Bouncing Back

The Braxton Miller era started with a win today.  It wasn’t a great win, and it wasn’t against a great team, but it was a win.  Doing something positive after last week’s ugly loss against Miami was important, and the Buckeyes accomplished that goal.

I think Braxton Miller could develop into a great college quarterback — if he doesn’t get his head taken off running for an extra yard here and there.  I often thought that Terrelle Pryor would run out of bounds too easily.  Miller seems to have the opposite tendency — he doesn’t know when to go down and avoid the big hit.  That is something coaching can change, and Miller seems coachable.  Other than that, Miller has loads of promise.  Quick, elusive, with pretty good technique already, Miller’s running ability gives the Buckeyes another weapon on offense that any defensive coach has to think about.  If he can get his passing down, Ohio State should be able to do a lot with passes that play off of Miller’s running ability.

The Buckeyes’ defense still is a work in progress.  Today, the Buckeyes played a “bend but don’t break” style against Colorado, a team that really isn’t very good.  We’ll have to see how the defense fares against the better teams coming up on the schedule, but I don’t think this is a defensive squad that is going to pitch many shutouts.  That’s another reason why having Miller behind center, and maximizing the chances for offensive scores, is the only way to go.

Let The Braxton Era Begin!

In a few hours, Ohio State will take the field against the Colorado Buffaloes.  The Buckeye Nation hopes that it is the start of a new era — the era of Braxton Miller.

We’ve been told that Miller will start for the Buckeyes, and I’m glad to hear it.  It’s time to put the image of “Laughing Joe” Bauserman out of our minds and exorcise the demons that have haunted us since the Miami debacle.  Miller is a freshman, and he will make mistakes as he did last Saturday night — but Miller, not Bauserman, is the future of Ohio State football.  I’d rather see Miller get his snaps and work on improving his game, including holding onto the ball, even if it means a few turnovers and bad decisions.

As painful as the Miami loss was, it is only one loss, and it counts for nothing in the Big Ten race.  Anyone who watched the Miami game knows that Bauserman is not the answer, and there is no reason to think he will perform any more capably against the likes of Nebraska or Wisconsin, which appear to be much better teams than the Hurricanes.  If Ohio State’s offense is to get back on track, Braxton Miller, with his multi-dimensional talents, needs to be at the helm.

Today, let the Braxton Era begin!

Nevermind, For 20 Years

On September 24, 1991 — 20 years ago, today — Nirvana’s Nevermind was released.  From its classic cover, with the naked, floating baby reaching for the dollar bill on the fish hook, to the gritty, stunning music it contained, Nevermind burst onto the musical, and cultural, scene with the force of an A-bomb.

Nevermind brought grunge music to the forefront of the national consciousness and drove a stake through the synthesized, increasingly formulaic music of the ’80s.  Twenty years after Nevermind‘s release, the flannel shirts and disheveled haircuts favored by grunge rockers of the early ’90s are out of fashion — but the music of Nirvana unquestionably holds up.  The tracks on Nevermind are as fresh and and awesome and funny and thought-provoking today as they did 20 years ago.

Nevermind just proves, once again, that good, honest music is timeless, regardless of when it was recorded or when you listen to it.  If you haven’t put Nevermind on the CD player lately, it’s time to haul it out and rediscover some tremendous music.

The Party That Cried Wolf

Some years ago I contributed money to a friend whose Mom ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Ohio General Assembly, and won.  I’m glad I was able to help her out, but ever since I’ve been on the email list of the Ohio Democratic Party.  I have to confess that I have read just about all of the over-the-top emails from Ohio Democrats that I ever care to read.

The emails come about once a week.  Their tone is always the same — just this side of outright hysteria — and the message is the same too:  John Kasich and the Republicans have just proposed something, and it is so grossly offensive, so fundamentally outrageous, and so palpably nonsensical that the Democratic Party will fight to the death to defeat it — and they need my contribution to do so. From the emails, you’d think that, under Kasich’s horribly misguided leadership, all of Ohio would be aflame right now.  Of course, that hasn’t happened.

The emails suggest that the Democrats immediately oppose everything Governor Kasich proposes, without even taking a reasonable time to consider his proposal and develop some kind of reasoned response to it.  Perhaps that kind of unrestrained resistance is welcomed by the “base” of the Democratic Party, but I’m reminded of Aesop’s fable of the boy who cried “wolf.”  After he falsely cried “wolf” on many occasions and saw neighboring shepherds run to his fields in vain, he cried “wolf” in earnest and realized that his calls were ignored.

When every proposal seems to be greeted with the same extravagant response, it’s hard to attach much credibility to those responses.  When the Democrats really want people to listen to what they have to say, will anyone outside of loyal party members pay any attention?