Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wearing The Pants

I originally planned on writing a new blog entry the day after we beat Cleveland State last week, but I didn’t because of one reason and one reason only – the Sony PSP.  Every player on our team received a PSP as a gift for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge when we played Florida State in early December.  I spent the better part of my Christmas break playing my PSP, including back-to-back nights in which I played until 4:30 a.m., which is why I didn’t get around to writing a blog.  Needless to say, I love my PSP and completely understand why Cartman wanted one so badly.  It’s refreshing to think that I get awesome gifts for basically doing minimal work.  It’s like I’m Preston from Blank Check, only instead of getting cool stuff because I got hit by a car while riding my bike, I get cool stuff because I take a Dallas Lauderdale elbow to the face every now and then.  It’s a perfectly fair trade the way I see it.

As far as the actual game action, we lost to the Wisconsin Buzzcuts on New Year’s Eve mostly because our offense had the continuity of an LFO song.  Wisconsin’s Kohl Center is the only Big Ten arena I have never won in and this year’s version of the Buzzcuts is a talented one, so going into the game I knew that I was most likely not going to play.  Walk-ons at Ohio State only play in blowout wins and based on previous visits to Wisconsin, I knew a blowout win was highly unlikely.  This is why I designated the game to be what is referred to in the walk-on community at tOSU as a “pants game.”

At first thought, “pants game” sounds like something the Michigan football team plays during their training camp as a way to get to know each other better, which very well could be the case.  (I’m guessing it starts when Rich Rod walks into the meeting room on the first day of camp, turns off the lights, and says “I wanna play a game” in Jigsaw’s voice from Saw.)  For the Ohio State basketball walk-ons, though, a pants game refers to a game in which we believe we aren’t going to play and therefore wear full length pants over our game shorts while we sit on the bench.  By doing this, we accomplish two things.  First, we stay warm, which is surprisingly hard to do.  Even though the games are usually close enough to make us nervously sweat, we still find ourselves getting pretty chilly on the bench for whatever reason.  This was certainly the case at Wisconsin, where (in case you hadn’t heard) it tends to get cold during the winter months.  The second thing we accomplish by wearing pants is that we make it easier for us to be spotted on TV.  It’s like we’re that guy sitting courtside who is on his cell phone and is frantically waving his arms because he’s being told by whoever is on the other end of the phone that every time they show LeBron dunk, he can be seen in the background.  Only we’re slightly less annoying.

These are just the external reasons for wearing pants, though.  Wearing long pants on the bench isn’t just a way to keep warm and try to get spotted on TV.  The wearing of pants is also a state of mind.  It tells everyone watching that I’m comfortable with my role in not playing in this particular game and there’s really no need for you to waste your time chanting for me to get in.  If I were a little more ballsy, I’d mimic walk-ons at some other programs by not wearing my jersey under my warm-ups during the first half or even the entire game.  Perhaps I’ll try to pull this move off in the future, but as it stands I’m a little too soft to pull off something as daring as that.

Over the years, I’ve come to find that predicting pants games is far from a perfect science.  Sometimes games that are labeled as pants games actually end up being games that I play in (the most notable of which is the 2007 Big Ten Tournament Championship against Wisconsin), which wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that I have to hurriedly rip my pants off as I walk towards midcourt to check in.  Having to quickly remove my pants sometimes makes me feel like I’m working in the adult entertainment industry, with the obvious exception being that when I take my pants off I usually don’t come anywhere close to scoring.

Today we are traveling up to Ann Arbor to get ready for our game tomorrow with Michigan.  We will be looking to get back on the winning track in what could be our last game without Evan “The Villain” Turner.  For those who don’t remember, The Villain broke his back a couple weeks ago and our team has struggled at times without him.  He was projected to be out another month, but his rehab is going well and he could be back within the next couple games.  I’m excited for The Villain’s return, mostly because I want to see if these past couple weeks will go down as the “Brokeback Era” of his career.  Either way, I’m bombarding him with Brokeback jokes and will continue to do so even when his back is fully healed. ___________________________________________________

Our last game against Wisconsin served as the beginning of the Club Trillion Farewell Tour.  Club Trillion is making its last stop at Big Ten schools all over the Midwest throughout January, February, and March and as a way to say thank you to the Trillion Man March, I just set a Club Trillion record for most capital letters in a single sentence.  As another way to say thank you, I am re-instituting the One Armed Embrace counter that I had going last year for the remainder of the season.  The Buzzcuts reciprocated four of my one-armed embrace attempts, which isn’t a surprise to me at all considering how willing they were to give me a half hug last year.  One of the embracers on the Buzzcuts was Mike Bruesewitz who gets a shout-out because he not only helped with my counter but also took the time to introduce himself as a fan of this blog.

One Armed Embraces: 4 to date (4 last game)


Don’t forget that Club Trillion t-shirts are now available by clicking here. 100% of the proceeds benefit A Kid Again, a local charity aimed at enhancing the quality of life for children with life-threatening illnesses.  I’m happy to report that we have now distributed over 1,000 t-shirts to the Trillion Man March, which is mind-blowingly awesome to me.  In fact, my sources tell me that Coach Matta’s wife placed an order for four shirts, one of which served as the official 1,000th shirt.  I’m not going to tell you how to dress, but if the shirts are good enough for Mrs. Matta, there’s really no reason in the world why they wouldn’t be good enough for you too. ___________________________________________________

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Joe M.  I had no idea that Rob Dyrdek was making basketball videos until Joe sent this in.  I also had no idea that you are supposed to cough when you crossover.  This could have been my problem all along.  Anyway, there’s your shout-out, Joe.  And here’s your video.

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder