This week, you’ll (hopefully) be seeing a concerted effort from the BBN fellers to honor The Senator as the one year anniversary of “The Happening” approaches. Grant has kicked things off with a great series of interviews with former players-
BHC: What is your single fondest memory of JT the man, not the coach?
Devin: His leadership. He was and is a tremendous leader! He always knows how to get the best out of people, and understands what it takes to do so without being negative. He meets people once and remembers their names, it’s unreal. You know how many people Tress met? Haha
BHC: What do you miss about having Tress in your life on a daily basis?
Brian: I just miss his overall presence as a person. When coach Tress is around it isn’t like most coaches where you have to get uptight because he was like one of the guys and that’s why he was so successful. He created a family atmosphere in the locker room and didn’t look down on his players.
BHC: What was the most important thing coach Tressel taught you in your years at Ohio State?
T.J: I mostly learned how to be a man. I showed up on campus in 2002 thinking I was the man and I wasn’t. He was there to pick up the pieces and shape me into a guy that was able to contribute to the success of the program. Physically he always challenged me to be a better athlete from stretching and jump roping to always getting on my case about playing lower and bending at the hips. Mentally he expected 100% focus at all times. From knowing your assignment to snap counts and not committing stupid errors that would hurt the unit as a whole. I always felt very military like with the discipline we were expected to have. Those things stick with you for life.
It seems to me that the benefits gained from playing College Football – both the benefits for the players, and those for the Universities – far outweigh any risks or costs incurred from the game. From the academic advantages and access gained across many sports, and the special education gained through interactions with your coach, to the marketing of the schools involved, there is a lot to be gained for all parties involved.
That injuries may occur, costs may arise, or other negative aspects of the game make it more difficult to enjoy or follow is just as much a part of life as in any other activity. It is foolhardy to ask individuals to make decisions based on our value judgments, if in the end they feel the benefits far outweigh the costs.
College Athletics is just as much an academic and educational experience as any other you’ll find in your University travels. If ever there was a solid case for keeping the sport as a significant part of our colleges, the realization that it teaches valuable life lessons both on and off the field, is it.
The “Favorite Buckeye” series rolls on with Josh’s take on Troy Smith:
I have lived in Columbus, OH my entire life and I’ve loved Ohio State football for as long as I can remember. And in all my years of passion for OSU football, I have never been so captivated, so enthralled by a single player. Every Saturday that Troy Smith put on an Ohio State jersey, laced up his Nikes, and strapped on that beautiful silver helmet, I knew 3 things: we were more-than-likely going to win the game, there were going to be at least a couple of “wow” plays made by Troy, and that I was witnessing maybe the greatest Ohio State quarterback that I’ll ever see.
Meanwhile, Michael at TSB introduced us to the youngster who just might be the “next Troy Smith… or Braxton Miller”, J.T. Barrett:
What factors made you chose OSU?
JT: They are a big family. I was raised in a big family all my life and both my mom and dad came from big families so I am use to being around a lot of people. My high school team is a big family so I wanted to go to a team that felt like a family. OSU also has lots of alumni everywhere so the OSU family is all over the world. Coach Meyer has also assembled one of the best coaching staffs in the country.
And finally, Jeremy Birmingham weighed in on the College Football Hall of Fame selection process, which announced this week that Orlando Pace got snubbed, along with another legend:
This is an Ohio State-related blog, of course, and I know that you expect I will go on about Orlando Pace, but I want to focus on the ridiculous exclusion of Frazier; who has been eligible since 2006. I am not a mathematician, but after doing some counting on my fingers, I came up with six times that Frazier has been overlooked. With apologies to Barbara Mandrell, Frazier was Tebow, when Tebow wasn’t cool.
I fell in love with college football in the mid-1990′s, and while Ohio State was always the first thing on my TV and in my conversations at the lunch table on Monday mornings; but it was Frazier who stood out as the best player in three straight national title games. It was Frazier who taught me that a quarterback could be successful in non-traditional offenses. It was Frazier, not Doug Williams or Warren Moon, who has most impacted the game as we know it today, when quarterbacks, black or white, can strike a defense at its core and rip it to shreds from the inside out.