Annual awards for 2010
Complaints about a Hilliard woman's sunflower mural have been heard by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. File photo.
Officers Larry, Curly and Moe were the first on the scene
While being transported to the veterinary hospital at Ohio State, two cows escaped, eluding police and university officials for two hours on the athletic fields near Ohio Stadium and knocking down one officer.
Every reader counts these days
A Columbus family was saved from their burning home by two Dispatch delivery people.
Pensioners rated the teleconference the best ever
A newsletter sent by the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund published a phone number for a healthcare teleconference that directed callers to a recording saying, “Welcome to an exciting way to go live one-on-one with hot, horny girls waiting right now to talk to you.”
He refused an offer of $8 million to stop wearing cargo pants
Abercrombie & Fitch’s board of directors paid CEO Michael Jeffries $4 million to stop using the company jet for personal use.
Two minutes for checking from behind
Trying to prevent dirty dancing at school functions, Licking Valley High School principal Wes Weaver said this spring he halted the music, got more chaperones and sent offenders to a “penalty box.”
Then he demanded to see Boyce’s birth certificate
During his victorious campaign for the treasurer’s office, Josh Mandel ran an ad suggesting his opponent, incumbent Kevin Boyce, belonged to a mosque, which he doesn’t.
Three Columbus men were arrested after posting on Craigslist two snow plows they allegedly had stolen.
The audacity of hope
After taking over in February, Blue Jackets interim coach Claude Noel tried to motivate the team by giving pop quizzes, handing out inspirational books and awarding a white hard hat with the team logo to the star of the game.
He really needed to blow his nose
In mid March, a man—irate that a gas station clerk did not have paper towels—kicked out the window in the front door.
He pulled a groin taking the photo
Former Ohio State basketball star Greg Oden held a press conference to apologize for cellphone photos he took of himself posing naked that surfaced on the Internet.
The team canceled its retro short-shorts night
“Why are you embarrassed?” a reporter asked Oden during the press conference. “A lot of people are impressed.”
Then they stormed the neonatal unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
In mid March, a 60-year-old man with Parkinson’s disease, who attended a rally to support healthcare reform, was verbally attacked by protesters. One of them threw money at him and another yelled, “You love a Communist.”
The new official sport of ComFest
Olentangy Liberty High School seniors, as part of a prank before graduation, played a game in which they sometimes ran around naked and shot each other with Nerf guns.
Except for that commencement speech he gave at Olentangy Liberty High School
When asked in February about how he compares to Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, Steve Stivers, who later won his race for a U.S. House rep seat, said, “There are no nude or semi-nude photos out there . . . that I know of,” referring to Brown’s spread in Cosmopolitan in 1982.
Forgive them, Hitch, for they know not what they do
Father Paul Noble of St. Matthew the Apostle Church in Gahanna compared former Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock to Jesus during an April sermon, pointing out that his players ignored his message much like followers of Christ who sometimes don’t listen to his teachings.
This was after they linked it to the Derris Lewis case
Columbus police said a severed hand discovered in the back of a pickup truck turned out to be made of rubber.
She thought he was a member of the Village People
A Columbus woman was arrested in early May after her attempt to rob a near east side bank was foiled by a uniformed police officer standing behind her in line.
Hilliard prefers pansies
Hilliard’s Planning and Zoning Commission responded to complaints about a resident’s mural of a sunflower (the suburb’s logo) on her garage by ruling she had violated the historic guidelines for the neighborhood.
Participants soon had some toxic assets to unload
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Goldman Sachs traders held a White Castle hamburger-eating contest in 2007.
Chris Redfern was a marshal?
After hitting a tee shot on No. 7, Nate Smith watched as a crow picked up his ball and flew into a tree during the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course. A marshal ran after the bird, yelling obscenities.
Ohio Democrats are waiting for an apology, too
Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern refused to apologize after calling Tea Party members “fuckers” during a speech.
The judge considered it cruel and unusual punishment
Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett—granted early release from prison and assigned to a halfway house in Columbus in April—was prohibited from returning to his native Youngstown.
Can’t take the Tucky out of the Grove
At Grove City High School’s annual alumni softball tournament, the men’s class of 2007 got in a brawl with the men’s class of 2003. At least 70 people were involved.
Blame Dime-a-Dog Night
The city of Columbus bought 32 emergency stretchers that can support people weighing up to 1,000 pounds.
Everyone received a handgun at the door, however
The Libertarian Party of Ohio hosted a BYOB election-night party.
Two Abercrombie & Fitch stores in New York City were temporarily infected with bedbugs.
Something he doesn’t hear very often
After a district attorney in Georgia declined to press criminal charges against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for an alleged sexual assault in a nightclub, Amy Lutz, an anchor at ABC 6/Fox 28, posted on her Twitter account: “YES BIG BEN!!!!!”
Somewhere, Howard Dean yelled, “Yahhh!!!”
In early September, Gov. Ted Strickland, responding to polls showing Republican challenger John Kasich way ahead in the polls, said, “The Republican Party has been overtaken by the zealots, by the extremists, by the radicals, by the reckless, and they don’t seem to like Ohio very much and, quite frankly, they act as if they don’t like America very much.”
Shadowbox Live CEO Steve Guyer changed his first name to Stev.
A 10-point buck crashed into the Denison University student union in early November, running into a snack bar and then an office, where a manager locked it inside. Granville police called in two bow hunters, who stood on a ladder and, after removing a window, shot and killed the deer.
