A perfectly relaxing Saturday morning. Handmade Arcade. Keller Williams. A road trip to Columbus for the MLS Cup final.
I didn’t take pictures of the first part of Saturday, but I don’t want to give it short shrift: Yoga class at 8 a.m., followed by my first ever acupuncture treatment; that combination, boys and girls, is pretty much unbeatable. We took a productive spin through Handmade Arcade, got in a nap … and then …
Fred made a solo trip to Ann Arbor today. Here are two of his photos from the day.
I know what this pic, taken well before the start of the game, feels like. It’s fun, but you’re also apprehensive about the approaching afternoon. And even though you can see plenty of Buckeyes nearby, it can seem very, very lonely.
But 42 points later, I’d think things feel a little different.
I know a little bit about what it feels like to sing Carmen Ohio on the road; I’ve done it at Michigan State and at the end of two white-out nights at Penn State. But on his first trip to a game in Ann Arbor, Fred got something that I didn’t get in two trips during the 90s: a win.
Hey, Fred. We’re going to Ann Arbor in 2017. I need to take care of that thing.
This hasn’t been an especially intimidating place recently. Nor has the team that plays there.
That’s been bad for the Big Ten. It’s been bad for Ohio State. And it’s been bad for the greatest rivalry in sports.
And my sense is that those lean days are over.
I thought the arrival of an actual head coach — as opposed to a career coordinator — would mean an immediate improvement for Michigan. But this season’s turnaround has exceeded what I expected, and there’s a different feeling about this year’s game.
For most of the last 15 years, I went into this weekend expecting Ohio State to win. The game might be tight, but the advantages in coaching and talent almost always won out in the end.
Those advantages aren’t completely erased, but they’re closer this season than they have been in years.
Don’t get me wrong — I’ve enjoyed the hell out of Ohio State’s 12-3 run since 2000. It’s been crazy fun. But we’re returning to the real fun of this game — the intensity, the uncertainty, the fact that it matters.
I’d always wanted to do the YMCA Turkey Trot, the annual 5K held in the city on Thanksgiving morning, if for no other reason that it would provide ample justification for the gorging that would occur later in the day.
But that’s my only gripe about this morning’s race. Well, that and that freaking hill coming around Commonwealth Place to Fort Duquesne Boulevard just as we’re hitting the third mile … that sucked a little bit, to be honest. But that’s a minor gripe — especially in a hilly town like Pittsburgh — and the only one I had about the race. I loved the course; I ran (or walked) past both PG newsrooms, over two bridges and past two stadiums, all on a perfect, sunny, 45-degree morning.
How’d I do? I joked on Wednesday about finishing last in my age group. And I was close.
But that’s not the point. The point is getting outside on a gorgeous morning. The point is enjoying the energy of your fellow runners. The point is responding to the people who are cheering you because you’re wearing an Ohio State jersey. The point is moving.
I did all those. I want to do it again. Soon. Thursday morning was too much fun not to.