Bolivian Buckeye

post date: January 8, 2008

The # 1 Ohio State fan in Bolivia

Last night when I mentioned that Ohio State and LSU were playing for the National Championship in college football, one of the missionaries said, "You need to talk to Bill. He loves the Ohio State Buckeyes." That turned out to be something of an understatement. Bill and Bev Smith have been missionaries in Bolivia for many years. They both teach at the large Christian school here in Santa Cruz. Bill hails from Portsmouth, OH and has been a lifelong Ohio State fan. He told me that several years ago when they remodeled their home in Santa Cruz, he had the stones in his chimney painted silver, red and black, the Ohio State colors.

After the first service of the Field Conference, I met Bill and we talked (schemed, really) about how we could watch the game on TV. Of course, we are at a resort at the edge of the jungle in Bolivia. It’s a beautiful place but they have one TV in the lobby that carries five or six channels, all in Spanish. But they aren’t carrying the Ohio State-LSU game. And there is no wireless Internet here. The resort office has Internet but that’s it.

So sometime around 10 PM Bill got permission to use the Internet. He couldn’t get the audio feed but he managed to find a website with a Game Tracker on it. When I left him about 10:40 PM, the game was five minutes old and Ohio State was leading 10-0. That’s when I left to go to bed. This morning when we saw him, Bill was not wearing his Buckeye shirt and cap. LSU came back to win 38-24. He was sad but not dejected. "We’ve got a great freshman class coming in," he said. Spoken like a true football fan. There’s always next year.


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Ray Pritchard
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