My Team Lost

January 12, 2021

My team lost last night.

I wish they’d won, but they didn’t–the other team did.

For whatever reason (some call it fate, divine providence, chance: take your pick), I was born in Dayton, Ohio. As I understand it, I spent the first few years of my life living in an apartment within the city boundaries before spending the rest of my childhood in what I call, “a suburb of a suburb” some 25 minutes from the place of my birth.  

I don’t have much of a recollection regarding those “first few years” of my life, but I distinctly remember leaving the second house at the ripe old age of 17 to join the Marine Corps, so I’m pretty sure about those later years.

Ohio was a great place to grow up.  

“If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”

Wilbur Wright, 1910

My memories involve snowy winters and hot clear summer days.  A few tornadoes, hiking through the woods in the southeast part of the state, and a relatively uneventful childhood.  It was Ohio, for goodness’ sake.

My team lost last night.

I grew up with one sport in my life: Baseball.  I wasn’t a particularly good player, but I could throw the ball to home plate from center field, so that was the position I remember playing.  (I do have one good baseball story that comes to mind every time I hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” but that’s about it.)  The Cincinnati Reds were usually competitive during my childhood years, and they were dominant for a few of them (see Big Red Machine). Baseball was and, to a degree, is still my sport.

Football, though, is pretty big around my home here in north Alabama.  It’s pretty big up in Ohio as well, despite my lack of awareness when I lived there.  (One quick anecdote about how clueless I used to be when it comes to football: When I moved to Alabama in 2000, I got my family members Alabama sweatshirts because I thought they referred to the state.  Um, no, Tim, they’re all about the football team.  Oddly enough, I’ve never seen a family member wear that shirt.)

My team lost last night.

Most of the folks I know here in the south are fans of the University of Alabama football team, but I decided years ago to root for the team of my birth state, The Ohio State University.  It just seemed right.  I was born there and raised there.  Most of my family still lives there, and I visit when I can.  

I have a lot of good reasons to support my team.  Despite their loss last night, the OSU football team is a darn good group of players.  They were good enough to score 24 points against the best team in the nation.  Unfortunately, the best team in the nation was good enough, last night, to score 52 points against them.

I’m not one to talk (too much) trash, but I can point out that last time the two teams met some six years ago, my team did win.  And, historically, they’re good enough that they could win the next time they meet in the future.  They’re a good team, a competitive team.  I believe in my team.  

My team lost last night.

We could talk about some possible reasons my team lost last night.  Our starting quarterback took a debilitating hit just 10 days or so ago.  Certainly that slowed him down–it had to.  The Buckeyes were down three starting players due to Covid-19, and they lost their starting running back to injury on his first possession of the game.   

We could also talk about the advantages the University of Alabama enjoyed last night.  Their coach’s name is at home amongst the greats of the game, and–as of last night–he’s won more national championships than any other head coach in the history of the game.  Their starting quarterback is nothing short of top-notch, and one of their receivers won the Heisman Trophy just a few days ago.

Two good teams, great teams, historied teams, and in their most recent matchup, my team lost.  At the end of the night, my team lost.  There will be a post-game analysis, some soul searching, and an effort to do better next time, but last night my team lost.

It’s not the fault of the referees, the field, or the weather.  They lost.  Next time they might win, but this time they lost.  The other team scored more points, and that’s what wins games.  I hope the best for them next time, but this time…well, my team lost.  When one’s team loses, they lost.

Honestly, this post isn’t about football at all, now is it?

8 thoughts on “My Team Lost”

  1. Nope, not about football at all (at least most of it isn’t). We aren’t great football fans, either but have watched our share this year (and had your game on last night). I wanted Ohio State to win as well. My husband asked why and my reply was because they have a great marching band! (That tells you what’s important to me about football.) LOL. The reason we’re watching lately is that the Buffalo Bills are on a winning streak. Both my husband and I grew up in Bills Country (read, Western New York). We were never really fans when we lived there (think Jim Kelly days). It’s always been easier to root for them when we have been out of state residents (now, most of our lives). It’s kind of fun to not root for the hometown team, isn’t it? Which right now for us is the Green Bay Packers. Yes, this year we’ve watched our share of football. I’m sure we’ll go back to not watching in the future. We certainly never spend the money to attend the games. We’d rather watch almost any other sport, especially soccer. Thanks for sharing, Tim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, I don’t know how, but I missed this comment last week–my apologies!

      Ohio State does have a great marching band, and I have to confess the half-time entertainment is oftentimes my favorite part of the game. I’ve only been to a couple of “real” football games in my life (oddly enough, one was an NFL game played in Berlin, German in the late 80s), and I think I like it better on TV–the view is certainly better!

      I wish I grew up with soccer so I understood it better. I know the rules and how the game is played, but I don’t know the spirit of it like I do baseball. We just got a new minor league team (The Rocket City Trash Pandas), and I’m looking forward to catching a game this year (I hope).

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s so much more than football in this piece of yours. Your love for your hometown shines through and that’s something I identify with. I still haven’t been able to cut the cord with mine. Baseball isn’t a popular sport this side of the world. It’s cricket that reins supreme followed by football, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes a slice — that one significant moment in one’s day — can trigger so many memories. I am sorry your team lost “last night,” but I am so truly grateful that their loss is our gain in getting to know you even more, Tim. As you once said to me, peeling back those layers of the onion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comments, Christie. The past and the present have so many connections, overlaps, and repeats. Watching today’s (Jan 20) activities, I’m pretty happy with how some contests end. (:

      Liked by 1 person

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