The Buck Stops Here

Repression is healthy. It keeps me from smashing things. Keeps me from crying. I may never be able to recognize The Gotterdammerung That Was January 8th 2007 as anything more than an idea. Any level of contemplation beyond “my team lost, some other team won” triggers a series of unfortunate spasms and twitches. I have yet to read a single article relating to the aftermath on a technical level. I do not anticipate this changing. Instead of ESPN, I have been watching the Food Network. There is no pain there, only sweet sweet Giada de Laurentiis with endless comfort food.

So congrats to Florida. Whatever. My grapes are so bitter they can eat the skin off your tongue, (but also prevent scurvy, and with some chocolate and lemon zest, can be turned into a scrumptious torte.) Your team kicked my team’s butt. Your color scheme is second only to Oregon in degree of visual atrocity. You can not spell “tradition,” even if Spurrier was still around reminding us what words contain the letters “u” and “t.” Small bits of Troy Smith are still being fed to freshly spawned crocodile youth.

Some things cannot be repressed. This is one of them. The loss is my fault. I provoked my personal Jersey Jinx.

I have something of a fetish for sports jerseys. Especially soccer. I just love them. With disastrous results. Observe my history of jersey purchase:

OSU red #45 (Katzenmoyer): Purchased after the Rose Bowl vs Arizona State. The next two years produced a Butkus award, but also a slew of national jokes in regards to classes such as AIDS Awareness and Golf. Part of the ‘98 team that, according to the media guide, lost a game to MSU that, in similar fashion to the Gotterdammerung, I can not recall ever having happened. Pro career cut short buy neck injury of some sort.

Cleveland Indians #25 (Thome): Have yet to make it back to the World Series, let alone win. Thome was my favorite pro athlete, making his taking the money in Philly tough, and his playing for the M-F-ing White Sox torture.

Browns #2 (Tim Couch): Are details even needed? First in a long line of wasted Cleveland draft picks. Was selected before Donovan McNabb. His only success in the League is lasting longer than did Akili Smith in Cincinnati.

England National Rugby Jersey: (no player) Studying abroad in a country fresh of an amazing World Cup victory in the sport I was playing myself in college was awesome. Watching them lose to Ireland and France immediately after, and then slowly sink into mediocrity was not.

England National Soccer Team, old style-white (no player): I was also in England during Euro ‘04. Was captivated. I was also all of the sudden able to legally watch sports in bars. I sucked down my pints as England blew a late lead against defending champion France, then lost a similar late lead to Portugal, before a disallowed late goal brought up penalty kicks, where Beckham kicked his into row Q, and England went down on the third sudden-death extra kick.

England National Soccer Team, old-style-red (Rooney): I was taken by this player who seemed to play while both very drunk and very pissed off. Also frequents brothels. Awesome. Was then sold to Manchester United and tried to neuter a Portuguese in the last World Cup, leading to a red card. Still generally drunk and pissed off.

Liverpool (Michael Owen): Literally a week after I purchased this jersey, the team sold Owen to Real Madrid out of the blue. Although Liverpool did go on to win the Champions League, Owen has bounced around ever since. Had his knee explode in the last World Cup.

OSU white #13 (Clarett): Reports the theft of items from “his” car just a week later. The rest is history. NB: Arrested at a 24-hour country kitchen a five minute drive from my house, where I ate regularly in high school.

OSU white #7 (Ginn): Has a generally disappointing sophomore year. Has an outstanding junior year, until an unfortunate celebration in The Gotterdammerung.

Browns #19 (Kosar): The reality of the Jersey Jinx began to dawn on me. I elected to go throwback. He had already never won a Super Bowl. What could happen? He still is alive, has not undergone horrifying public divorce or deformity. I fear for his safety.

Cubs (no player): A birthday gift from my girlfriend’s parents, to go along with seats behind the hometeam batter’s box in Wrigley. The history of the Cubs speaks for itself.

Arsenal (no player): When I was abroad, Arsenal went undefeated. Harder in the Premier League than in the NFL. A friend gave me a jersey from that year as a gift to commemorate my having been there. They then reached their first Champions League Final, but lost to Barcelona. Rumors are that their best players have hidden away their firstborn sons in anticipation of my Jinx.

Notre Dame blue #41 (no idea): I’ve always been fond of ND. Strange coming from a Buckeye fan, I know. I credit the movie Rudy with setting me on the way to who I am today back in junior high. My high school team wore similar gold helmets. I love tradition. I know no other ND fans, sparing me exposure to their arrogance. My girlfriend is an Irish Catholic from Chicago. I wore #41 in high school, and will jump on that number in any form, as rare as it comes. No noticed ill effects.

England National Soccer Team new style white (no player): Yet another soccer jersey. Yet another loss to Portugal in penalty kicks. The end of the Beckham era.

Notre Dame green #10 (Quinn): He’s a Columbus boy. He is in every respect (except wins over major competition) an admirable young man. He’s hot. My girlfriend calls him “Dreamboat.” I decided if I cannot beat him, be like him. Came in a disappointing third in the Heisman. Lost his last game by the haunting score of 41-14. Will either play for Oakland or Cleveland.

Leading us to the latest entry, of which I should have known better:

OSU red #10 (Smith): Transcending play to become a personal icon. I purchased not one, but two jerseys. One for myself, and one for my brother at Christmas. Saved the worst game of his life for his last game. Was tormented by multiple players in hideous uniforms during The Gotterdammerung. Lost 41-14. I do not want to talk about more about this.

So there it is. My blame in this debacle laid clear for all to see. I await murder at the hands of an angry mob. I return now to shows that make me fell less of a man for my lack of a food processor. Fresh arugula mayonnaise! Yes!