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Friday, January 17, 2020

Interview with Buckeye Legend Cornelius Green after His Induction into the 2019 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame

Q: What were your feelings when you first learned you were being inducted into the 2019 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame?

A: I was overwhelmed and I was shocked. It kind of came out of nowhere, so I was really more shocked than anything. I was really just overjoyed.

Q: So, it was a long time coming?

A: Pete and Archie had gotten in prior to me. I wasn’t jealous or anything. I was just hoping one day it would happen to me and thank God it did.

Q: Woody was inducted in 1989 and then Archie in 1990 and Pete Johnson was in 2007. What does it mean to join Woody and your teammates?

A: It means the world to me. Especially, I think this would be the first complete backfield to make the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame with Archie, Pete and I and then having Coach Hayes I was just overjoyed…They reminded me when I was getting introduced that Woody, Archie and Pete were in and it was just a great reminder of the team and their coach winning the highest honors that you can receive.

Q: Talk about the achievement of playing in four straight Rose Bowls and how hard that was to do at the time.

A: I think it was even harder during that time because you had to win the Big Ten Conference to get to the Rose Bowl. It was really even more difficult when you had a great coach like Bo Schembechler who was coaching at Michigan and for me to get past Bo four straight times with a 3-0-1 record and 4 straight Rose Bowl appearances speaks volumes. When you have Michigan’s greatest coach in their school history and I can say he never beat me…He was 0-3-1 against me and I’m very happy about that. I always mention that because during “The Ten-Year War (1969-1978)” between Woody and Bo, I think Woody’s record was 4-5-1 against Bo, so my class won 75 percent of those games.

Photo courtesy of Cornelius Green

Q: How important was it to beat that team up north in order to get to the Rose Bowl?

A: It was everything because in my head I practiced 364 days for Michigan. Every year we would be undefeated or had one loss and that one game decided who went to the Rose Bowl and who stayed home. When I look back now at Dennis Franklin as great as he was, his record is 30 wins three losses and one tie but those three losses and one tie were to us. He never played in a bowl game so you can get 30 wins and not get in a bowl game. That’s amazing.

Q: We live in an age of bowl saturation. What did the Rose Bowl when you played mean versus today? Would it be comparable to playing in a playoff game or a national championship game?

A: The Rose Bowl was like a national championship game. It’s the Granddaddy of Them All. To play in the Rose Bowl was like reaching the Mount Everest in college sports.

Q: Did Woody prepare for the Rose Bowl the same way he prepared for a regular season game? Did he spend any extra time during the season on it?

A: No. It was all about Michigan. We practiced for Michigan in the summer. I remember when we played Indiana, we practiced for Michigan Monday and Tuesday and then we practiced for Indiana Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and we didn’t have to play Michigan for like six more weeks. You knew that the Michigan game means more than anything.

Q: Do you have a favorite Rose Bowl memory?

A: I would say my sophomore year because I had hurt my right thumb prior to the Michigan game and that 10-10 tie we only passed like one time when I was in the game. I took that tie personally. Right before the Rose Bowl game they were saying Ohio State can’t pass so I kind of took that as a personal insult like they were saying I couldn’t pass. I completed 75 percent of my passes in that game and ended up being the most valuable player. Some of those passes that I threw were big 3rd down passes where we were able to continue our drive and score.

Q: What was your role in the 1973 Rose Bowl?

A: I was the scout squad quarterback. As guys were a little injured while we were working out, I just tried to help out on the kickoff return squad and the punt return squad. I didn’t get a chance to return any punts but I did get a chance to return 3 kickoffs.

Q: Expand a little more on the thumb injury in the Iowa game and how that impacted the game plan against the team up north.

A: I hurt my thumb against Iowa. Monday and Tuesday, I was at practice but I couldn’t take any snaps because my thumb was so painful. Then by Wednesday I could grip the ball. By Thursday and Friday, I could really grip it and throw a little bit, but not to the 100 percent satisfaction of Coach Hayes. Going into the game, I thought the game plan was to run and pass but I never realized Woody didn’t trust my thumb at all. We only attempted one pass in the whole first three quarters of the game. Michigan was bringing eight guys at us up at the line of scrimmage and Woody still refused to pass. It was tough for Archie to get beat up like he did that game. I just felt like I was just handing the ball off but wasn’t part of the offense.

Q: Did you run much in that game?

A: No. He didn’t call many option plays for me to pitch the ball. Anything that had to do with me passing or pitching the ball he just took that all away from me.

Q: What were your thoughts after the tie game with the team up north?

A: Woody always said a tie game is like kissing your sister, and I didn’t ever want to kiss my sister, Ill tell you that. I was upset, man. We were crushed for a tie and Michigan guys were jumping up like they had won a Super Bowl or a Rose Bowl or something. They were so happy with a tie because I think by them tying us, they were sure they were going to the Rose Bowl. I just saw them jumping up with laughter and joy and that was my first tie, so I didn’t know how to deal with it. At the same time, I felt we weren’t going to go to the Rose Bowl, I just couldn’t get over why Woody wouldn’t call any pass plays and trust my thumb at all.

Q: Were you fully healed going into the 1974 Rose Bowl?

