Saturday, January 30, 2010

Podcast – 1/30/10 – Andy Keller

Some of you might remember that I started a podcast a while ago, but brought it to a screeching halt after only four podcasts. There are a lot of reasons why I stopped podcasting, but they are all irrelevant now, because I’m happy to say the podcast is making it’s triumphant return today.

I decided to bring my best friend and “guy behind the guy” Andy Keller back on the podcast to discuss how he came up with the idea for the “Mr. Rainmaker” video. Other than talking about the behind the scenes of the video,we discuss pranks that we pulled on people in the Ohio State basketball program, the art of the nickname, and why I Googled myself from my phone in a bar one night. We also have a little Jersey Shore discussion and Keller tells a women’s basketball story that promises to be only half as boring as you think it is. Enjoy.


This picture will only be here until someone sends in a sweet MS Paint interpretation of The Electric Wolf


Shout out to Danny Dykstra for the badass image. Ask the TMM and you shall receive


You can listen to the podcast on the player below. If you want to be like the cool kids with their letter jackets and Mustangs, a good start would be to subscribe on iTunes by clicking this link so your computer automatically downloads every new podcast.






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

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two Week Rollercoaster

As a kid growing up in central Indiana, I never paid all that much attention to Ohio. I’m not exactly sure why this was, but Ohio was always a foreign place to me where weird creatures like Drew Carey and those aliens from 3rd Rock From The Sun lived. But after I decided to come to school here, I almost immediately began learning all sorts of things about Ohio. For instance, Ohio calls itself the “Birthplace of Aviation” even though the first motorized flight took place in North Carolina. (Calm down, Ohioans. I understand the logic, but it’s obvious that Ohio should instead be called the “Birthplace of The Guys Who Constructed A Plane In Another State And Subsequently Used Said Plane To Complete The First Motorized Flight”. Or something like that.) I also learned that Ohioans are really good at spelling out the name of their state (or more accurately, they are really good at spelling out the first two letters of their state before they get interrupted by a friend who spells out the rest). But the coolest thing I’ve learned about Ohio is that it has a handful of amusement parks that house some of the most exhilarating roller coasters in the world. Still, I don’t think any of them come anywhere close to being as exhilarating as the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been on in the past two weeks.

My two weeks of highs and lows started after the success of “Mr. Rainmaker” made me worthy of three ESPN appearances in a little under a week (or as all of you who e-mailed/tweeted liked to say, it was “Shark Week” at ESPN). My blog/video was first featured on SportsNation, where it prompted Colin Cowherd to say “I love this kid” and prompted Michelle Beadle to bat her eyelashes at me and presumably let out a grunt of frustration upon finding out that I have a girlfriend. The “high life” continued shortly thereafter, as ESPN contacted me to come on First Take and The Scott Van Pelt Radio Show (I guess you could say it was a “contact high”). I obviously agreed to do so and wrapped up my week of ESPN appearances by talking out of the side of my mouth on First Take and saying “if you’re going to be ugly, you had better be smart” on SVP’s show as my analysis of Northwestern’s girls.

Being on ESPN was definitely as cool as you’d think it would be, but to me it felt like it was a victory for the entire Trillion Man March and I was just accepting the award. I’ve said it time and time again that I think this blog has reached the point where it’s bigger than I am (as if there were ever a time when I was bigger than my blog). It’s more about the ideals of benchwarming than it is about me, which will be obvious in five years when the concept of Club Trillion is living on and I’m struggling to find work because my résumé is littered with my high school senior superlatives instead of the garbage that society thinks is important like “education” and “work experience”.

It’s like the Trillion Man March was the group of guys from The Sandlot and I was Squints. I may have been the one who got to french Wendy Peffercorn, but in a way it was like all of us got to french Wendy Peffercorn. She was way out of all of our respective leagues, but through manipulation and deception, I got the chance to lick her tongue. After it was over, all of you respected me a little bit more (probably not, but just go with me on this one) and I just stared in amazement as I tried to figure out how exactly I pulled it off. In other words, I made out with ESPN not only because she’s an older and smoking hot babe, but also because I knew that it wasn’t a personal accomplishment as much as it was a chance for the Trillion Man March and benchwarmers everywhere to get some national recognition. Sure The Villain is like Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in that he’s destined to make the big leagues and I’m just some nerd with oversized glasses who can’t swim, but the fact remains that for a brief moment in time I got to round first base with Wendy Peffercorn while he couldn’t do anything but sit and watch.

