Every February a few things happen that make the snow
and the winter a bit more bearable....
1. My birthday...recognized nationally? NO!
2. The Touchdown Club of Columbus
The Touchdown Club of Columbus at first seemed
like a pretty cool gig...
You come down and meet some nice guys...swap some stories, have
dinner and see a bunch of awards given away...
Most of the time it was a way to see leaches that would
never date these kids unless they thought they
might have an NFL career ahead of them...
I've met some pretty cool players and coaches over the years...
Colt McCoy-Toby Gearhart-Brady Quinn-Mike Leach...etc...
This year was very interesting...
The first person I ran into was this guy...
Jeff Quinn Head Coach of the Buffalo Bulls!
Coach Quinn won a National Championship at Grand Valley State
with Coach Brian Kelly!
I was there with Kelly, one of my great buddies and fellow Irish
follower. He and I eagerly went to work asking Coach
Quinn about Coach Kelly...
Me-"Do we have the right guy?"
Quinn-"Oh yeah...(smiling as if I was nutz for even asking!)"
"Coach Kelly is a champion...he will win and win big at ND!
He just has to fix it and get it his way first...his guys...his QB,
then you'll see."
Me-"I've read that the key for him is getting "his" QB?"
Quinn-"Once he builds his type of offense they will dominate,
he knows what his type of QB is capable of, and he knows how to
coach him up, and get the most out of him!"
Talking to Coach Quinn was like talking to the President of the Brian Kelly
fan club, if that existed... He was almost
giddy, talking not only about what Coach Kelly is
able to do within the college game, but what he learned from
him, and what it has done for him...
Moving on...also in attendance was my life long buddy...
Joe is a scout and handles the midwest but is a huge UM fan...
Now the first thing I noticed is that the list of
"Buckeye Blue Chips"
The "elite" players in the state of Ohio were being honored...
Now take that with a grain of salt...."elite"
chosen by Ohio residents....that translates to?
5 star Kyle Rudolph...NO!
3 star Jake Stoneburner...YEAH?
So where you're committed is more important than your talent!
Last year I got Pictures with Eilar Hardy and Andrew Hendrix, past
(luckily they were picked for this BEFORE they committed!)
This year I took notice that the best Running back in the state
William Mahone was not in attendance?
But what I did find funny is there were 3 HUGE High School Kids!
All from Ohio....clearly the biggest kids in the room...all committed to?
The University of Michigan?
(oddly enough not one of them signing autographs?)
After laughing so hard and handing these kids some pre-typed
transfer letters to ND...we continued our walk...
That's when things got interesting...
I noticed a face I recognized...
Former Asst. Coach for Notre Dame Tim Hinton..
Coach Hinton is a gentleman I've met before and he is cousins with one
of my clients who was with me at my table...
Coach Hinton was a class act!...
He held Notre Dame in the
highest regard and said his decision to leave had
NOTHING to do with football....who coached at ND or
who was coaching at OSU...it was a family matter and I
feel that's all I really should say for the Coach's privacy!
But make no mistake...he loves Notre Dame...Said his wife
cried for most of the trip from Notre Dame to Columbus...
He also sang Coach Kelly's praises and wished us luck!
Coach Warriner was there also....LOL...that's a story
that goes without saying...he looked a bit bitter
for being asked to see the door at ND!....
This year we were very fortunate to have 2 guests sit
at our table...and really nice kids also!
Ray Graham and Pat Bostick from PITT
It was a great time having dinner with them....
Ray was there to accept the "player to watch" award for 2012...
and Pat was there as a current Employee of PITT too...I'd say
keep Ray company?
Ray and I talked a bit of trash back and forth about our ND vs PITT
games the past 2 years...had to remind him that he only rushed for
about 60 yards a game between the two...LOL
Pat liked to throw his OT victory over us at me....even though
he did throw 3 picks in that game....? Charlie!...ARGH!...
But overall great guys...
Both talked highly of Coach Kelly and what he was able to accomplish in
the Big East...and that while Coach Kelly was in the Big East...
they didn't see ANY more of these!
The evening was great and made the end of the season feel pretty
much like I thought...We are moving in the right direction!
Tyler Eifert won the Tight End of the year award...
Even though...I'm not sure he even
knew about it?
GO IRISH and GOD BLESS!