For quite a few years, there was one of those rubber refrigerator magnets hanging in our kitchen that showed a stack of pancakes on a plate with the word ''PACE'' sitting on top of the pile.
So when the 2013 class of the College Football Hall of Fame inductees was announced this week, it brought back thoughts of that magnet, the ''Pace Pancake,'' since former Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace was a member of that group.
A dominating blocker who played for John Cooper at OSU in the mid-90s, the 6-foot-6, 330-pound Pace was a two-time, first-team consensus All-American in 1995 and 1996. Pace also was the first sophomore to win the Lombardi Award, given annually to the best offensive or defensive lineman or linebacker in college football, in 1995 - then the next year, he became the first to ever win it twice.
But back to the magnet. Pace became proficient at the "pancake block," in which you knock the opposing player to the ground, basically taking him out of the play. So to promote Pace his junior year, the Buckeye sports information department decided to key in on the block Pace had made famous.
That season, full-color ''Pace Pancake'' palm-size magnets were distributed to the press. It was one of the best - and more creative - ideas the OSU media communications machine ever came up with, as the magnets are now a collector's item - one which I wish I had hung onto.
Pace raked in a ton of other national awards in his three-year college career before opting to leave school for the NFL, notably the Outland Trophy, some others that linemen usually don't come anywhere close to winning - Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as well as conference MVP - and finished in the top four in Heisman Trophy voting.
"Orlando Pace is not only the best offensive lineman I have ever coached, but he is the best I have ever seen," said Cooper. ''Every game was a highlight reel for him. We ran a lot of counter sweeps and a lot of screens, and on many of those plays, Orlando had to be out in front of the ballcarrier. And we had some pretty good ballcarriers.
"I don't know how you could play the position any better than he did. He was just a fantastic football player. He was the best."
And after the St. Louis Rams chose Pace with the first pick of the 1997 NFL draft, he continued to perform at a high level in the pros for 13 years - the first 12 with the Rams. Pace anchored St. Louis' offensive line en route to helping produce a Ram Super Bowl championship in 1999 that began three seasons of the "greatest show on turf" that featured NFL MVPs Kurt Warner in 1999 and 2000 and Marshall Faulk in 2001.
In addition to the winning the Super Bowl, Pace, a five-time All-Pro selection and three-time Pro Bowl pick, was lauded with another distinct honor in 1999 by being named to the Sports Illustrated NCAA Football All-Century team.
Fullback Zach Boren, cornerback Travis Howard and safety Orhian Johnson all signed with the Houston Texans, defensive tackle Garrett Goebel with the Rams, linebacker Etienne Sabino with the New York Giants, tight end Jake Stoneburner with the Green Bay Packers and defensive end Nathan Williams with the Minnesota Vikings.
Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at email@example.com