I believe the legendary NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” How is this relevant? Well, the Specialized Master in Finance program fielded a team of Grade-A all-stars to play intramural B-league basketball every Tuesday night at 9:50pm, and the fellas are undefeated. Led by team captain Brian Perry, Big K & The Gang is already paving its path to the Finals: the internet has been blowing up with memes about how the squad is taking the Finals home in 6 games this year.
Last Tuesday night was our opening night, in which we faced a fierce competitor; however, the SMF team ultimately pulled ahead towards the end of the game and notched our first victory of the season. Coach Terence Mordi after the game was quoted saying: “These guys started off a bit rough, shooting a dismal field percentage; however, in the second half they played as if it was their last game ever. I can’t get over how proud I am of these guys and the effort it took to pull out that W.”
Steve “Big K” Mowry was a dominate presence in the post, while Mark Venzor was an absolute weapon on the defensive end of the court. Ian Ding also provided valuable minutes at point guard, notching several assists in the process. Overall, each of the 8 team members showed strong initial performances, providing ESPN and other basketball analysts with some positive insights for what is to come throughout the rest of the season.
Rumor has it (albeit unconfirmed), this is the most wins that an SMF team has had in an intramural sport this school year. From what I have seen thus far, this team is the epitome of hard-working and blue-collar. Although the team has been surrounded by media and fans looking for comments and autographs, respectively, this group of financiers is looking to carry this momentum heading into our second game of the season this Tuesday night.
Yesterday was the 2013 Mid Market Summit, and thanks to my GA, I was able to attend the afternoon sessions and help with social media. It was an incredible opportunity listening to business leaders discuss current trends, the future of the Middle Market and more.
One of my favorite moments was listening to ESPN’s Darren Rovell talk to Billy Beane (GM of the Oakland Athletics) about big data. Mr. Beane discussed the similarities between baseball and business – and how you need to trust your head, not your gut. It was a fascinating story — and I know that I will be renting Moneyball in the very near future.
Some of my classmates even got to meet Mr. Rovell after his segment and got a great photo!
These opportunities are what I absolutely love about my school. The National Center for The Middle Market, in collaboration with the Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, host this event and put critical attention on the Middle Market. Other speakers from yesterday included Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plant, The Washington Post‘s CEO Don Graham, Jonah Berger (author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Marketing Professor at Wharton School, and more.
It has been a very educational 72 hours for me, and everyone at OSU!
Saturday saw the beginning of the Urban Meyer era at THE Ohio State University. A slow start was followed by several exciting scores (if you’re a Buckeye fan, that is). Without looking at the archives of the 2010-2011 season, I can’t say with certainty that the Buckeyes scored 56 points in their first 4 games combined last year (they must have, but the fact that I’m not certain should tell you something about my recollection of last year’s offensive prowess). All in all, it was an exciting game to watch as a Buckeye fan. Braxton Miller (whom my wife calls “B” like they’re BFFs) set a single-game rushing yardage record for an OSU quarterback. Devin Smith had what LeBron James tweeted was the catch of the year (The King may be right), and the oft-maligned Travis Howard had two interceptions.
So why have I recounted all this for you, my captivated reader? Because at Ohio State, football matters. An ESPN Sports Poll in 2011 revealed that the Buckeyes are the most popular football team in the country (follow link, scroll down to last paragraph of the story). That, plus the football program brings in about $35 to $45 million in profit, some of which goes right back to the University’s general fund. None of that even takes into account the economic benefit conferred upon the city of Columbus by 100,000+ people huddled into The ‘Shoe and countless (OK, they’re probably countable) others who come out of their hovels to simply be near the action.
But I digress… I don’t really, deep down in my soul, care as much about any of that financial/economic benefit mumbo jumbo as I care about the football games themselves. I grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, less than 20 miles from Ohio Stadium. Buckeye football is on Saturdays… Church is on Sundays. Let’s just say… I’m a fan.
Some of you may be unfamiliar with Ohio State football, college football, or even American football altogether. If you’re thinking of visiting campus this fall, I encourage you to schedule your trip to coincide with a home football weekend (assuming you can get a hotel room). If nothing else, please make a point of walking by the stadium just to bask in its glory (ok, I’ll stop gushing now). And if you’re like some of my classmates of international origin and have some questions about American football, just ask. People who love football love to talk about football.
GO BUCKS! Here’s another picture of my rascally animal from his youth…
Last Thursday I was a TA for a public speaking course at Ohio State and was responsible for grading student oral presentations. Overall I was very impressed with the talent of the class, even if topics included “Why Jim Varney is the best actor ever” and “Everyone should buy a Hangover Helmet.” Despite a clear disinterest in the class, most students were way more comfortable at speaking in front of a classroom than I was seven years ago… (Yes, I realize that my public speaking skills in 2003 should not be a benchmark to grade a class – but I used it anyways).
Although most speeches were interesting, one topic really stuck out from the rest. This student decided to talk for seven minutes as to why Mark Titus (OSU Men’s Basketball Player) has the best blog in the country. As you can expect, I was skeptical at first. Who is this Mark Titus and what does he have on Joe Fahrendorf’s Fisher Grad Life Blog? After all, the Google analytics are reporting that my blog actually receives a few unique hits per month (although this is steadily fading – c’mon Mom & Dad, start reading my blog again). Well, as it turned out, this guy was right. Mark Titus’ blog “Club Trillion” is one of the best blogs in the country.
Mark “The Shark” Titus (#34)… aka Mr. Rainmaker is a staple of The Ohio State Men’s Basketballbench. Mark’s blog provides a perspective on college basketball that is impossible to gain from ESPN or other news sources. The name Club Trillion was developed from the stat line Mark usually earns: 1 minute played and nothing else. When this happens, the scorecard reads 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – hence 1 Trillion. Although Mark is a highly talented basketball player (or so he claims), he is unable to be an everyday player on a program that is consistently ranked in the top 10.
Club Trillion has received nearly 2.5 million hits, slightly higher than my blog attendance. The blog has become such a hit that the website even sells Club Tril t-shirts, which have become very popular on The Ohio State campus. All the proceeds from the shirts go to support the charitable group A Kid Again.
As you can tell, I highly recommend you check out Club Trillion – in addition to the other authors on My Fisher Grad Life Blog. However, I will give you this warning: if you are like me and have no time for the next couple weeks, postpone exploring his blog until you have time to spare. I could not have been introduced to this website at a worse time. Next week I have a large marketing paper due and a negotiations exam. The following week I have 4 finals (so this will probably be the last post you see from me for two weeks… sorry).
It has recently become very evident that I will have little free time this quarter. Between working on my core classes and my recently invigorated summer internship search, this might be my busiest quarter of the year. I guess for the benefit of my MBA degree, the Bengals lost in the playoffs yesterday to the NY Jets. There is no doubt that with my team out of the playoffs, I will now have significantly more time available each week. Gone are the days of spending endless hours on espn.com to get the most up-to-date information on my team, gone are the Sundays of spending four hours watching the game and then several additional hours either too happy or depressed to do any work.
I was actually at the Bengals game this Sunday with my dad and brothers. The 1 degree wind chill was not nearly as bad as losing. I’m still upset about the loss, but eventually I will adapt to life without football. Hopefully I do this sooner rather than later, especially since I have an important phone interview with a recruiter from Cardinal Health on Tuesday. I will be speaking with her about their summer marketing internship and hopefully I can make a positive impression.