By Big D on 18:52:13 04/07/09
As background, my brother was an avid Ohio State fan. He embraced Ohio State like he embraced life...with devotion, bear hugs, high fives, unending optimism, and a huge smile. Mark always wanted to attend Ohio State. However, his path instead took him at a young age to the Oakland Police Academy and proud service for 18 years as an Oakland Police officer. Through sharing my experiences as a student at Ohio State, and attending games with me, his love for the Buckeyes continued to grow.
On March 21, 2009 my brother (and best friend) died with three other officers and heros in the line of duty. He loved the badge. He honored the uniform. Although my brother and I often spoke of the dangers of his career, with conversations always ending with me telling him I loved him and to be safe, his death has still be beyond comprehension. Please keep his wife, his children, my parents, and the families of the other fallen officers (including the subsequent senseless tragedy taking the lives of three more officers in Pittsburgh) in your thoughts and prayers.
I set forth this background, and post here on the O-Zone, because my brother (as a reader and poster) would have wanted each of you to know, as Ohio State fans, what a wonderful human being we are privileged to have as a coach. Both my brother's wife and I received personal letters from Coach Tressel extending condolences on my brother's death. Our family has never had the privilege of meeting Coach Tressel (although we always laughed that perhaps we had since we lived in Berea, Ohio until moving to California when we were in Middle School). We merely admired Coach Tressel from afar as fans of his program, his morality and high standards, and his success. By this post, I merely wanted to share Coach Tressel's thoughtfulness with those in this forum, which my brother so enjoyed, to allow others to understand how fortunate we are to have Coach Tressel leading our program... Peace.