Thursday, October 12, 2006

From burning defenses to burning food, Gonzalez does it all

Ohio State's own Anthony Gonzalez has been featured as part of ESPN's continuing coverage of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Gonzalez, who is half Cuban, is featured with an incredibly nice write up and a nice video to go along with it. Why is Gonzalez featured? Not just because he makes incredible catches at the right times in just about every single game, or even because he sleeps in a tent that turns Columbus into the Rockies, it's because Gonzalez is also an incredible chef when it comes to preparing fine Cuban cuisines.

It's funny considering that before last season's Michigan game, not many people outside the state of Ohio knew much about Gonzalez, and it has taken up until recent weeks for the nation to recognize him as one of the premier receivers in the nation. As if Troy and Teddy weren't enough to keep defensive coordinators this side of Ann Arbor up all night, Gonzalez's recent emergence has made it that much more painful to come up with defensive schemes to contain the offense. And, to date this season, not one defense has proved capable. The thing that you just have to love (or hate, depending on your allegiances) about Gonzalez is his incredible timeliness. Almost all of his catches this season have either come on third down, or given the Buckeye a new set of downs. If they haven't done that, that's because they've been touchdowns. Very few of his touches this season have been for short yardage and put the offense in tough situations. The one player in any sport I can begin to think to compare Gonzalez to is the New York Yankee's Derek Jeter. For a while, I wasn't a fan of Jeter, calling him overrated. In recent seasons, I've come to realize more and more that the reason behind my accusation was just because of my hatred for the Yankees, and that Jeter is indeed an incredible player who makes all the right plays at the right time. Both of these guys put up great stats, come through in the clutch, and perhaps most importantly, are great leaders on their respective team. Every Championship team, regardless of sport, needs a Derek Jeter. They may not be the number one performer for the whole game, but they will always be there to rely on. Ohio State has its Jeter in Gonzalez, but only time will tell if it results in a championship.

Also, is it just me, or does Gonzo seem kind of like a nerd to anybody else? I mean, the kid sleeps in an Air Pressure-Controlled tent and likes to cook in his free time. How does he not get constantly harassed in practice? Then again, if it keeps him out of trouble and in the end zone, then I won't complain.

Other OSU-related links:
  • Ivan Maisel names Garrett Wolfe as his midseason heisman. It's a nice story and all, but Maisel completely forgets the fact that A) He's in the MAC, B) He's in a run-oriented offense that will give him stats, C)NIU is only 4-2 D) They play in the MAC. The main argument for Wolfe, outside of his stats, is that he did good against an Ohio State defense that had no idea how to defend a screen pass and he has one other game against a major conference college. Last time I checked, a season is 12 games long. Garrett Wolfe is the leader on a team that couldn't even manage to beat Ohio University. Troy Smith is the leader on the consensus #1 team in the nation. Unless Smith loses two more games, there shouldn't even be a discussion. Maisel has never had much knowledge regarding Ohio State, though, so maybe he's just missing the obvious points (The guy thought Script Ohio was a halftime performance, after all).
  • SI has their midseason report up. The consensus among them there is that Ohio State will be National Champions. If everything goes as expected, the winner of the OSU/Michigan game will be the true National Champion, but the Crystal Ball is a nice touch.
  • Looks like I won't be watching the OSU-Indiana game. I'll reserve my official rant on this until next week, but I'll just say this now: Time Warner better find a way to air this game, or they are going to have some angry customers.
  • Buckeyes Swear they've learned from Spartan upsets. Kind of an odd title considering that none of the Buckeyes were on the team in 1998, but whatever they say. There are two reasons the Spartans won't win on Saturday: 1) We don't have John Cooper, 2) They have John L Smith
  • Around The Oval has also begun talking Buckeye hoops. I think that many voters are too high on us, just because regardless of all the hype, we don't know what we're getting out of the Thad 5. We could have 5 superstars, or we could have 5 busts. That's 5 awfully big question marks to rely on.

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