The Buckeyes didn’t make it to the playoff this year, and The Buckeye Daily will not make it through the postseason. I realize you just spit out your Cheerios, but it’s okay. Stay with me on this one. I’m not sitting this one out to avoid an injury that might dampen my pro prospects. No. I swear I have a better reason…
Two years ago, I met a girl watching a game at a bar in Washington, DC. Now, we’re engaged. And, while she’s been busy this fall collecting research for her PhD in Indonesia (research that will probably lead to some breakthrough and save the world from collapsing in on itself), I’ve piddled about writing about the Buckeyes. While it’s been fun, tonight I’m getting on a plane that’s going to take me farther from home then I’ve ever been before, to Qatar and then on to Bali to see her again.
It will, admittedly, be more difficult to cover the early signing period and the bowl game ramp-up there. In fact, I’m more immediately concerned that the erupting volcano Mount Agung doesn’t billow up ash that again shuts down regional air travel. So, rather than leave you with an inferior product (not that this was ever a ‘ferior’ one) The Buckeye Daily will go on hiatus until next season.
But before I do, I’d like to leave you with one final story this season. A story about how a game played by college kids hundreds of miles away could bring two Ohioans together on the East Coast. Enjoy, and see you in 2018. -Jim
I was sitting there, minding my own business watching the game, and she walked in…
I was sitting there, minding my own business trying to watch the Ohio State-Maryland game in 2015, and then she walked in. It was another game day at Solly’s, a haunt of Ohio State fans in Washington, D.C. And this beautiful girl seemed a touch confused. What else could explain her walking into an OSU bar wearing half Maryland colors, half Ohio State colors? It didn’t quite add up.
Then something caught my eye — she was wearing a unique necklace: a pair of gold pants. Sacrosanct in the state of Ohio, the pants are awarded to Ohio State football players after a win against archrival Michigan. We got to chatting. I asked how she got the pants, and she told me about her grandfather, a long-time team physician. That, for every victory, he received a pair of the gold pants — and they were passed on to the family.
This was a cool story. And, it sounded super familiar. It was soon in that conversation that I realized that my close friend I had grown up with was her first cousin. That I had actually gone to an Ohio State game with her grandfather (and practically grown up in her uncle’s house). Even more strange, her mom and my dad had graduated from the same high school in the same class. Small world.
But I didn’t have time for long introductions, after all — I was trying to watch the game. It was my first year writing and traveling about the country as a national college football reporter for Sporting News and I couldn’t miss a lick of the action of Ohio State summarily executing the Terps.
We had a nice time and went our separate ways, she was working on her PhD at Maryland and traveling, and me writing and working at a think tank. About nine months passed, and she invited me to her birthday. I was traveling to Green Bay to cover a game, and couldn’t make it. Darn the luck! Finally, we got together for another Ohio State game in the fall of 2016 (again at Solly’s).
I asked her out. We dated. It went well. We both realized pretty quickly we were on to a good thing.
About 10 months later, on the night before she left for Indonesia for the fall to collect research for her PhD, I proposed and she said yes. The girl I had met in an Ohio State bar two years earlier now had a pearl ring to go with her gold pants.