The Missing Man

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The Missing Man
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

These days, not much is missing from Ohio State football.

Ten win seasons?

Check.

Big Ten championships?

Check.

Beating Michigan?

Check times six.

But there is still one thing that the football program is missing, and it’s not on the field or even inside the stadium...

That thing is a life sized bronze effigy of our once fearless leader, Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes parading the sidelines in short sleeves during a snowstorm.

I know, its hard to imagine the man who brought five national titles and 13 big ten titles to Columbus has relatively no remembrance of him on campus besides a sign in the stadium (a sign which may soon be surrounded by digital advertising ribbon) and a football practice complex that is second to none, but still not accessible by the common fan.

And on the one hand, maybe that’s the way Woody would have wanted it.

A simple man born of simple roots, Woody was the kind of man who worked his whole life on one year contracts because of the fear that money would detract from his love of coaching.

The kind of man who preferred plain white, short sleeved t-shirts and horn-rimmed glasses. The kind of man who would lock up a recruit by looking at him, shifting his glasses and saying, “son, you’re going to be a buckeye,” instead of rolling up in Auburn’s new recruiting limo.

But to us fans, Woody was and still is a larger than life figure.

A man who embodied everything that we like to root for in our Buckeyes: commitment, passion, and hard work.

I think it's high time that the man who we most closely associate with Ohio State gets his due tribute.

A statue project resolution was introduced by Undergraduate Student Government and passed in 2008, but was given such a low priority that there was no chance it would ever happen.

So maybe the way to pay homage isn’t through the university necessarily, but instead is up to us.

Imagine that bronze effigy standing tall outside the rotunda with a plaque at its feet reading, “paid for by the thousands and millions of Buckeyes from all corners of the globe.”

I think even the man that I’ve heard about would be OK with a statue of him if, it too, had such humble beginnings.

So what do you think? Even in this tough economy, would you donate some extra scratch in order to help meet the estimated $30,000 statue fee?

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