A: It took by about mid-December for my thumb to heal. We were out there, and I was passing. For some reason the game slowed down for me out in California. I really started seeing the defenses better. It was just a great thing for us to go out to California with warm weather where we could pass the ball versus back in Columbus playing in 10- or 20-degree weather where you couldn’t pass as much.

Q: What was your personal mindset going into the 1974 Rose Bowl? Were you looking to redeem yourself?

A: There is no doubt about it. The funny part is the second play of the game Woody called a pass play and I threw an interception. We were trying to prove it to everybody that we could pass and the second pass play of the game I threw an interception. Woody told me that it was their fault, and that it was the wrong formation, which restored my confidence in passing. So, it wasn’t my fault. They kind of put the blame on them for throwing the interception, so that was a cool thing.

Q: What was your overall team’s mindset going into the 1974 Rose Bowl having lost to USC the prior year?

A: We wanted revenge. We wanted to show folks that they chose the right team…that they chose us and not Michigan especially with that 10-10 tie. So, we had a lot to prove. We had gotten beaten pretty good the year before and then we wanted to come out and redeem ourselves and I’m glad we did.

Photo Courtesy of Cornelius Green

Q: I’d like to go into some of the key moments of the 1974 Rose Bowl. It looked like you were down 21-14 in the third quarter and you completed a 40-yard pass to Fred Pagac to set up a score. Talk about that play and the impact it had on the momentum.

A: That play was a game changer. The play that was called didn’t work and I had to ad lib. I was almost about to get tackled so I was scrambling on my left side and rolled back around to my right side. Fred was running his route to the left and sprinted back to the right. It was just a godsend. I saw him and threw a perfect pass and thank goodness he caught it. That was a game changer. It could have gone either way. If I didn’t make that big play we might have had to punt and they could have gotten the ball back and drove down and scored again.

Q: It had to be a little shocking to them that you threw a 40-yard pass and kind of put them back on their heels.

A: I didn’t think they thought we were going to be passing anyway and for us to make some big pass plays against them had to be shocking. They had Lynn Swann on their side so they were used to making big passes to Lynn but I think we caught them off guard when we started hitting passes over 20 yards.

Q: Who were some of their key players?

A: They had Lynn Swann. They had J.K McKay, Pat Haden and they had Anthony Davis who was Archie’s rival for the Heisman. They had a great squad. That sophomore year they probably had 10 guys going into the top four rounds so they were a strong team.

Q: What were some other key moments that stood out to you in the 1974 game?

A: I think when I scored a touchdown. Also, we had a lot of big third down plays. I think the first time we scored it took us 20 plays to score a touchdown. We were able to make third down plays and continue long drives to keep the defense off the field. That was important because they had a good running and passing attack and they had a good ball control team…so we were able to take the ball out of their offense’s hands and we kept their defense on the field quite a bit.  It was amazing for Pete being a freshman and scoring three touchdowns. Archie had his 100 yards and then I had a big day. So, it was huge for all of us to have big games in the same game.

Q: Woody wouldn’t play favorites just because you were an upperclassman?

A: Woody picked the best players. He didn’t care if you were a senior or a sophomore. He didn’t care if you were a two-year starter or a three-year starter. You better come and play and be the best at that position. That kind of told me and Archie that no matter how good we were we could always be replaced. I just never took my own position for granted.

Q:  Watching that game, I think you really showed yourself to be a true dual threat quarterback. You were able to throw for 129 yards and then rush for 45 yards. What were your thoughts on emerging as a dual threat?

A: Coming out of high school I threw 28 touchdowns so I knew I was a passer but now I’m with Woody Hayes and the three yards and a cloud of dust. I had to come up out of the ground and show people I could pass and thank God it was the Rose Bowl and a nationally televised game. Just coming back in my junior season, he trusted me in passing more. That opened up our offense quite a bit and of course it showed that I could be a great dual threat if given the chance.

Q: I was going to ask that. How did that performance in the 1974 Rose Bowl help you fully earn Woody’s trust?

A: It was night and day. I think I passed maybe 50 times the whole season my sophomore year, versus maybe 150 times I passed my junior year and maybe 150 or more passes my senior year. We passed three times more than we did my sophomore year.

Q: Woody called the 1974 Rose Bowl game “the best game we’ve ever ever played.” What do those words mean to you to know that you were part of that game that Woody spoke so highly of?

A: When I got introduced into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, what pleased me more than anything was to hear them say that Woody said that was his greatest game ever. For me to play my best game and then get the MVP in the game, and for him to be smiling at the end of the game and be that happy and have those words coming out of his mouth, meant the world to me.

Q:  And that was big for the Big Ten too?

A: We restored the name of the Big Ten so that was huge.

Q: Do you have a favorite Rose Bowl memory of Woody?

A: Just that sophomore year I guess because we won. We were happy. I would say that. Also, just seeing him smiling when we beat Bo, that means the world to me because we knew beating Bo meant we were going to the Rose Bowl.

Photo Courtesy of Cornelius Green

Q: Let’s shift gears a little bit. What are your thoughts on the job Ryan Day did in his first year after taking over for a legend in Urban Meyer and the overall direction of the program?

