From the moment the COVID-19 pandemic became a major health and economic crisis, sports stars, former athletes, coaches and organizations have been living Woody Hayes "Pay it Forward" mantra. On a national level, the Cavs Kevin Love started a trend with NBA players giving $100,000 or more to pay the salaries of arena workers who lost income with the suspension of seasons. Saints quarterback Drew Brees gave $5 million for coronavirus relief in Louisiana. Former Buckeye Denzel Ward, who wears the number 21 with the Browns, is paying the major expenses for 21 people out of work. The list goes on and on and on of major sports athletes or coaches, pitching in to make a difference.
We've seen that here in Central Ohio as well . The latest example came Tuesday, when three of Ohio State's most recognizable names, Football Coach Ryan Day, Basketball Coach Chris Holtmann and Director of Athletics Gene Smith, teamed up to help the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The three are giving $35,000 a month from April through August--a total of $175,000 to help the Foodbank buy groceries for those in need.
Over the last week, a friend and former co-worker Chris Spielman, who still works with former 105.7, The Zone morning show host Bruce Hooley on the "Spielman and Hooley, We Tackle Life" podcast, has been auctioning off some of his Ohio State and NFL memorabilia. His goal is to raise $40,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts.
Included in the items Chris has already auctioned off are his 1984 Ohio State Big Ten Championship ring, which went for $12,000. It's a ring he parts with for now, but will return to his family later.
Also auctioned off already by Spielman is an "All Madden Team" leather jacket and a game worn Buffalo Bills jersey. When it sold, another local athlete stepped up to make a difference, as Blue Jackets Captain Nick Foligno matched the winning bid.
If you're interested, Chris is selling more items. Currently, a game worn Detroit Lions jersey is up for bid.
There's the old saying--'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.' As you look around the sports world, locally, nationally and globally, there's plenty of lemonade to drink.