The new Ohio State football coach made a promise to his family that he’d put them first. Will he keep it?
Eighty or so people filed into the school cafeteria. Urban and his wife, Shelley, joined their daughter at the front table, watching as Gigi stood and spoke. She’d been nervous all day, and with a room of eyes on her, she thanked her mother for being there season after season, year after year.
Then she turned to her father.
He’d missed almost everything. You weren’t there, she told him.
Shelley Meyer winced. Her heart broke for Urban, who sat with a thin smile, crushed. Moments later, Gigi high-fived her dad without making eye contact, then hugged her coach. Urban dragged himself back to the car. Then — and this arrives at the guts of his conflict — Urban Meyer went back to work, pulled by some biological imperative. His daughter’s words ran through his mind, troubling him, and yet he returned to the shifting pixels on his television, studying for a game he’d either win or lose. The conflict slipped away. Nothing mattered but winning. Both of these people are in him — are him: the guilty father who feels regret, the obsessed coach who ignores it. He doesn’t like either one. He doesn’t like himself, which is why he wants to change.
“Urban Meyer Will Be Home for Dinner.” — Wright Thompson, ESPN