squints Pictured: Future Rapist, Current Hero

Unfortunately, my ESPN-induced euphoria was short-lived because I’m a Vikings fan which is another way of saying I’m always miserable at some point in January. (I understand that the Vikings have nothing to do with benchwarming for a college basketball team, but Sunday’s loss was so crippling that I need to write about it for therapeutic reasons.) Even though I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis, I’ve been a Vikings fan my whole life because the Colts sucked when I was little and my dad lived with Cris Carter’s brother, Butch, in college. I would go around school telling people I was Cris Carter’s BFF (I still do) and would wear my autographed Vikings stuff as proof.

Being a Vikings fan (much like being a fan of many other teams out there, including my beloved Chicago Cubs) is like going to prom with the captain of the cheerleading squad and then finding out that the only reason she went with you was because she lost a bet. You think that taking her to prom is your reward for putting up with all those swirlies over the years, and you start pinching yourself because your dreams are coming true and you’re finally going to be vindicated. But then right as soon as you think you’re about to get lucky, she kicks you in the nads and calls you a “creep”. You’re then left wondering if being able to tell your kids that you scored the cheer captain as a prom date is worth the pain you felt when she pulled the rug out from under you. Maybe you should have lowered your expectations and gone to prom with Penny Pimpleface because you know she wouldn’t have broken your heart. But even then, you’ll be driven into depression because at every high school reunion people will remind you that while they were getting drunk and getting lucky at a bonfire on the outskirts of town, you were listening to some mouth-breathing chick tell you all about the different types of caterpillars in South America. And that’s the absolute best way I can describe being a Vikings fan.

(After re-reading that, I don’t think writing about it makes me feel any better at all.)

My dismal feeling continued the day after the Vikings loss, because I had to get an MRI on my injured left shoulder. I originally injured my shoulder over a month ago in practice when Dallas Lauderdale realized the he hadn’t injured me in awhile and decided he’d do something about it. (Some of you might remember Dallas messing up my foot last year, forcing me to sit out 12 weeks.) Our team doctor informed me that I probably had a slight tear of my labia, but when I typed “labia tear” into Google, all that showed up were inappropriate pictures of women. Whatever the case, I reinjured the same shoulder in a recent game against Northwestern, which prompted the doctor to call for an MRI.

The way it was explained to me (not by the doc, but by other people who I thought knew what they were talking about) was that an MRI is basically an x-ray, but for muscles and ligaments instead of bones. Because of this description, I went into the MRI thinking I was going to slap a lead apron on my jewels, get a few snapshots taken, and be on my way. Nope. As anyone who has ever had an MRI knows, it was one of the most physically uncomfortable things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I was strapped down to a table, shoved into an enclosed space, and was told that I couldn’t move for the duration of the MRI or I’d mess everything up. They told me the test would take 30 or 40 minutes, even though it took well over an hour. It was easily the most uncomfortable I’ve been since a first date I went on a year ago ended with me offering my routine goodbye high-five and my date laughing at me (she probably only went on the date because she lost a bet). Anyway, the MRI showed that I tore my labrum (that’s probably what the doctor meant to say earlier), which might force me to miss the rest of the season. Because I’m a senior, this means that it’s probably a career-ending injury but because I’m a walk-on, it’s hard to say my career ever really started in the first place. Either way, my days of moisturizing people’s faces with my ultra-wet jumpshot certainly seem like they might be over. (In an Ohio State uniform anyway. In two years I’ll be putting up 20 and 10 a game as I dominate a church league near you.)

Finally, my two week roller coaster ascended to new heights with the recent news about my friend and former teammate Greg Oden. For those who missed it, nude pictures of Greg have circulated throughout the internet in the last few days. Knowing Greg like I do, I know that he’s really torn up by all of this and I feel bad for him in that regard. At the same time, knowing Greg like I do makes this quite possible the funniest thing to happen during my time at Ohio State. Still, it’s unfortunate it had to happen and I feel badly that it happened to such a good person, which is why I don’t want to make too many jokes about it. I’ll just say that hearing Greg claim that the pictures are a year and a half old and then explaining that he’s “definitely grown a lot since then” made me laugh harder than I have in a very long time.