Have it ur-ine way
A Dublin man, accused of collecting urine in a Lewis Center Burger King bathroom in early November, was charged with unlawful collection of a bodily substance—a state law enacted after the same man was convicted in a similar incident last year.
Not a baaaad idea
In November, Bexley officials allowed a resident to use a goat to clean up an overgrown community garden.
It rated high in the category of urine collection
Men’s Health magazine ranked Columbus as the third most sex-happy city in the country.
And God bless Billy Ray’s mullet
When WCOL’s Woody Johnson asked Billy Ray Cyrus in November about his crumbling marriage, the country singer, before storming out of the studio, said, “Woody Johnson. Woody Johnson. God bless America. God bless our troops. Woody Johnson, look at you.”
It was one of the oddest and most-talked-about stories of the year.
Ohio University mascot Brandon Hanning made waves on Sept. 18 when, just before kickoff against Ohio State at the Horseshoe, he chased and tackled Brutus in front of 105,075 mostly Scarlet and Gray fans.
“Honestly, I’ve never hated the Buckeyes,” Hanning says. “I was a fan of them actually.”
So why commit such an egregious act upon the unsuspecting face of the entire university, and in the national spotlight, no less? According to Hanning, it wasn’t a bet he’d made with friends or even a double-dog dare. “I wasn’t getting anything out of it,” he says. “I just told [my friends] I was gonna do it.”
Hanning, who has since dropped out of OU and now attends Hocking College, says he got the idea in high school, when he watched the Oregon Ducks mascot assail a furry counterpart. “I don’t remember who the other mascot was,” he says, “but I thought it would be funny if OU’s mascot beat up Brutus.”
But it took more than balls of steel to defile the beloved symbol of one of the largest universities in the country while cameras rolled. To pull it off required a plan, and Hanning says he was up to the task.
Step 1: The Tryout. Becoming Rufus the Bobcat proved simpler than expected. “There were two other people that showed up for tryouts,” Hanning says. Each was selected, though Hanning says he made sure to get booked for the OSU game. “I knew Ohio State was the biggest team OU was gonna play,” he says, “and I definitely wasn’t big enough to try out for the football team.”
Step 2: The Wait. Anyone who’s ever tackled a man with a brown seed for a head knows timing is everything. Hanning says he had to wait for just the right moment to make his move. He began his pursuit, but his own head got the better of him. “The first time I hit him, my head started falling off,” he says.
Step 3: The Tackle. After being momentarily stalled by a bobbling mascot head, Hanning says, “I stopped and put my head back on and chased him in the end zone and tackled him.”
Fortunately for Hanning, and in spite of his immense Internet popularity, he says that few people recognize him. And, interestingly enough, it wound up being the best tackle made by any of the visitors from Athens that day, as the Bucks rolled the Bobcats 43-7.
The 2010 news quiz
1. Dilly Duka and Bright Dike are names that made headlines in mid January. Who or what are they?
- A. First-round draft picks by the Columbus Crew.
- B. Laundry detergents found to be linked to a certain type of cancer.
- C. Aliases of local adult film stars.
- D. Two newborn kangaroos at the Columbus Zoo.
2. After his shift at a White Castle factory in Indiana during filming of CBS’s “Undercover Boss,” the company’s owner, Dave Rife, confessed to what?
- A. Being “frustrated” with working conditions.
- B. Accidentally destroying several thousand buns.
- C. Having no idea how the bakeries operated.
- D. Being “slightly grossed out” by the meat he was packaging.
3. In response to Mayor Mike Coleman’s suspension of travel by city employees to Arizona to protest controversial immigration reform there, WTVN radio offered listeners a chance to win what?
- A. Their very own undocumented housekeeper.
- B. An all-expenses-paid trip to Phoenix to “spend a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert.”
- C. Phoenix Suns tickets.
- D. Arizona Cardinals tickets.
4. In early June, the Ohio Supreme Court made a landmark ruling regarding police officers’ ability to pull over motorists. What does the ruling entail?
- A. That officers can arrest motorists exceeding the speed limit.
- B. That motorists not wearing their safety belts can spend a night in jail.
- C. That officers can hide in unmarked cruisers.
- D. That officers can simply guess a motorist’s speed.
5. In March, Ohio State students protested outside the new student union. Why were they demonstrating?
- A. They wanted it to include a Sbarro.
- B. They wanted it to include a Mark Pi’s.
- C. They were upset by the “dullness” of the building’s design.
- D. They wanted it to be made of white marble shingle like the school’s architecture building.
6. Early in 2010, a 68-year-old grandfather was arrested by police, accused of doing what in a
- A. Smacking a store greeter across the face and fleeing.
- B. Punching children in their heads while their parents weren’t looking.
- C. Revealing himself to children when their parents weren’t looking.
- D. Throwing merchandise at people.
7. A bank robber in Galloway turned himself in after seeing published surveillance photos of himself. Bank employees who witnessed the robbery said the man looked familiar because . . .
- A. he has an account at that branch.
- B. he used to be an employee of the bank.
- C. he was the bank manager’s boyfriend.
- D. he had just come in 20 minutes earlier to withdraw money.
8. What word did Ohio Rep. Bill Batchelder use in September to describe Democratic campaign ads that were painting Republican General Assembly hopefuls in a negative light?
- A. Bunk
- B. Excrement
- C. Tomfoolery
- D. Sad
Answers: 1: A; 2: B; 3: B; 4: D; 5: C; 6: B; 7: A; 8: B