A: With Ryan Day coming in, there was no game plan on him. You pretty much knew how Urban coached. You pretty much knew how Jim Tressel and Woody coached. But with Ryan coming in being so creative and everything, he gives Ohio State a totally new dimension. I think that’s why we are getting a lot of new recruits and wide receivers. We are becoming a passing type of team that spreads the ball around. Defensively I think we are great. I really enjoy Ryan and his presence at Ohio state. I hope he stays for a while.

Q: How do you think you would have done in a Ryan Day offense?

A: I would have had a Heisman. I would have had a Heisman for sure. Archie would have had to move one of them over to my house.

Q: Would you have been able to showcase your skills a lot more?

A: Yes, because we never would have had Pete. We would have had only two backs, me and Archie. Everything that went to Pete would have had to go to me and Archie. Of course, our career stats would have tripled.

Q: Justin Fields is continuing on the legacy that you started of great African-American quarterbacks to start at OSU. What are your thoughts on Justin and the job he did in his first year as a starter?

A: I was very impressed with Justin. He is a team guy and never a me first type of guy. I just love that about him and I’m glad he is coming back next year. I’m one of his biggest fans, there is no doubt about it. Most folks see African-Americans quarterbacking at Ohio State and just take it for granted but didn’t realize that in the 70’s I was one of the few that was out there so I’m proud to start that legacy.

Q: Breaking the color barrier for QB’s at OSU was a significant part of your legacy at OSU. What does that legacy mean to you looking back at it now?

A: It means the world to me now. These kids can come here now and just play football and go to school and just enjoy life. I had to come in and I had death threats over the phone and averaged 50-60 letters a week from Klan members and stuff like that. I looked over my back quite a bit and wasn’t sure what might happen. It was a good lesson in life…My white teammates loved me. On the other hand, I’m getting these types of letters. It taught me about stereotyping. Not to stereotype and to love people for who they are and not their color. It was just tough. I got an ulcer my sophomore year so I had to play sick as well. It was some tough times looking back, but God was good.

Q: In 1975, when Archie won his second Heisman you were named team MVP and MVP of the Big Ten. What did that mean to you to win both of those honors with all of that talent on your team?
A: Those are two of the highest honors you can receive especially when you are on the same team with a Heisman winner. When you win the Heisman, generally you are the most valuable player on your team and when you win the Heisman you assume you will be the most valuable in the conference…And here I was the most valuable player on the team and the most valuable player in the conference. So those awards speak volumes. I won the team vote by one vote. Archie voted for me and I voted for Archie. If Archie voted for himself, he would’ve won by one vote.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience in Pasadena and being inducted in the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame?

A: It took me 45 years to get back there to get inducted into the Hall of Fame and just to put my feet back out on that field again…the memory of those 4 years rushed over me. Knowing that my grand kids can now come out and see their granddad’s name up on that wall and to have my kids go out there means the world to me.

Q: What do you want people to remember most about your time at OSU?

A: I definitely want them to remember I was the first African-American quarterback there. That means so much to me. Then I want them to know that I’m 24-0 at home, and never lost a home game. Then they can put on my tombstone that I never lost to Michigan.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2020 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author

Nick’s email:


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Discover Christian Church to Hold its 10th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cause Car and Truck Show Sept. 22nd to Benefit Columbus Relief

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.”
                                                                                                                                    Proverbs 19:17

Every year, Discover Christian Church seeks to live out its mission to, “LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE and IMPACT THE WORLD through relational community,” through its annual Cruisin’ for a Cause Car and Truck Show.

Cruisin’ for a Cause began in 2010 as Hot Rod’s for Haiti in order to raise money for the hurricane ravaged nation. Every September, the Dublin, Ohio church chooses a different charity near and dear to their hearts in which to donate the proceeds. This year is no different.

Proceeds of this year’s outreach will go to a special ministry in Columbus known as Columbus Relief. Columbus Relief serves the needs of the local and regional homeless population. Most people would be shocked to learn that the average household is just a few paychecks away from being homeless. 

There are often many factors which can lead to someone becoming homeless. It can be from a lack of affordable housing, low income, job loss, the death of a spouse, mental/physical illness or drug addiction. A lot of times people are afraid to ask for help because they might be ashamed of their situations.

This is where Columbus Relief comes in.

Through their Mobile Relief Bus, they love people where they are unconditionally and meet not just their physical needs, but their spiritual needs as well. Human beings are made up of a body, soul and spirit and it is often this spiritual aspect that is neglected.

Columbus Relief seeks to, “draw people toward Christ as the ultimate provider of their needs and guide them in transforming their lives as well as the people around them.”

They have a five-fold Vision Statement:

  • Mobilize- To travel into areas of poverty and homelessness to serve individuals and families.
  • Inspire- To provide for the immediate needs and offer inspiration through relationship.
  • Guidance- To collaborate with community relationships that help lead to a self-sustaining life by offering spiritual, life skill, employment skill and peer mentoring support services.
  • Heart- To put God's love into action through healthy living, supportive relationships, and accountability.
  • Transform- To transform people's lives and renew their quality of life.

