Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome To The Future

It seems like every time I go to Kroger and envision myself playing Supermarket Sweep as I fly through the aisles picking up my bread, milk, and eggs, someone will recognize me and want to discuss my blog. While it’s cool to have my ego stroked every now and then (easy with the jokes), I always end up being a little upset with how these conversations go. That’s because not only is my Supermarket Sweep time severely hampered, but nearly everyone I talk to says something about how Club Trillion and the Trillion Man March has developed into some sort of cult. When people first starting using the “C word”, I became pretty offended, mostly because I associated cults with people like Charles Manson, Jim Jones (no, not the Jim Jones that makes it rain), and those Scientology weirdos. But then I realized that being a cult doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. All it really means to have a cult following is that a majority of people either don’t know about or don’t like your “cult”, but those who do like it are crazy about it. Sure sometimes cult followings exist for inexplicable things like scientology and Michigan football, but every now and then cult followings are created for awesome things like The Big Lebowski, Arrested Development, and the song “Colt 45” by Afroman (more like “Cult 45” amirite?). Now that I know the word “cult” is not synonymous with “delusional mass murders and suicides”, I’m actually pretty pumped to think that this blog has garnered a following as passionate as it has. Basically what I’m getting at is that even though my basketball career may be over, this blog will live on simply because it has become more than just a blog. It is a lifestyle, as well as a way of life. I enjoy writing it way too much and the Trillion Man March enjoys reading it way too much for me to just ride off into the sunset now. This blog will be around for a very long time, or at the very least long enough to annoy each and every one of you with my absurdity. In other words, I’m going to use the Cousin Eddie approach.

So now that I’ve made it clear that I’m keeping the blog alive, what exactly will I write about since I can’t write about warming the bench at Ohio State anymore? I can’t say for sure, because I don’t exactly know, but I do have a few ideas for the future that should work out nicely. (That was straight from the Digger Phelps school of asking yourself a question and then immediately answering it.)

Idea #1: Since the blog seems to have carved its niche as the voice of benchwarmers, I feel an obligation to try and keep it just that as best I can. That’s why when basketball season rolls back around, I’ll try to do some interviews of walk-ons around the country, maybe let some walk-ons guest blog from time to time (probably not), and really just give my take on happenings in the world of college basketball in general. I’ll probably just end up complaining about how unbelievably horrendous Ted Valentine is as a referee and/or how bad of an idea the 96 team tournament is, but hopefully every now and then I can impart my wisdom on important matters such as how to check out the cheerleaders without them noticing or how to skip out on the defensive drills in practice by faking a stomach ache. It’s a lot harder than you think.

Idea #2: Many of you might not have known, but I was actually on a full ride scholarship my first two years at Ohio State. That’s right, Ohio State gave me the same amount of money to have Scheyerface every time I touched the ball that they gave to Greg Oden’s penis to wreak havoc on all of college basketball, most of tOSU’s coeds, and ultimately everyone who was brave enough to look at his nude pictures when they leaked on the internet. Come to think of it, I was asked to join the team by an assistant coach and I never went to any sort of tryout, so really you could argue that I was recruited and given a scholarship just like every other guy on the team. You would have a weak argument, but you could argue it nonetheless.

Following my sophomore year, though, my scholarship was taken away and given to guys like Noopy Crater and Walter Offutt, who both transferred within two years of setting foot on campus. Sure I’m a little upset that I could have potentially had a four year full ride at Ohio State, but when I wasn’t on scholarship anymore it meant that I wasn’t held to the same standard as the rest of the guys. This gave me the opportunity to screw around in practice more and eventually start my blog. Plus, I couldn’t be too upset about losing my scholarship because Noopy clearly needed the money more than me. After all, weed isn’t cheap.

crater The (indirect) founder of Club Trillion

Considering the circumstances surrounding my four years at Ohio State, I think I have a greater appreciation of a scholarship than just about anybody else. Ohio State gently tickled my testicles for two years by giving me a full ride but then right as soon as it started to feel good, they jammed my nads in a toaster, plugged it in, and dropped it in a bathtub full of water. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but the point is that after being pampered for so long, it stung pretty badly to have to return to a less glamorous lifestyle. Even though being a walk-on for a very good college basketball team is still one of the coolest things I’ll ever get to do, the fact remains that it sucks having to go to countless workouts, open gyms, and practices knowing that I’m still paying my own way through college and my grades are suffering because of the huge time commitment basketball is (my grades were also suffering because I was skipping class or falling asleep in the back row of class, but that’s not important right now). Because I lived it for two years, I know exactly what walk-ons have to go through, which is why I plan on starting the first ever scholarship exclusively for Division I basketball walk-ons.

