June 5, 2011
COLUMBUS: Coach Jim Tressel and his wife Ellen were in church this morning (Sunday). That may surprise you. See, he was forced to resign from Ohio State University after a star quarterback traded some priceless sports memorabilia for tattoos and a fancy car. The coach tried to keep it a secret so he could get another good season out of the quarterback, especially another win over Michigan. But keeping secrets about broken rules is a hanging offense in college football akin to being in bed with the Devil. Well, today he was in the pews with the Methodists.
[update, June 7: the Quarterback who caused the problem also “resigned” from OSU]
For years, the symbol of Ohio State University has been Brutus Buckeye, proudly frolicking on the sidelines. For now, Brutus Buckeye has been replaced by a Deflated Football.
I just returned from Peoria, Illinois. This part of the state is always forced to explain that although they reside in the same state as Chicago, the only thing connecting them is the Illinois River. I saw a headline in the Chicago Tribune: Man kills 2, gets house arrest. Around here, the same murderer would never even see his house again, and certainly not get sent there permanently.
Last year I was here for the same event, international competition among college students to see which school can design and build the best Quarter-Scale Tractor for pulling. These are mostly agricultural engineering students, and they work all year. They start with a 31-horsepower engine from Briggs & Stratton and 2 tires from Titan, and figure out the rest themselves. Just like the big tractor pulls, the pulling is the most fun. But these students also write a report, give a speech about their tractor, and get questioned about details by engineers from Caterpillar, John Deere and the other companies. These students had fun while competing, and many will enjoy their future careers, designing tractors for real.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Dr. Wilce, the Ohio State coach, just showed me their new stadium, seating 100,000, built by hard study and excellent scholarship. They lost to Michigan by a kick after touchdown [17-16]. He has 400 students practicing day and night in relays to kick goals… I suggested they practice making another touchdown, then they wouldn’t have to worry about the goal kicking.” DT #139, Jan. 14, 1927
“After a football (soccer) game in Lima, Peru, five were killed… Up here we don’t kill our football players. We make coaches out of the smartest ones and send the others to the Legislature.” DT #1389, Jan. 5, 1931