___________________________________________________

Following my week of ESPN appearances, many of you took the next logical step after seeing someone on TV and you added me on Facebook. The reason I bring it up is because most of you added me on my original profile that reached the 5000 friend limit awhile ago. Facebook apparently doesn’t think it’s possible for someone to have a personal relationship with 5001 people, which is a boldfaced lie because I’m BFF with every one of you. To combat this problem, I took it upon myself to create another profile, so please add me on that one if you really can’t stand that we’re not Facebook friends. The profiles are basically identical except for the profile picture, and that’s different only so I can distinguish which profile is which.

Since we’re on the topic of social media (which means that all the readers who are 50 and older have stopped reading by now), I thought I’d take a second and ask you to follow me on Twitter for two very important reasons. The first and most important reason is that my girlfriend has promised to buy me a Dairy Queen cake if I reach 20,000 followers (she bought me one when I got 5000 friends on Facebook—we have a very special relationship). The second reason you should follow me on Twitter is so you can take part in a pointless but fun game I’m going to start playing that might result in a shout-out for you.

One of the first blog entries I ever wrote was about how awesome per diem is, but I left out one little detail about the per diem process. Every time we get paid, we have to sign a sheet stating that we got our money. In true Michael Scott fashion, I never sign my actual name and instead sign my name as “Archibald MacLeish”, “Captain Edward John Smith, RMS Titanic”, or the always popular “Your Mom”. It’s something that I don’t think anyone else in the basketball program appreciates which is really a disappointment for me. Because I want to let others in on the fun, I’ve come up with a new idea for signing the per diem sheet. From now on, every time I’m about to get per diem (after four years of doing this, I know exactly when we are about to get paid), I’ll post something on my Twitter prompting the Trillion Man March to come up with names I should sign as. It will be a completely spontaneous contest that will probably last no longer than five minutes, but whoever comes up with the most creative name will receive a shout-out on the following blog entry. Creative names I’m looking for can be actual people/celebrities or they can be entirely made up names. The only real rule is that you don’t be vulgar with your name. Other than that, anything goes. This promises to be the coolest and most meaningless contest you will ever take part in.

___________________________________________________

Following our game against Northwestern, my shoulder injury prevented me from doing the one armed embraces to each guy in the handshake line. Still, Nick Fruendt of Northwestern decided that shoulder injury be damned, he was going to get a shout-out on the blog for an embrace. I admire his determination and think his case should serve as an example to the rest of our opponents. I can’t initiate the embraces anymore because it hurts to lift my left arm, so if any of you other Big Ten players/coaches/managers want a shout-out, you’re going to have to make it happen.

Our game against West Virginia garnered no embraces, but as I said before, I also didn’t try to initiate any of them. The same thing happened at Iowa last night. Although, had Iowa’s quarterback, Ricky Stanzi, been in the handshake line, there is a 100% chance I would have gone for the one armed embrace. I know he was at the game because they were honoring the Orange Bowl win at halftime, but I didn’t get the chance to shake his hand and congratulate him on being a first-class American citizen and I’m a little disappointed because of it. The reason I have a man-crush on Stanzi is simply because he gave the greatest post-game interview answer I’ve ever heard in my life after the Orange Bowl. I’ve never really seen the guy play football, but I don’t have to. The man said “if you don’t love it, leave it” on national television following the biggest win of his career. That in and of itself is enough for him to be my favorite college football player next season. As my tribute to him and all the American-related inspiration he has given me, I will wear my American flag tie on the bench during our game against Minnesota this Sunday. So yeah, look for that.

One Armed Embraces: 14 to date (0 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. ___________________________________________________

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




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

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Monday, January 18, 2010

If The Shoe Fits

One cool thing about being a walk-on for a high caliber college basketball team is that my responsibilities aren’t exactly defined.  Sure we have team rules that I have to abide by (not bringing guns into our locker room being one), but some of the other rules aren’t really enforced for the benchwarmers.  This was particularly awesome during optional offseason workouts when scholarship players felt an obligation to go but I occasionally skipped because it’s not like I’m going to lose any playing time or anything.  Every now and then one of the coaches would say something to me about skipping, but for the most part they understood that because I’m paying my own way through college, it’s not a huge deal if I skip a few workouts so I can make some money bagging groceries at my neighborhood supermarket.  Sure I used the off time to go golfing and never actually did any grocery bagging, but the coaches don’t have to know that.

