ODE TO OWEN SCHMITT

He droppped off his tape expecting nothing, not a scholarship offer or even attention. He walked on and finished as the starting fullback. He once bent three masks in a game against Maryland. He hang cleans 520 pounds. He wears a mohawk. He blocks like Hellboy tackling a demon from another dimension. He rugby punts for his team occasionally, and when he botched a kick against Louisville earlier this season he banged his own helmet against his forehead in frustration.

And last night, after lighting the powder keg for the Mountaineers, Owen Schmitt broke down and cried when Oompa-Loompa/sideline reporter Laura Okmin asked him how he felt about the game. Schmitt, bloody and mohawked, got about halfway through his answer before he wept. Okmin kept pestering him and nearly ruined the moment....nearly. This moment was as bulletproof and armored as Schmitt's adamantine forehead.

Owen Schmitt, we love you and the double-steel reinforced skullhammer known as your head. We watch college football through a miasma of cynicism and snark, but some things burn those clouds off and expose college football for what it can be: mute, teary glory. Thank you for the sunshine and bent face-masks, Owen. We hope you get all the red meat, boobs, and cash you can handle out of this life.

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