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The Game of the Century

Even as a 17 year old I recognized the above title might be exaggerated, given that the year was 2006 and by my calculations we had about 93 seasons of college football left. But if you stepped on Ohio State’s campus that day and watched what transpired, you would have walked out saying, “This was the best game I’ve ever seen” just like I did.

Because water polo season in Ohio is during the early fall I was able to convince my future swim coach that the only possible game I could attend for a recruiting trip was the Ohio State-michigan. It worked like magic and I snagged a free trip to quite possibly the best recruiting trip ever conceived by mankind.

As for the game itself, just watch it right here, so then you won’t read what I didn’t write because I spent the last 3 hours watching it.

 

Or just watch this highlight reel:

One of the best parts of this day was that I took this recruiting trip with someone who would end up to be one of my best friends, Michael Hulme. From our front row 30 yard line seats we shared an absolutely amazing experience, one that we will reminisce about every November til we are old, scraggly men drinking PBR’s on the front porch.

And by the way, if you are astounded at how you can find virtually anything on youtube is and how from this point on basically everything that happens will somehow get on the internet, I’m right there with you.

 

Buckeye Til I Die,

The Keef

Before you feast your bellies on a horde of turkey meat, cranberry sauce, dressing, all of which is slathered on top of mashed potatoes before you cover it in turkey gravy and down it with a delicious red Cabernet, feast your eyes on this picture:

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake 2012

Yes, that was taken in mirror lake and no, of course I don’t know who they are or where I got this picture. But if anything screams Beat m*ch*g*n Week, it’s rowdy college students chugging tall boy PBRs and jumping into a cold lake half (or mostly) naked toting American flags chanting, “WE DON’T GIVE A DAMN FOR THE WHOLE STATE OF MICHIGAN.” It’s patriotic, it’s tradition, it’s beautiful.

Which takes me to my 4th favorite Ohio State-michigan of my lifetime, which concerned breaking a tradition of sorts. The tradition was losing to the state up north and the result was my first ever viewing of an Ohio State victory in The Game. The year was 1998 and only a few weeks previous a teary eyed 9 year old watched his #1 team in the country get surprised by michigan state and lose on a 4th and goal interception. To say that an innocent child needed this victory is like saying Brady Choke needs to lose a few. Crowded in front of my little TV (adjusting the antenna every couple minutes, because it’s 1998)my brother Alan and I watched the Bucks take an early lead and never look back.

More importantly, after seeing my childhood Buckeye hero David Boston get tossed around by Charles Woodson the previous year, Boston placed himself into legend status with his performance; catching 10 balls for 217 yards and two touchdowns. My favorite of which occurs at about 1:35 of this video when he taunts the michigan safety and struts into the end zone on the Bucks way to a 31-16 beat down.

It was a momentous day in my life, and one that I will always remember.
For my #3 game of all time, fast forward to 2004…
Background: Ohio State is unranked facing a #7 michigan team in the ‘Shoe. A quarterback dilemma between Justin Zwick and Troy Smith (which believe it or not was the least controversial QB controversy in recent history) for most of the season left the Buckeyes at a measly 6-4. So only a W vs michigan could pull the season out of the dirt, and that’s exactly what happened. In spectacular fashion I might add.
How it happened: The Buckeyes went to the locker room at halftime with some momentum up 20-14, but the entire season consisted of lackluster 2nd half performances draped with turnovers and heartbreak, so no one was too optimistic. All of that changed in the 3rd quarter when michigan punted to duo Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr.
After this Ohio State controlled the game and went on to a 37-21 upset victory. I remember watching it in the basement of fellow Buckeye fanatic Kent Hunt and Drew French, feasting on Skyline chili dip and Troy Smith ankle breakers. Troy Smith locked up the starting job for the rest of his career in Columbus, going 13-for-23 for 241 yards and 2 TD’s while shredding the michigan defense for another TD and 145 yards on the ground on just 18 carries. At this point it was time to start investing in some #10 jerseys.
Brent Musberger Call of the game: “Can Finley get an angle..? Down the sideline forget about it.”
What Gus Johnson would have said: Anything from here http://www.gusjohnsongetsbuckets.com/
What Bill Wadley had to say: “He returned that punt so fast because the football players never rest in practice! They are always moving!” – Bill Wadley
That’s all for today folks. Check back tomorrow for game #2 and Friday for the grand finale! Or if I’m so loaded on the aforementioned food items combined with a couple pieces of peanut butter, pumpkin, and apple pie you may have to wait til Friday for both.
It’s 9:22… and m*ch*g*n still sucks
Buckeye Til I Die,
The Keef

