Well, hello there, Hive-a-maniacs! Make sure your coffee mug is full and in an upright position (don’t need the IT guys getting pissed at you on a Friday), pull up your chair and enjoy yet another edition of the Friday Morning Hive. I’ve been here for about a month, and I feel like I can trust you guys. We’re buds, right? Good. Now listen, I’ve got something to admit to you, and it might be hard for you to digest or accept, but here goes:
I don’t give a crap about recruiting news.
There, I said it. I’m not saying you can’t; I’m all about to each their own. If you get off on chasing down which unproven 17-year old athlete picks your school over another, then that’s fantastic. If you wait with excitement and anticipation for signing day, overjoyed when Danny Prepstud chooses your school, jilted if Bobby Allstar picks someone else, I guess that’s cool. I just can’t see the direct results from gaining a top-5 class resulting in guaranteed national titles.
Sure, few national titles are won without the aid of a roster loaded with supremely talented players, and many of those players started out as 4- and 5-star recruits. But don’t kid yourself into thinking a logjam of UnderArmor All-Americans means Your Favorite U. will win at least one title in the next four years. I have two great examples which hit close to home, dear Buckeyes fan. First we have, Cooper, John; remember the talent on those OSU teams in the 1990s? Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Mike Vrabel, Shawn Spring, Terry Glenn, David Boston … I mean, that’s not a college roster, it’s an NFL All-Pro list. And it’s also ZERO NATIONAL TITLES. (Sorry, I know it still stings.) And secondly, we have Zwick, Justin, and Smith, Troy; Mr. Zwick came into Columbus with all the fanfare and ballyhoo of a can’t-miss quarterback prospect who would change the culture of OSU football, and Mr. Smith came in as the last player recruited. Four years later, Zwick was riding the bench and Smith was winning a Heisman.
The point is this: I don’t take all this recruiting news too seriously. If you use it to get you through the long, hot months of the summer before August camp starts, that’s great. But remember, it doesn’t mean jack crap until they strap it up in college
CHRIS SPIELMAN IS AWESOME
If you’re around my age or older, you first knew Chris Spielman as a linebacker and all-around awesomely insane football player. I remember my dad telling me the story of Spielman getting ready for a game by laying in his dorm room with a single exposed light bulb hanging above his bed, and Spielman just focusing on that light for hours. It’s unfortunate that injuries marred his NFL career to a point because the guy should go down as one of the best linebackers of all time. Regardless, he still goes down as one of, if not The Greatest linebacker in OSU history.
(Chris did a tremendous job profiling Spielman in OHD’s Our Favorite Buckeye feature.)
But as time moved forward, we saw another side of Chris Spielman, a husband and father. We all know the Spielman family’s struggle with cancer and the eventual loss of Stefanie to breast cancer. Now Spielman has written a book, “That’s Why I’m Here,” and he’s doing the media rounds. Thursday he was on with ESPN2′s Dan Le Betard; if you haven’t seen the interview, just stop what you’re doing and take the next eight minutes to do so.
I have a special, disgusting relationship with cancer. My grandmother, grandfather and aunt all passed away from the disease, my dad succumb to a brain tumor a little more than a month ago, and my son succesfully battled a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago, so I know the disease all too well. I applaud Spielman for becoming a face for the crusade against cancer, for being a face to those of us who have held the withered, frail, tired hand of a terminal cancer patient. Spielman recounted Stefanie’s strength and his own anxiety over the scans and tests to see where the battle stood. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s definitely on my must-do list for the summer.
But the interview wasn’t all somber. In fact, Spielman gave us one little tidbit to add to his “crazy man” legacy. During a game, and he didn’t specify whether it was at Ohio State r in the NFL, the opposing offense was running no-huddle and one of his defensive linemen told Spielman he was gassed, so in order to buy some time, Spielman stuck his finger down his throat and vomited on the football. Puked. Up-chucked. On. The. Football.
God, I love Chris Spielman for so many reasons.
THE VILLIAN MOVES ON TO ROUND TWO
I know I’m in the minority around here for being an NBA fan, but even if the pro’s aren’t your cup of tea, you may want to pay a little closer attention over the next week or so. Former OSU star Evan Turner and his Philadelphia 76ers pulled off the upset Thursday night, beating the Chicago Bulls in a 1 vs. 8 matchup. Turner had 10 points and five rebounds in the deciding Game 6, and he averaged 12.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists while played 34.6 minutes per game in the first round. The Sixers meet up with Boston in the next round, which begins Saturday.
Turner could be joined in Round Two by a fellow OSU’er, Mike Conley. In five games for Memphis this postseason, Conley is putting up 15.8 points and 7.2 assists in just over 39 minutes per against the L.A. Clippers. For a football school, having Turner and Conley make some NBA Playoffs news is pretty awesome.
SPEAKING OF THE ASSOCIATION …
There was a report in Thursday’s Columbus Dispatch about Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman sending a letter to NBA commish David Stern, explaining why Columbus would be a great location for an NBA franchise. While I would love to see an NBA team in my dear hometown, I think it’s a bat-shit-crazy idea. Already, the Blue Jackets are suffering at the gates, and yes, that could be explained away by severely lackluster results, but it just shows how tenuous a grip professional sports have in the capital city. Everything is second, and sometimes a distant third, to Ohio State athletics. Put it this way, if OSU football went through a three-year downturn of 6-6, 5-7 seasons, do you really think the attendance would dip below 95,000-100,000 per game? Would public interest suffer greatly? Nope. We love our Buckeyes, we were raised with our Buckeyes, and we will always love our Buckeyes, no matter what.
Maybe more importantly, what does this say about the Blue Jackets? It’s been well documented the team is bleeding money ($25 million in 2010-11), so could Coleman’s desire to land an NBA franchise be fed partly by a desire to have at least one tenant in Nationwide Arena should the Jackets hit the road or completely close up shop?
Columbus is big enough for two second-tier professional teams in the Blue Jackets and Crew, but it’s not nearly big enough to absorb one of the Big Three sports. While it’s a cute idea and it got me rather excited this morning when I saw the headline, it’ll never happen.
OFF TO THE WEEKEND
And that’s all I gots for ya, Hive-a-maniacs. But before I go, I’m gonna give you a song for the weekend. Check out “SSS” by The Avett Brothers. They’ll be in Columbus on May 19, and if anyone has an extra ticket, I’d be more than happy to mooch it off of you.
Alrighty then. Go forth and enjoy your weekend.