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November 12, 2002

Dear Diary

Dear diary, 11/11/02 (when I wrote it)

Coming under fire now for things…Having hard time taking things seriously… Shit… Shit… I was going to write about Ohio State football and I am probably going to do that anyway, so look out for that. But I might actually write seriously for a little while.

Kind of stressful for the P-Man these days. Don't know what that's all about, but I'm tough. So don't worry about me. [Cue music] My back may or may not be against the wall, so I am going to mask my real emotions behind a discussion of Ohio State football. To that end:

A couple things I should point about the fact that Ohio State is 11-0:

1. I am from Ohio, specifically Berea, Ohio.

2. Ohio State football head coach Jim Tressel is from Berea, Ohio, and attended Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. There is a street in Berea, Ohio named Tressel Street, which is named for Jim Tressel's father, Lee Tressel. The street that is Tressel Street is called Maple Avenue north of Bagley Road. I lived on Maple Avenue in Berea, Ohio. (I drew a map.)

3. I went to school (various levels) with Lee Tressel (grandson of the original Lee Tressel, whom they name streets after in Berea, henceforth Lee [A]. Let's call the Lee who is my age Lee [B]). All of these people are from Berea, Ohio.

4. My sixth-grade homeroom and social studies teacher was Mr. Dave Tressel (Lee [B]'s dad, Lee [A]'s son), who is the brother of Jim Tressel, who is the football coach at Ohio State, who, collectively, have won 11 games and not lost any this year.

5. In eleventh grade, I was a teaching assistant for Mr. Janik's English class. Alex Stepanovich was enrolled in that class, and is from Berea, Ohio. (Where I am from) Alex Stepanovich is also the starting center for the Ohio State football team, and from Berea, Ohio, which is also the home of me.

6. Paul Cook, who was in my graduating class (that would be Berea High School [BHS] '99), plays for Boston College, who beat Notre Dame. I should mention that Paul had what defensive teammates called the "hit of the game" vs. Central Michigan earlier this year. (Source: Defensive Teammates of Paul Cook.) Paul is from Berea. His dad (also named Paul Cook) was my rec league basketball coach.

7. I took classes at Baldwin-Wallace College, which, incidentally, won the 1978 NCAA Division III national championship in 11-on-11 men's American football, which is to say, football. Jim Tressel lettered four times at QB for B-W (where his Dad, Lee [A] was the coach, which is why they named the street after him, on account of being a good coach). Also, Lee and Jim are the only father and son to have each won national championships as head coaches, Jim having won four national championships at Division I-AA Youngstown State, whose team nickname is the Penguins, which is awesome. Youngstown is also in Ohio and is the home of Maurice Clarett, who is much better than everyone at football, and plays for Ohio State.

8. My entire existence is at stake in the next two weeks. If Ohio State loses to Michigan in two weeks, it is probable, if not already guaranteed, that my head will melt into something that looks and acts a lot like spaghetti with marinara, much like the one guy with glasses at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. If Ohio State loses to Illinois this Saturday, I will die like Donovan at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Not to get bogged down in the details of my imminent death, but I reiterate: If OSU loses to the Illini, I will turn into a zombie, sexually harass a well-groomed she-Nazi scientist, and then explode during a unrelated, localized, and very brief tornado. [If things don't work out for Ohio State (Pete), the Buckeyes (Pete) are going to explode? No, no, it's a metaphor.] What's going to happen? I'm used to losing, aren't I?

9. This is weird. Don't cast me as the nice guy in this fucked-up game of Parcheesi that this article is trying to play. I am angry and I do not make any sense. No, I am a good guy.

10. I know, why do I have to write in lists all the time? It became a formula a long time ago, but like Barry Zito used to say, "You can fool some of the people all of time but this is Pete's newspaper so do what he says." Well, I hope you've had enough self-loathing because it's over. No more self-loathing here.

11. I don't owe anybody anything, except for money, which I owe to a few people. And also some other things.

12. Speaking of metaphors: The new flag of the Maroon is awesome; I don't care what you idiots think. It's a book on a newspaper, you read books, you read newspapers. Not actually a metaphor. I'm trying to be funny but it does mean something. I think.

13. I am making a clip book tonight.

14. Also rescuing the artistic reputation of John George "J.G." Brown (1831-1913) from the shark- and crocodile-filled waters of modernity.

15. Elvis Costello. Yes.

16. What is at stake in the football success of the Ohio State University?

17. Well, what's at stake in my success in waking up every morning?

18. "Sports are like theater for dumb people."

19. Theater sucks.

20. Sorry.

21. Well, it does.

22. Walking down the street, getting rained on, carrying too many books, smashing my own chicken sandwich, nothing to fix my problems with, people don't walk politely these days, mud on my shoes, heading the wrong way, everything is gray, but my sweatshirt smells clean, and I have a DVD player. I have tall friends.

23. Go Buckeyes.