Columbus Relief's Mobile Relief Bus in action. Photo courtesy of @ColumbusRelief

Every Saturday, volunteers bring food, blessing (hygiene) kits, and other important items to those in need. They take the time to establish relationships and build trust with people. It is incredible what can be accomplished if you listen to people, treat them with dignity, and invest in their lives through acts of love and service.  

Both Discover Christian Church and Columbus Relief share this same love for others and vision for their community.

On September 22nd, you will have a chance to support that vision.

Cruisin’ for a Cause will consist of a car and truck show with folks from all across Ohio bringing their vehicles in order to be judged.

Entrants for the contest will pay a $10 entry fee and will park in the church parking lot. Admittance for regular attendees is free and parking is across the street in the Meijer parking lot. The event will take place from 1pm to 6pm and registration will be from 1pm to 3pm. The show starts at 3pm and will culminate in the trophy presentation at 5:30 pm with hand crafted trophies provided by Ark Hot Rods.

In addition to the car and truck show, there will be many other family friendly activities. There will be vendors from all across Ohio, a silent auction for sports lovers, a craft show, door prizes and plenty of food, music and fun.

If you are unable to attend the event, there a couple of ways you can help. They are still accepting items for the silent auction. In previous years, there was a signed Eddie George and Orlando Pace jersey and a wide assortment of items from various Ohio professional sports teams.

If you would like to donate an item please include the item value and it can be mailed or dropped off at the church office to Kristin Carpenter. If you would like to make a donation, checks can be made out to Discover Christian Church with Columbus Relief in the memo.

Discover Christian Church
2900 Martin Road
Dublin, Ohio 43017

Another way you can help, whether you are a participant or a spectator, is to consider donating something from the following needs list. These are some of the most needed items for Columbus Relief's outreach at this time and there will be a collection bin at the event:

Food sanitizer wipes
Clorox wipes
Travel size hygiene
Travel size deodorant
Hand warmers
Toilet paper
White tube socks 

Lastly, the Mobile Relief Bus will be on site as well. It will be a great opportunity to meet the folks from Columbus Relief and to learn all about their wonderful outreach to the community.

Together we can help make a difference in the lives of those in need in our city. For when we give to them, we are giving to the Lord, and that is a reward in and of itself.  

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2019 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author

Nick’s email:

Friday, September 6, 2019

Tips for Successful Tailgating

Football season is FINALLY here! That means hours in front of the television rooting on your team, visits to the stadium, watch parties, tailgating & FOOD!!! 

Hi everyone! I'm Chef Ashley Elliott. I'm a devout sports fanatic & lover of food. I often get asked how someone like myself who was Texas born & raised ends up in Central Ohio. My father is a native of Ohio and an OSU alum, and we spent many summers as well as holidays here. After high school, I attended culinary school in New York, and fate opened a door for the start of my journey as a chef in Columbus, Ohio.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing recipes, tips and time saving hacks that I've learned along the way to make football season that much more enjoyable.

With tailgating season upon us, it's time to fire up the grill and feed a crowd at the parking lot.

I often get asked what important tips I can give to ensure a successful tailgating get together. I swear by these quick Golden Rules.

1. Make sure you have your site picked out!!!

2. Make a checklist of essentials you'll need, from the forks, napkins, knives, tables, tents, chairs, grilling utensils, zip lock bags, and paper towels etc. WRITE IT DOWN.

3. Plan a menu & prep as much as you can at home. Marinate meat, cut up vegetables for dipping, make your dips & sauces, form out burger patties, and soak your wooden skewers.

4. Finger Foods & Snack Food Rule: Always have PLENTY & a variety of food & drinks out for people to choose from.

5. Work with a grill that you are comfortable with, but make sure it's a fast set-up with easy cleanup. Don't forget your fuel, and always have extra on hand.

6. Bring plenty of coolers to keep the cold foods cold, and the hot foods hot! Food temperature is so important! The best tip anyone ever gave me to keep hot foods hot is to wrap bricks in heavy-duty tin foil and place on the grill, or in a 350° oven for about 30-45 min. Line the bottom of the cooler with brown paper bags, then USING OVEN MITTS, place the bricks so they are lining the bottom.

7. ALWAYS bring a thermometer to monitor your food. This is very helpful to prevent lifting the lid when doing slower cooked meats such as ribs and pork shoulder.

8. Enjoy your guests & keep them full! 

Everyone will have their own unique style in tailgating. The more you do it, the more adventurous you can be with your menu. 

Brutus Tailgating. Photo Courtesy of Paige Vaughn King

I am so excited about upcoming projects I have in the works! Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there at the Shoe this weekend to join in on all the tailgating fun. Whether you make it to the stadium, or if you're just at home please share your tailgating, food & game photos & tag me on twitter @TheScoop27

Have a great weekend everyone & Go Bucks!

