As we're all well aware, The Masters has already begun, with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Bubba Watson combing through the azaleas of one of Georgia's most well-known properties. Augusta National is truly a national treasure, and it is both a blessing and a curse that the golf world only gets to experience it for four days in April before it closes up shop for another 360 or so days.
The traditions that surround the tournament are myriad, from the Par Three Tournament on Wednesday to the Green Jacket Ceremony in Butler Cabin on Sunday. But my favorite tradition is the Champions' Dinner. On Tuesday before the tournament, the defending champ sits down with his winning brethren for a meal that he selects. This year, Bubba Watson kept it simple, serving chicken, green beans, corn bread, and cake.
Considering golf has become a very global sport, and the Masters has been one by a diverse field in recent years, the menu has certainly changed from simple to complex, normal to what-the-hell-is-that. There's always quite a bit of speculation each year as to what the menu-selector will select.
So with this year's dinner in the books, and the tournament beginning in earnest (even though "the Masters doesn't start until the Back Nine on Sunday"), I am stuck on the Champions' Dinner portion of the week. I'm left to wonder even more what I would pick for my meal. And, considering this is an Ohio State Athletics website and the Spring Game is on Saturday, I'm wondering what certain Buckeye Nation favorites would have, were they the defending Masters champion.
Let's make a few educated guesses.
Jim Tressel - Former Head Coach
Coach Tressel starts our list because his meal would probably be the easiest to prepare.
- Dinner: chicken, likely boiled without any seasoning
- Side: those canned green beans you used to get in the cafeteria for lunch in middle school
- Drink: luke-warm water, tap preferable, single ice cube
- Dessert: only if you grade a winning performance for the previous game
The funny thing about Tressel's meal: it may be bland, it may be normal, and it may not be too appealing, but it will end up being so good, you'll want it for 10 straight years.
Joe Bauserman - Former Quarterback
Oh JoeBull. You were put in an incredibly untenable situation that no one would ever wish on their enemies: Tres was gone, TP was gone, and Braxton Miller was just a freshman. But you won the Masters, so you pick the meal.
- Dinner: quail, likely wounded and fluttering into the gallery
- Side: see above
- Drink: see above
- Dessert: [menu is replaced by true freshman menu and future of all menus]
Jake Stoneburner - Former Tight End
Stoney, who was supposed to feature and flourish in the Ohio State offense under Urban Meyer, never really developed into the player we all thought possible. But he'll probably have a cup of coffee on Sundays after picking his Champions meal.
- Dinner: Bogey Inn Fish and Chips
- Drink: probably a lot of beer, followed by evacuating said beer somewhere illicit in this jurisdiction
- Dessert: whatever they serve to NFL players, where Stoney will probably do some under-the-radar damage next year
Don't pee on the trees at Augusta, Jake. Only Spurrier can do that.
Mike Hart - Former Michigan Running Back
I have to sneak a Michigan Wolverine in here. Mike Hart was a very good RB during his four-year stint in Ann Arbor. He hated Ohio State with a passion and played in four great games against the Buckeyes. All of them losses.
- Dinner: his own words
- Side: his own words
- Drink: his own words
- Dessert: he doesn't get any
Undefeated against Ohio State, BBs!
Johnathan Hankins - Former Defensive Lineman
Big Hank is following Stoney to the pros this year. But not before a big meal at Augusta.
- Dinner: Filet of Wolverine, lightly seasoned and grilled to a perfect medium rare
- Side: Wolverine and potatoes au gratin
- Drink: Banana and blueberry smoothie
- Dessert: Wolverine bread pudding
What do you expect from a guy who literally ate Michigan for lunch for the better part of three years?
Devin Smith - Wide Receiver
The wide out looking to improve on his stellar year will be one of Braxton Miller's favorite targets in the receiving corps.
- Dinner: Salmon
- Side: Fish sticks
- Soup: Fish chowder
- Dessert: Hiroyuki Sakai's trout ice cream
The guy who made last season's catch of the year obviously is served variations on the fresh catch of the day at Augusta.
Urban Meyer - Head Coach
Braxton is the cog, but Meyer calls the shots. After going undefeated in year one, Meyer looks to make it another perfect season at the helm. Here's his perfect meal.
- Dinner: Grilled portabella mushroom burgers
- Side: Brown rice pilaf
- Drink: Watermelon-cranberry agua fresca
- Dessert: Strawberry shortcake
What do all these recipes have in common? They're all heart-healthy! We want you around a long time, Coach, so don't go nuts on dinner, huh?
Braxton Miller - Quarterback
The leader of the Buckeyes, and the man thru whom the offense will run his a pivotal cog - in football and dinner selection.
- Dinner: New York Strip Steak
- Soup: Manhattan Clam Chowder
- Dessert: New York Cheesecake
Why the focus on the City That Doesn't Sleep? Because you have to think like a New Yorker now so that you can go back there and finish better than fifth in December.
Enjoy the Masters and the Spring Game this weekend, everyone.