"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...". Too dramatic, verbose, and over the top for this article? Besides, I believe Mr. Burns tried to replicate this theme once upon a time, and it did not necessarily turn out as he had intended.
The Central Florida Knights will enter into Ohio Stadium on September 8th, 2012, as Ohio State's second opponent of the 2012 season. While I believe this game could be closer than most people anticipate, I am also interested about this game from a completely different perspective.
Ohio State fans have completely embraced Urban Meyer as the new head football coach, relishing the return of a native Ohio son to arguably the most prestigious position in the entire state. (Yes, I am including the governor when I make that statement.) Coach Meyer has reciprocated the love affair, stating that "Our objective is simple: It's to make the state of Ohio proud; recruit student-athletes that will win in the classroom and win on the field.".
Please continue, Coach Meyer..."I'm going to go about and try to assemble the best coaching staff in college football. Our goal is to compete and win Big Ten championships."..."this is my home state. And it's great to be back home."...
How many Ohio State fans do you think were excited about these statements in Coach Meyer's opening press conference? "Football is really, really important in the state of Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio, Columbus, Cincinnati, this is as good of football as there is in America. It's certainly well coached as any in America."..."It's great to be home. And the same thing I told the players a little bit ago, is that I realize those players didn't choose me. I chose them. So I chose to pack up and move the most precious things in my life, and that's my family, to back home. And it's a decision I'm very proud of, a decision that was not thought of overnight; a decision that had a lot of prayer, a lot of research. At the end of the day, to tell you we're excited to be back, once again, is not a strong enough statement. We're grateful to be welcomed back home.".
Sounds like a man who has been able to fulfill his dream job, doesn't it?
Now compare and contrast Coach Meyer's experience, albeit only one game into his tenure as Ohio State's head coach, with that of Central Florida head coach George O'Leary.
It has been over ten years since Coach O'Leary's infamous fall from grace as Notre Dame's head coach. Think about the type of words Coach Meyer used to describe his feelings on coming back to coach Ohio State, and read below what words Coach O'Leary used when he was introduced at Notre Dame:
"This is an exciting time for me. Notre Dame is the only job I would ever leave Georgia Tech for. It's the pinnacle of all coaching jobs. In fact, I believe there are two great coaching jobs in all of sports, one being the manager of the New York Yankees and the other being the head football coach at Notre Dame," said O'Leary.
"While I can't manage the Yankees, I feel fortunate to be invited to coach the Fighting Irish. This school embodies excellence in every way. My only wish is that my father could be here to see this day come true."
Think how painful it had to be for Coach O'Leary to make the following statement, only days after being hired to his dream job..."Today, I regret to report that last night I tendered my resignation as head football coach of the University of Notre Dame. My resignation has been accepted.".
I began this story with a quote from Charles Dickens. Perhaps when thinking about how Coach Meyer has been able to achieve his dream job, while Coach O'Leary came so tantalizingly close to his, the quote may be truly appropriate..."It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.".