East Bound and Down

East bound and down
Load it up and truck it
We're gonna do what they say can't be done...
We've got a long way to go
And a short time to get there
(Da-da-da-da) Watch old Bandit run...

And on to my next journey...

In the enormous football media guide that the University of Texas issues every year, there is a page near the back that gives the future schedules for the football team. Several years ago, I noticed that the Longhorns would be playing Ohio State, a team that is one of the top-5 all-time programs in college football, and a team that, like Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Texas has never played. Around that time, Ohio State beat Miami to win a National Championship, and Texas recruited a class of players that included Vince Young, Rod Wright, Jonathan Scott, David Thomas, and a few others that form the nucleus of this year's team. Seeing this, I (and most of Longhorn Nation) believed that it would be a huge, historic game for both programs.

We were right. Tickets for this game are going for well over $1000 apiece on eBay, and going into this season, the media has unanimously anointed it as the Game of the Year. As many as 10,000 Longhorn fans may be making the trip, so in the crowd of 100,000 plus, Longhorn Nation will be well represented. I will be among them, but thanks to a fateful phone call I received from my old friend Jacob Levine last July, my journey will be a bit more ambitious...

Here's the plan for the weekend: I will fly into Cincinnati on Friday morning, where Jacob will pick me up, and we will go to Jacob's home in Louisville to play a little golf and catch up on old times. We will then wake up around 4 AM on Saturday morning and drive to Ann Arbor to see the Notre Dame - Michigan game at 12 noon ET. We will leave that game near the end of the third quarter, (hopefully) avoiding the crowd, then driving the 200 miles to Columbus for the big one at 8 PM. When that game finishes up sometime around midnight ET, we will spend the night in Columbus and drive back to Cincy the next morning for my outgoing flight. That's the plan...

...and it's a plan where everything must go right for us to pull it off. Our car cannot break down. We can't get caught in the crowd leaving the Michigan - Notre Dame game - there are 40 exits for 110,000 people there, which means that we would be competing with 2,750 people to get out of the stadium. We will have to maneuver around traffic in Columbus, which begins three hours before kickoff, pick up the tickets from the ticket broker, park, and (probably) run to the stadium in time to catch the pregame festivities, which include the famous dotting of the i. A lot can go wrong, but this is the reason why we're going - if we can pull this off, we'll be telling our grandkids about it. When I tell friends about it, their responses range from "You're crazy" to "You have to do this - you owe it to college football to do so!" A lot of guys are living vicariously through us. I think of Boromir telling Frodo "You carry the faith of all of us, little one..." at the Council of Elrond. That's where Jake and I are at.
So to assist my friends in the "living vicariously" part of this enterprise, I will chronicle the trip in the Nateblogg. Tomorrow I will discuss my attire for this trip. Thursday, I will offer a special "Vince Young and the Longhorns Comin'" iTunes playlist. Finally, as the coup de resistance, I will keep a running diary of the weekend, and will publish it early next week.

Wish me Godspeed, my friends.


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5:19 PM, Blogger ellen said...

well, at least you are proving to be more interested in football than in pride & prejudice if you actually chronicle the weekend minute-by-minute.

also, ann arbor is a crazy college town (speaking as one who's been there) make sure you're actually within walking distance of your car or you may be setting out on your journey after the 1st quarter


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