You’re looking at the year in the title and you’re scratching your head wondering, “What? Only #5? How can it be, that was the national championship year, right?” Yes, you are correct. And it was a fantastic game, the second under the Tressel era.

The background: Ohio State is 12-0 and ranked #2 in the country. Michigan is ranked #10 and looking for an upset, which in the previous 11 years they had successfully knocked off a top 5 ranked Ohio State team 3 out of 4 games. Ohio State has been riding the play of its freshman extraordinaire, Maurice Clarrett (presumably before he kept assault weapons in his trunk).

What 13 year old Elliott was doing: Sitting in his basement holding the antenna in order to get a good signal, because of my parents refusal to get digital cable. Further proof they were still dedicated to prevent me watching The Game.

What happened:

Brent Musberger Quote of the Game: For some reason, legendary announcer Brent Musberger (pre-John David Booty man crush) seemed to cover every Ohio State football game years 2002-2006. You could argue that this lessened the quality of the game, but I loved every second of it. So when Will Allen played hooky in the deep secondary and as time expired stepped in front of michigan’s receiver on the goal line for the game winning INT and Brent let out a, “Let’s party, Columbus!” I was sold for life.

Why it was a great game: This game was a heart attack for coming down to the wire. Add Ohio State-michigan and the other variables I listed above, and this game was nothing short of inducing a triple bypass. Don’t let the score fool you. This game was exemplary of what classic, excellent Big 10 (14?) used to look like. Tough knuckle defense, bruising runners and a passing game that came around when it needed to. Maurice Clarrett single handedly put the city of Columbus on his back while nursing a shoulder injury and lit it up for the Bucks. Meanwhile, John Navarre was seeing scarlet jerseys for days as Ohio State shut michigan out of the end zone and relentlessly harassed him all game. Ohio State won 8 games that season by 7 points or less, including this one, proving that you can winning ugly is still winning.

Honorable mention: I debated giving this game to the 2007 game, which ended in a 14-3 Buckeye win only because Mike Hart ended his career 0-4 against the Bucks. Why does that matter? Because I could fill an entire blog post with the dumb shit that’s come out of his mouth. Unfortunately I can’t find the front page of the Lantern that showed Hart’s face in the dirt with a big 0-4 across it, but when I do I’ll post it.

If I’ve heard this speech once..:

What the Wad had to say about it: “Jim and I went golfing and didn’t talk about football at all!”

What happened after The Game: Ohio State goes on to win the National Championship game, beating Miami (FL) 31-24 in 2OT.

Buckeye Til I Die,

The Keef

Beat Michigan Week

So I know I haven’t been around in a while, at least on the internets. But it’s hard to get writing again when you have no passion to put the pen to paper. In the current post grad life depression that is also known as the “getting a real job and grinding out long weeks in the office” there isn’t much exciting material. I could write about how I have a headset at work now, or that my latest trip to meijer resulted in the most pathetic bag of groceries ever seen in the hand of a 23 year old male. Don’t worry, we won’t see any of that because it is BEAT MICHIGAN WEEK!

And if there is one thing to draw someone out of a writing slump it’s Ohio State – Michigan. I started thinking about this post a couple days before the Wisconsin game but once I realized we were playing in Camp Randall at night and have set a precedent that we generally prefer not to win football games in those conditions, I gave it no more thought. But then Wisconsin’s coach Bret Beliema pulled a classic Wisconsin coaching performance and let us sneak out of Madison with a win in overtime. I am still convinced Tressel was sneaking in plays over the head set somewhere after seeing the same 3 plays in rotation the entire regulation period but gave it no more thought after the W. And as Bill Wadley would say,