But then there are times that having an undefined role on the team is more frustrating than trying to turn a door knob with lotion on your hands.  On any given day at practice, I could be asked to play defense for two hours straight, let David Lighty continuously hit me with cheap shots, or have a conversation with Evan “The Villain” Turner (hard to say which one is the worst).  During most practices, I basically just stay out of the way until we start doing shooting drills, but sometimes I’m called upon to do the dirty work.  In a way, I’m like a doctor who’s on call, only instead of being interrupted to revive someone who’s gone into cardiac arrest, I’m interrupted to be David Lighty’s punching bag and watch as The Villain blames everything that goes wrong on me.  As badly as these duties may suck, I really don’t mind them that much because they seem like things that a walk-on should anticipate having to do at some point during their career.  It’s not as if these things I have to do are as crazy as, say, giving my shoes to William Buford hours before a game starts because he forgot to pack his own shoes.

In case you missed it, we came back to beat Purdue on their home court this past Tuesday in a game that was as entertaining as I’ve ever seen.  For me, though, the entertainment started during our morning shoot-around when Will Buford approached me and asked very politely if he could use my shoes by saying something along the lines of, “Hey bro, I forgot my shoes.”  I responded with, “Man, that blows” which apparently wasn’t the response he was looking for.  After figuring out that his way of asking for my shoes was telling me that he didn’t have his, I gave Will my shoes and proceeded to wear running shoes during our shoot-around (anyone who’s ever played basketball in running shoes knows my pain).  Even though my shoot-around performance looked pretty sloppy, thanks to my surprisingly durable ankles I twice survived my shoe coming halfway off.  It’s just too bad my durable ankles couldn’t do anything to help get me a pair of basketball shoes for the game later that night.

Luckily for me, because my hometown is only 45 minutes away from Purdue’s campus, my brother and dad were able to bring me an old pair of basketball shoes an hour before tip-off.  The only problem is that the shoes they brought me were the pair I wore during our Final Four run in 2007 that are known as the “LeBron Holy Crap These Are Heavy IV” model in the shoe collecting world.  Each of the shoes weighs over two pounds, which would be awesome if I was The Mongolian Stomper and I wasn’t a slow, white guy trying to do a half-dunk in the layup line before the game.  (The only reason I wore them during the 2007 season was because I was a freshman and they were the only Ohio State shoes I had at the time, so I kind of had to.)  I was certainly not going to wear my running shoes, though, so I was stuck with having to wear what are essentially bricks with shoelaces.  Not that it really mattered what I wore while sitting on the bench, of course.

While I was busy complaining to everyone around me about something that ultimately didn’t matter one bit, Will was playing pretty well with my shoes on.  He finished the game with 19 points, which wasn’t much of a surprise considering he literally put himself in my shoes.  I would say that the scenario was a lot like the plot from Like Mike, but I’m reluctant to make that comparison, not so much because the shoes didn’t infuse my talent into Will, but more because I’m ashamed to admit that I saw Like Mike.  Whatever the case, I can’t help but take a little bit of credit for Will’s performance.

In most programs across the country, a walk-on’s role depends on a variety of factors ranging from the number of players on the team to the philosophies of the coaching staff.  Most walk-ons are on the team just to raise the GPA and really do nothing of importance on the court.  But then there are the stories of walk-ons who surprisingly play a significant role in the team’s success.  Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State is his team’s best player, but is technically a walk-on after he gave up his scholarship because the team had more players who were promised scholarships than there were scholarships available.  Justin Thomas of Syracuse was thrown into the fire last year in that classic six overtime thriller against UConn because most of the guys in the regular rotation had fouled out.  Skylar McBee of Tennessee (that’s fun to say out loud) is a walk-on who made a game-clinching three as the shot clock ran out against top-ranked Kansas on January 10th and could probably run for mayor of Knoxville because of it (let’s hope he doesn’t run against Lane Kiffin, though, cause I heard he’s pretty popular in Knoxville these days). 

