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Commentary: Putting the vest to rest: Dressing Fickell

Joe Podelco / Photo editor

Jim Tressel’s resignation may have rocked Ohio State football Monday, but not everyone stands to lose something from the abrupt departure of the former head coach. Interim head coach Luke Fickell will now be stepping into the limelight for the 2011-2012 season, and to compete with iconic OSU figures like Tressel and university President E. Gordon Gee, Fickell will need one thing: a signature fashion piece. Tressel has his vest and Gee has his bow tie, so now I present a few options for the “Fickell” fashionista on the football field.

Option 1: A fedora

This may seem like a bland option for a statement piece, but the fedora is all about connotation. Often seen atop the heads of private eyes and police detectives in old movies, the fedora would send a bold message to fans and players alike: Fickell is here to clean house. While Tressel may have lost himself amid a twisted web of infractions and cover-ups, Fickell would sweep into the program with his proverbial guns blazing to whip the team back into shape. And unlike former Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, Fickell would look good doing it.

Option 2: A tuxedo

On top of being just about the flashiest option available and incorporating a Tressel-esque vest and Gee-like bow tie in one powerhouse outfit, the tuxedo would provide Fickell a number of secret pockets in which he will be able to store an arsenal of super spy gadgets that could give the demoralized football team a much-needed edge on the field. An oil slick here, a bed of nails there, and Fickell has led his team to win the national championship, bringing OSU the chance to rejoice about its football program once more.

Option 3: Sunglasses

With Fickell at the helm, the future of OSU football is undeniably bright, but the sunglasses aren’t just a reference to a cheesy ‘80s song (here’s looking at you, Timbuk3). Like any mysterious warrior or superhero can tell you, covering the eyes creates the impression that you are more than a man. Blade, the vampire hunter of comic book and cinematic fame, Horatio Caine, “CSI: Miami” super-sleuth and Neo from “The Matrix” have all taken advantage of the seemingly god-like powers sunglasses give, and Fickell is a prime candidate to stand in their company.

Option 4: Whatever the kids are wearing these days

This may not be a single article of clothing, but the idea is still the same. Rather than coming in to clean house, Fickell might instead channel Donnie Brasco, infiltrating the football team as one of their peers. From this position, Fickell could reach out to the players and teach them important life lessons about when benefits received are improper, presumably while wearing a backward-turned baseball cap and using phrases like, “that s— is whack” or “get on my level.” Using this approach, by the end of next season, Fickell could have the players celebrating a championship victory in slow motion while uplifting music expresses the harrowing journey from underdog to champion. Roll credits.

Option 5: Cellophane

No, I’m not hoping for Fickell to arrive on field in a Gaga-inspired outfit crafted entirely out of the stuff people use to keep their sandwiches fresh ­— that would be weird. Apart from standing strong at the cutting edge of avant-garde fashion, Fickell would be sending the strongest message he possibly could — potentially while being arrested for public indecency. In an effort to provide fans and administrators peace of mind, Fickell would show that the program can and will function with complete transparency. As surely as that plastic-wrapped sandwich that’s been in the back of your fridge since last quarter is still totally edible, Fickell would bring a fresh start to next year’s season that would undoubtedly pave the way to victory.

With any of these fashionable options, Fickell will be able to make a bold statement about the now-uncertain future of the OSU football program while cementing his own place in the university’s collective memory of fashionable icons. Put the vest to rest, there is a new game in town.

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