“A win’s a win’s a win!” – Bill Wadley

So suddenly this idea can come to fruition. It’s a pretty simple idea actually. Every day this week, I am going to chronicle in countdown fashion one of the top 5 Ohio State-Michigan  games in my lifetime. I was born in 1989, but I don’t remember watching an Ohio State v. Michigan game until 1997, an absolutely terrible year to begin watching The Game as an 8 year old Buckeye. I can remember it clear as day, my mother dragging my siblings and I to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon DURING THE GAME! Even as an 8 year old I knew this was ridiculous and on my very first step inside I sprinted toward the big screen TVs, where I knew there would at least be a couple other scarlet and gray clad kids my age there. Turns out there were none and I would later get spanked for my “insubordination,” but sadly those were the least of my problems.

Five minutes later I watched Ohio State gain possession and punt the ball away. Charles Woodson grabbed it somewhere around the 20, and proceeded to fly past any potential tackler and scamper into the end zone. Ohio State would go on to lose the game and 8 year old me sat slumped in front of the tv completely dejected.

I was a victim, as were many others, of the John Cooper era. During John Cooper’s tenure at OSU, he amassed exactly two, you read that right, two victories against michigan. 2-10-1. And speaking of ties another Bill Wadley quote,

“A tie! Itai! You know what they say, Itai’s like kissing your sister!” – Bill Wadley

Fortunately for me, I only suffered through three more Cooper coached games and the Jim Tressel era began. I still wonder how Cooper kept his job that long without winning a national title or beating michigan, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m not really sure I can put into words how I feel about this rivalry. It’s the most important game of the year, every year, for my favorite sporting team. My high school senior year recruiting trip was to the The Game. I get harassed or relentlessly tease my uncle and nephew (who are inexplicably michigan fans) every Thanksgiving over the outcome. I could go on but the truth is that my story isn’t any different from any other die hard Ohio State football fan. It’s a bigger than life experience. Bigger than you, bigger than me, bigger than the massive stadiums the games are held in.

This year’s storyline of “The Game” is certainly an interesting one; NCAA sanctions, dual quarterbacks from ann arbor, Urban’s first michigan game, michigan coming off it’s first win in the series in close to a decade, OSU preserving an undefeated season, and a rivalry that seemed to have lost its spark in the late 2000s is back and just as fierce as it was before.

If you’re a Buckeye fan and you aren’t fired up yet, this should do the trick:

Let the countdown begin.

 

Buckeye Til I Die,

The Keef

Whether it be in movies or in athletics, this summer is nothing short of epic. You’ve got The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and the yet to be seen latest installment of “You-should-have-left-me-alone” Bourne series. Although the fire was dampened by busts like “Battleship” (You need only watch the trailer to see how that swiftly sunk, haha), The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises were two extraordinary, albeit different, depictions of the superhero genre. I have another post that’s in the editing process for the second of those films, Dark Knight Rises.

Then you’ve got the NBA Finals (yada yada yada) and what’s turning out to be an interesting baseball season, mostly because the Reds are tied for the best record in the league. Meanwhile the US Presidential election race is nearing, “The board is set, the pieces are moving” stage, to quote Gandalf. And next a plethora of Olympic battle royales.

Then there’s swimming. The Summer Olympics number one sport hit Omaha in late June for Trials and is underway in London. While I am disappointed not to be in London, I am excited I can sit on my couch, like right now, and get ridiculously over excited cheering for American athletes.

Back tracking to swimming, the Trials were a spectacular event full of firepower (sometimes literally), upsets, and dominating performances. Lochte v Phelps stole the headlines, but in the swimming world there were numerous of events that were plenty more exciting.

The womens 100 breast, 200 IM, 800 free, 100 fly to name a few got the crowd to their feet, which for womens swimming is, well, I’ll just stop there. On the mens side, the 200 breast, 50 free, 100 free, 100 back were all events that left spectators across the world shaking their heads. Grevers going 52.0? Whaaat? Cullen can still swim? Bigger WHAAAAT? “Who is Scott Weltz?” – Everyone. Anthony Ervin?? You mean that guy from year 2000 won the 50 with some of the sickest sleeve tattoos I’ve ever seen?

And of course the Olympics thus far has been plenty exciting. But here is where I would like to point out one thing.