Copyright 2019 Ashley Elliott - All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Journey to Buckeye Grove, Part 2

Last week I introduced you to the singular, iconic and time-honored tradition of the Buckeye Grove. Every Buckeye who has ever received All-American status is honored with their very own buckeye tree and a commemorative plaque. Summers heat or winters cold, these men of lore are forever immortalized in the Buckeye Grove. This week I am going to take a closer look at eleven special warriors, a Buckeye from each decade from 1910 to the present; A man who perfectly embodies what it means to be a Buckeye. Before we meet these eleven warriors, let’s look at two renowned Buckeyes, men of the “greatest generation,” whose careers were cut short at OSU by WW2.

Dante Lavelli (February 23, 1923-January 20, 2009) Dante Lavelli, the son of Italian Immigrants, grew up in the North-eastern town of Hudson, Ohio. Nicknamed “Gluefingers,” Lavelli developed his catching ability by catching ping pong balls and throwing baseballs against the wall bare handed, and catching them as they bounced back.  Lavellis playing time at OSU, however, was limited as he battled injuries during his brief sojourn.  After the 1942 season at OSU, Lavelli was drafted by the U.S Army and was sent to WW2 with the 28th Infantry Division. Lavelli’s division landed on Omaha beach, and he was later involved in Germanys Battle of the Bulge and the Siege of Bastogne. Additionally, Lavelli was an important part of the Cleveland Browns, as they won seven championships during his eleven-year professional career. He was indicted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975.

Lou Groza (January 25, 1924-November 29, 2000) Lou “The Toe” Groza was an American field goal kicker and offensive tackle who played his entire career with the Cleveland Browns. Groza revolutionized the field goal position as he regularly kicked field goals over 50 yards at a time when doing so was very rare.  Groza’s college career was cut short, as he enlisted in the Army to serve in the 96th Infantry Division in WW2. Groza served as a surgical technician in Okinawa and other places in the Pacific theater for his entire career in the Army. After his stint in the army, Groza went on to play in 21 seasons in the NFL. He retired holding career records in points scored, field goals made, and extra points made. Groza was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1974.

Eleven Warriors:

Boyd Cherry (1914) If you asked most diehard Buckeye fans who the first All-American in OSU history was, most would probably say Chic Harley. The honor, however, falls to Boyd Cherry of Newark, Ohio. Cherry was a two-sport star at OSU, playing both football and basketball.  In 1914, in addition to All-American honors, Cherry became the first Buckeye to be all conference as well. Cherry graduated from OSU in 1915 and went on to work for Kinnear Manufacturing Company for over 25 years.

Iolas Huffman (1920,1921) Iolas Huffman was born in Chandlersville, Ohio and enrolled in the medical college at OSU.  Another two-sport star, Huffman played both football and baseball at OSU. A two-time All-American, Huffman was captain of the 1920 team which won the Western conference. Huffman went on to play professional football in the early years of the NFL with the Buffalo Bison and Cleveland Indians. 

Lew Hinchman (1930, 1931, 1932): There is very little information available on Lew Hinchman, which is surprising for a three time All-American. Hinchman, a graduate of Columbus North high school, was voted captain and Team MVP his senior season. Hinchman’s accomplishments were somewhat overshadowed by Wes Fesler, and Dick Larkins, who went on to be an OSU coach and OSU athletic director, respectively. Hinchman put the two sport stars to shame, as he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and golf.

Dr. Warren Amling (1945,1946) Dr. Amling played both football and basketball for the Buckeyes from 1944-1946. Interestingly, Amling became a consensus All-American at two different positions, guard and tackle.  Also, of note Dr. Amling played basketball for Ohio State, becoming the only member of the College Football HOF to start in a Final Four un basketball. Amling turned down a chance to play for the New York Giants, and pursued his passion of Veterinary Medicine. He went on to serve on the Board of Directors at Wittenberg.

Jim Houston (1958,1959) After Jim Houston’s playing days at OSU were over, He went on to play thirteen seasons for the Cleveland Browns. Houston played on the 1964 Browns championship team alongside all-time great Jim Brown. Houston’s first attempt at playing football however were thwarted as he was cut from his 7th grade football team. Undaunted by this early setback, he went on to be inducted into the college football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Jack Tatum (1969,1970) Jack Tatum, popularly known as, “The Assassin” was known as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the history of the NFL. Tatum played ten seasons with both with the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers, earning consecutive Pro-Bowl honors from 1973-1975. Jim Tressel instituted the “Jack Tatum hit of the week” honor and bestowed it upon a deserving Buckeye. Tressel also required that all his players read the book, They Call Me Assassin (which I highly recommend).  In Tatum’s latter years, he battled diabetes, finally succumbing to the disease in July of 2010.

Tom Skladany (1974,1975,1976) Coming out of high school, Tom Skladany was widely considered to be the best overall kicker in the nation. In 1972, Skladany was the first specialist to be rewarded with a scholarship in Big Ten History. Skladany went on to become a three time all-America at OSU from 1974-1976). Along with Ray Guy, he is considered one of the best college football punters of all time. After his playing days were over, Tom opened an American Speedy Printing Center in Columbus, Ohio. He also served as past president of the Ohio chapter of the NFL Alumni Association from 1989-2013.

