I’ve come to the basic conclusion that stripes are awesome. Since about a month out from opening kickoff against Miami (OH), I’ve been jamming to this wonderful remix of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army by Buckeye Empire friend Cal Scruby. There is nothing that pumps you up more for the season than the thought of Mark May getting his ass beat. Or hearing lyrics such as, “We stick to the script like the best damn band in the land” and “You can take fire, I got 50,000 on my team.”
In fact, I am willing to admit that I have listened to that jam, combined with the original at least 4 times a day. Yeah… addiction… it’s a bad thing. But we all have our remedies to get us to opening day. Baseball fans have their hot dogs, numbers and bitching about players eating chicken and sipping on Blatz.
Hockey fans plan when their going to throw their first salmon, octopus or rat onto the ice while laced on the natural high of what horrible adjective they will use on the opposing teams captain. All while practicing their “Sieve” chants in an empty room full of blank walls.
There’s nothing like calling a goalie a utensil of wire mesh……
Anyways, enough bashing… (I don’t have enough time to rip NBA fans, I gotta stop somewhere) truth is we all find ways to advance time.
For me, it’s been finding out and analyzing the Black Stripe, Big Brother program. When I first heard about it, my first thought was, “what a hokey program.” Okay, great — lets delay the inevitable by letting everyone know in periods of time who are the most important players of the 2012 class this season.
But in all reality, that’s not what it’s all about. The fact of the matter is, in a world of oversigning, high level recruiting and non-stop attention to incoming athletes — young players have a tendency to believe they don’t have to earn anything. After watching the 2012 class claw for a right to officially become a Buckeye, it’s become even more clear that this class bleeds scarlet.
Seven players have had the stripe removed from their helmets. All seven know that despite officially being part of the team, they still need to put the work in. Meanwhile, everybody else is drastically scrambling to get that black stripe removed before the beginning of the season.
A form of Check and Balance. Even for the coaching staff. Take the two most recent Buckeyes to have the stripe removed. Urban Meyer didn’t recruit Warren Ball or Cardale Jones. In fact, he is the first to admit that he didn’t know much about them.
After two weeks of practice, you better believe he not only knows them, but understands what makes them tick. And can sense their Buckeye pride every time they step out on the practice field.
Meanwhile, the big brothers of these young studs can witness and even more be a part of keeping the tradition strong. What better way to learn the ways of a program on and off the field than some of the veterans at Ohio State.
We knew when Urban Meyer was named head coach that we would see some special things. This new black stripe program is another reason to believe.
Urban Renewal is in full effect.
And it feels so good.