I have maintained since 2008 that Phelps 8 golds is the greatest athletic feat of all time. And London 2012 thus far is proving my point.

- USA takes silver in a tough and controversial 400 free relay loss. Lochte is not the invincible hero that Phelps was in ’08.

- Phelps MISSES podium in 400 IM. No 3-peat

- Kitajima MISSES podium in the 100 breast while “Cam Van” breaks the world record. No 3-peat.

What I think has happened is that the world, and mostly the USA, has taken Michael’s incredible, physics defying achievement for granted. This time around, it’s becoming obvious the world is getting faster, and wins aren’t coming as easy. Phelps is sticking around for the good of the sport, but he’s not the machine of ’08. Some people are calling it an epic letdown. I’m saying, “No, you just got spoiled silly last time. And this Olympics is turning into an EPIC good guys vs bad guys drama.”

“Now I ain’t saying she a cheater… but she ain’t messin with that back half.” – If Kanye were a white swimmer rapper.

China is coming under scrutiny for an obscenely fast first two days the Olympics. Hoo shoo ye shoo came home faster than Lochte in the 400 IM, which you probably have to read that twice just like when you saw the womens volleyball team’s best hitter is named Destiny Hooker. Sun Yang made Park Tae Wan his bitch the last 100 of the 400 free. Watching this honestly gives me a slight feeling of what it was like for my parents and other Americans to watch the Olympics when it was USA v Soviet Union. Now it obviously isn’t up to that level of hatred/intensity that it was in 1976, but I feel like it’s getting pretty close. It’s to the point where I’m cheering against China nearly as much as I am for the USA. And with the medal count last I checked tied at 13, and predicted to come down to the wire for both Golds and overall, I feel this is justified.

I’m not going to say the Chinese are cheating. What I am going to say is that if this superhero summer taught us anything, it’s that we are Batman and they are Bane. We haven’t had a bad guy in recent times, save the French. But, ya know, it’s just the French, and we still have saving their asses twice (1917, 1944) on the ledger as far as that’s concerned. This is a golden opportunity to unite against the economic outsourcing, 58.7 splitting, diving dominating Commies from across the Pacific. Makes me mad just thinking about it.

So, draw some pride in cheering for your epic basketball team, womens skeet shooters, two best swimmers, table tennis’ers, archers, water polo’ers; and don’t be ashamed about it! This is America, and the only thing we should be ashamed of is that everyone isn’t as awesome as us.

Don your red, white, and blue, scream at your television screen (and NBC for not showing swimming live and forcing you to wait 6 hours to see it) and get excited for America’s epic battle with China. And while we may have made our uniforms there, our determination and tenacity was born and bred right here in the heartland.

Buckeye TIl I Die,

The Keef

Olympic Trials has been over for almost three weeks now and having been removed from the grandeur of those eight days in Omaha it’s time for an update. Trials was absolutely the most exhausting trip of my entire life. Physically, mentally, and emotionally this entire meet is a roller coaster ride like none other. Every single day someone I was cheering for stepped on the blocks with an Olympic birth at stake. As the days went on more and more of my teammates stepped up to the plate only to be denied. And others, four to be exact, shined under the lights and made the most prestigious Olympic team possible: The United States of America’s Swim Team. (Note: the number is four because at the time of the swim Davis had not made the team…yet)

Sadly, my name is not one of those five. I was one of the other 1700+ swimmers who came and were denied. But the experience overall of being one of the few who did get to swim in semi finals in two events, and finals in another was rewarding nearly beyond capable of putting into words. At this point I should warn you that I normally limit myself to 1000 words per post, but this is not one of those times. So let’s start from the beginning of the meet.

Or earlier. Since I moved down to Charlotte last August after nationals I did not get to do a full taper with coach Marsh until now. Much like what I considered to be an unorthodox training regiment that took time getting acclimated to, taper was the same. Taper in high school and college was very regimented and close to the same every year. During that time every swimmer goes through a “funk,” or stretch of time where you feel like crap, reconsider why you’re doing the sport, and/or wonder how you feel this lethargic off 10 hours of sleep the last 3 nights. Now it varies by person, but in the last 6 years my funk usually happened in a pattern of two-three days of feeling great, one awful. This time it was reversed; I legitimately wondered one day if I could even re-accomplish the Trials cut I felt so bad three days in a row. So it was more like 3 days off/1 on the whole taper (3 weeks-ish). So with that booming sort of confidence we arrived in Omaha. Side note: There is a great story about a slight debacle with our United airlines flight attendants that lead to some “rogue tweeting,” but that’s for a different post.

