It didn't take too much time to realize what was at stake. This was much more than a game for home-field advantage in the playoffs. This was more than a surging Giants team running into a reeling Bears team. This was the Big Apple vs. the Second City. It was a good, old-fashioned, sports book mook off! There were requisite cheers for and against every play plus some guy who screamed for each snap to end in a touchdown. I kid you not, at one point the guy belts out, "Big Hit! Fumble! Touchdown! Arrghhhgh!"
It was a swing pass for about six yards.
After meer moments, I leaned over to my wife and proffered, "If you think this is nuts, wait till OSU and Michigan next week." This Saturday's matchup might prompt more security at sports books than the ill-fated Crips vs. Bloods Jone Off.
This 1 vs. 2 matchup is a slice of BCS heaven/hell depending on your allegiance to the Big East. I can't think of a bigger late season game in my life, and the coverage so far has backed that up. Polls and BCS rankings have been released and everyone's spewing stats and history all over the sports universe. Then it happened, and I knew it inevitably would. ESPN starts showing its "INSERT YOUR NOUN Lives Here" commercial complete with Desmond Howard's 93 yard return for a touchdown against Ohio St. in 1991. You know the one, Howard strides into the endzone and then in one of the most undercriticized dick-moves in sports history, strikes the Heisman pose. However, what so many people seem to conveniently overlook is the fact that Desmond Howard TOTALLY F*CKED UP THE POSE!
Try this: walk onto the nearest streetcorner in Whereeveryouare, America and ask someone to pose as the Statue of Liberty. They'll get it right; right hand up, left hand clutching an imaginary tablet, huddled masses at their feet. The Statue of Liberty is something most Americans identify with personally. It embodies ideals of excellence that most of them strive to display, much like the Heisman trophy might embody the football excellence college players strive toward. Desmond Howard totally screwed it up...and he had props.
Is no one willing to call out the legions of people who follow this sham and sully the legacy of Ricky Williams and Gino Torretta? The faux-pose has surfaced enough times since (from the 1992 Rose Bowl where big Blue got shellaced by Washington to Kyle Orton's paltry Heisman bid) to prompt action. Let's take a look at the dissimilarity between Howard's farce and the real deal.
1) Howard decides to pull his left leg off the ground at a rakish angle. The true Heisman keeps both feet grounded and in no way looks like he's popping or locking.
2) Howard holds the ball in his right hand, Heisman tucks it away in his left.
3) Howard offers a flitty near wave with his left arm while Heisman is chucking out some dislocating, Kojak-yo-ass stiffarm.
4) Howard smiles a shit-eating grin while the trophy keeps all emotions under wraps, sneering until his post-game interview with someone fetching, say Rachel Nichols if she covered college ball, pulls out a slightly glinted grin.
It's quite true that this Saturday should go down in college football lore as well as being woven into the vicious tapestry that is the OSU/UM hatred. It will no doubt prompt something from the Dead Schembechlers. God willing though, barring any post-touchdown abominations, the game won't make John Heisman roll over in his grave yet another time.
Oh yeah, he's from Ohio.