From The Mouths Of Babes

Some enterprising — and young — Cleveland Browns fans have made a video arguing that a familiar name should be selected as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. It’s pretty clever. Thanks, kids!

I actually think Jim Tressel would likely be a capable and successful NFL head coach. He knows how to win, he builds capable staffs, and he has an eye for talent and the ability to figure out how to maximize the impact of that talent. At Ohio State, he quickly turned around a demoralized program. He understands how important the Browns are to Cleveland sports fans, just as he understood how important beating Michigan was to Ohio State fans. I think the notion that Tressel is too conservative to win at the NFL level is silly — in reality, the NFL is far more conservative, in terms of scheme and approach, than is the college game.

Of course, the chances that the Browns would select Tressel are remote, and not because the Browns would shy away from a coach who received NCAA sanctions. Even if the Browns had the intelligence to really consider Tressel, I think Tressel has too much intelligence and self-respect to get involved with a front office that seems to be more interested in its own power games and turf battles than producing a winning football team.

The Great Columbus Sub-Zero Water Main Break Of 2014

Extreme cold apparently can wreak havoc on municipal infrastructure. At least, that is the conclusion I’m drawing from the fact that a water main broke in downtown Columbus today, after the temperature outside fell below zero.

IMG_1666Unfortunately, the water main break occurred between the office and where I now park my car. As I walked on my normal route to my parking spot, I saw police cars and other emergency vehicles blocking access. I also saw rivers of water running, sluggishly, down Fourth Street and Gay Street and Long Street and the alleys in the vicinity and turning into ice. And, because it was windy, water was being sprayed everywhere, leaving sidewalks sheathed in an icy blanket.

I had to give the area of the water main break a wide berth to get to my car. This meant I was exposing my face to sub zero temperatures for longer than might be advisable, but since that was the only way to avoid tromping through water and ice and being sprayed with freezing water on a bitterly cold day, it seemed like the most prudent course.

IMG_1670When I finally got to my car, my face felt like a block of ice and the temperature showing on the car’s external thermometer was six below zero. Even running the heater at full blast, it took the interior of the car about ten minutes to warm up.

Now I can only hope that the break gets fixed by tomorrow morning, and that they somehow figure out how to clear the streets of a river of ice before rush hour hits. I wonder, though: how can you fix a water main break when the temperature outside is 6 below zero, and it is supposed to get even colder overnight?

A Cold Day’s Return

Today I go back to work after a wonderful two-week vacation with Kish and the boys. Apparently Old Man Winter wanted to make sure that I knew that the holiday’s over.

IMG_5778When we were in Paris and London, we got a lot of rain, but for the most part the temperature stayed in the 40s and 50s. One day we had dinner with a twenty-something British friend and, during a conversation about the weather over our meal, she mentioned that she hasn’t seen any appreciable snow on the ground in her home town since she was 4 years old. She lives in the southern part of England, and apparently snow is a rarity there — even though England is at a more northern latitude than Columbus, where snow is a commonplace occurrence during the winter.

When I woke up in New Albany today snow was falling and the temperature was 25 degrees according to my phone. When I went for the morning walk it was already down to 19 degrees and you could feel the temperature dropping faster than the early season hopes of a Cleveland Browns fan. And, with a sharp wind blowing, Jack Frost wasn’t just nipping at my nose — it felt like he wanted to rip my face off. As I walked gingerly on ice-covered walkways to avoid a slip, a salt truck rumbled by, with the salt crystals whirling out behind. The current forecast is for temperatures to fall all day and reach the point of 7 below zero tonight, with a wind chill factor of 32 below.

Yes, I’m home, and it’s time to get back to work.