Upon arrival a swift calling from of the winds of change fell upon mine ears and physically in the pool, I became a new man. Practices and “stingers” went great and I arrived at the blocks on Day 1 for the 100 breaststroke feeling wonderful. I really got after it and dropped nearly a second (0.8) off my best time to go a 1:01.41. I also semi-finaled in an event that even my coach had written me off in saying, “I didn’t train you for the 100 breast once this year… so when did you learn how to sprint?” At night I got out there and added a tenth at finals but importantly didn’t DFL. It was a great way to start the meet and was also great to know I had some easy speed I could use for the 200.

I don’t want to go into long dramatic details of each 200 swim, if you really want to know you can ask me, but prelims went really well. I was set up in a heat right next to Hansen and we basically toyed around the first 150, virtually even coming off the wall. Now at this point in the game plan Marsh had predicted I would be right there, and that if I wanted to blow by him the last 50, feel free. I was definitely feeling the pain but just decided to hang out and see what happened. He came off the wall and got past me a little bit but I didn’t let him get away. Twenty meters later it was clear we were both playing hard to get; I didn’t want  him to think I would give it up that easy and he didn’t want me to think he was trying too hard. Whatever that means the last 7-8 meters I barreled into the finish and got to the wall first. Best time, 2:11.90. Afterwards I got interviewed by a couple reporters and my main man Scott Motice with AIA, which was new and exciting and can totally see how the celebrity lifestyle is so addicting. It’s just so much fun! and a major ego boost.

Now I was excited because I went a best time and clearly didn’t expend everything in the tank. Semi-finals went much like prelims except that I had to jump on the second 50 a little more and didn’t close like I normally do and got out touched by a few tenths for second (2:11.29) in the first semis heat. The time was a PR and definitely good enough for finals (seeded 5th). After the race I was reaching over the lane line congratulating the guy who out touched me, some no namer Scott Weltz (more on that later), and the camera man stuck his deal in my face. Before I knew what I was doing I was giving the camera a suave “finger guns” shot that probably made his career portfolio. So you’re welcome dude.

Apparently this was a big hit because by the end of the night no less than a dozen of my friends had paused their DVR’s at home to snap a picture to send to me. I’m still not sure why I did it, or if it was as smooth and cool as my mind’s eye remembers, but I’ll place it in the memory bank in the same folder as “Stuff performed Saturday nights sophomore year of college the jury is still out on.”

The day of finals was probably the most nerve wracking day of my life. I slept well enough surprisingly and spent the next 6 hours pushing my stomach back down where it belongs, peeing every 25 minutes, and doing just about anything to get my mind off swimming. Once I arrived to warm-up everything fell into place and I became much more relaxed. Then came a long half hour plus of just sitting anxiously, listening to music to get in the zone, sneakily and then eventually blatantly readjusting my nuts every two minutes cause they wouldn’t sit right in my suit. I’m not sure if most people have trouble with that last one but I’m fairly sure the first two are universally accurate. Everything proceeded as normal in the ready room and I remained really calm. We were the first event of the night and so they walked us out to the last staging area for the national anthem and pump up video. At this point, I took off my headphones and absorbed in the coolest atmosphere I’ve hands down ever competed in. The announcer got the sold out crowd to do a count down and the whole place was on their feet and clapping as we stepped out for the final heat. At that point, I was really just in awe of everything that was going on around me. All this for a swim meet? You kidding me?

