Culbreath: Compassion on tapWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | email@example.com
We’re about a week removed from the Aquageddon, as some have called it. The bizarre two-and-a-half days where a good chunk of Northwest Ohio was told to step away from the taps in their houses. It was a bizarre weekend that everyone from the experts to the armchair quarterbacks will be breaking down for months. What went wrong? What went right? What could have gone better? It will, oddly enough, sound a lot like postgame coverage of a football game. “Well, the communication breakdown between the quarterback and the rest of the offense meant that there was confusion out in the secondary.”
Woo, that sounds about right.
Interestingly enough, while I spent my Saturday with the rest of the crew at 1370 WSPD providing coverage, I managed to weasel my way out of Sunday: I had long ago set aside the time to drive down to Columbus with the family to see my daughter receive an award from the Girl Scouts at the Ohio State Fair. It was a fun time, but driving back up felt awkward. “Why are we going back in to the emergency?” we asked each other more than once.
But, as we now know, the city was not in post-apocalyptic ruins after this weekend. In fact, the whole affair showed that Northwest Ohio came together to help each other out. Those with water made sure it got to those who didn’t. Those who could go out and get it made sure it got to those who couldn’t. Hell, even crime took a back seat for the weekend.
Rest assured, this weekend was not a “business as usual” weekend, and that could be said for the numerous football teams who were supposed to start their camps this weekend. So it’s with that in mind that I want to make sure a couple of really great stories from this past weekend get highlighted.
First, the story that NBC 24 highlighted regarding the Toledo Rockets. With their fall camp set to begin and their taps turned off, they turned their sights toward the safe waters of an old rival: Bowling Green State University. Director of Sports Medicine Brian Jones called down to Wood County to ask if they could grab some aqua, and not only did they say yes, but when the Rockets players arrived with every water jug they could find, they found Falcons waiting for them with hoses in hand.
If it sounds a little too cheesy to call it “enemies coming together,” that’s because it absolutely is. First and foremost, this was not a football situation, this was a health situation. But on top of that, UT and BG aren’t enemies, they’re rivals. A rivalry is built upon the respect that two programs build up for each other. You might not like them, you might even, to paraphrase Vince Vaughn in “Anchorman,” “pure straight hate them.” But boy, do you respect them. And respect for that program means that when they get their knees taken out from underneath them by no doing of their own, you make sure they’re on equal footing before you square off.
Secondly, the stories that didn’t get much more than a blip on the constant scroll from this weekend’s wall-to-wall coverage: a big round of applause to the high schools in the area that shut down their athletic events over the weekend. Unlike the University of Toledo, the resources just weren’t there for these kids to practice or play safely. For the first practices of the year, water was going to be in high demand, and most schools get through it by hooking up the hose. Again, when you’re dealing with the health and safety of kids, the grandeur of sports just takes a back seat. Kudos to those in charge for putting the kids first.
It’s in moments of crisis that we see the good of people around us. Forget the gougers and the hoarders, we saw humanity at it’s absolute best this weekend, and much like the glass of water we can now drink from the tap, it’s awfully refreshing.
Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath is sports director for Newsradio 1370 WSPD.