Watch Me Take The Bar
Watch Me Take The Bar
This blog, originally started as a chronicle of my taking the bar, is now a look into the mind of an attorney in solo practice in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Friday, November 17, 2006

You Know That Mitch Albom Guy? He Occasionally Writes About Sports, Too!

I'm sure you've read Tuesdays with Morrie, the touching/tearjerking/wonderful book on life and death by Mitch Albom, who we are told is a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press.

As it happens, this is the first time I've actually seen sportswriting by Mitch Albom.

The title of the piece? "Carr Has Proved Self, Win Or Lose Saturday." ("Saturday" refers to the football game to be played in Columbus tomorrow, featuring the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes against the about-to-not-be-undefeated Michigan Wolverines, which will start in 28 hours and 11 minutes, for those of you who have been living in a cave for the past week.)

Now, this article appeals to me on levels beyond, "Wow! Mitch Albom is writing about sports! Neat!"

Far better than this, it is appparent that those living up north are already trying to soften the disappointment of LOSING.

For that, my friends, is what is about to happen. Rest assured, the Wolverines are going to LOSE.

How come?

There are about ten good reasons:

1. Jim Tressel

2. Jim Tressel: We used to have this coach named John Cooper. From 1988 to 2000, he led the Buckeyes, if that's not too strong a term. Actually, I rather liked The Coop, and he was a pretty good coach for all but the last regular-season game of the year. The problem was, if you're Ohio State, your last regular-season game of the year will always be Michigan, and only winning against Michigan twice (1994 and 1998) out of twelve years (OK, he also managed to get us to a rather disappointing tie in 1992) is simply unacceptable.

Along came Jim Tressel. So much for that Wolverine boondoggle. 4-1 against That Team Up North. A man who coaches his teams to win in big games. He's quite impressive.

3. This Game's in Columbus: Columbus has three claims to fame. It's the home of the state capital; the Columbus Bluejackets; and the Ohio State Buckeye. Ted Strickland doesn't get sworn in until January and the Bluejackets suck, leaving Columbus fans with (as usual) one thing to do, and that is go apeshit over the Buckeyes.

And apeshit they have gone. While in Columbus for a conference this week, the evening news led with the story of The Game. After four minutes of that, they turned to the less-important story that there was a murderer on the loose in Columbus.

This is, without a doubt, the heart of Buckeye Nation. And Buckeye Nation is hungry, nay, ravenous for Wolverine meat.

When Chad Henne wanders into the Horseshoe, he will feel like his Aunt Penny who said the sky was falling. It will be -- with scarlet and gray, cheering the Buckeyes on to another victory.

4. It's Like A Bowl Game: And we all know what Jim Tressel's teams do with bowl games. They go out, keep it interesting for a bit, and then win.

5. It's Like A Bowl Game: And we all know what Lloyd Carr's teams do with bowl games. They go out, keep it interesting as we wonder how they'll manage to lose, and then answer the question.

(Honestly. Last year, I was falling asleep and noticed Michigan was leading in the mid-fourth quarter in a bowl game. I figured I'd flip over and see how they'd manage to lose it and -- guess what! -- they did.)

At this very moment, Lloyd Carr is having his regular breakfast of Cheerios on a plate.

If they were in a bowl, he'd lose them.

6. The Buckeyes Are Just Better. No, Really: No one's beeen too terribly surprised at Ohio State's run this year. After we hornswoggled the Longhorns and hacked the Hawkeyes, it was pretty clear we were The Best Damn Team In The Land.

Michigan, on the other hand? No one picked them to be 11-zip. They have had the great surprise of winning every game, which they were not expected to do.

Indeed, for the Wolverines, this season has been an unexpected joy. They should be quite proud of all they've accomplished, and stop the highlight film with last week's game. There's no shame in finishing 11-2. (I've added an extra loss to account for their inevitable bowl trip.)

7. We. Are Buckeyes. We Are Killer Nuts. (Not Rodents): Actual conversation:

ME: Hey, at least my mascot isn't a rodent.

