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Story ID:10428
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Columbus OH USA
Person:People and sport
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Not everyone loves football. This story is about the game, but there is more to it than that.
This is an act of sportsmanship.
A picture says a thousand words.
This picture says a thousand emotions to me.


For more than one hundred years, Ohio State University and the University of
Michigan have been bitter rivals. In 1935, they decided to play the last game of their
college football season against each other.

There is a deep hate between the two teams.

I learned this when I moved to Ohio in 1999. I was clueless about football
that year. I learned, because I had to. My work friends would not talk to me that fall,
unless I had something to say about the game the weekend before.

In late November of that year, I felt the tension from my workmates. “THE
GAME” was near.

Michigan defeated Ohio State that year. They won “The Game” 24 to 17. My
co-workers and most of Ohio were in mourning for weeks. It was my initiation to
“The Game”.

I became a college football fan that year.

“The Game” in 2013, started with a brawl
and three players being ejected.

In 2014, both coaches warned their players, “You fight and you are off the team.
You will behave as gentlemen.”

2014 was an interesting year for Ohio State. Before the season started, the starting
quarterback, Braxton Miller, was lost due to a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery.

The second string quarterback, J. T. Barrett, was given the starting quarterback
role. After an early season loss to a far less skilled team, Ohio State’s chances of making
the new college football playoffs seemed to be crushed. However, Barrett and the team
rallied. He played so well, he won the freshman of the year award.

During the final game of regular season, Ohio State played their arch rival, Michigan.
There were no fights, except those within the rules of the game. In the fourth quarter of the
game, J. T. went down - his ankle broken. As he lay on the field,
Michigan’s Quarterback, Devin Gardner, walked up to J. T. Barrett and knelt on one knee
beside him, as he lay on the field in pain. He reached out with his right hand, placed it on
Barrett’s head and offered words of encouragement.

Considering the history between the two teams, this was one of best examples
of sportsmanship I have ever witnessed.

Note: Ohio State’s third string quarterback, Cardale Jones took the helm of Ohio State.
He won their league championship game and then two games in the playoffs to lead Ohio
State to a national championship. Never has a 3rd string Quarterback preformed such a feat.

Michael T. Smith