My Favorite Memory Of Earle Bruce

My Favorite Memory Of Earle Bruce

Football

My Favorite Memory Of Earle Bruce


Anyone that has covered or followed Ohio State football for a period of time has had a run in or memory of Earle Bruce. There are many, but here’s my favorite.


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My Favorite Memory Of Earle Bruce

I got into covering Ohio State well past the days of Earle Bruce patrolling the sidelines, and even somewhat removed from him being up in the press box. But anyone that’s been around the program, or has stepped foot near the Horseshoe on game days, or listened to talk radio has either run into, talked to, or listened to the iconic Ohio State football coach.

I’m no different.

One thing that was abundantly clear is that nobody — and I mean nobody — had more love for THE Ohio State University than Earle Bruce. When he began to talk about Buckeye football he’d switch into a passionate frame of mind different from his everyday demeanor.

And it ran deep. The jaw would clinch, the eyes would widen, and he would speak in a very deliberate, measured tone to make sure you were getting what he was selling.

Then there was the topic of Michigan, and this is where my favorite memory of Bruce comes in. He would dial it up a level further when that time of year came around.

It’s no secret the program would bring Earle in to get the team fired up just before The Game, but he was also on radio after his coaching days were through and would get the fans excited for the greatest rivalry in sports as well.

We all remember the Jim Tressel speech that Buckeye Nation “would be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field.”

Well, 307 days from that, I remember traveling from Ohio to North Carolina to meet my family for Thanksgiving, and listening to Earle Bruce on Central Ohio sports talk radio as I went.

He was, of course in full-out Michigan mode and Ohio State was a big underdog heading on the road to play TTUN. He paused ready to sign off and got even more dramatic and measured ..

“I’m telling you, I got a feeling about this one. I really think those kids are going to go up there and play with heart, and emotion and pull this off. I just got a feeling, and I’ve been through it before, so I know what I’m talking about.”

We all know what happened. Ohio State went up and upset Michigan 26-20 and began the run of dominance that has seen the Buckeyes win 15 of the last 17.

Bruce had passion, there’s no doubt about that, and we’ll all miss him.

 

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