The Game

That’s how it’s known, both north and south of the Michigan / Ohio border. The annual rivalry game between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University is one of the oldest, and nastiest in college football. This year, the battle will take place at The Big House in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are playing their best football in years, so they have a decent shot at kicking the Buckeyes in the teeth. Hopefully, knocking them out of their #1 ranking as the best team in the country.

I became a Michigan fan back in the 70s when the sidelines were patrolled by two lunatic coaches named Bo and Woody. The contest of who was more asylum-ready was won by Woody Hayes when he actually struck a Clemson player in the 1978 Gator Bowl. However, Bo was a bit of a nut job as well. Watching him lose it on the sideline was always the comic relief within the game. Ironically, Bo used to be an assistant coach under Woody. So, when he took the job with “that team up north” (Michigan), The Ten Year War began. Of course, it ended in a 5 – 5 tie. The legendary rivalry became epic.

My mania for the Maize and Blue was well known back in the day, but year after year of OSU wins have left me frustrated and jaded. Even when the Wolverines seem to have the Buckeyes on the ropes, something inexplicable always happens, and OSU escapes with another win. Last year, #4 UM was slightly favored over #10 OSU, and they wound up getting pounded 62 – 39. Honestly, it looked like OSU was playing St. Mary’s Home for Wayward Girls, instead of the #4 ranked team in the country.

So yes, I have become a warped, frustrated old fan. So much so that I don’t even watch the game live anymore. I can’t bear to witness another disaster as it unfolds. Instead, I set up my DVR to do the dirty work, just in case the Wolverines manage to pull out a win. Since I work Saturdays, I wouldn’t be able to watch the game anyway. However, last year’s reaction of my co-workers to The Blue Debacle was enough to let me know that we were blowing another one, badly. This was all pure joy for my next-cube-neighbor Don, who went to OSU, and actually played for Woody Hayes. Another year of Don’s smirking will be enough to drive us all to drink. Especially when he wears his alumni National Championship ring from 2014. It’s too much to bear.

Despite how the Wolverines have been playing lately, I still have a horrible feeling about this game. We’re in year five of Jim Harbaugh’s reign as coach, and I’m afraid we’re no closer to beating the Buckeyes. I anticipate another blowout or a close loss. But we will lose, again. I hope to God I’m wrong. If so, I will gladly eat a plateful of crow. Especially, if it means that Michigan knocks Ohio State out of their #1 ranking!

So go get ‘em, boys! Remember The Ten Year War and play like Bo is ready to tear you a new one if you screw up! Go Blue! Beat Ohio!

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