The atmosphere really fueled my adrenaline and I was ready to blast once I got on the blocks. The first 50 was just smooth and fast. The last few months Marsh and I knew that the second 50 was critical, and I couldn’t let the front half guys get too far ahead. I jumped on it and went 32.7 on the second 50. At the turn I was still feeling strong and from lane 2 all I could really see was Brendan next to me. That’s good. That means no one is out ahead, now GO! I drifted slightly to the left on the third 50, knowing I was chipping away at the leaders because I can see much better to the left than the right for some reason. I got really excited as sure enough I was reeling them in little by little. Now in previous races I had jammed the last wall and was determined not to repeat that mistake again. I took two slightly longer strokes into the wall, tucked, and shot off as fast I could. Underwater those long, lonely 3-4 seconds I clearly heard the loudspeaker, “AND IT’S SHANTEAU AT THE ONE FIFTY!” and the crowd roared. I came up and just was talking/thinking/praying, “Just go! Stay long! Fight!” I put my head down for 40 meters, hit the wall and looked up.

I saw Brendan at 4th and knew he had out touched me. Eyes blurry and gasping for air I was scanning to see the results. I saw my name and as I looked up at first place I hear Brendan go, “Oh wowww!”

Scott Weltz. 2:09.0. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xofhB6iQBuQ&feature=related

The funny thing was that going into the race, the large amount of respect I had for Eric and Brendan didn’t prevent me from mentally crumbling next to them. In fact I sensed in the ready room, “I don’t think either of these guys is gonna win this thing.” I dunno, some sixth sense made it clear the race was up for grabs. I truly believed diving in that I could do it.

Scott’s swim is a remarkable example of the unpredictable nature of swimming. I still don’t know how he did it. Watching the tape a few days later I can see it happen in front of me, but sometimes watching isn’t enough and understanding that that day was his is all you can do. Hats off to you, Scott. An incredible swim and a cinderella story like swimming hasn’t had in a while. Second place belonged to a body lunging Clark Burckle the last 5 meters to out touch Shanteau in 2:09.97, sparking what I’m assuming was Rowdy’s, “Uhh well, it’s not Hansen or Shanteau so we better cut to commercial break cause I don’t know what to say.” But for those who had been following Clark for the last year knew it was no mistake. I watched Clark put together a year of dedicated work in all aspects of the sport. We talked frequently at meets about how he had cut out the bad diet, replaced the negative or neutral time with sleep, and trained with a purpose. He acted as a true professional and I tip my hat to the inspiration you are to those who watched you perform the last 6 months. Absolutely earned and well deserved.

I landed at 5th with another best time of 2:11.10, just 1.14 seconds out of second place. I’m emotionally exhausted just re-living and writing the last two pages. In truth, once I realized it was over and I was relieved. So much stress had built up it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was upset, sure. But I knew crying wouldn’t do anything, and I was actually more confused trying to determine who Scott was I didn’t really have any emotion to give out.

At the warm down pool an odd feeling comes when a race that brings the end to a long season is over. You don’t think about anything. You just kind of sit there; brain letting off a slow steam of thoughts, never capturing one long enough to process it, never letting any particular sentiment take root. I didn’t know what to do, so I actually warmed down about a 200 then jumped in the hot tub.

A buddy told me recently, “Man, swimming is the most brutal sport there is.” I never thought of agreeing with him, until after Trials. For 8 long days, you and some of your closest friends damn near put your souls at stake. Years worth of sweat, emotion, laughter, uncertainty, anxiety, and faith go into one moment of concentrated will and effort. One. Single. Moment. No wonder people who are not balanced in their life go ballistic when they don’t achieve their goal. It feels like the let down of a lifetime. It can be absolutely soul crushing. Fortunately having a plethora of amazing people placed into my life prevented me from total collapse (again) unlike others I saw at the meet. I still don’t know if swimming is the toughest sport, but I do know you have to be a brave soul to embrace the journey and not fear uncertain result.

That’s about all I got for right now. I do want to mention a couple things before I go though:

An incredible and heart felt thank you for the barrage of support I received leading up to Trials and during the meet. Specifically,

- Cincinnati Aquatic Club

- Milford High School Swimming/Water Polo

- My very first swim team: Miami Hills. Loved the poster, thanks!

- The Ohio State family from far and wide. Including my great friend Ben Savonen sending me a text from an 18 digit phone number in Tanzania. You’re the best! Go Bucks!

