One of the most iconic signs in Columbus is that of Michael’s Goody Boy Drive-In, located in a transitional neighborhood at the northern edge of the Short North. It’s a neon classic, with a tow-headed kid eying a big cheeseburger. Even though I’ve lived in Columbus for decades, I’ve never been to the Goody Boy — until today.
The Wrestling Fan and I were up in that area so he could run an errand, and we decided to stop to see what the Goody Boy had to offer. On the inside there’s a bar and a large, open seating area with the kinds of ’50s signage you’d expect from a diner. I had a cheeseburger and fries, pictured above; the Fan had the fish sandwich special. The cheeseburger was a half-pound of beefy, cheesy goodness, and the fries were hand-cut and well seasoned. The Fan didn’t comment on his fish sandwich, which was huge — but that probably was because he was too busy gobbling it down to mutter any words of praise.
The cost of my sandwich? Less than $10. The Wrestling Fan and I agreed that we would be back.
Tomorrow afternoon the Ohio State Buckeyes travel to the Kohl Center to play the Wisconsin Badgers. They’re hoping to come away with their first win at Wisconsin under Coach Thad Matta.
The Buckeyes have enjoyed great success under Coach Matta — but not at the Kohl Center. There, they are 0-6, and many of the losses have been of the last-minute, heart-breaking variety. Last year, Wisconsin was the first team to beat the Buckeyes, winning a bruising battle behind the heroic efforts of stud point guard Jordan Taylor. It also was a game marred by controversy. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger said one of the Wisconsin fans who rushed the floor spit on him; the Wisconsin faithful denied the charge and called Sullinger a crybaby. During Saturday’s game, expect Wisconsin fans to razz Sullinger unmercifully — and perhaps wear a raincoat or two.
Why does Ohio State have such a tough time at the Kohl Center? Is it, as some Buckeye fans contend, that the refs are just horribly biased in favor of the Badgers when they play at home? Or, as I believe, is it because Wisconsin has tough, well-coached teams and a loud and proud group of basketball fans that just make playing the game in that place a grueling challenge for the visiting team?
In either case, this year’s rematch should be a great game. Wisconsin struggled to score points at the start of the Big Ten season, but has righted the ship and reeled off six wins in a row. Taylor is still around — it seems like he has played forever — and he is the main cog in the Wisconsin machine. But the Badgers also have a hard-nosed inside-outside player in Jared Berggren and a slew of other versatile players who can shoot the three and crash the boards. Under the tutelage of their great coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin also plays a deliberate offensive game that means every possession counts.
At the Kohl Center, you know every game is going to be tough. The Buckeyes are hoping that they can finally come away with a win tomorrow.
I’m not a birder. New Albany doesn’t seem like a great place for bird-watching. We share this space with the native Ohio birds, ducks and swans, and the flocks of dreaded, honking, crapping Canadian geese — but not much else.
But now my bird-sighting hopes are up, because there are reports that Snowy Owls have moved south from the Arctic Circle en masse and are being seen all over northern America. Every few years these magnificent, milky white, carnivorous birds have an “irruption” and fly south in large numbers. In the Arctic Circle, they feast on lemmings. Farther south, they look for mice, rabbits, and even ducks to provide sustenance.
The New York Times reports that they have been seen in the Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley, which means they might just show up in New Albany, Ohio. So, on my walks around the neighborhood, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a flash of white as a Snowy Owl swoops down to grab its prey and carry it off for supper. And if they want to snatch a Canadian goose or two, I won’t object.