Bullet, Dodged

Today, Ohio State fans need to remind themselves that a win is a win is a win.

Playing on the road, the weekend after a huge win, against a fired-up team that was looking to gain respect, today’s game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers had all of the elements of a letdown loss.  Add in miserable cold and blowing snow — hey, this is the Big Ten in November, after all — that probably contributed to at least some of OSU’s three turnovers and you’ve got a toxic brew for the favorite that is trying to avoid the crushing upset.

That’s why today’s 31-24 Ohio State win was so tough — but the point is, they won.  Every member of Buckeye Nation wonders why Ohio State can’t crush every opponent, but college sports don’t work that way.  Mistakes happen.  Young people lose focus.  And teams like Minnesota — which I think is steadily improving and has one of the very best coaches in the Big Ten — also have good athletes who can make plays.

So let’s not get too upset about today’s game.  Focus instead on the steady hand of J.T. Barrett and the bullet dodged.  Ohio State lives to fight another day.  Not every team can say that.

The Rocket 88s

Last night it was back to Phoenix’s Rhythm Room to try catch some of its more traditional blues offerings — and we struck gold, because the Rocket 88s were playing.

Of course, any true R&B fan know that Rocket 88, recorded in 1951 by Jackie Brenton and his Delta Cats, is considered by many experts to be the first rock and roll record. Last night the Rocket 88s were true to their illustrious name, playing a kick-ass mixture of early rock and roll and R&B that got many people (myself included) out on the dance floor and boogeying. We knew they were going to be great from the first notes, but they really blew the doors off.

Why would a Columbus, Ohio guy write about a Phoenix band that he’ll (unfortunately) probably never get to see again? Because local music is important and should be supported, whether the locality is Columbus or Phoenix or New Orleans. And if a hard-working band gives you a great evening they deserve a shout-out even if no one reads it. The Rocket 88s were really good and earned the kudos. I bought one of their CDs, too.


Drinking Games

Last night at a rehearsal dinner after-party members of the bridal party were playing a drinking game called “Landmine” that I hadn’t seen before.

IMG_3641The premise of the game was simple — but then, the premise of drinking games always is.  You spin a quarter, drink from your beer, then have to flawlessly pick up the quarter, before it stops spinning, with the same hand that hoisted the beer.  If you don’t do it right, you need to repeat the drink-and-spin process.

As players finish their beers, they can use the empty cans to flatten the quarter before another player picks it up, forcing him to do it over.  The empty cans are left in position on the table, ready to serve as “landmines” that can thwart the successful quarter spin and pick-up.

The inevitable result of Landmine — or the “Crib for shots” that my college roommate and I played back at OSU — is happy, tipsy, roaring young people who quickly lose command of their inhibitions and fine motor skills.  It’s a good game for 20-somethings at a wedding, who can bounce back effortlessly from a long liquid evening.  Not so much for a 50-something who would rather not wake up in the morning with cotton mouth and a pounding headache.

It was a fun game to watch from a distance, though.