NCAA Football

Springtime, With All Due Respect To Andy Williams, Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Springtime, With All Due Respect To Andy Williams, Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

At this time of the season — the Major League Baseball (MLB) season is still in the honeymoon phase, the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs have just tipped off and the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs have also commenced their two month-beard growing grind.

Furthermore, I can’t exclude the “other” Ohio State season. The Buckeyes spring football session, which reaches its zenith during the annual Scarlet vs. Gray Spring game at Ohio Stadium, is basically a natural ritual in Columbus. With flawless weather on its side, this year’s super scrimmage had a record breaking attendance of 99,931 … Yes, that is the number of human beings who paid to watch a college football practice. To put that in perspective, the supposed “vaunted fan base” of the school up north only had 60k at theirs.

If you weren’t a part of the nearly one-hundred thousand scarlet and gray stadium sunbathers, then you missed out on two things. The first was the gray squad narrowly edging the scarlet squad, 17-14. It was basically a junior varsity game, considering, last year’s bowl game standouts Ezekiel Elliott (wrist) and Michael Thomas (sports hernia) both took more selfies than snaps. Accordingly, Coach Meyer also kept two-thirds of the quarterback arsenal on the shelf, as J.T. Barrett (ankle) and Braxton Miller (shoulder) still recuperate.

The second, and real highlight of the event, occurred during halftime at a Buckeye QB skills competition. After the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith’s impressive 68 yard toss, it was Cardale Jones’ turn to show why they call him “12 gauge.”  The younger Cleveland Glenville quarterback unleashed an eye-popping 74 yard bomb. That, and a nice tan, was worth the five-dollar admission.

Speaking of Cleveland standouts, Lebron James and his mighty band of Cavaliers are also gearing up for a long playoff run. The Cavs won game 1 of their opening round series versus the Buckeye-heavy roster of the Boston Celtics, 113-100. Coincidentally, the last Cavs home playoff game was May 11, 2010, when those Celtics ended James’ first term in Cleveland. Lebron exercised that demon by adding 20 points and 7 assists, but, Kyrie Irving was the star of the night. The young phenom made five 3 pointers on his way to scoring a team high 30 points. Kevin Love also contributed strongly with 19 points and 12 boards. The new “Big 3” looks to be the favorite to bring thirsty Cleveland a trophy. Also, basketball gods willing, we’ll hopefully be talking about a Cavs vs. Warriors finals matchup.

Springs - Basketball - Kevin Love

Kevin Love – Courtesy/Jeff Hanisch – USA Today Sports

Speaking of Cleveland letdowns, despite having last year’s AL Cy Young award winner in Corey Kluber, the Tribe has sputtered out of the gates. Kluber is an ace, but, the American League central division is a royal rumble. Manager Terry Francona hopes to really contend in his second year as the chief in Cleveland. In Kansas City, the Royals now have experience and Chicago’s White Sox have added some pieces too. Sure it’s early, but, I expect the Detroit Tigers to win the division again. The Motown crew has a few stud pitchers, notably David Price, and “best-hitter-ever-candidate,” Miguel Cabrera.

Spring - Baseball - Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber – Courtesy/Fox Sports

Moving to the insistent pitcher-batting, National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers seem loaded and ready for a pennant run. They have an elite arm in Clayton Kershaw and a fantastic all-around hitter in Adrian Gonzalez. In the meantime, Ohio’s NL team, the Reds, will host this years MLB all star game. It will be a great showcase for the Queen City’s hitter’s park. Look for Todd Frazier to have a big year at the plate and hopefully keep the Red legs relevant past the all-star break, but, I’m sure St. Louis and the Cardinals will do their best to say otherwise.

Spring - Baseball - Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier – Courtesy/Zimbo.com

I’m happy there’s plenty of time to talk baseball, debate playoff scenarios, and watch the sun shine…or rain fall.

It sure beats snow.

Welcome, Spring.


Steve Waniewski

Steve Waniewski writes reviews and articles for NID Magazine and can be reached at sf.waniewski@yahoo.com