Chris Spielman (1986,1987) No one embodies the true meaning of what it means to be a Buckeye than Chris Spielman. Growing up in Massillon, Spielman was a high school legend, becoming the first high school player to have his picture on the front of the Wheaties Box. In an interview, Spielman recalled the time he told his dad he wanted to play for the team up North. His father replied,” Better no go there (Michigan). Don’t ever come home if you do.” He went on to become a two time all American at OSU and a three time All pro with the Detroit Lions. In 1998, Spielman took a year off from football to support his wife Stephanie who was battling breast cancer. Chris shaved his head in solidarity with his wife as she went through chemotherapy. A no nonsense broadcaster, Spielman will be working for Fox Sports covering college and NFL football this upcoming season.

Korey Stringer (1993,1994) Korey Stringer was a mountain of a man from Warren, Ohio. Paired with Hall of Fame lineman Orlando Pace for the 1994 season, the Buckeyes had arguably one of the best offensive lines in the history of college football. After earning Pro bowl honors in his sixth season with the Vikings, Stringer’s promising professional career was tragically cut short by complications from heat stroke. His death served as the impetus for major changes in heat stroke prevention throughout the NFL. His legacy the Korey Stringer Institute was later founded to prevent incidences like this from ever happening again.

Will Smith (2003) Will Smith was brought up in Utica, New York and was ranked as the best defensive line prospect in the state with a total of 20 sacks.  Smith was a four-year letterman helping to lead the Buckeyes to the 2002 BCS National Championship and earning an All-America nod along the way.  Additionally, he was part of the New Orleans Saints first and only Super Bowl championship of 2009. Smith was tragically shot and killed during a road rage incident in 2016.  He was beloved for his charity work in the New Orleans area, including the Where There’s a Will charity dinner and Santa With the Smiths, a dinner for underprivileged kids.

Ryan Shazier (2013) Out of high school, Ryan Shazier had originally committed to play for Urban Meyer at Florida. After Meyers resignation due to health reasons, Shazier went to play for Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Things came full circle as Meyer then replaced Tressel after his resignation and Shazier was reunited with Meyer. Shazier was an early entrant to the NFL and was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. A linebacker known for his blazing speed, Shazier won a footrace against his teammates and wide receivers Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Sammie Coates.  Shazier also suffers from a rare autoimmune disease called alopecia areata in which he is unable to grow any hair on his body. Often the subject of ridicule when he was growing up, Shazier has learned to handle it graciously and now helps other athletes and people afflicted with the condition.

Eternal Vigilance

Maintaining the picturesque landscaping of the Grove, with 186 buckeye trees and commemorative plaques, doesn’t come easy.  Scarlet Key was responsible for planting the first eleven trees until Ohio Staters, Inc., took over the responsibilities in 1955. It’s unclear exactly when Ohio Staters, Inc. relinquished the reins to the Grove, but those duties have now passed to the OSU Facilities Operations and Development. I’m not posting the following pictures to shame the FOD, but to emphasize how important it is to maintain a watchful eye of our most treasured traditions. Because without this vigilance, our traditions would be relegated to the ash heap of history. We contacted the FOD and were told that Mike Sensibaugh and John Brockington’s plaques, as well as the plaques from the last three years, are currently on order.

So far, I have touched on the qualifications, overall layout of the Grove and other noteworthy aspects. This week I looked at two Hall of Famers who had their OSU careers cut short by WW2, and eleven special warriors who embody the spirit of what it means to be a Buckeye. I discussed the importance of being vigilant and guarding the sacred treasures of OSU traditions. Next week in my final segment, I will share a special, generational story about a father and his son, whose lives were forever intertwined with their shared love for OSU.

“Though age may dim our mem’ry’s store
We’ll think of happy days of yore
True to friend and frank to foe.” Carmen Ohio
As sturdy sons of Ohio

Until next time,

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.
Originally printed in @twssbuckeyeblog
Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Buckeye Great William White Honored with 2019 Inspiration Award Presented by inTeam

“Psalm 23 says, ‘Yay though I WALK through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.’ It doesn’t say, ‘Yay though I stand.’ Because guess what, if you stand in the shadow of death you are going to stay there forever.” William White

On June 11th, Buckeye Nation came together at the Fawcett Center for the 2019 Inspiration Awards presented by inTeam (an arm of Central Ohio Fellowship of Christian Athletes) to honor Buckeye great William White. White was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Buckeyes under Earle Bruce and went on to have an 11-year career in the NFL.

JD Bergman, the founder of inTeam, talked about their mission to be a light in a world that is inundated with messages of negativity, especially on the internet and in social media.

“We share stories…The problem isn’t that there aren’t phenomenal leaders and phenomenal men in our culture…Kids are bombarded. If a teenager spends 5 hours a day on social media, they are 70 percent more likely to commit suicide.”

This is where inTeam steps in to reach kids where they are with honest, authentic videos from coaches and athletes around the world. This provides a beacon of inspiration to many young people who have lost hope.

William White was a natural choice to be the recipient for the 2019 Inspiration Award for his ability to display courage in the face of great adversity.

White was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2016. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive disease which affects the motor neurons and causes greater and greater muscle weakness over time. ALS is 100% fatal as the person eventually loses the ability to move and usually succumbs to respiratory failure within 3 to 5 years of the initial onset of symptoms.

William White. Photo courtesy of OSU athletics.

