Everyone in sports is fretting about the length of games, tweaking this and trying that in order to shave a few minutes to better fit our attention-deficit society.

Yet the seasons keep getting longer.

College football starts earlier than ever and the season goes and goes and goes, like a children’s dance recital.

Ohio State is already holding its fourth practice of the preseason on this, the first day of August, and we haven’t even started yet with the officials going to the video replay monitor.

If the Buckeyes make it to the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 8, that 15th game of the season (if it includes the Big Ten Championship Game) will take place 166 days after they first practiced on July 27.

Imagine all the meetings that coaches will make players sit through, and that’s just before OSU’s Aug. 31 season-opener at Indiana.

In 1967, the Buckeyes played the first game of their season on Sept. 30. They played nine games, won six, lost three, and didn’t earn a bowl berth. OSU’s season ended that year on Nov. 25, two days after Thanksgiving.

Fifty years later, football is a lot safer because of rules and regulations, some stemming from more acute awareness about the effects of head trauma.

Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra 

Yet the seasons keep growing in length, an interminable trek of blown whistles.

OSU didn’t add practices this season. They’re scheduled to have 28, one shy of the NCAA limit, before playing Indiana.

And the Buckeyes, and all teams in college football, aren’t hitting in practice as often as they did back in the thump, thump, thump days of Woody Hayes and Bear Bryant.

In April, the NCAA Division I Council announced a rule eliminating multiple contact practices a day in preseason.

Doing away with two-a-days makes sense with so much focus rightly being placed on the physical toll of football.

However, the rule change is behind the trend. Most teams had already been holding less two-a-days in recent seasons. Last year, OSU had five preseason days of double-session contact practices, none on consecutive days.

The side effect of eliminating two-a-days by rule is that the preseason, which includes one mandatory off day per week, gets stretched out even more in terms of number of days.

A majority of schools began football training camps over the weekend in order to fit the allotted 29 practices in prior to their season-opening game.

“It is a longer camp so you don’t want to peak too soon,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said last week at the Big Ten media days. “You don’t want to burn them out. It is a long season as it is.”

Some coaches have grumbled about the elimination of two-a-days. The players, of course, have no say in the matter. Unlike the NFL, they don’t have a union to negotiate limits.

So the OSU players practiced for the first time Thursday, did so again Friday, had the weekend off, returned to the field Monday, and will do so again today.

All of these workouts are in only helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

The Buckeyes, after being off Wednesday, begin full-equipment practice Thursday. That’s the day OSU coach Urban Meyer is referring to as the actual opening of training camp.

Call it what you want, but the number of days in the season is longer than ever, and we’re not even counting the 15 days of springs football practice.

The risk of injury is inherent in the physical game, and the sheer monotony of workouts, meetings, film sessions, blah, blah, blah, can be wearisome for players, especially now with the first game a month away.

“There is nothing worse than a stale, tired group. So I'm watching (out for) that,” Meyer said.

Two years ago, Meyer adopted the slogan “The Grind,” as a way for his team to embrace the year. It seemed like an odd, negative term for a sport so often devoid of joy.

College football, however, is indeed a grind.

The idea of playing your first game of the season on Sept. 30 is, well, so 50 years ago.


Someone should have fired the cannon at Nationwide Arena on Monday over the announcement that the Blue Jackets had agreed to a one-year contract extension with John Tortorella.

Both sides could have suffered negative ramifications from Tortorella – named the NHL coach of the year after last season – being a lame duck if the deal hadn’t been extended.

Now everyone can just concentrate on hockey and building on last season’s franchise records for wins (50) and points (108) and try to earn a second straight playoff berth for the first time.

Check out Michael Arace’s column about Tortorella’s new deal in today’s Dispatch.


If you’re 30 years old or younger, you were never alive to see Pete Rose play baseball.

For you, he’s probably just saw tawdry old man who won’t shut up about not being in the Hall of Fame.

I thought about that Monday when news broke that Rose allegedly had a sexual relationship with a girl that began before she was 16 during the 1970s.

The allegation from an adult woman came in a sworn statement filed in federal court as part of an ongoing defamation lawsuit Rose filed last year against John Dowd.

Dowd, you may recall, is the investigator for Major League Baseball whose report led to Rose’s banishment from the game in 1989.

Rose, you may recall, is baseblall’s all-time hits leader.

Monday was just another head-shaking day in the life a player who earned respect on the field but couldn’t match that off the field.

By the way, today is the anniversary of the day in 1978 when Rose’s 44-game hitting streak ended.

Here’s video of his final at-bat that night in Atlanta against Braves reliever Gene Garber:


Bravo: The Chicago Cubs announced that they’re presenting Steve Bartman an official 2016 World Series Championship Ring.

It’s been nearly 14 years since that infamous night in Wrigley Field.

Now let the man get on with his life.

Brick: Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is concerned about fan blowback if the team decides to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, as is being considered.

Uh, Steve, what about the fact that the Ravens didn’t seem to have any problem with Ray Lewis being on the team?

5.06: The ERA of Cleveland Indians reliever Bryan Shaw in the month of July.

The Tribe’s bullpen will be helped by the acquisition of Joe Smith, added Monday in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s struck out 51 batters in 35 2/3 innings this season while posting a 3.28 ERA.

$5.3 billion: The budget for the 2028 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Los Angeles on Monday by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC will grant more than $2 billion to Los Angeles to go toward the budget for putting on the Games.

36: The current hitting streak of Cincinnati Reds’ minor league prospect Jose Siri.

The outfielder set a new Midwest League record by extending the streak Monday with an eighth-inning single for the Dayton Dragons.


Look back: On this day in 2001, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer died at the age of 27 after collapsing from heat stroke during a training camp practice. His body temperature reached 108.8 degrees.

Stringer, a former Ohio State great, was married with a three year-old child at the time.

Here’s some information about the Korey Stringer institute:


Thanks for reading. Offer any thoughts about Ohio State, Blue Jackets, Crew SC, and sports in general to me by email or on Twitter at the below addresses. Rock on.