I work with this guy who grew up in Columbus, OH, but didn’t bother to go to “the” Ohio State University. He’s a graduate of one of those little eastern schools with a name that sounds like all the others – you know, Williams or Hamilton or Middlebury or Leland. Of course, Leland isn’t a real school but the fictional place where Alex P. Keaton went off to college after growing up in Columbus. Of course, Columbus is a real place, but we can’t be sure about the college football team that plays there. It can be kind of confusing sometimes when reality is mixed with fiction. But I digress …
Even through my colleague went to a school in the northeast, he remains an ardent Buckeye fan. So, early last week he offered to bet me on last Saturday’s game.
“I know the Buckeyes are 10-point underdogs, but I want to make this a straight up bet, because I know we’re gonna win,” he told me. Of course, I respected his delusional allegiance to Ohio State, but more than anything I didn’t have the heart to tell him it really didn’t matter what he thought.
“Sure,” I said, because I was, in fact, sure of the outcome. “What are you thinking in terms of stakes?” I figured he could come up with whatever it was he was going to pay, since there was no risk to me. It only seemed fair.
“Well,” he said, “how about the loser has to wear the jersey of the winner for week.”
“And, you have to wear a hat of the other team,”
By “you” I figured he meant him, of course. So, again I said, “OK.”
He continued, “And you have to sing the other team’s fight song.”
“Sounds good. I’ll take that bet. Anything else?”
“Hmmm. And the jersey needs to be two sizes too small.”
Now, this guy is not a small guy, and since I’m not one to intentionally embarrass my work colleagues undeservedly, I thought I’d try to let him off the hook a bit.
“Are you sure you want to bet all this?” I asked earnestly.
“Absolutely,” he said with a knowing chuckle. “My wife has an OSU jersey that will look great on you.”
I laughed along as I began to realize that this bozo actually believed Ohio State would … not just could, but would … win the game. So, I decided to take the gloves off just a little.
“You know, on second thought, I think we should raise the stakes a bit,” I said. “I won’t enjoy hearing you butcher USC’s fight song, so why don’t we decide that the loser has to sing the fight song of their hated rival.”
“Oh, that’s a great suggestion,” said the sucker … I mean, my colleague.
Of course, we all know what happened Saturday. And I’m sure many in the Trojan Family enjoyed the spoils of friendly office bets similar to mine. It was great to see my broken colleague (right*) singing in honor of USC in front of the whole office: “Hail to the Victor.”
Indeed, it’s fun when reality – that is, the current greatness of USC Football – is mixed with the fiction of our opponents’ delusional self-confidence. For us there is no confusion, whatsoever … We Are SC!
* Buckeye's face obscured to protect whatever dignity he has left.