Facing such a horrible diagnosis would cause a great deal of fear for the average person and could even lead to despair. White, however, has relied on his strong faith in Jesus Christ to carry him through this trial. This has allowed him instead to use it as an opportunity to serve and encourage others who are going through some of the same struggles he is.

After an opening prayer by Keith Byars (a teammate of William), Coach Urban Meyer took the podium and shared the mystery to the Buckeyes championship in 2014. The mystery was that the team had learned to put their teammates before themselves. This advice carries over into all areas of life.

“Want to be a great husband, put your wife first. Want to be a great parent, put your children first. Want to be a great teammate, put your teammates first. Want to be a great person in the community, do what William does, give back. Always put others before yourself.” 

Jim Tressel took the podium next and shared how William White has always kept perspective and possessed this quality of putting others before himself.

“All of us who were here back in the 80’s and all of us that had been touched by William know what he is all about…Watching William’s life on the field…and his impact when he came back to town has been extraordinary.”

Tressel talked about the impact William had on his players when he came back to visit.  

“He always had a message that resonated. He was always there for all of us that had a need. He has demonstrated that it’s all about God and what God wants him to do. And there is no challenge too great. He is going to make sure that he impacts every single day.”

Former Buckeye Coach Jim Tressel.

Perhaps no one knows the character and humility of William more than Chris Spielman, who was a teammate of William in both college and the NFL.

Chris shared a verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 which embodies the spirit of the Inspiration award.

“God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of strength, and of love and of a sound mind.”

“It’s nice to say, but when you’re called to actually live that by your actions some of us may wilt a little bit, but not William.”

The 2018 Inspiration Award winner and Olympic and world champion wrestler Kyle Snyder then took a moment to share how William has inspired him.

“When I think about William and the way that he is struggling and suffering. He does it with joy and with happiness in his heart because he knows he has been given the power to live a steadfast life and to have endurance.”

“I’m trying to walk my faith out just as I’m sure many of you are, and when I see examples like William, it just makes it easier for me to do it and I’m encouraged by it.”

William was then welcomed up on stage with Kyle and was presented with a $10,000 check to the William White Family Fund for ALS and then given the 2019 Inspiration Award.

William White with Kyle Snyder. Photo courtesy of inTeam.

William challenged the audience to inspire and encourage others by sharing their own story of how they have gone through trials and come out on the other side victoriously.

“Everyone in here can inspire someone. There is someone who is going through the exact same thing.”

“We have to inspire our youth and anyone that you know. There’s always going to be challenges, but at the end you just keep fighting.”

William explained that our lives are not about ourselves. We are to love God with all our hearts and then love our neighbors as ourselves. Before we can love others though, we first have to love ourselves and accept our purpose in life.

“You are really here for others and not yourself,” William said.

He then shared the verse from Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

While we are here on earth, we are to serve the Lord, but even when we are taken home, we win.

William next talked about how he counsels other people with ALS who are going through similar struggles.

“I’ve been talking to a couple people that have ALS and they are very depressed because the doctor always tells them there is a 100 percent chance they are going to die. And I always tell them there is a 100 percent chance that everyone that’s born is going to die. So why think about something you cannot control?”

William next challenged the audience to consider their own mortality and the fact that no one knows when they might die.

“Raise your hand if you are 100 percent certain you are going to be here in 2025.”

William stressed the importance of making every day count and choosing to be joyful no matter the circumstance.

“You never know. That’s why the Bible says, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made. I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it.’ He gave me this day. I’m going to enjoy it and do what he wants me to do because again when the day comes that I don’t wake up. Guess what? I win”

Friend's gather in prayer for William. Photo courtesy of inTeam.

Through all the trials of having ALS, William has maintained an eternal perspective.

“Don’t ever feel sad about me or all that junk about what I’m going through. As I told my doctor…I said I promise you God is not up there in heaven looking down saying, man I didn’t see that coming.”

Lastly, William again reinforced to the audience the importance of sharing their story. To not be ashamed of their past, but to use it to impact others.

“Everyone in here. You are an inspiration. You need to embrace it. The things you went through is for others. Start to open up. Tell more people about the things you went through, so they can understand that, 'You know what?' This isn’t bad.”

“All you need to do is keep walking. If you keep walking you will get through the valley and God will be right by your side.”

If you would like to make a donation to the William White Family Fund for ALS you can do so here.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2019 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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Nick’s email:

Thursday, April 4, 2019

"Buckeye Brian" Fogle's Massive Ohio State Memorabilia Collection

As Buckeye fans, many of us have moments that we treasure. We remember the first time we watched the Buckeyes when we were kids, or we have a cherished memory of watching Ohio State win a national championship, or we remember watching our favorite player have a historic day. I still remember Keith Byars losing his shoe and rumbling down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown against Illinois when I was a kid.

In the world of sports memorabilia collecting, these moments can be captured in a photograph, a game day program, a ticket stub, or an autograph from our heroes. These items become treasured keepsakes which capture our wonder and help ensure that we never forget these precious memories and experiences. Every item has a story to tell.

