Wednesday, November 18

Downtown report

Downtown Columbus, that is! Nick and I headed down to Ohio's capital this past weekend to see the Buckeyes clinch a share of the Big Ten title for the 6th straight season with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. I'll grant you that perhaps Ohio Stadium isn't exactly "downtown," but I didn't feel like changing the title of this feature to "A Few Miles North of Downtown." Heck, I don't even know if that's accurate.

As I'm sure Figgs will note later this week, this one should have been easier than it was, but a few tough breaks in the 4th quarter, some overly-conservative strategy, and a surprisingly solid performance from Iowa quarterback James "Van Der Beek" Vandenberg in his first game sent this one to an extra session where the D locked down, the O did nothing, and the ST's finished it. Below are some photos I snapped:

Here's me early in the game. It was really quite sunny in the first half. Nick informed me that I had made "a mistake" by not bringing sunglasses, but I don't like wearing sunglasses and my hat was very effective at blocking the sun, which I pointed out. Seems like a weird thing to call me out on, since I wasn't complaining about visibility or anything. Of course, Nick was also yelling "Steelers suck" at Iowa fans because of the jersey resemblance, so there you go.

Here's me later in the game after the sun retreated behind the west side of the stadium. Check out that hat hair! I mentioned to Nick that sporting events are a tremendous place for people-watching, and Ohio Stadium didn't disappoint. You had the shrill, fat Iowa fan woman sitting next to me. The guy in yellow and black singing "Carmen Ohio" after the game. The guy who stepped over/on Nick and I in the aisle when we sat down during a play so as not to obstruct other fans' views. The guy with the Dallas Cowboys t-shirt. You could go on and on.

Here's a photo of students rushing the field after the game. Have you ever done this? I have, and it's really not particularly exciting. I mean, you run down there, which is kinda fun, but once you arrive, there isn't really much to do except mill about. I've noticed that the police have adopted a different approach to crowd control in recent years. They used to try to keep everyone off the field in an effort that was as stupid and pointless as it was ineffective. Now the lawmen simply defend the goalposts, a much more logical and achievable task. Some security people tell students not to go on the field, but they are unwilling and/or unable to actually stop them. What's the point, anyway?

There's not much good to say about the Browns, other than to highlight the story about Josh Cribbs walking on senior night with the son of a late mentor of his. Classy guy, and all the more so because he never even said anything about it.

I'm not going to discuss the Browns 16-0 loss to the Ravens at length, other than to make a few quick points.
- Brady Quinn looked terrible. A lot, lot, lot of that has to do with the offensive line, but he made poor throws even when he had time. But, again, Baltimore is good on defense. Give the kid some time.
- The defense really played well - you could say they only gave up one TD and the other TD and FG were the offense's fault.
- I hated Baltimore even before they tried a halfback pass up big late. Fuck those guys.
- The key play in the game was the long pass play that set up Baltimore's first touchdown, in which Brandon McDonald made the weakest attempt at a tackle I've ever seen in a professional football game. It was embarrassing. A minute later, the Browns were down 13 and their fate was sealed.

But hey, the Cavs are rolling! You should be pleased with their performances last week, as they went 3-0 by crushing Orlando and Miami in a two-game swing through the Sunshine State and came home to edge Utah in a Shaqless outing. I watched the Miami contest at Scorchers, where I was served the 22-ounce beer shown in the photo at right. Yep, they ran out of 22-ounce glasses and plastic cups, so I got a pint glass and, presumably, six additional ounces. This photograph will serve in place of any trenchant analysis of the Cavs' performance - you'll get more of that when football season ends.

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