G’day readers, I hope that those of you who celebrate Hanukkah had a joyous holiday and those who celebrate Christmas are enjoying their preparations for the holiday. On Monday Margie complained about the unseasonably warm temperatures in Cleveland, as someone now living in Sydney, Australia I have her beat as the average temperature here the past few weeks has been in the mid-80s; I think it is safe to say it won’t be a white Christmas here.
The weather has been a major thing to get used as I prepare for my first Australian Christmas; it was very strange to put up a Christmas tree while wearing shorts and sweating and I still find it jarring to see store windows that contain both Christmas trees and beachwear. Amusingly, despite the fact that it is summer here, much of the Christmas imagery is the same as it in the States and elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Christmas trees and wreaths are still everywhere , Santa wears his traditional red suit, and many Chritmas cards features images of snow, something that many Australians have never seen in person. Of course some things have been adapted, the Aussies have their own version of Jingle Bells since sleighs and snow aren’t exactly common here, though many other traditional Christmas songs and their mentioning of snow and cold weather remain unchanged. Santa also had to adapt, while he can tough it out in his warm red suit, his concern for his reindeer Santa gives them a break while he is in Australia and instead enlists six kangaroos to pull his sleigh instead. As a Christmas gift to my readers, I have included a video of an Aussie Christmas Carol that explains this, I hope you all enjoy.
New Basketball Court Coming
For a couple weeks reports of a new basketball court being installed at the Schottenstein Center have been making their way around the net. All basketball courts eventually wear out over time and floors in multipurpose venues, like the Schott, tend to wear out faster due to having to be repeatedly assembled and disassembled; this will the third new floor in the Schott in 15 years.
A new floor provides a chance for a redesign and if the rumors are true, Ohio State nailed their new design. For the most part there won’t be many changes to the design of the court, with the major change being the addition of an outline of the state of Ohio in the middle of the floor that will be stained a darker shade than the rest of the floor. Longtime OSU fans should feel a sense of nostalgia when they see the floor as the state of Ohio outline is a modern tip of the hat to the old floor at St. John which featured a similar outlines. Personally I’m a big fan of the addition and think that it fits in well with OSU’s attempt to market Urban Meyers quote about “making the great state of Ohio proud.”
The court was originally scheduled to be installed before the season started but manufacturing delays made that impossible. It was then hoped that the floor would be ready for the men’s basketball game against Kansas this Saturday but there are conflicting reports about whether that will happen or not. According to Bob Baptist from the Columbus Dispatch, Schottenstein Center general manager Mike Gatto had said that the floor wouldn’t be delivered until a day or two before the Kansas game and thus wouldn’t make its debut until after Christmas with the women’s basketball game against Virginia Commonwealth on December 27th. However, rumors have been circulating that the floor will actually be ready for the Kansas game. There is a women’s game on Friday night so that would likely be the new floor’s debut, otherwise installation would have to occur very quickly which is normally not a problem but I would imagine the installation of a floor for the first time would possible take longer than normal. I guess we will all just have to wait to this weekend to find out.
Urban Meyer Up for Award
Yesterday Urban Meyer was named one of six finalists for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award. The award is sponsored by the American Heart Association on behalf of Marathon Oil and will be announced in Houston, Texas on January 17th. The other finalists for the award are James Franklin of Vanderbilt, Bill O’Brien of Penn State, David Shaw of Stanford, Bill Snyder of Kansas State, and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M.
Meyer is also a finalist for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award which will be announced January 7th and he was also a finalist for the Football Writers Association of America’s Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award which was won by Brian Kelly of Notre Dame. Meyer, O’Brien, and Sumlin were the only coaches up for all three awards and that in and of itself is an achievement.