Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Some years ago I gradually became overdosed on TV sports as games took precedence over so much more -- permeating television viewing like a virus.  While the effects on me were drug-like culminating in aversion, for others a strange viral condition developed.    I learned viral treatment could be administered by the TV remote control operator, but only if sports hypnosis had not yet set-in.   For some, like my husband, the hypnosis occurred simultaneously with the TV on-button activation.  The virus strength could be restricted by TV set power outage, accidental or otherwise, but that rarely occurred.    Recently I've noticed the virus' decade-long aversion effects have gradually neutralized for me to the degree  I have actually acquired some interest in viewing selected televised sporting events again.  

College football has caught my attention for this first national championship under the NCAA's new efforts to determine the nation's best team.    Exactly how to make this determination has long been a subject of controversy with previous systems judged by many sports aficionados to be inadequate as my husband agreed.   The teams playing in this finals playoff would have been of special interest to him.

My interest stems from a history of my husband having indoctrinated me, as did his friends and other Ohio State University alumni I came to know.  They included a former head cheerleader, a marching band tuba player selected for the honor of dotting the "i" in their famed game half-time Script Ohio performance, and a prominent music graduate in his own right who also was in my husbands jazz groups.   Colorful memories from so many years ago include after purchasing our first home, my husband and I delighting in attending some Ohio State's legendary horse shoe stadium home football games, especially during the warmth of fall's Indian Summer. 

These are exciting times for college football fans especially in Columbus with Ohio State University Buckeyes competing with the University of Oregon Ducks for the national NCAA football championship January 12th in Arlington, Texas.

I've caught the game fever partially because OSU has seemed an unlikely contender.    Player injuries throughout the season have resulted in OSU having to field their 3rd string quarterback the past several winning games.  OSU's most recent Sugar Bowl upset win over the University of Alabama's strongly favored Crimson Tide catapulted the Buckeyes into the final playoffs. 

The Oregon Ducks have been winning their share of upsets including the most recent over Florida State University Seminoles in Pasadena's New Years Rose Bowl game.   The Ducks are favored to win the championship over the Buckeyes.  I think this game has the earmarks of being an exciting one!

I've long since lived on the West Coast where legendary Big Ten Conference versus the Western Conference games frequently pitted OSU against Southern California's UCLA/USC who have often been the major teams in NCAA's playoff system of the time at the Rose Bowl.   Whatever Big Ten team was in these competitions was the team my husband automatically rooted for including regular season arch enemies from Michigan Universities, Univ. of Wisconsin and others.  But this match is considered to be the first ever college playoff.   Western Conference teams have increasingly become powerhouse players, so Oregon's achieving this first ever NCAA championship competitive status makes the Ducks very popular here in Southern California where I have now lived over forty years. 

When I think of football I cannot discount the concern I've had long before the matter became a prominent issue over injuries players acquire, especially concussion consequences.   Providing Speech-Language-Cognitive-Swallowing Therapy Services to brain-injured individuals as I have for some through the years, I am acutely aware of the life challenges that such individuals and their family members can encounter.

I used to discuss with my husband concern for all age players potential for brain damage.   Many years later as his health declined, he evidenced some behavior changes giving me reason to wonder if a high school football concussion might have been a contributing causal factor for some of his issues.  I hope the sport at all levels of play will take whatever means necessary to insure the physical and mental well-being of all players.  I would ideally hope injuries would be non-existent for the sport. 

I'm looking forward to viewing the Buckeyes vs the Ducks.  Too bad it's only available on ESPN since I choose antenna TV over cable, so the game on TV will be unavailable to me.  Perhaps this will be the time to visit some game-viewing friends since excessively noisy loud boisterous sports bars with their share of over-imbibers don't appeal to me.  On the other hand DISH's newly announced Sling TV is offering a program package of Internet streaming video including ESPN, so maybe I can subscribe inexpensively, no contract, and see the game after all. 

Yes, I have an emotional link to this Ohio State University I cannot deny, if for no other reason than Ohio memories.  Years ago I had accepted a highly long-desired WOSU PBS-TV position but had to resign before even starting when we relocated.   Ever present in my mind are reminders from when I lived in the State including family gatherings, recollections of other Ohioans who touched my life and recalling OSU football game related experiences.  But most of all, providing my support for this Buckeye team to win simply is a way to pay tribute to my husband since I can imagine his spirit will hover over the event.

Many years ago  I recall his wistfully telling me of his high school senior year when authoritative state sportswriters had predicted he would be offered an OSU football scholarship.   But life happened -- including WWII -- causing Ohio State's football season to be cancelled that year -- that and other circumstances significantly altered his life.

"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

(Click on quote above for source as multiple individuals have previously been erroneously credited including John Lennon.)


  1. So far, I have been able to avoid most sports on TV. Years ago I was an avid sports fan, but I don't like the mercenary turn it has taken. My husband does not watch them either, except for UNC...once in a while.

  2. This is a nice meditation and explanation of the to me inexplicable interest in sports. It could be that my negative feelings about football can be traced back to a family tragedy; my mother's brother was concussed in a high school football accident when he was 17 and dropped dead in front of his mother. This was very long ago, so these accidents are nothing new.

  3. This Big Ten guy, despite numerous whackings of my Badgers by OSU, will be pulling for the Buckeyes to win the big one. Going this far with the injuries they've had is phenomenal.

    I share your concerns about concussions. That's a tragic result of a violent sport, and may eventually spell its demise.

    Good luck to the Buckeyes.