Act Like You've Been There Before

By Alex on February 14, 2011 at 1:00p

Act like you've been there before.

Those are words a wise man once told me about being a sports fan and I've tried throughout my life to "act like I've been there before" when it comes to rooting for my favorite teams. In case you're not familiar with the phrase, it refers to having the mindset of a winner and acting professionally as a fan when rooting for your team, and more importantly when in the presence of opposing fans or even the players from the opposing team.

Acting like you've been there before doesn't mean you can't get excited when your team does well. It doesn't mean that you can't bask in the glory that comes with your favorite team's successes, especially when that said team isn't traditionally a winner. It doesn't mean you can't have a little fun or act in jest to visiting players and their fans. What it does mean, though, is knowing the line between having good fun and taking things a little too far in celebrating victory, a line that the Wisconsin Badgers fans apparently don't know exists.

Many people had a problem with Wisconsin rushing the court yesterday. I couldn't care less. Yes, the Badgers were two point favorites at home, had a 149-11 record under Bo Ryan at home, had never lost to OSU at the Kohl Center, and were the #13 ranked team in the nation, so I see the point that rushing the court isn't necessarily acting like you've been there before. I don't have a problem with it though because college basketball is about the culture and the fun that come with things like beating the #1 team in the country, who was 24-0 coming into the game. When fans rush the court following a victory like that, it allows college sports to provide fans with something that professional sports cannot bring to the table. What I do have a problem with is what apparently happened when the Wisco students stormed the court after the win, as told by Jared Sullinger via Twitter:

Not cool


Now I don't want to pile on Wisconsin. That's not my goal here, and I've been to Madison before and have been treated just fine by the host school, but after hearing that fans spit in Jared Sullinger's face, I was fuming. It was the same feeling I had felt when I heard that Penn State students had thrown bags of urine at The Best Damn Band in the Land when the Bucks visited Happy Valley for a night game in 2005 (Tamba Hali from coming from the blindside still give me nightmares). It was the same feeling I had in 2007 when I saw a Nittany Lion fan punch a woman in the back of the head just because she was wearing Scarlet and Gray. It was the same feeling I had in Ann Arbor a few years back when I saw about 20 eggs get thrown at the OSU student radio staff, who were dressed up in suits and ties on their way to the game and not causing any conflict en route to The Big House press box.

It was a feeling of disgust and disbelief and I was in shock that someone could sit there and rationalize going up to a 18 or 19 year old young man who is a straight up class act (just look at his reaction to the incident), and just hock up a loogie right in his face. I'm sure Ohio State fans have done some pretty bad things to opposing fans over the years, but not once have I seen anything like this done by a Buckeye. Once again, I'm not saying it's never happened. People get drunk and do stupid things all the time at sporting events, and especially collegiate sporting events, but if I ever saw an action like this taken by a fellow Buckeye, I would be embarrassed to be a part of that fan group.

I write this post not to call out opposing fans or lecture you and your methods of rooting for your favorite teams. At Ohio State we preach excellence and expect it from our athletes, administrators, coaches, and most importantly, our fans. What happened to Jared Sullinger on Saturday should not happen to anybody at any level of competition and I hope that as Buckeye fans we can make a collective effort to ensure it doesn't ever happen in Columbus. 

In the coming weeks, months, and years, Ohio State will play in many heated games in which the opportunity that presented Wisconsin on Saturday will surely present itself to the Bucks. Go ahead, have your fun and rush the field or storm the court in celebration. But when you do, remember what happened to Jared Sullinger on February 12, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin, and just think twice before you act irrationally and do something that would not represent Buckeye Nation well. I hope you all can act like you've been there before, because that's what is part of making rooting for Ohio State the great honor and privilege it has grown to be. 


Comments Show All Comments

btalbert25's picture

Good post, I will avoid commenting on a fan base as a whole as well, but will say that you have to have zero respect for a human being to spit in their face.  It's disgusting, it's crude, and to me there is nothing more degrading you can do to another person.  I think of Roberto Alomar, a guy I always used to like, spitting in that umpires face and think that dude doesn't belong in the hall of fame because of that one incident.  I hate the raiders simply because of a clip from the late 90's early 2000's of one of their players spitting in an opposing players face. 

I  have met, hung out with, and talked sports with quite a few Wisconsin fans, and really have come to like them over the years.  I know this may have just been one idiot, but something like that really does tarnish the reputation of a whole fan base. 

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

AP dropped us to 3rd behind Texas a 22-3 team? i understand..but

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

btalbert25's picture

Texas is damn good, they are the one team that beat Kansas.  Truthfully, I think Pitt could be the best team in America.

tomcollins's picture

Too bad Kansas is the most overrated team in America.  Who have they beaten?

Rankings should be:

1) Pittsburgh

2) Ohio State

3) Texas

4) Kansas


What's the difference between Kansas and SDSU?  Pretty much history.  They both have no resume with the one real team they played beating their asses.  Except SDSU lost on the road.  Scratch that 4) SDSU 5) Kansas.

btalbert25's picture

Kansas is still a good team. Texas is better so is Pitt and Ohio State may be too.  To be this late in the season with 1 loss, despite the schedule is still impressive. How many "real" teams have the Buckeyes played?  Florida was not good when they played. Maybe Purdue and Wisconsin.   I think Pittsburgh is the best team out there, but really there are probably 8-10 teams that all have a shot at winning the tournament and I would put Kansas among those teams.

tomcollins's picture

Ohio State pounded the crap out of Florida and FSU.  Winning @ Illinois is very impressive, pounding the crap out of Purdue is as well.