Based on what the Ohio State compliance office has told me, I probably won’t be able to give out the scholarship exactly as I’d hoped because of some head-scratching NCAA rules (that’s redundant, really). I still have to talk to the appropriate people and try to work something out, but if a scholarship in that traditional sense doesn’t work, I will at least give out a retroactive scholarship after the winner graduates that will essentially erase all the student loans he would have just taken out. The goal is to eventually make it a full ride scholarship (covering all expenses for an entire year), whether in the traditional sense or retroactive sense, but it could take awhile for the fund to grow big enough to see this happen (unless, of course, a large company decides to sponsor the scholarship—please email me if you or someone you know works for a company that might be willing).

As far as criteria for the scholarship, it’s pretty simple really. It will be given to the guy who essentially reminds me of myself the most. A majority of walk-ons try especially hard to fit in, are terrified of upsetting the coach, and are always a little uptight over just about anything. Guys like this will have no chance whatsoever at winning the scholarship. Instead, I’ll be looking for the guy who pulls pranks on his teammates, interrupts his head coach midsentence to make immature wisecracks, and knows the lyrics to at least ten Journey songs. Also, bonus points will be awarded for growing a sweet mustache during the season. I think you get the idea. Basically, this has the potential to be the most badass scholarship handed out every year and could possibly evolve into something big enough to have an annual awards ceremony. No matter how hard I try, I can’t envision a scenario in which this isn’t going to be awesome.

Idea #3: As cool as the “(Insert Sponsor Name) Club Trillion Scholarship” will be, it will still only be limited to a select group of players. Only Division I men’s players who are entering their final year of eligibility (or if the scholarship is retroactive, they would have just finished their final year of eligibility) would qualify for the scholarship, which leaves out the thousands of other benchwarmers in the country who have no chance of winning any individual awards whatsoever. Club Trillion is the voice of all benchwarmers, not just the seniors, so I’ve decided I’ll hand out a couple of awards other than the scholarship. This will encourage all of America’s finest benchwarmers to battle each other for scrub supremacy, which will in turn create a much better competition than if it were limited to just seniors.

Of the awards that will be handed out (there really needs to be a ceremony for all of this), one will go to the guy who accumulated the most trillions over the course of the season and the other will go to the guy who recorded the largest trillion in a single game. The awards won’t be some pansy participation ribbon like the peewee soccer league ribbon you got for chasing butterflies and picking dandelions every time you got on the field. No, the awards will be custom made WWE-style belts that will be just as badass as you imagine them to be. With each passing year, former winners will be invited back to the awards ceremony (I just decided there will definitely be a ceremony) and will be encouraged to wear their belts as a way of telling everyone else at the ceremony that they are just a little bit cooler than all of them. There isn’t a single walk-on in the world (other than Danny Peters) who wouldn’t want to win either of these. I can picture guys jumping out of the way of rebounds (like I did) and playing lackluster defense (like I did) to avoid getting called for a foul, just so they can maintain their trillions and take one step closer to getting their hands on a Club Trillion belt. I think I’m more excited for next basketball season than I ever was for any season in my Ohio State career. This should be fun.

Idea #4: It’s pretty clear to see that the Club Trillion blog won’t have too big of a problem living on during the basketball season, but the unknown part of the blog revolves around what happens in the offseason. The truth is that most of you don’t care about college basketball between May and September and to be honest, I don’t either. Even though my blog isn’t exactly about college basketball but is really just a benchwarming blog in general, a problem still exists during the basketball offseason.

