I have a lot to say but not a lot of time to say it this week. So I'll keep it short but sweet.
Sometimes things are obvious. Sometimes things stare you in the face and invite you to welcome them into your life. There always seems to be a catch: what if the obvious thing is clearly not the right thing but we don't figure it out until it's too late? But then again, sometimes it is the right thing now and will be then.
"What the hell am I lookin at?!"
"We're at now now, sir."
"What happened to then?"
"We just passed it."
"When will then be now?"
That's a slow pitch softball, but 10 points if you know the movie. That first paragraph felt like it was drifting into that realm... but I digress.
Trent Richardson is obvious. And he's as obvious now as he will be next week, next month, next year and ten years from now. The more I pontificate (you like that word, admit it!) on Thursday's draft, the clearer it becomes. It's so clear to me that I actually got upset this afternoon at rumors that the Vikings are fielding serious offers to trade away the third pick to a team desperate to move ahead of the Browns and acquire the services of Richardson. What may very well be the safest pick in the draft, especially in the number four slot, filling a huge hole for the Browns offense, putting a face to the franchise, giving us a stud to buy jersey's of, someone for the opposition to rightly fear, how "Cleveland" would it be if St. Louis or even Tampa Bay jumps up to three and steals Richardson from Tom Heckert? What could be worse than that? Heckert passing on Richardson.
Scarlet and Oh My God did you see the warmup?!
The scarlet and grey game was great. It was exciting seeing Urban Meyer on the field in Ohio State gear commanding the troops. Braxton Miller looked like I expected him too, a little green but dangerous. Bri'onte Dunn is bigger and faster than I ever thought, and I seen him in high school. Not much in the way of schemes defensively, and for obvious reasons.
I really liked the way the offenses utilized the short passing game. How many times have we watched the Ohio State receivers and backs be given eight to ten yard cushions by defenses in the past? We've all stood in our living rooms or section 28A and screamed "for the love of God, can we hit a slant pattern or someone in the flats?!" We seen a good amount of that Saturday, and while it's basic and some would say simple, it serves a twofold purpose. 1. It takes advantage of the old "take what the defense gives you" cliche'. If you're going to give us a wide open slant, out route in the flat or swing pass to a tailback, even if the worst that comes of it is the five to eight yard cushion, I'll take it. It gets confidence and rhythm in the quarterback, it forces the defense to change what they are doing, not to mention it sets up a very manageable second or third and very short. 2. And maybe most importantly, it gets the ball into the hands of your playmakers in space and allows them the opportunity to show why they were so heavily recruited. Jordan Hall one on one with a linebacker in the flats is a matchup I'll gladly take all afternoon.
But forget the game, the real excitement was in the first five minutes when Urban Meyer brought the players to the block O in the center of the field and started an impromptu one-on-one "move your guy out of the circle" old fashioned hoot and holler drill! With Meyer in the center calling out matchups, the players reacting accordingly with oohs and ahhs and lots of cheering and helmet slapping. Competition at it's finest: You versus me, mano e mano, in front of the entire team, Urban Meyer, the coaching staff and 80,000 fans. I was in my living room bouncing up and down, smiling from ear to ear, cheering along as the matchups were called out. When Urban yelled "Kenny Guitton!" and followed it with "Braxton Miller!" even I went "Ohhhhhhhh!!!!" along with the team from the friendly confines of my apartment! What a few moments and what a way for Urban Meyer to kick off his era at Ohio State. It was almost as if he planned to use those few minutes, right when the television broadcast began on the Big Ten Network to tell the world "You wanna see what we've been doing while you were throwing dirt on and at us? This is what's coming this fall, bowl game be damned. Hope everyone's ready!"
Call me an old stupid jock, whatever you want, I can take it. The fact is some of the best moments of my life, some of the truly unforgettable experiences, happened between the white lines of a football field. I only played from pee-wee through high school, but the love for the sport that was instilled in me by my parents, my uncle, the community I grew up in and played for, did a lot to shape the person I am today. While I'm not one of these guys who thinks "I played football, so I'm smarter at it than you" I am one of these guys who says if you haven't played it you truly cannot and will not understand what you missed. Camaraderie, teammates, the battle. Spending a week preparing for an opponent, learning their tendencies, strengths and weakness. Watching that plan unfold, for better or worse, in the game.
But it's more than that. Every movie about football ever made has tried to nail all the cliche's. But they aren't cliche's if you've experienced them in reality. I wish everyone could experience being in a huddle. The feeling of accomplishment when you make your block, the guy next to you makes his, the fullback crashes the linebacker and you see the tailback fly past you into the endzone. Forget all the celebratory nonsense and posing. It's about what Urban Meyer showed you on Saturday. I got my guy, you get yours, we'll all get ours and feel like kings while we're doing it. Seeing that drill and the enthusiasm took me back. Man that was fun.
If you didn't get to see the "circle drill" on Saturday, the link below will take you to it. Just be prepared to get up and feel the adrenaline start pumping.
You said short!
I did say short, which is why I'm wrapping it up now.
Until next time, SEE YA!!!
METALLICA track of the week
Fade To Black It is classic. It is epic. Before the close, during the pause, when James says to whatever city they are in "Cleveland, CAN YOU FEEL IT?! DO YOU FEEL WHAT I FEEL?!!" is pure goosebumps for this guy! Here's an epic live performance from 2010.