As for me?  I make my contributions by trading game shorts with Jon Diebler and letting Will Buford use my shoes because he remembered to pack his Martin DVDs and his box of Fruit Gushers, but somehow couldn’t remember to pack his game shoes.  Sure I don’t have as glamorous of a role as the aforementioned walk-ons have, but you know what?  If there were a Selflessness Hall of Fame for Walk-ons (and let’s be honest, there should be), I’m fairly certain that I’d be a “shoe”-in. ___________________________________________________

We’ve played three games since I last updated the one armed embrace counter.  Our first game at Minnesota produced two embraces.  One was from Minnesota’s DOBO, Joe Esposito, who I gave a shout-out to last year for being a follower of the blog.  The other was from Blake Hoffarber, who lit us up for 27 points and admitted in the handshake line that he reads my blog.  Getting embraces from both of these guys is a pretty big deal considering they both have Wikipedia pages and as far as I know, I still don’t.

Our second game at Purdue produced three embraces.  One was from former Purdue player (and former receiver of a shout-out on this blog) and current graduate assistant for the Boilermakers, Bobby Riddell.  Another came from Chris Kramer, who is likely to be the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year this year.  The third came from Robbie Hummel, who put on the most impressive shooting display I’ve ever seen in my life during the first half of our game.  His embrace was accompanied by a comment about my blog, which is awesome considering that he’s probably going to be first team all-conference this season at the very least.  Clearly, I’m getting embraces from some very notable figures in the Big Ten and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Finally, our latest game against the Wisconsin Buzzcuts only produced one embrace from Mike Bruesewitz, who got a shout-out after we played the Buzzcuts earlier in the season.  It could be too soon to tell, but based on the first part of this article, it’s safe to say that Mike has a good chance to be my favorite player in the Big Ten next year.

One Armed Embraces: 13 to date (1 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. ___________________________________________________

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




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

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two Million – Mr. Rainmaker

Barring something unforeseen that causes people to stop reading this blog (getting shut down by the NCAA, for example), Club Trillion will cross over the 2,000,000 hit threshold later today. I can honestly say that I’m still shocked at the success of this blog and thank each and every one of you not only for your continued support, but also for your feedback. Your e-mails and comments keep me motivated to continue doing this and for that I’m grateful.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what to write for the 2,000,000 entry and nothing really came to mind. I thought about guests I could have post and topics I could write about and nothing turned on the proverbial light bulb in my head. Then, it hit me. I don’t need to write anything at all. I can just use the 2,000,000 hit entry to release what is undoubtedly the coolest thing I’ve ever done with my life. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I’d be remiss (and frankly, I’d be a jerk) if I didn’t take the time to thank my BFF Andy Keller for putting together what you’re about to watch. For some of you new readers (or for some of you old readers who just have a terrible memory), Keller is kind of the “guy behind the guy” for Club Trillion. I do all the writing and wearing of a towel around my neck on the bench and he does all the other things that it takes to run this blog. In this case, he did the videotaping and editing, which is something that I certainly couldn’t have done (at least not as quickly as he did). He was also the one who came up with the idea for this video, so really without him none of this would have happened.

With all of that being said, I now give you “Mark Titus – Mr. Rainmaker”. Enjoy.

(By the way, all the shots I make in this video are real. Keller is good at editing, but not that good.)

Keller's "I know the password" edit: Some people have been questioning how long it took for certain shots (like the one from the stands). There isn't a single shot in the video that took more than one minute to capture. A large percentage of shots, including the intro, were done on the first take. The whole thing took less than two hours to shoot, and we had to leave out a lot of clips or cut them short and speed them up like the around the horn 3 pointers to fit them in the video.

I'm going to ask that if you liked the video, that you comment on it and send it along to all your friends. Let's make this thing huge. I'm talking "the shirt The Situation is lifting up to show off his abs is a Club Tril shirt" huge. Or at the very least, big enough that it could be played on a loop on the TVs at Gaswerks in Columbus on a Saturday night. The more exposure the video gets, the more exposure worthy causes like the A Kid Again T-Shirt benefit get too.

