"Just got off the golf course, now it's time to put on some red and white, head down to Camp Randall and get some bratwurst and cheese curds with a little ranch dip. On Wisconsin!"
"Forty-five minutes till we kick their ass. You went to the wrong game, dude!"
By then I had figured out who the caller was. David Finnane is the staid, responsible assistant principal at the Northern California elementary school my children attend. I vaguely remember his telling me that he intended to blow off October fest, an annual school fundraiser (at which he's always a popular target in the dunk tank) in order to be in Madison for this game.
He phoned twice during the game, and it wasn't to talk about, say, the advantages of class looping. My man was out of his mind. It was riveting, watching the broadcast, seeing Schabert casually drop back and float a gorgeous spiral to wide receiver Lee Evans—who'd burned superb Buckeyes cornerback Chris Gamble on a sideline-and-up route—for the touchdown that ended Ohio State's 19-game winning streak. It was equally fascinating to bear long-distance witness to the devolution of this pillar of the community into a baying, wild-eyed hominid. In his final call, placed just after the clock ran down to zeros, assistant principal Finnane shouted at me, "DO YOU LOVE IT?" repeating the question a half-dozen times.
Since you hung up before I could answer, David—you were storming the field, no doubt—I'm telling you now: Of course I loved it. If you're a college football fan, you had to love Oct. 11.