Mariann Main: Football, reporters and parenting


The Football Gods have spoken. Ohio is the indisputable ruling empire for both college and professional football, at least this week.

Never do I remember a weekend when all three Ohio-based bastions of the sport conquered their opponents so thrillingly, with the Bengals and Browns both winning in unbelievable overtime finales.

The Buckeyes and Bengals remain unbeaten, while the Browns will hopefully be given a spark of self-confidence that can propel them to continued success and a winning season.

Another winning Ohio football team is the Bowling Green Falcons. This “small but mighty” rousing 62-38 thumping of the UMass Minutemen is proof that a university of 19,408 students can be equally as formidable a football opponent as The Ohio State University Buckeyes, with 64,868 enrollees.

So far this season, the Falcons have de-plucked two Big Ten teams, Purdue and Maryland, with convincing precision. The team’s only losses were a season opener to rekindled powerhouse Tennessee and a heart breaker to the University of Memphis.

Despite my Buckeye pride as a journalism undergraduate of OSU, there are times of quandary as to the potential positive impact of having attended a smaller university in a tiny town versus my choice of a huge campus in the midst of Ohio’s state capital.

Three current and highly visible news personalities chose the first option and attended a smaller school.

Steve Hartman, famous for his rekindling of Charles Kuralt’s “On the Road” series for CBS News, “of common people doing extraordinary things,” is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. Byron Pitts, formerly a CBS reporter, now anchors ABC’s Nightline, and is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University. Matt Lauer attended Ohio University, and has been an early morning Today Show fixture for NBC since 1994.

It is with unabashed enthusiasm that I state my loyalty to Hartman and Pitts but, as a CBS This Morning follower, rarely watch Lauer. However, the potential of having been a BGSU journalism classmate of Steve Hartman, due to attending college simultaneously, will forever haunt me. Working for Hartman as an “On the Road” story “miner” and behind-the-scene interviewer would be my ultimate dream job, but please excuse the digression.

Hartman’s “On the Road” segments premiere weekly as the last Friday evening story of Scott Pelley’s CBS Evening News broadcast.

The focus of Hartman’s Oct. 9 piece was Ohio-grown from Elyria. He profiled the angst that millions of children encounter when attempting to stay neutral in the midst of parental divorce, remarriages and “blended family” events.

Elyria-native Brittany Peck was married recently. Her parents divorced when she was just 6. Peck’s father, Todd Bachman, fought for full custody of Brittany, but was unsuccessful. Todd Cendrosky became her stepfather after the remarriage of Brittany’s mother. The “two Todds” despised each other. “We did not get along, we tolerated each other,” Cendrosky said. “That’s probably the best way to describe it.”

Peck is not alone in her “split allegiance” dilemma since an estimated 40 percent of all marriages which produce children end in divorce. Surprisingly, 66 percent of childless marriages also fail.

When it was time for Peck’s wedding day, the “two Todds” reached a truce and surprised Brittany by walking her down the aisle together. This emotional act of putting aside long-standing grievances was a unified testament that each man had equally shared the responsibilities of raising Brittany, the overwhelmed bride, accompanied by the two teary-eyed “fathers.”

Should anyone be in the midst of a problematic custody arrangement shared with a stepparent and an ex-spouse, please watch Hartman’s recent segment. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder that the “caught in the middle” child, adolescent or teenager should come first. The acidic emotions of the involved adults need to be secondary, with establishing an acceptable compromise essential to all parties.

And should anyone know Steve Hartman, please relay to him that I am “throwing it out to the universe” that she aspires to be on his staff.

Longtime Delaware residents and column readers Randy and Ona Randolph recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Until a few years ago, they were Lakeside summer dwellers and homeowners, where Hartman and his parents also annually vacationed. The Randolphs have attempted to re-establish a connection with Hartman, but other available avenues for contacting him would be much appreciated by this writer.

Mariann Main

Local Answers to Life’s Questions

Mariann Main is a Delaware native and journalism graduate of The Ohio State University. She has a master’s degree in counseling from Georgia State University, and is licensed as a counselor in both Ohio and Georgia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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