18 November 2006

Today is "The Game"

Today is the day…all the hype is over, now it is time for “The Game”. If you live in America you will know what I am talking about as you would not be able to avoid hearing about the football game today between the #1 and #2 rated college teams. The regular season-ending game each year between The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan has always been a classic but this year the winner will be the best team in the country; the BCS National Championship game in January will only be a dessert.

There is no experience like football in the fall in the American mid-west. Sitting with 100,000 other fans in a stadium to watch a bunch of men hit each other sounds insane but once you have caught that bug there is no cure. The OSU Buckeyes vs. UM Wolverines game is the epitome of football tradition in American, a tradition that has not been sold-out to sponsors. We generally refer to Michigan as “the team up north” or “the ‘M word’”, so intense is this rivalry.

We have tried to explain this tradition to our Italian friends with limited results. Trying to explain to them why a game that is 60 minutes long will take over three hours to complete is a concept they find hard to grasp. Soccer does not have the constant breaks and commercial interruptions that televised games in the US are subject to. Those that followed the World Cup live this summer will know what I mean.

We were in Roma this week and met a group of US Marines at a restaurant near the Vatican and in talking to them learned that one of the young men was from the same town in Ohio where I graduated from high school many years ago. Of course we discussed “The Game”. When we parted we thanked the Marines for their service to their country and expressed our envy that they would be watching “The Game” live.

When we lived in New Mexico I cancelled all activities to watch every televised Buckeye game, but that is not an option this year. Our internet connection is via cell phones so we will not be able to watch streaming television but I have subscribed to an on-line radio web cast for today. Hopefully we do not keep up the neighbors as we cheer for the OSU Buckeyes.

Game time in Italy is 9:30 PM.


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