Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Think about this before THE GAME

Going to any football parties today?

You cannot live in this state without recognizing the rivalry between the Ohio State University and University of Michigan football teams. Even if you don't much care or know anything about football, this is the one day of the year no Ohioan can avoid it. And it's worse for those of us in the northwest part of the state.

My friend Margie, a native Toledoan who lives in Columbus, drove up here Thursday for a too-brief visit. Much as she might have liked to stick around, though, she had to get back in time for today's event.

Or, as people in her adopted city call it, THE GAME.

“My presence is expected at a football party,” Margie sighed. “In my mind, I'll be thinking `Go Blue,' but that's not anything I could actually say. People in Columbus just don't understand how people in Toledo can be more geographically in sync with Michigan. They just think everyone from Ohio should be Buckeye fans, but it's not always that easy.''

Now, I can't claim to really care one way or the other about today's contest. But I did live in Ann Arbor decades ago during a slacker-novelist phase and found football games to be fun.

So, OK, maybe if the pigskin elves held a gun to my head today and forced me to choose, I'd go with Michigan. But I wouldn't want to offend any Buckeye readers by leaving you with the impression that I'm against OSU, if you catch the distinction.

But, hey - enough about football. It's a topic that no grown person can think about for too long, sportswriters notwithstanding. Since this day will be wall-to-wall OSU-UM shenanigans, let's take a few minutes to kick around some of the week's other topics.

Like, say, Michael Jackson. Now, you and I both know he's not a real dad, right? I mean, this is one case of celebrity “parenthood'' where we can only pray that it really IS the nanny doing all the child care.

But even if, as any sensible person hopes, these kids are just props in an increasingly strange life, does it take a graduate degree in parenthood to know that dangling babies from four stories up is a bad idea? What kind of dolt pulls a stunt like that?

Sudden thought: Did Jacko by chance go to OSU?

Lordy, and what about that Victoria's Secret thong-a-thon the other night? Isn't this what they make pay-per-view for? Not that I watched - and, surprisingly, relatively few others did, either. Overnight ratings put The Bachelor ahead of the skin show, at 27 million and 10.5 million viewers, respectively. Cripes, even The West Wing - NBC's version of nerd TV - beat out Victoria's Secret.

It was probably all those egghead UM people who tuned in The West Wing. You know, the kind of people who claim they're too busy reading The Economist to watch TV.

Undoubtedly, you've noticed by now how I'm careful to tweak both OSU and UM fans equally. You're probably asking yourself: How does she do it?! How does she remain every bit as “fair and balanced'' as a Fox News broadcast on this, the year's holiest day in the ongoing Ohio-Michigan border war?

Easy! My even-handedness just naturally floats to the surface, like some kind of “aMAZin' BaLLOOn.''

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