And if know the email addresses of any NBA scouts, feel free to e-mail them the link so they know what they'll be missing out on if they don't draft Mark this summer.

Also, yes, the lightning is real.

-Keller



Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Friday, January 8, 2010

Talkin’ The Talk

Whether we do it as a way to compensate for our shortcomings or we do it because we genuinely do hate our opponent, every one of us who has ever played a sport past the age of 12 has felt the need to trash talk at some point in time (except for Muhammed Ali, obviously). In reality, trash talk is something that transcends sport and is really part of any type of competition, from high stakes things like the World Series of Poker to not-exactly-high-stakes things like Flavor of Love. Not coincidentally, the height of my trash talking career came during the height of my basketball career, some four years ago when I would give up 23 points but consider it a defensive success because I scored 27. These days, though, having been relegated to the bench has caused me to change my trash talking approach. I don’t have a direct impact on the outcome of the game and therefore think it’s inappropriate for me to trash talk with guys who do have a direct impact on the game. Instead, I’ve found that it’s more widely accepted (and, frankly, more fun) to talk trash with a group of people who also have no direct impact on the game. I’m talking, of course, about the opposing team’s fans.

The Big Ten likes to pride itself on having the best fans in America, so much so that one school (can’t exactly remember which one) goes as far as to say it has “The Best Damn Fans In The Land.” What makes the basketball fans (read: the student sections) in the Big Ten so good, as far as I’m concerned, is that they do their homework. When we played in East Lansing a couple years ago, Michigan State students knew things about my girlfriend (at the time) that I barely knew. Indiana students knew that I airballed the last shot I took in my high school career. Illinois students knew that I used to be a basketball manager at tOSU, even if it was only for a week. And Northwestern students knew the Clausius theorem of physics, which has nothing to do with basketball but is impressive nonetheless. My point is that student sections in the Big Ten take the time to research their opponent so they can optimize the effectiveness of their harassment. If you tell a player that he sucks, it really doesn’t effect him that much because he hears that all the time. But if you tell him that he was born exactly nine months after the Bears won the Super Bowl meaning that he is more than likely a product of his parents’ celebratory actions, well, then you are most definitely getting inside his head. For the most part, student sections in the Big Ten understand this. The one exception, though, is (surprise!) the Maize Rage of the University of Michigan.

I made my final trip to Michigan’s Crisler Arena this past week and upon arriving at the gym about an hour and a half before tip-off, I saw the leader of the Maize Rage placing a “Rage Page” on each of the seats in the student section. The Rage Page is essentially a scouting report for the Maize Rage that includes a laundry list of our players and a little bit of dirt on each of them. Because we had so much time before the game and because I love seeing my teammates get made fun of, I decided to pick up a Rage Page and see what the UM fans came up with. Plus, I kind of expected Club Trillion to make an appearance on the Rage Page, and as I mentioned above, I welcome any and all trash talk from opposing fans with open arms.

(Before I go any further, let me first say that I don’t get too wrapped up in the whole Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. The comments that I make about Michigan are mostly in jest, as I’ve really never had a problem with anybody from Michigan. With that being said, I’m obviously an Ohio State fan and love our recent domination over Michigan in football just as much as any other tOSU fan.)

The first thing I did when I grabbed the Rage Page was scan for my name so I could see what the Michigan fans had to say about me, which is the exact same thing each of you would have done so stop judging. Because Michigan and Ohio State have a well-established rivalry (in football, I know, but I assumed that it would still cross over at least a little bit), I figured that the commentary on me would contain a few low blows. I figured wrong. The Maize Rage decided to use two entire paragraphs to insult me, only what they wrote was more of a compliment than an insult. Here are the two paragraphs as they appeared in the Rage Page:

Tweet of the Game: Senior walk-on Mark Titus (#34) was probably being sarcastic when he tweeted ‘Did another taping for my NBA highlight video. I can say with absolute certainty that it will be the best thing I’ve ever done with my life'.’ However, when you play a total of 14 minutes in the first 13 games of a season, an NBA highlight reel is not something to even joke about (he has one point this season when he hit 1 of 2 free throws against Presbyterian).

