- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 7, 2007

After skipping breakfast and lunch Friday, the Rover went completely Caligula at dinner. Before detailing that gluttony, you need to understand the nature of this week’s home away from home for the BCS title game media: the Camelback Inn, a Marriott resort and spa.

This is the type of place where the rich go to pretend they’re Pueblos for a few days. But creature comforts abound once you get beyond the ridiculous stucco huts and conference rooms with ludicrous names like “Peacepipe.”

There’s a pool so perfect nobody would dare swim in it, a Starbucks cleverly hidden by a stand of cacti and a small army of chimineas scattered about in case the coyotes get cold.

But all the inanity is forgiven thanks to the weekend dinner buffet — a culinary display that proved almost suicidal to a redneck like the Rover. Think all-you-can-eat meets Ruth’s Chris meets Roman banquet. Before short-circuiting in a frenzy of overindulgent ecstasy, the Rover remembers devouring a caesar salad (so fitting), a shrimp cocktail, a plate of smoked salmon and capers, a delight called cheese potato pie, sea scallops in an orange demi-glace, two full-plate cuts of prime rib and a steak diane. He was not conscious for dessert. …

• The Rover’s favorite question and response thus far this week concerns the wardrobe of Ohio State’s Jim “St. Sweater Vest” Tressel, a man who always has tried to hide his darker Youngstown side (see Maurice Clarett saga) behind his ludicrous sleeveless signature attire, which screams “Safeway Stockboy.”

Thus the Rover thoroughly enjoyed the following exchange between Tressel and one smirking member of the media on Friday:

Smirky: “Coach, how many vests do you have?”

Tressel, looking somewhat annoyed: “How many vests? Sweater vests? Gosh, I don’t know.”

Smirky: “100?”

Tressel, now very annoyed: “Whatever is in my locker. I don’t know. They put them in there, and I put them on.”

— Barker Davis

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