27 August 2008 by Published in: Rants 8 comments

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a full-blown rant about something. This one’s been building all day. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Civil War, so be warned when you read it.

An annual event that I dread like the plague happens this Saturday. Like the coming of spring and the fall of the first snow, it happens every year, and every year, I cringe and want to hide.

Saturday is the first Ohio State football game. OSU football is a bizarre and terminal disease for which there is no cure. It afflicts otherwise normal people and turns them into blathering, drooling idiots singing along to “Hang on Sloopy.” This is a city of more than 1.5 million people. It’s a state capital. It’s home to a number of Fortune 100 corporations. We’re in the middle of one of the most important presidential elections of this country’s history. And what’s the lead story on the news?

The Buckeyes play Youngstown State on Saturday. Never mind that YSU is a Division IAA school and that OSU is going to whup them by 50 points. If they only beat them by 48 points, half of the faithful will be complaining that they didn’t score enough points and the other half will be calling for Jim Tressel to be fired. And it only gets worse as the season goes on. As I’ve said here previously, the week of the Michigan game is the height of the lunacy. It reaches a point where I can’t bear to turn on the TV. There could be a catastrophe in another part of the world where tens of thousands of people die, and the Buckeyes’ practice session that day will still be the lead story on the news. It’s insane.

Somebody dropped something off at the title agency down the hall today, and as he was leaving, he called out, “Go Bucks!” He didn’t look happy when nobody responded. My favorite, though, is the “O-H”/”I-O” cheer. Somebody says “O-H” and you’re supposed to respond with “I-O”. It strikes me as kinda like a salute followed by a return salute, and if you don’t do it, you get dirty looks. I categorically refuse to play that game, and I don’t respond. I get some really strange looks, like there’s really something drastically wrong with me, but I (a) despise this ridiculous nonsense and (b) enjoy tweaking them a little bit by refusing to comply like a mindless drone.

One of the guys I used to practice law with actually had the basement of his house finished a couple of years ago to resemble Ohio Stadium. The place is completely scarlet and gray and is filled everywhere with OSU crap.

My favorites are the ones who buy gray cars–often VW New Beetles–and then spend large sums of money to make them look like OSU football helmets. Mind you, these are grown adults acting like children. It’s pathetic.

What is it about this nonsense that makes otherwise intelligent, thoughtful people act like a herd of idiot lemmings and go over the cliff? I just don’t get it. I never will.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Arthur B. Fox
    Wed 27th Aug 2008 at 8:30 pm

    That sounds like the Steeler nuts we have here in Pittsburgh, and the news media who spend half their newscasts on Steeler trivia. It gets tiresome after a while and we have it from August to January each and every year. The city’s infrastructure is falling apart, as are our bridges, downtown Pittsburgh is starting to look like Bagdad, we were just voted one of the poorer city’s in the country, but the Rooney family, all worth millions, get anything they want, with most of the newer development is near Heinz Field.

  2. Wed 27th Aug 2008 at 10:33 pm

    It sounds like you’re having the same problem up there as we’ve always had in East Tennessee. College football kicks off in Knoxville in a few days, and you’d think we were wating for the Second Coming. I’m locking myself up with some good books until the dust settles.

    Michael Lynch

  3. Wed 27th Aug 2008 at 11:11 pm

    If it gives you any consolation, I am go to the first Penn State game of the season on the same day…yet I may be one of those ones with the “disease!” :-D

  4. Paul Taylor
    Wed 27th Aug 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Eric,

    Same thing up here. Everything is maze and blue with all the dodo’s singing “Hail to the victors.” As for painted basements, my Cleveland Brown and orange crib is far classier than anything scarlet and gray…. :-)

    Paul

  5. Steve Basic
    Thu 28th Aug 2008 at 12:04 am

    Eric,

    As you know, I went to college south of Columbus at Ohio University in Athens. Even there if the Buckeyes were playing, it seemed like all were watching the game. I could never get into it, because I did not go to OSU.

    OU is actually playing OSU in a couple of weeks and while a miracle would have to happen, nothing would make me more happy to put a hurt on the Buckeye Nation. :)

    BTW…we used to do the lame “O-H/”I-O” chant at our games, but some of us changed it because our team was so bad while I was there. We’d be down some insane score, and the cheerleaders would start that chant to improve morale. Naturally we improvised and when “O-H” started, we replied “F-U”. :)

    Regards from the Garden State,

    Steve

  6. Keith Toney
    Thu 28th Aug 2008 at 9:55 am

    Michael didn’t even scratch the surface of the rabid loyalty of Tenn. fans. Much like Texas,UT sports, especially football, truly is pretty much a religion in Tn especially east Tn. If you don’t drink the kool-aid all you can do is hunker down and try to get through it.
    Regards,
    Keith

  7. Scott Smart
    Thu 28th Aug 2008 at 4:37 pm

    FWIW Division I-AA is now called FCS, and Division 1-A is FBS. No idea why they thought that change was so important. I guess some marketing guru.

  8. Rory
    Wed 03rd Sep 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you, Eric, my friend, for putting to words my very thoughts. The fever will run from now until January and, as one who lives near campus and thinks of football saturdays as simply posing a necessary reevaluation of transportation routes, I could not agree more.

    I’ve gotten more than one stunned look when someone said “O-H!” while looking at me…and I just stared back.

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