I was very glad to hear Ohio State won the college football national championship yesterday. It’s a much better feeling than when the team is not doing so well.
And, I remember when the team wasn’t doing so well. One moment in particular is the Liberty Bowl on 29 Dec 1990. I was stationed in Woomera, South Australia when I got the devastating news.
I’ve captured the moment in diary format. This entry is a few days after the game and describes how I felt when told the sad news …
3 Jan 1991: Thursday – Woomera, South Australia
Hit a low point today.
Walked onto the ops floor and right into the middle of a college football conversation. I just listened until one of the guys on the lower dais yelled out, “Hey Lt Ives, how about those Buckeyes?”
Somehow he knew I was an Ohio State grad. I hadn’t been following the season so I asked, “What about them? Did they win?”
His answer caused my knees to buckle, “Are you kidding? They lost to the Air Force Academy!”
At that moment my core beliefs were shaken. How could my Ohio State Buckeyes lose to the Air Force Academy? That’s like the New England Patriots getting beaten by the local high school team; can’t happen; not possible.
Ohio State has probably got 20 pounds per man over the Air Force Academy front line. All Ohio State has to do is knock them over and even I could run through the resulting hole.
I wanted to hide.
I remembered back to my last year at Ohio State in the fall of 1986 when the team started the season with 2 straight losses. That hadn’t happened since the 1800’s. Everyone on campus seemed depressed – even the professors. I would sum up the overall sentiment on campus like this, “If the football team can’t win, we might as well close down the school!”
That’s how important the football program is to Ohio State. It’s dead serious stuff!
So, after losing a bowl game to the Air Force Academy I’m wondering if Ohio State is going to open for business next year …