completely unaffiliated.

I had asked him, “What if I had decided to go to Michigan State? Would you cheer for the team of the school that had YOUR money?”

His answer was “But you didn’t go to Michigan State.” He was completely unable to fathom the thought that his daughter would go to a rival school!

So I asked, “What if I’d gone to Ohio Sate?” UofM’s MAJOR football rival.

“Oh, you don’t want to be a Buckeye!!”

I guess that was the equivalent of “over my dead body.”

I don’t find it offensive, but fascinating. There are so many people who give their loyalty to football teams for colleges to which they have no attachment and couldn't care less about the school, just the football team. The University of Michigan turns out fantastic doctors and does wonderful research work at the UofM Hospital. They have one of the best MBA programs in the country. My Dad wouldn’t even know that if I hadn’t told him! Yet, he trash talks about “his” football team to actual alumni from other schools!

I called him on that. When he and Heather H, like my cousin, a Spartan alum, were talking football. I asked how he could be such a die hard fan of a school he never attended. He told me that he had attended the University of Michigan.


He claimed that because he took trade school classes at their Dearborn campus, he was in fact, a Wolverine.

Bet ya can see where the mug becomes a weapon, huh?

When I got home from that trip, I made a point of drinking out of my new mug while having coffee with Dad one morning.

“What is that?”

“It’s my Alumni Mug! I’m a Buckeye now, Pop!”

The look on his face was priceless. A little stunned, a little confused, I could have told him I smashed into his car in the driveway, I was coming out and wanted him to meet my girlfriend, I’d eloped with a total stranger or was moving to Bangladesh and he would have been able to comprehend and accept the statement better. I smiled and explained that if a few classes on the UofM campus made him a Wolverine, then my Avid training made me a Buckeye.

Pop hasn’t claimed to be a Wolverine since and he is a quieter Wolverine football fan now, at least around me!


Ellie said...

lol, great story :)

Tori said...

Thank you for stopping by to comment on my little prim snowman. I appreciate it so much! (:

Love the story about your dad .... that's fantastic! LOL!

Carjazi said...

I'm so cracking up at your story. My dad was born a Buckeye but since we lived in Wolverine country since I was 8, he turned blue. My brother also went to U of M Dearborn, so that makes him blue. They called me a traitor when I turned into a Buckeye. Can't explain it, just easier when in Rome.

Thanks for stopping by today. Sorry bout dropping the "S" word. I think you got it worse anyway. It's gonna be a long, cold winter.

seamhead gypsy said...


Do you recall last college football season when Ohio State was ranked #1 and Boston College was ranked #2? I think it was about the middle of the year and though I didn't really think that BC would or could hold down the #2 spot, I was hoping....

One day my wife asked me, "what are you going to do if the two face each other in the championship game?" Before I give you my answer I should say that we live 90 minutes or so from the OSU campus. Quite a few people in the community are graduates of OSU and even more are hard core fans. Despite knowing that, I never hesitated and told my wife that "we were going to be the most unpopular couple in town because I'm flying the BC flag!"

She just rolled her eyes and walked away. Well, fate stepped in and I didn't have to fly the BC flag on the night of the championship.

Now, before I get judged. I feel that by marriage I have the right to fly the BC flag any darn well time I feel like. My lovely wife attended BC for her BS in biology as well as for her masters in biology!

Melanie said...

*rotfl* Love that story, even though I'm a WV Mountaineer! Hahaha! Great post. Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can understand why people in, say, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Iowa REALLY get behind their college football teams -- or, in Connecticut, root for UConn hoops -- even if they didn't go to school there. It's the home team for them, even if it's college. Who else are you going to root for if you live in Scottsbluff, Nebraska -- the Denver Broncos?

In that regard, I suppose Ohio State and Michigan have such huge fan bases in part because the Browns, Bengals, and Lions have, with few exceptions, been awful for decades. Who else ya gonna root for?

Darlene Haughin said...

Love the story, Nani. Chugging thru on the SAS-y train. Choo choo!! :)