- Faith Church in Milford

- A huge thank you to my biological family

- And my fans who didn’t make a shirt titled “Team Elliott” or something super gay like that. Seriously, thank you guys.

- AIA friends Jamie Borchik, Scott Motice, Josh Davis, and Ashley Null

- And especially SwimMAC Carolina and Dave Marsh for letting me hop on this incredible ride for the last ten months with them.

Congrats to my teammates who made the team: Kara Lynn Joyce, Cullen Jones, Nick Thoman, my roommate Davis Tarwater, and training partner Micah Lawrence.

Unlike Forrest, I do have more stuff to say but that will have to wait.

Buckeye Til I Die,

Elliott Keefer

For those of you who don’t know the SwimMAC hosted UltraSwim Grand Prix was last weekend. It was a major success and a testament to swim meets can be made fun if given the right backing and proper direction.

Personally, I did fairly well. Coach decided to give us the hardest practice of the week Wednesday before the meet so we were pretty beat up going into the meet. Went full weights on Monday and Wednesday as well. I was 1:03.5 in the 100, continuing the yearly trend of “your 100 still doesn’t look good and isn’t fast but when you hit it one day, it will be beautiful.” The 200 went fairly well, 2:15.4, a full second better than last year at this meet. I was very smooth the first 100 and spun my wheels a little the last lap but that’s all swimming blabber. Point is I’m very confident where I’m sitting, and I’m a big “taper baby” and a whole 8+ months of straight work will be in my favor come resting time.

In other news, if you haven’t seen “The Avengers,” drop everything you’re doing and go see it. Also, if you didn’t smile at least 3 times during the movie you’re either an angry old Asian lady who’s still mad at the kid who broke into her shipment of chopsticks and broke them all in half, or not human.

I had completely forgotten that the NBA playoffs were on until I tuned in the other night to the Celtics dismantling of the 76ers. After watching Evan “The villain” Turner brick 2 free throws and watch Kevin Garnett travel no less than three times in 2 minutes real time I remembered why I dislike the NBA so much. Namely,

1. A complete disregard for the rules of the game; particularly traveling, the carry, and lack of fundamentals. (which isn’t a rule except for games at the YMCA between 5’9 white guys)

2. The lack of fundamentals is made up for with insanely cool plays like “lob city” and pretty much anything the Hawks do on offense. However, once the awesomeness has subsided and there’s defense to be played, lackluster effort doesn’t even describe it well enough.

3. How there are at least 2 annoying people on the court to distract me from enjoying the game. Read: Paul Pierce, KG, LeBron, Westbrook, Doc Rivers, etc.

I could go on but I think I’ve already stated the obvious.

Anyway, I know I promised I would update more (and from now on I promise never to use “I” 3 times in a sentence like that again). But a lack of motivation to write, a severe shortage of good submitted topics on which you would like me to discuss with myself, my editor nixing my last two posts for inappropriate material, nixing two more myself, and finally since swimming is an absolutely boring subject to blog about, I have not written. I’m blaming this on my reading base. I’m out of ideas, or saving them for a time to tell stories about my teammates when they’re not around to beat the crap out of me. Stories like Schneider singing songs about Madison’s rear end; or turning out the lights in the weight room and asking where Cullen went. Or Micah refusing to fart so we could get out of practice (it’s a team rule, so far no female has stepped up to the plate).

Any way, if you want to hear any stories about the ridiculousness of my teammates or another topic you’ll have to ask. I may or may not be able to confirm questions, and of course I won’t tell any stories that make fun of myself, so don’t bother.

Quote of the Week: A classic. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Gretzky

Coaching explanation of the week: “I didn’t put you in the 200 IM because, well, I really didn’t want to watch it. So just take the day off.” “Uh, Thanks?” Convo between PV and myself.

Practice attendance of the week award: I haven’t really counted nor cared but CJ seems to have a slight edge over Swander; attending only 3 workouts thus far this week.

Book of the Month: The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis

Thumbs up to: Joey Votto’s 3 HR game including a walk off grand slam

Thumbs down to: Roger Goodell for suspending Vilma

Youtube of the week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGb3WZLWwJ8

Catch ya’ll again soon.

Buckeye Til I Die,

Keef

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