DAYTON, Ohio – All eyes will be on the Ohio State Buckeyes when they play for the national championship in the first College Football Playoff Monday, Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Blood donors Tom Schmid from Beavercreek and Geneva Phillips from Dayton will be hoping that a piece of memorabilia from OSU’s last national championship – that miraculous night against Miami in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl – will bring good luck.
Tom and Geneva are the winners of two commemorative Tostitos “2002 National Champions – Ohio State – Tostitos Fiesta Bowl” tortilla chip bags, given to Community Blood Center (CBC) by West Milton donor Tom Warner for a donor drawing. CBC mounted the mementos in custom wooden frames and held the drawing Nov. 24 through Dec. 29 at the Dayton Donor Center.
Tom has enjoyed sharing his limited supply of “collector’s edition” bags with friends and charities. “My son was working for a plant in Arkansas that made the bags for FritoLay and he got some for me,” he said.
Tom attended Ohio State in 1963 and is a lifelong Buckeye fan. He is also a platelet and plasma donor with 120th lifetime blood donations. “When I came in to donate (in November) and saw the ‘Buckeye Blood Donor’ t-shirt up on the wall I thought you could hold a drawing and have a double prize.”
Tom Schmid was the first winner. He entered the drawing when he made his 40th lifetime blood donation on Dec. 3. “I’m a big Buckeye fan” he said. “It will probably go on the wall in my den – it’s kind of a ‘man cave.’ I’ll be watching the game Monday night. We’ve got our work cut out for us – maybe it will bring good luck!”
Geneva Phillips entered the drawing when she made her 71st lifetime donation on Dec. 4. She was with her husband, who isn’t able to donate because of health reasons, but always comes to CBC with Geneva.
“I watch a lot of the games but my husband watches them all,” she said. “He’s a bigger fan than I am. He has all sorts of Ohio State memorabilia. He’s a big Buckeye fan. He drove me down to the blood center the day I donated and was real excited when I won.” She proudly pointed to her “scarlet and grey” attire and said, “This is his Buckeye t-shirt and jacket that I’m wearing!”
The collector’s edition bag is designed in scarlet and grey with an OSU helmet and features a dedication: “Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 2002 college national champions! OSU rolled to an impressive 14-0 record, capped by a victory in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2003. This was the Buckeyes’ first national title since 1968 and an amazing 5th in school history. Tostitos congratulates the players, coaches, and fans who made 2002 a national championship year for Ohio State. Go Bucks!”
With a little luck the Buckeyes will make history again, and Tom and Geneva will be looking for a piece of 2014 College Football Playoff memorabilia.