By Buck Weaver on 11:21:26 02/14/13
Our family grew up with season FB tickets in the 60’s & 70’s and we all revered Coach Hayes.
I attended tOSU in the early 80’s. Woody was obviously no longer the head FB coach but he still maintained an office on campus in the ROTC building and kept a reasonably strong profile around campus.
My brother is several years older than me and was already out of college and into a teaching/coaching career. He was probably about 26 at the time. One year, I decided that for his birthday, I would give him a nice autographed WW Hayes football.
Everything went according to plan. I went to the Lane Avenue Agler Davidson and bought a nice new Rawlings football. Then, I proceeded to Woody’s office to get it signed. The secretary was very nice and asked me to wait for a few minutes while Coach Hayes finished up a phone call.
It was those few minutes of waiting that ultimately contributed to my demise. As I sat there waiting, I thought that the great Coach would be more likely to grant my autograph request if I told him the ball was for my Dad....you know, kind of like from one old geezer to another.
So armed with that idea, I was ushered into Woody’s office. I said “Hi Coach Hayes, pleasure to meet you. Could you sign this ball for my Dad? It’s a birthday gift”. Woody said “Sure, what’s your Dad’s name?”. I told him my brother’s name and Woody wrote “To XXXX”. Then Woody said “How old is your Father?”.
This question threw me for a loop.....there are three potential answers to that question. #1) “My Father is 26 years old”....no, that didn’t seem like the right response. #2) “My Father is 58”......ummm, obviously, if I say this, I’m going to be giving my brother a football that says “Happy 58th Birthday”. #3) “I don’t know”.
I choose #3. It was a bad choice. Woody looked up from the ball with a very agitated expression. He took off his glasses and threw them across his desk and onto the floor. “You don’t know how old your OWN FATHER IS? The man who sends you to the greatest university in the WORLD?”......etc, etc, it went on like this for wht seemed like several minutes.
Finally, Coach Hayes reached into his desk drawer and fished out another pair of glasses. He finished signing the ball and fired it across the desk to me. “Young man, you go home and find out how old your Father is” were his parting words. I left with my tail between my legs.
My family has now been laughing and telling this story for years......the time I got chewed out by the great Woody Hayes.