They Go To Michigan

September 3, 2010

GARY 1 and GARY 2 are at the bar drinking gin and tonics. They are drunker than usual. Their unfortunate clothes indicate that they are not busy or vital men. Gary 1 is reading from a football team’s roster.

Gary 1: This year alone there’s Jordan Kovacs, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jake Ryan. Ryan’s a linebacker, too. That’s three. Jibreel Black. Pace and Omameh on the offensive line. Jerald Robinson and D.J. Williamson. Wide receivers. Brandon Moore. Kevin Koger. Curt Graman. Roy Roundtree. He’s from right here in Trotwood. So is Michael Shaw. Who am I not seeing here? Terrence Talbott. And Bell, another linebacker.  And that’s just this year. The point is, all these kids grew up in Ohio. They played high school football in Ohio. They were nurtured by Ohio’s fucking phenomenal football programs and when it came time to pick a college, what did they do? Where did they go? Of all the schools in the world, where did they go?

Gary 2: Michigan.

Gary 1: They go to Michigan. Ohio high school football is so good they’ve written books and made movies about it. Next to Texas, I don’t know who else is up there with Ohio. All these kids get world class, and I mean world class, football instruction. They could not have been luckier. To be born here and want to play football, you couldn’t ask for a better home state if you want to play for the NFL. But when Michigan comes knocking they forget about a hundred years of history and rivalry and say, Eh, fuck it. I’m gonna go to Ann Arbor and check out that scene. Why bother giving a shit when I can go to Michigan?

Gary 2: It is a problem. It’s a serious problem.

Gary 1: And it’s getting worse. Because some of these parents, they don’t care; they think Michigan is a better school because those magazine say it’s a better school. Prescott Burgess. He’s from Ohio. And Shawn Crable. He’s another traitor.

Gary 2: They should start a program in Ohio schools that teaches, no, that brainwashes kids into going to OSU. The coach would take them aside after practice, the best players, the ones who are going to play in the NFL maybe. The coach takes take them aside and shows them a video about Ann Arbor and how all the girls there are nasty and have herpes or whatever and also that the dudes on the team will haze the shit out of you in the locker room if you’re from Ohio. Stuff like that.

Gary 1: I’m with ya. There’d be pictures of rancid food from the cafeteria. And then it’d show a fat Michigan girl eating it and pointing at the camera and licking her fingers all nasty-like. I’m not sure if the state would sponsor this. But we could make it. It would be easy.

Gary 2: And we could sell it to the schools. Not all the schools. Only the best ones. The best seven to ten.

Gary 1: There’s Solon and St. Ignatius up north. Massillon and Dublin Coffman. We could hit all those in a weekend. Maybe even stop at Cedar Point too, we’ll see if there’s time for that. We could make a weekend out of it. Go on a little bender up north, spreading the good word to the would-be traitors.

Gary 2: And then down here you got Xavier, Moeller, Anderson. We could do those in an afternoon. We should make the video first and then plan the distribution route. Who do you know who makes videos? And I mean good videos, not home videos. This isn’t an American Funniest Home Videos video. This is a documentary. A useful documentary.

Gary 1: My buddy Devin used to make videos for the public access channel so maybe he’d be game. I’ll give him a call sometime.

Gary 2: Sometime? Call him right now. Get this shit rolling.

Gary 1: You want me to call Devin Jeffers right now and ask him if he wants to make a video?

Gary 2: It’s a short documentary film. It’s not a video, man. Yeah. I do it. I’ll call him. [he takes Gary 1's phone and find Devin’s number and calls him.] Hey. Is this Devin? Hey, man. You don’t really know me. I’m Gary Pollan. I’m a friend of Gary Welles’. Anyway, I’m calling about making movies. I got two questions: Do you still make them? And if so, would you be willing to help us out with one? No, we don’t have money to pay you, but it will be a fun couple of days and we will buy all the food and the beer. We’ll be shooting in Michigan and maybe in Dayton too. We haven’t planned all the logistics yet but it’s gonna change the lives of a lot of kids. You probably want to know what it is. OK. So you know how every year a few kids who play high school football in Ohio go to Michigan? And how it’s sacrilegious. I know, it’s bullshit. Well. Me and Gary are gonna make an instructional video that warns these kids about going there. It might be a little exaggerated but we’re gonna scare them into going at OSU. We’re gonna need shots of gross Michigan girls in Michigan sweatpants with the UM logo on the ass. So they associate the UM logo with nastiness. I’m talking about those baggy sweatpants college girls wear to class and when it rains the sweatpants drag in the water and they get all wet and it looks like shit. We need a few of shots like that, with the wet sweatpants clinging to Ugg boots. And these girls should be real big too. Like I said, we can’t pay you money but we’ll buy all the beer and food. I don’t know when it will be; let me ask Gary. Hey, when can you do this?

Gary 1: Early August maybe. Shit, I can do it whenever, man. What else am I doing?

Gary 2: We can do it whenever. We don’t have a whole going on. Oh, I see. And how often do you have to go to your work? Monday through Friday. Every week? I see. So it’s like a job job, like an adult job. Do you get direct deposit for that or do they give you paper checks? The money just goes right into your checking account, no questions asked, huh? That’s good stuff, Devin. I’m happy for you. So what would work for you, then? A weekend, I’m guessing. Alright. Let us know and we’ll look forward to hearing you. I won’t be as drunk next time we talk and we can really get down do business and start planning these shots. And hey buddy, you’re in charge of finding the big girls. That’s your job. I’m putting that one on you. I’ll buy the beer; you find the big girls. See ya. [hangs up]

Gary 1: What’d he say?

Gary 2: He said maybe.

Gary 1: We’re gonna have to take that as a yes. When you start a project like this you have to be in Yes mode. No downers, no bummers. I saw this thing on PBS once about painters and how artists have to persevere and they have to be optimistic deep down, maybe not about the world but about their own life, so if we’re gonna make this movie we have to be optimistic about everything. If Devin backs out then we’ll find someone else to hold the camera. I’ll learn how to if it comes to that.

Gary 2: Brandon Harrison. Another asshole. He was from Dayton. Mike Massey. Tight end, I think.

Bartender: Another round, gents?

Gary 2: Yes please. And no fruit this time.

Gary 1: Same.

Bartender: Not to butt in, but I couldn’t help but notice you were talking about high school football players who leave Ohio to play for Ann Arbor, and I gotta tell you, nothing pissed off my old man more than hearing about another kid from Ohio suit up for Michigan. He would yell at my mother about it. He would blame it on her. And she’d say, I’m not in charge of these kids’ lives. And neither are you so shut up about it. Now how about put all that anger into cleaning the gutters real good.

Gary 1: It is a serious problem in this country.

Bartender: That’s the truth. Same goes for kids who don’t play football. Just regular folks who want to get good jobs. Ohio has great public schools; kids here get great educations. And lot of them go to Ohio colleges, which are also great. OSU: great school. Miami: great school. OU: good enough. And when they’re 22, 23, 24, what do they do? They leave. See ya, everyone, I’m off to Chicago. I’m off to New York City. I’m off to fucking Atlanta. We have three large cities but all these kids think they’re hot shit and that they’re entitled to live wherever they want. Anywhere but Ohio. Ohio can’t keep its young people, and I’m talking about the young engineers, the kids in med school, graphic designers, what have you. All those engineering kids go to OSU to get a world class engineering education and then they have to move away to find work, and what does that do to the tax base? What does it do t0 the education system? What will it mean for the next generation? Think about that. Alright, that’s enough bullshit out of me.

NEXT: The Fox in the Garage Part 11: The Rake

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