To combat this problem, I’ve decided to basically make Club Trillion my personal blog until college basketball is relevant again. Originally this seemed like an awful idea considering most days I just wake up at noon, play a few games of NBA Jam, go to Chipotle, and then surf the internet the rest of the day, but the more I got to thinking about my plans for the offseason, the more I realized that I’ll have a lot of blogging material in store.

Here are some of the things I’ve got coming up:

  • Kentucky Derby – I’ve heard that the derby is nothing more than something that’s hyped up seemingly forever and then lasts a minute or two. So basically it’s just like my first sexual experience.
  • Trip to Los Angeles – I’m heading out to LA in May to hang out with Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Simmons. And by hang out, I obviously mean beg them for a job. Fingers crossed.
  • Indianapolis 500 – If you know anything about me, it’s probably that I love America, professional wrestling, and playing fundamental basketball. But if you know anything else about me, it’s that the Indy 500 is the single most important event of my life each and every year. Until I start handing out the Club Trillion awards, of course.
  • NASCAR All-Star Race – Towards the end of May, I’ll be heading down to Charlotte to hopefully party with Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty’s mustache. Safe Auto is covering the cost of my trip and in exchange I’ll be doing some guest blogging over on their website. I’ll pass along the details when the time comes.
  • Club Trillion Night with Columbus Clippers – The Columbus Clippers recently asked me to be a part of Club Trillion Night at Huntington Park on May 17th. I said yes so quickly you would have thought I was Chumbawamba being offered a chance to do some tubthumping. The game coincides with Dime-A-Dog night ($o.10 hotdogs), which is another way of saying “there is absolutely no excuse for you to not show up to this game if you live within driving distance of Columbus”. I’ll be throwing out the first pitch of the game and then taking part in just about all of the in-game promotions that make minor league games so popular. Among the in-game promotions is a hotdog eating contest between members of the Trillion Man March and myself, which will probably end up being more entertaining than the game itself. The only way to get picked for an in-game promotion is to wear a CLUB TRIL shirt to the game, so I recommend getting one soon. Also, I’ve been told to inform all Ohio State students that you can get a ticket at the Union for five bucks or something starting on Friday (April 23rd). The Clippers are trying to break the Huntington Park attendance record for this game, so please stop by the Union and pick up a ticket or you might run the risk of missing out. It promises to be an awesome night that shouldn’t cost you much more than $15. (I’ll tweet more details about Club Tril Night as we get closer to the day of the game—follow me here to stay up to speed.)

Even though this blog entry was less exciting than Ben Stein counting down the top moments in Michigan football history, I’m hoping you can see that the future plans for the blog will be a lot of fun for all parties involved. Those who don’t understand Club Trillion feel the need to call the Trillion Man March a cult, which is a label that I used to find offensive. I now realize that being called a cult is actually a compliment and something I take a lot of pride in. The Trillion Man March is a passionate group of fans that I love interacting with on a daily basis. This is reason enough for me to continue blogging and give back to benchwarmers across the country as best I can. Sure I may have let you down with a sub-par blog post this time around, but I’m hoping that the fact that I just linked you to the coolest website on the internet with the last sentence of this post at least gives you a sliver of hope that the blog is headed in the right direction. ___________________________________________________

If you want to help build the Club Trillion scholarship fund and you’re a fan of comfortable t-shirts, I strongly suggest getting yourself a CLUB TRIL shirt as soon as possible by clicking here. A lot of the proceeds from the shirt sales will go towards the scholarship, but a portion will also go to A Kid Again, a local charity aimed at enhancing the quality of life for children with life threatening illnesses. You can help two great causes and own the most comfortable shirt around, all for less than half the cost of your average college textbook (you really don’t need to buy them anyway).

Some of you have sent me emails suggesting that there be a new t-shirt design since you already own three of the Run DMC-inspired shirts. Your requests will not go unanswered. The guys over at Homage and I are working on three new designs for shirts, one of which will end up being the design we sell. I’ll probably put the three designs on the blog and let the Trillion Man March vote for the best one. Definitely be on the lookout for that. ___________________________________________________

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Tim Z. There’s your shout-out, Tim. And here's your video.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder