Day 327. The Interim One.

With apologies to non-college football fans....Let's get the basics out of the way.
  1. This is the final regular season game of Ohio State College Football
  2. This is MICHIGAN Week. (only the most storied rivalry in college football history)
  3. Rumors are seemingly now fact that Urban Meyer will be taking over as OSU head coach
  4. You're all shocked that I have posted three times in two weeks ;)

So who do I write about today? Its Mr. Luke Fickell. Again, down to brass tacks. Clearly, Luke is not yet 100% ready to coach a perennial BCS contending, Big Ten team. And, not only to satiate the rabid Buckeye fans around the nation, but also to satisfy promises made to 18 year olds who are convinced they will play in the NFL, Mr. Fickell seemingly is not the long term solution right now for the Ohio State program.

But here's what I know. Luke stepped up to a job that was not all that attractive. The program was in turmoil, players were decommitting, our integrity was shattered and we had all of a matter of weeks to name a head coach before the business of the season was at hand. As an alumni, a former player, and a guy who gets what Buckeye football is supposed to be about, Luke Fickell stepped up to the job. He was the easy out for the administration, I don't doubt he knew it, and he stepped up.

Those who know him say he knew he didn't have the talent of previous years. And he knew he didn't have head coaching experience (duh!). But he walked into the fire willingly. He stayed with the program, took a humbling tag of "interim head coach" (i.e. dead man walking) and did what he could with a team that didn't necessarily sign on to play for him. He took the job with the skill set that he had available. While the Buckeye's record this year isn't one of our best, Luke has been a good face of the program. He's matured in his role, he's grabbed the responsibility with both hands, and, again by all accounts, remained a man of character and integrity.

So now, on Thursday of Michigan week, when Mirror Lake jumps, and gold pants get the occasional mention, all the talk is about Urban Meyer.

To the Urban-ites I say be quiet. If just for three days. Win or lose, Luke Fickell has earned the right to live out this week as Head Coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He knows what this means - he's lived it. Give him this moment. Respect that he stepped up when the pickings were slim and he did so with the honor and integrity that this Ohio State program so desperately needed.

Let us celebrate the new head coach deservedly (if and when it happens) but let it wait till Sunday.

Because this is Ohio State Football. And this season, win or lose, Luke Fickell did all he could to try and live up to what that is supposed to mean. And for that, sir, you deserve our thanks and appreciation.

Go Bucks! Beat Blue!


Day 326. The Journalist One.

A random fact about me. I am not much of a fan girl. When I was little, and everyone else wanted to be person X, or date person Y (wherein person X and Y are clearly famous people), I never had that urge. There were a lot of people I liked, but as far as I can remember, there wasn't anyone who I really just held up in this huge feeling of awe...

That's pretty much held true throughout my life. With a few exceptions. And one of those is Steph. I first found Steph as the writer for The Other Paper, our local go-to independent paper, where she wrote about quite a few things - including sports, namely hockey. Now, those of you who know me, can imagine that this is like my dream job, so to see a woman doing this job so amazingly was just one of those "wow" moments.

Steph also was approachable. She didn't just put the news out there, she is on the Twitter and was ready to interact with everyone in a genuine and enthusiastic way. In a way that screams this is one. Cool. Chick. (Oh and she's a workout geek like me...so there's that!)

And then I had the chance to see Steph in person at a CBJ fan event. And let's just say, gorgeous. And she's got that whole "I'm comfortable with myself" and "I'm happy to be here in this moment" thing going on. So, in a lapse of total fan-geekiness as I had never known, I called her out in my blog about the event calling her my super secret media crush.

And then...

Imagine my shock when all of a sudden, Steph tweets about being my super-secret media crush. I was in my kitchen and I literally almost died. I stopped mid sentence talking to my husband. From there, again, to credit of who Steph is we started getting to know each other. Every tweet of hers to me is such a nice little moment in my day. She has supported me sometimes when she knows she has, sometimes when she doesn't know she has. She intentionally carved out moments to meet me in person when I know she had a million other things going on and it meant the world to me to see her just for a second and share a smile and a laugh.

A few months ago, Steph changed her life in ways that she had to to live the life she wants to have had in all facets of her life. I'll leave that story to her words and only say that from what I know of this woman, this makes me adore her even more.

Steph - you inspire me to know that being what I want to be can be balanced with doing what's right. And you remind me every day that life is the fun of which you make it...no matter what it presents to you.

Happy birthday to you girl - you're still my not-so-secret media crush its just that now I know even more reasons why you rock!


Day 325. The Considerate Ones.

Been a while...let's just dive right into it, shall we?

So, through my continued support of my hockey team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, (currently dead last in the league thank you very much :-/ ) I've had the opportunity to meet quite a few amazing people. Many of whom will pop up on here but I want to be keen to the fact that this is not a hockey blog (that happens elsewhere ;) )

But there are two people who I'd like to introduce you to in particular. And they are my friends Chad and Vanessa.  I first connected with Chad via twitter, and, when the Jackets started training camp (of course during a weekend that I was out of town) I was lamenting how I would miss getting one of the cool t-shirts they were handing out. Well, wouldn't you know that Chad let me know after the fact that he had grabbed me one. I thought that was particularly kind of him, and was super excited to meet him, and his wife, in person at the opening game to get my shirt.

It should be no surprise to you that Chad and Vanessa are simply lovely. They are the kind of people that the minute you meet them you know they are good people. Funny, smart, generous - you could tell instantaneously.

I've now had the chance to visit with them a few times - however briefly - at CBJ games at which we're all in attendance. Even if we don't get to talk a lot, I always love to see both of them, (great smiles on this pair) and visit.

This past week, they pushed my appreciation over the top. Looong story short, a friend and I were coordinating a project that involved a poster that needed to get from me to her across two hockey games - except I was out of town the first game, and she was in Cincinnati for the second. So, total last minute style, I'm literally sitting on the plane DM'ing all three parties during the first game saying basically "hey, I know this is zero notice but would you be willing to carry with you a large awkward poster for 2/3 of a game, keep it for a couple days, and then bring it back to another game until I can get it from you?" Well, wouldn't you know, to no surprise Chad and Vanessa agreed.

Last night-in addition to my hugs, I got from Chad and Vanessa the poster in question, as well as some of the giveaways that they had had at the Saturday night game (which had been a topic of conversation! :) ). Now, in this case, what gave me such pause was not the act of getting the "things" but the effort that people are willing to put into being inconvenienced for another. Let's be clear, sporting events are not the type of thing that you take a large bag or purse to. So, to carry large items, particularly like a poster that can't be crushed, or folded, or held in a truly easy way, AND to even consider giving up some of the giveaways that YOU received to someone else...oh and bring them back three days later to that person (let alone remember to bring them!) well that's the mark of some truly thoughtful and kind people.

I often have talked about how finding the "good in people" can be a lighthouse to us throughout days where we are faced with politics, interpersonal problems, frustrations and negativity. For me, and in the even more specific interest of facing a team that's not so good, I honestly would go to every game just to see these two. I am thankful to, through the randomness of sport and twitter, have met such nice nice people. And it makes me happy to know that people like this exist in the world.

While it may seem of little consequence to bring me a poster, a t-shirt, a hat, a device for fraud  a credit card reader (LOL), it is the kindness and selflessness of Chad and Vanessa that always stick with me, because its about so much more than "the stuff".

You guys rock! :)