PLEASANT REASON (sigh, a Michigan fan, alas): Our mascot isn't a rodent. Wolverine's aren't rodents.

ME: Really? What are they?

PLEASANT REASON (sound of typing on the other end of the phone): Oh. (Long uncomfortable silence.)

'Bout that.

The Wolverines are about to find those killer nuts dropped on their heads, and will need to sprout legs and run to Ann Arbor just as fast as they can.

8. Troy Smith

9. Troy Smith

10. Troy Smith: Our QB is awesome on an ordinary day. Put him up against Michigan, and he's phenomenal.

Ohio State wins this one, folks. The Wolverines have had a great season, and should feel no shame in losing.

Other than the fact they're going to lose.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Herbert Hoover Is Dead, But His Relatives Are Still Pushing Republicans On Us

*a few moments ago, in my office*

[phone ringing]

ME: Michael Bassett.

VOICE: Hello, Mr. Bassett? My name is Linda Hoover. I'm calling on behalf of Congressman Tom Reynolds and the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.

ME [thinking to myself]: Gosh. This week just couldn't get sweeter. First, I watch the Republicans get thumped on national TV for two straight days; and now they're calling my office to check up on my well-being. And they've still got Hoovers working for them? Isn't that how we got into the 1930s?

LINDA HOOVER [continuing]: We've selected you to receive a Leadership Award. We'd like to invite you to Washington, DC to our annual Presidential Dinner, and to participate in our Business Advisory Council.

ME: Really.

LINDA HOOVER: [stopping me before I can get to my next statement]: Do you have a minute to hear a taped message from Congressman Reynolds?

ME: [I'm not doing busy at the moment, and it's their nickel.] Sure. [It'll be interesting to hear how they're spinning this.]

TAPED VOICE OF CONGRESSMAN MEL REYNOLDS: This is Congressman Mel Reynolds, Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee. I've called you because you are a business leader and a risk-taker.

ME: [Yes, it's a risk trying to operate a business while W's in the White House. Then, he knows about risk. He tried to find oil in Texas and failed.]

TAPED VOICE OF CONGRESSMAN MEL REYNOLDS: We know you want to support Republicans who will support lower taxes and the President's small business plan.

ME: [Tom, you've obviously overestimated my tax bracket. No way am I getting any tax cuts from this White House this year.]

TAPED VOICE OF CONGRESSMAN MEL REYNOLDS: Please stay on the line so we can invite you to join our panel.

WOMAN: Hello?

ME: Linda?

WOMAN: Mr. Bassett?

ME: Yes. Linda?

WOMAN: No, this is [Someone Else.]

ME: [Well, they got rid of Linda Hoover. Only seventy-four years after the rest of us got rid of Herbert. They're rather quick on the uptake, those Republicans.]

WOMAN: We'd like you to join the Business Advisory Council. You'll receive confidential surveys and an opportunity to have your picture taken with the President to hang on your office wall.

ME: [But I want my clients to like me.]

WOMAN: You'll also serve as an honorary finance chairman for the state of Ohio.

ME: [Things are getting really desperate in Ohio if they need me to do things to help the Republican party.]

WOMAN: Of course, the big event of the year is the Presidential Dinner, which is dinner with the President.

ME: [But I like to be able to eat.]

WOMAN: And you will receive a leadership award.

ME: [Ready to reel her in.] Yes. Tell me more about that. Would that be for my service as Chairman of the Ottawa County Democratic Central Committee?

WOMAN: [Long pause.] Uhhhhhh ---

ME: And as to making any contribution to you, first, I'm not inclined to, I'm happy with what happened Tuesday, and second, it's a bit tough right now because all my clients are unemployed so they have trouble paying their bills, but that should get better when the Democrats take over Congress. So no, I think I'll pass on your leadership award.

WOMAN: Well, I respect your opinion. Have a good day.

ME: [snarky laugh] I'm already having a great week!

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