Club Trillion: Titus really is a dream come true for authors of publications which uncover dirt on opposing players (see: Rage Page). His blog, clubtrillion.com is a great source of information on the Ohio State basketball team. He recently talked about his freshman year when he was a manager and tried really hard to be looked at as a ‘great shooter’. He wrote, ‘as my career wore on, I took on a larger role in practice and started spraying my wet jumpshot all over the faces of my teammates on a daily basis.’ He now serves as a role model to all un-athletic 3-point bombers who hope to one day make the varsity team…and subsequently ride the pine.”

In a weird way, as I was reading through the Rage Page, I almost felt sorry for whoever wrote it. I really didn’t know how to react, because I was supposed to feel insulted but I wasn’t insulted in the slightest. What resulted was an uncomfortable feeling that could best be likened to what it feels like to wear wet socks. The Maize Rage tried to attack my tweeting (which is something I take great pride in—follow me here) and my basketball skills by saying that “an NBA highlight reel is not even something to joke about.” On the contrary, an NBA highlight reel is a perfect something to joke about which is why I made one to send to every NBA team as the draft this upcoming June gets closer (hopefully it will be ready to post on the blog when it reaches 2 million hits in the next few days). The Maize Rage then went on to call me a role model for unathletic shooters who ride the bench. I’m not sure if any of them took the time to research the stuff that I put on my blog, but calling me a role model for unathletic benchwarmers is close to the biggest compliment anyone could ever pay me (only saying that I have perfect form with my Stone Cold Stunner would be a bigger compliment). As a general rule of thumb, you can’t successfully make fun of someone for something they have been making fun of themselves about for over a year. Making fun of me for being a role model for unathletic benchwarmers is like making fun of Larry the Cable Guy for being a redneck, Chris Farley for being fat, or Rodney Dangerfield for pretty much anything.

The truth is that I don’t have a problem calling out the Maize Rage because I know that I’ll never have to see them again. If I were to have called them out last year, chances are they would have bombarded me with far too hateful comments this year. Also, it seems like the Big Ten has recently implemented a sportsmanship initiative that has ultimately killed the originality of the student sections. These two reasons make it easy to see why the Maize Rage was an easy target for me. But even if it was my last game at Crisler and even if the Big Ten is cracking down on unsportsmanlike behavior from fans, the Maize Rage still put forth an effort that I haven’t seen since Doug Williams’ attempted roast of Emmitt Smith a few years back (search for it on YouTube, but be warned that there is foul language). They certainly were shackled but I don’t think that’s any excuse as to why they dropped the ball (unless Tate Forcier is the head of the Maize Rage, in which case it makes total sense as to why they dropped the ball). Other student sections in the Big Ten have found a way to abide by the sportsmanship rules, yet still deliver the goods. One that immediately comes to mind is the Paint Crew of Purdue University.

Heading into our game against Purdue next Tuesday, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about what the Paint Crew is going to put on their version of the Rage Page. When we visited Mackey Arena my freshman year at Ohio State, the Paint Crew plastered a picture of me from high school wearing a thong (I lost a bet, I swear) on their dirt sheet, which was hilariously refreshing. To this day, that is still the most impressive instance of research by Big Ten fans that I’ve come across. That’s why I’m basically using this blog entry to not only criticize the Maize Rage’s poor work, but to also inform the Paint Crew that I’m very much anticipating what they come up with for our upcoming game. If I remember correctly, last year the Paint Crew wrote something along the lines of “we really have nothing bad to say about the guy” as their dirt for me. That seems like an unprecedented thing, so I obviously appreciated the respect, but this year I’m calling for the shot below the belt. I’m counting on the Paint Crew to hilariously (and tastefully) attack my teammates and me, at least enough for me to not lose all hope in the future of Big Ten student sections. Some of you in the Paint Crew might be saying, “But Mark, I can’t hate you. You’ve never put down my school/team and you don’t even play. I can’t say bad things about someone who has never done anything to me.” I see where you are coming from, but I’m so disappointed in the Maize Rage that I’m counting on you to make up for their poor effort. If you really need a reason to hate me, consider this: PURDUE SUX. Yeah, I said it. And I meant it. Now it’s your move. ___________________________________________________

My one armed embrace attempts went unanswered by Michigan, but Indiana reciprocated three in our game with them on Wednesday.

One Armed Embraces: 7 to date (3 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. ___________________________________________________

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




Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

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