At 57, I find myself enjoying college football more than any other sport I used to follow. Maybe it's because I find the players will to play and win far more exciting than the pro-player's dilligence for dollars. Still, I can't forget Major League Baseball and all the unique history I got to witness in my lifetime. Growing up in Perrysburg, Ohio (a suburb of Toledo), also the hometown of coaching great, Jim Leyland, constantly reminds me of baseball's many thrills, chills, and ills.
The closest MLB park was Tiger Stadium (also called Briggs Stadium at the time), so there are a lot of Detroit fans in the area; however, northwest Ohio is also encompassed by Chicago to the west, Cleveland to the east and Cincinnati to the south, with plenty of MLB fans for each venue.
I remember my father taking me to Tiger stadium on my 12th birthday to watch Detroit play the Yankees. I saw Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard, Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Bill Freehan and "Stormin Normin" Cash - all in one day. Most of them were at the end of their careers, but what an all-star cast to see in one venue at the same time.
I still wonder how I ended up to be such a huge college football fan with all the exciting, famous and infamous baseball moments I experienced. Around the time I was in junior-high was when I started following the Buckeyes. About a year after that, I started learning who was who in college football amongst all the other top schools.
The mid 1960's was really during the highlight of the Woody Hayes vs. Bo Schembechler era, with Ohio State and Michigan consistantly dominating the Big-Ten standings every year. The last game of the season, has been and probably always will be, reserved for that great rivalry - the Ohio State vs. Michigan game - where the outcome usually determined who was going to participate in the Rose Bowl. Oddly enough, the Pac-10 had their own great rivalry and Rose Bowl predictor game, USC vs. UCLA.
Surprisingly, the end of an era for the Buckeyes came crashing down on national TV! Woody Hayes lam-basted a Purdue Boilermaker who foiled an Ohio State bid for a first down. Although that put a quick end to Woody's career, what most people didn't know was that the Ohio State Alumni was planning a coup to oust Coach Hayes. They were tired of his antiquated power "I" formations and running an off-tackle play on 3rd and long situations.
Anyway, I survived through the Earl Bruce era and John Cooper's reign. Now Jim Tressel's time has been cut short and OSU is on to new adventures through a very rough and unknown road. The Big 10 has also realigned into 12 teams and 2 divisions and that will be very different too. I'm now ready to write about Buckeye and Big 10 football.
Currently, my wife and I live in Toledo, Ohio. After spending over 4 years in Charleston, South Carolina, we returned to northwest Ohio in 2008, to be close to where we grew up. After suffering a debilitating fall at work in 2005, I found myself changing careers to enable me to earn an income online, one which requires me to do a lot more writing. Now I have some time to report on Buckeye football and a lot of other sports news. Hopefully, I'll help you see some sporting events and actions in a new light.!
"Woody Hayes lam-basted a Purdue Boilermaker who foiled an Ohio State bid for a first down."
Hwy Alan ~ Aren't you thinking of Charlie Bauman of Clemson in the Gator Bowl that year?