It’s Michigan Week!

This has been a dreadful season for the Buckeye Nation.  We’ve seen our coach, Jim Tressel, resign under fire.  We’ve dealt with an embarrassing NCAA scandal that cut out the heart of our offense.  We’ve watched the Buckeyes give up big leads, fritter away games, and play like pretenders rather than contenders.

But all of that means nothing this week, because Ohio State is playing Michigan.

To be sure, this year The Game has a different feel.  For one thing, it’s coming after Thanksgiving, rather than the weekend before.  For another, Michigan is the favorite for the first time in years.  But so what?  This is a game where the records get thrown out the window.  And if the Buckeyes can somehow beat the Wolverines, a dismal season will be salvaged.

The Wolverines are playing The Game at home, and everyone expects them to win.  They crushed Nebraska last week, their offense is clicking, and their defense is dramatically improved.  The Buckeyes, in contrast, have lost two in a row.  Yet . . . how will Michigan react to the high expectations?  They’ve lost to the Buckeyes six games in a row, and every Wolverine fan thinks this is the year for the Maize and Blue to get some serious payback.  If Ohio State can score some points and keep the game close, the pressure may work to the Buckeyes’ advantage.

We’ll find out come Saturday — and until then we’ll enjoy the excitement and taunting that make Michigan Week so special.

 

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Pepper Spray – Really ?

I suppose I am behind the curve on this since the video supposedly came out on Saturday, but I caught the full video on Headline News this morning. This article contains the full video from start to finish of the University of California Davis – Occupy Movement incident. From what Headline News reported these students were carrying on a peaceful demonstration because the University of California Davis recently announced they plan to increase tuition 16% each of the next four years. I have to admit I was shocked !

I guess what always surprises me about incidents like this one is didn’t the security police/administration do some preliminary planning and run through the different scenarios that might play out when the police confronted the students. Did they expect the students to just get up and leave ? And if the students didn’t leave did they decide that one of the security officers was going to nonchalantly walk in front of the protestors and spray pepper spray directly into the faces ?

If the facts are as reported the students have every right to protest, but a suggestion to school administrators in the future – always expect there to be someone video taping the incident and how it will look. The University of California Davis clearly has egg on it’s face and deservedly so.

From Grandpa’s Bookshelf: Optimism Amidst The Great Depression

1939 was not a great year.  The Great Depression had lingered for 10 years, with no end in sight.  In Europe, the growth of Nazi Germany and then the invasion of Poland brought on World War II.  Aggressive totalitarian regimes were found across the globe.  You would not have blamed someone of that time for feeling deeply pessimistic about the course of human history.

And yet, there were optimists, even in 1939 — and I think Grandpa Neal was one of them.  His bookshelf included a small book called Thought Starters published in 1939 by the Imperial Electric Company of Akron, Ohio.  It has an unabashed motivational message, with chapters with titles like “Success Road is Wide Open,” “The Will to Win,” “The Go-Getter’s Way,” and “Ideas Are Worth More Than Cash.”  The book’s theme is that an optimistic approach, where opportunities are recognized and pursued, will lead to success.  The hopeful bullishness of the book is captured in this passage from the “Opportunities Galore!” chapter:  “You are living in a wonderful age.  Just think!  The greatest developments in the world have occurred during the past century.  And the years ahead will make current progress look like child’s play!”

Grandpa’s copy of Thought Starters is personally signed by John Hearty, the president of the Imperial Electric Company. I found myself wondering what happened to the positive-thinking Mr. Hearty and his company.  It turns out that the Imperial Electric Company survived the Great Depression and recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.  Mr. Hearty turned the company over to his son, who ran it until it was sold in 1983.  No doubt the optimistic, opportunity-driven attitude reflected in Thought Starters helped the company to be successful.

If people in 1939 could be optimistic about the future, we should be able to muster some optimism now.  Rather than wringing our hands about our current predicament, our country and our leaders be well served by adopting some of the can-do, positive attitude reflected in this little book.

From Grandpa’s Bookshelf:  Grandma’s Book of Sayings