For Brian Fogle, affectionately known as, "Buckeye Brian" this love for collecting and capturing these memories started very early. You might say he was born for this task. “Aug 10th, 1968 at Riverside Hospital and what a year that was (undefeated super sophomores). So, I think I was meant to be."

Brian Fogle in front of his vast collection. Photo courtesy of Brian Fogle.

His love for the Buckeyes took root very early. “My grandfather played at Ohio State for one year in 1950, the year of the Snow Bowl. His name was Robert Fogle. He was an offensive guard, and he took me to my first game in 1975 and that’s when I got to meet Archie and Woody. He took me down to the sidelines and I started going to games every year after that.”

Brian’s first item was an Archie Griffin jersey that his grandfather gave him as a gift and that’s when the collecting bug hit him. “I tell people that some kids collect comic books and baseball cards. I collected memorabilia. I just studied it as a kid and people would buy me stuff for Christmas and my birthday and I just kept it and kept collecting.”

Pair of Buckeye gold pants from the greatest rivalry in all of sport.

Brian has some of the oldest and rarest pieces in Buckeye history. “I have a book from 1909. It's an Ohio State magazine. Then I have pictures of the Michigan/Ohio State game from 1910. I have programs and scrapbooks from 1917 when Chic Harley played, and some of those are very rare. I also have a couple of players' cleats from the late 60’s and 70’s.”

Jim Stillwagon's (RIP) cleats. 

The crown jewel of Brian’s collection is a jacket with over 325 signatures from Buckeye greats dating all the way back to the late 30’s and including all the starters from the 2002 national championship team and the 2014 championship team.

“My jacket was always the greatest because when I would meet the person, I would always have them tell me a story, especially if it was someone who played for Woody. I’ve met so many great players that have told me stories and I love it.”

It takes a lot of time, work and dedication to build such an extensive collection. His collection has been noticed by the local Buckeye beat and has been featured on WSYX channel 6, and WBNS 10TV as well as having a page dedicated to his collection in Jack Park’s newest book, “Buckeye Reflections, Legendary Moments From Ohio State Football," coauthored by Maureen Zappala.

Wheaties Box signed by Buckeye great Chris Spielman.

This is not something Brian takes for granted. “It’s unbelievable. I’m just a kid that started collecting and had a love and passion for Ohio State football and it turned into something great. I’ve been very blessed to find things and meet people. I just like the history and have put together a pretty good collection.”

Brian has gained respect from probably the best Buckeye collector in Buckeye Nation, George Hiles who has served as a mentor for Brian. “He is in his late 70’s. He is the person I probably got 50 or 60 things from. He is kind of passing the torch to me.”

Woody Hayes' projector that he used to break down film.

Brian’s eyes light up when talking about all the Buckeye greats that have made their way to Brian’s home to see his collection. “I have had probably 30 or 40 great Buckeyes, all Americans, and MVP’s over here.” Men like Ray Griffin and Cornelius Green. “They get to see their history. They get to see when they played, and before and after they played, and just the great tradition that Ohio State is.”

Buckeye legend Cornelius Green.

In this day and age, we tend to really focus on the current teams and the latest and greatest Buckeye stars. Brian has a healthy appreciation for the men that paved the way for the current Buckeyes. “You can’t forget them. I’ve collected for a good 35 years pretty seriously. I’ve met every great legend from the 40’s to the present. Now I want to go back in time. I want to go from the 40’s to 1890 which was Ohio State’s first team.”

Gate from Ohio Field (1917) which eventually became part of Ohio Stadium in 1921 to save costs on the new stadium.

There is one item that Brian has had his eyes on for quite some time that he would like to someday add to his collection. It would be quite a capstone.

“I know somebody that has a picture, a real photograph of Ohio State’s first team in 1890. It’s the only one of its kind.”

For the last several years, Brian has added another hobby which further complements his love of collecting and allows him to meet more Buckeyes greats, past and present. Brian has been making Buckeye figurines for players and the players love them. Brian describes players' responses. “Just joy. Joy and happiness. They just say, ‘That’s me.’ It brings a smile to their face and it takes them back to their playing days.”

Honorary Buckeye Jacob Jarvis receiving figurines Brian made for him.

In addition to leaving a legacy of joy to Buckeye Nation through his collection and his figurines, Brian has applied Woody Hayes maxim of, "paying it forward" and helped those in need. Brian has been helping raise money for Terry Price, a Buckeye fan with cancer who has been unable to work and to pay his bills.

Brian has helped rally others to come to Terry’s aid financially and also helped Terry by selling some of his personal items from his collection through various fundraisers. If you would like to help Terry, Brian will be situated near St. John Arena for another fundraiser from 8AM to noon before the annual Ohio State Spring Game on April 13th. Part of the proceeds will go to help Terry.

Brian with his good friend Terry Price. Photo courtesy of Brian Fogle.

Brian’s ultimate goal is to someday have a museum to house all of his collection and to continue to bring joy to Buckeye Nation for years to come. 

“My eventual goal down the road is to get a showroom/warehouse. In the front is going to be a museum, and I’d love people to come there.”

If he pursues this dream with the same passion as he does other areas of his life, there will be no slowing him down.

In fact, he is just getting started.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2019 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email: