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John O'Connor - Streaming Stadium

John O’Connor

Founder & Editor at Streaming Stadium

Hi, I’m John O’Connor, founder and editor at Streaming Stadium. As a kid who grew up in Detroit, one of the nation’s most enthusiastic sports towns, many of my most lasting memories have been built around the tradition of watching sports. 

I was raised a sports fan, but born a contrarian.

Despite my Michigan upbringing, I ended up a Buckeye football fan after my Grandpa Jack, an Ohio State graduate, took me under his wing. From age 7, I have cheered on the Scarlet and Gray. A signed Eddie George jersey, worn in the Michigan game in his Heisman trophy season, hangs on the wall in my home office, and is one of my most prized possessions. 

As kids, my friends and I would bring in newspaper cutouts of the latest AP college football rankings during the college football season, and trade barbs over who was up or down. One of my favorite memories from home is the transition from summer to fall, raking leaves, and watching college football on Saturdays. 

As someone who has been a huge sports fan forever, and who also has a decade of experience working as an internet entrepreneur, building Streaming Stadium is a passion project for me. It’s fun to be able to answer questions for friends and family who are confused about how to watch sports now that the media landscape has grown so complicated. I enjoy consoling Yankees fans angry about Amazon-Prime broadcasts in our comments section, helping Steelers fans in Raleigh make sure they can watch the black and gold from their new home, and covering the craziness of Big Ten football coming to LA.

My goal with this site is to create a resource that is useful, accurate, and fun to read. You can see my full CV on Linkedin, here, or follow me on Twitter, where I probably tweet a bit too much about the Ohio State – Michigan game.

Below, I have listed some of my most impactful memories watching sports over the years.

Table of Contents
  1. #1. Michigan High School State Football Playoffs
  2. #2. 1997 Rose Bowl
  3. #3. Bad Boys Pistons
  4. #4. Alabama vs. Ohio State, 2015
  5. #5. Michigan vs. Ohio State, 1995
  6. #6. Billups, Hamilton, Wallace, Wallace, Prince
  7. #7. 1997 Red Wings
  8. #8. Cowboys vs. Lions, 1992
  9. #9. Ohio State vs. Illinois, 1995
  10. #10. 2008 Detroit Lions season
  11. #11. Holy Buckeye
  12. #12. Ohio State vs. Michigan, 2018 “Revenge Tour” Game

#1. Michigan High School State Football Playoffs

For years, my Dad and I drove to Ford Field in downtown Detroit the day after Thanksgiving to watch the Division 8 high school football state championship game, a 10 AM kickoff, and the smallest game of the day.

With no one in the stands, my Dad and I would sit close to the field and the watch kids compete for a state championship. When his law partner, Jim DeGrazzia was alive, we would waive to him on the sidelines as he prepared for the upcoming De La Salle game. 

#2. 1997 Rose Bowl

I will never forget watching the 1997 Rose Bowl game. Ohio State beat Jake “the Snake” Plummer, and a very good Arizona State team, 20-17. However, that night, I found out my Grandpa Jack had lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease. I carry on the tradition of being a passionate Buckeye football fan in his honor. 

#3. Bad Boys Pistons

As a kid, nothing was more fun than when the Pistons or Red Wings made a run deep in the playoffs. The Bad Boys Pistons, a gritty team that represented the toughness of Detroit, were one of my first sports loves, and my parents would let me stay up late to watch the wars with the Lakers and Bulls.

#4. Alabama vs. Ohio State, 2015

In the first college football playoff, an upstart Ohio State team, fresh off a 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, and starting a third string QB, dominated Alabama on its way to a national championship. Watching that team peak at exactly the right time was a joy to watch, especially Ezekiel Elliot’s famous 85 yard touchdown nicknamed “85 yards through the heart of the south” by Buckeye fans.

#5. Michigan vs. Ohio State, 1995

Before the salvation of Jim Tressel’s tenure, which began in 2002, I suffered through too many seasons with John Cooper as head coach at Ohio State. I was in the stands at Michigan Stadium for Tim Biakabutuka’s 313 yard rushing performance against Ohio State in 1995, and haven’t forgiven UM football since. It was this game that shaped my college football world view and instilled in me a deep dislike, bordering on hatred, for Michigan football.

#6. Billups, Hamilton, Wallace, Wallace, Prince

Years later, the Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton led Pistons teams, probably the best defensive teams in NBA history, were inspiring to watch win a championship, and heartbreaking to watch when they fell in 7 games to the Spurs and Tim Duncan. That team should have won more championships than they did, and the Joe Dumars trade of Billups for Allen Iverson was premature.

#7. 1997 Red Wings

The Red Wings were the Yankees of hockey for a time, and one of my neighbor’s kids was baptized in the Stanley Cup after the Wings won a championship. The Darren McCarty and Claude Lemeuix feud was much watch TV for all of us in Detroit. 

I’ll never forget Darren McCarty taking Claude Lemieux behind the wood shed as retribution for his malicious cheap shot against beloved Red Wing Kris Draper. Unfortunately, imposition of a salary cap, and the passage of years, has changed the fate of the Red Wings, but many of us still want to watch their games, even if they are an empire in decline.

#8. Cowboys vs. Lions, 1992

Some “long suffering” NFL franchises truly have no idea how good they have it. The Detroit Lions, my hometown NFL team, have won one playoffs game since 1957.

The Lions last playoff win, a 38-6 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys, took place on January 5, 1992.

I was 12 years old. Erik Kramer was the Lions’ QB, and Wayne Fontes the coach.

“You’re watching the two teams of the 90s. The Lions and the Cowboys. We will hear a lot from these two teams for awhile.”

John madden on the cowboys vs. lions broadcast, 1/5/1992

#9. Ohio State vs. Illinois, 1995

I will never forget watching this game in my friend Matt Ishbia’s basement in Birmingham, MI. Eddie George ran for 314 yards on 36 carries against Illinois and cemented his status at the clear choice for that year’s Heisman Trophy.

#10. 2008 Detroit Lions season

This was the infamous season the Lions went 0-16, becoming the first NFL team to lose every regular season game in a non-strike shortened season. I watched the final game against the Packers from my friend Mike Dundon’s house in Ferndale, MI. We rooted like hell for the Lions to pull out that last game, but to no avail.

#11. Holy Buckeye

Although the win in the Orange Bowl over Ken Dorsey’s seemingly unbeatable Hurricanes team was the cherry on top, and a game I will never forget watching, it was Craig Krenzel’s last minute “Holy Buckeye” pass to Michael Jenkins on 4th and 1 that saved the season, and eeked out a last minute win against Purdue. I was a student at Indiana watching that game, and absolutely lost my mind when Jenkins scored the go-ahead TD.

#12. Ohio State vs. Michigan, 2018 “Revenge Tour” Game

The Buckeyes came into “The Game” in 2018 as a rare home underdog against a Michigan team ostensibly on a “revenge tour” with the goal of besting all the teams they’d lost to the season prior. Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes had other plans, and absolutely shredded Down Brown’s defense for 62 points, in what was one of the most beautiful offensive performances I’ve ever seen from an OSU team in the Horseshoe. I watched that game at my apartment in NoHo with my friend Frank. It still gives me chills to watch the highlights.