Scarlet and Maize Haze’!

By Michael Reghi

Yep. I’m the ultimate traditionalist when it comes to Michigan-Ohio State football. Still the greatest rivalry in collegiate sports, although ardent fans of both programs would protest my assessment long and loud. Consider the past 22 seasons, dating back to 1988. The ledger stands 11-10-1, Michigan. As even as one would expect in the hallowed rivalry. How the 22 game balance has been arrived at is mind-boggling!

Consider if you will, since Jim Tressel’s arrival in Columbus in 2001, and his backed up proclamation that Ohio State fans would be proud of their Buckeyes in late November in Ann Arbor, Michigan..Tressel and the Bucks have rolled! 6 wins in row, and 8 of 9..the lone loss in Ann Arbor in 2003. Storied rivalry? I hear Buckeye fan begging to differ! Michigan a worthy rival? “No way”, say the Scarlet and Gray!!!

Flip the script in the 13 seasons prior to Tressel’s emergence in Columbus…just 2 Ohio State wins…2…from 1988-2000. Michigan mashing the Buckeyes! Wolverine fans pounding their chests..’Ohio State’? They’d say..’Michigan State is a more meaningful game to the Ann Arbor faithful!! I hear both…and they’re both wrong…way wrong!!!!

Both sides are want to shout it out loud during the good times for each of their programs…point is, while I completely get the desire to set up a potential Big Ten Football Championship game, and a second meeting between the two annually, I just can’t get behind that Michigan-Ohio State will be in separate divisions, and playing in late September of mid October!!! Woody and Bo are throwing headsets and blackboards all over the big football field in the sky right now!!!!!!! Oh, and full disclosure…my two favorite college football coaches of all time…hands down..not even close, don’t even waste a moment of your precious time trying to make me feel otherwise. Absolutely revered them both in my youth, and into manhood..still do to this day!!

Point is, wouldn’t it make more sense, and Michigan needs to return to being Michigan…for this to happen, that both programs have to keep the perspective on beating one another to play for the Big Ten championship? You keep the game the last week in November, now over Thanksgiving weekend, and the winner gets the opportunity to meet Iowa, Wisconsin or Nebraska for the Big Ten Title!!! 3 traditionally strong football powers, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State in one division…Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska in the other..and fill in around it. As I said. I don’t apologize for being a traditionalist when it comes to the greatest rivalry in all of college sports. Just want to preserve it…and keep it that way!!!

Browns Legend Jim Brown

Browns legend Jim Brown seemingly declining an appearance during the Browns Ring of Honor ceremony Sept. 19th to honor the teams Hall of Famers. Brown is said to be miffed over being offered a reduced role, and salary. from Browns President Mike Holmgren, and the discontinuance of the teams contribution to the Amer-I-Can program. While probably not popular among’ Browns legions of fans as a Browns and NFL legend….Randy Lerner, and his father Al before him have been extremely generous with Jim Brown in his long-standing role as a team ‘advisor and consultant’. If he were indeed, advising Lerner in years gone by on acquiring and developing NFL talent…the hiring of Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert would naturally minimize that role. If his role was expected to be a liaison between today’s player and the front office, do you earnestly believe Brown, 46 years removed from last playing in the NFL, has a strong handle on today’s NFL player, and what makes him tick? And, in the sad, but true department, as I found out in my NBA career, with today’s young men entering the leagues, they don’t know who the Jim Browns’, Paul Warfield’s, Marion Motley’s, Oscar Robertson’s, John Havlichek’s and Bill Russell’s are……nor do they care!!!!! Sad, but oh so true!!!!!!  I believe this is how Mike Holmgren looks at the likes of a Jim Brown, or Bernie Kosar, to the organization. Probably wants them around on game days and special occasions, and will listen to their voices. In a front office role, or player personnel decision making, not so much. It’s the way of the NFL these days. Just having been a star in one’s organization doesn’t guarantee lifetime employment in that organization. In the Browns infrastructure…that belongs to one man and one man only…Mike Holmgren.

See you guys at 3pm for Afternoon R & R! Don’t miss it!

Best, Cleveland!

Reg

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