I'm not talking about best teams, I'm talking about who has proved the most.

What is Kansas's top 5 wins this season?

Arizona on neutral court by 12, Missouri at home by 17, then what?  They've played 3 top 25 strength teams, 1 of which humiliated them on their home court.

Texas lost to USC by 17.  They lost to UCONN at home, played Illinois super close, and lost to Pitt super close.  They beat Kansas, but that's only dependent on how good they are.

If you switched the resume's of SDSU and Kansas, everyone would have the SDSU's resume clearly ahead if they had Kansas's name.  Playing a nobody schedule with 1 loss is somewhat impressive, but it's not #1 impressive.

This reeks of 2006 Big Ten Football where everyone thought Ohio State and Michigan were powerhouses due to beating up on the weaklings and getting good records, then when it comes to play anyone, they folded like a chair being sat on by a Wisconsin woman.

btalbert25's picture

But it really doesn't mean anything.  It's not like college football where you just assign 1 and 2 to 2 teams and they are the only ones who get to play.  Kansas will most likely lose another game, if they don't then they do deserve a number 1 seed. Coaches say all the time they could care less about being number 1 in the polls, but they want the number 1 seed.  That's the beauty of college basketball and the insanity of college football.   Basketball actually looks at the overall resume.  That's why to me it is so much better than how football selects a champion.  You have a polls, computer ratings, and a large group of people discussing and debating who deserves to be there.  Not just some stoke of luck that the computers like your or not, or that the pollsters think you are number 1 and 2.

btalbert25's picture

I also think the Florida and Florida State wins look much better now than they did then.  Florida wasn't very good when the Bucks played them, and I think now that conference play has hit both teams are playing well in mediocre conferences.  The Illinois win looked much better when the game was played than it does now.  They are all good wins, but are any of those teams really even Sweet 16 caliber?

tomcollins's picture

Florida was #9 when Ohio State played them.  No way does that look better now than then.  They looked bad because we clowned them.

But epic prediction on Kansas losing again :)

KenK's picture

USA Today has us at #3, AP has us @ #2.Regardless, I don't have any problem with being ranked behind Twxas at this point, they re a pretty good team right now. In fact, I expected to drop behind Pittsburgh.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Kyle's picture

I think Bo Ryan's reaction to this is very telling.  "We won, they lost, get over it."  Doesn't exactly scream sportsmanship or class.  He acts like Matta or some of the players were whining about not getting calls (see Bo Ryan right before halftime).  This behavior crosses a line that shouldn't be tolerated or accepted by any fan base.  However I'm not holding my breath for swift action by Wisconsin.


Roger's picture

Ryan and Bielema are two peas in the same pod. Complain when things aren't going their way and pretend like they've never been there before when things are.

Zero class between the two of them.

KenK's picture

Atta boy, Barry; nice hires you made..

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Doc's picture

Wiscy has always acted like school in summer.  Remember back in the '90's when those cheese heads filled marshmallows with coins and flung them at the foosball team.  EGG said he wouldn't send another OSU team back without a written apology.  This is just another in a long line of poor behavior from curd nation.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

The_Lurker's picture

I don't have a problem with the rushing the court - although, which is it? Are we overrated or did you just accomplish a floor-rushing-worthy feat? The spitting is reprehensible, unwarranted and classless. There's simply no call for it. The "Diebler swallows" chant was also pretty classless, but this is not much different than chants I've heard in other buildings, including St. John (I recall a sing-song "HO-MO!" chant whenever Iowa's Jeff Moe touched the basketball back in the 80s, which wasn't much different from a class perspective. And yes, I'm old.).

Kudos to Wisconsin for making their venues tough places to play in, but there's no need for over-the-top, douchebaggery. I really hope the fans don't retaliate at The Schott, but I would not be surprised if Spitgate II rears its ugly head. I wouldn't even be surprised if some asshat spits on Bo Ryan and tells him to deal with it, but I hope I'm wrong and that OSU fans rise above petty retaliation.

Doc's picture

Kudos to Wisconsin for making their venues tough places to play in, but there's no need for over-the-top, douchebaggery

Could it be possible that the douchebaggery makes the venues so tough to play in?  With the complete lack of civility comes a mob like mentality.  It just excalates from there.  Having no moral compass allows you to rachet up the intensity.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

SLVRBLLTS's picture

It's official. I hate Wisconsin. I was as indifferent towards them as any other Big Ten school until what has transpired the past 6 months. My least favorite thing about them is how they laid down against TCU. Way to show what the Big Ten is all about.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'd agree except that Wisconsin would only be detestable to programs/fans at their level. They're not worthy of Ohio State's hate. They're too second-rate to inspire genuine hatred. If anything, I'm just disgusted by them and embarassed for them (and for the conference). After Ohio State beats them by 20 in C-Bus, I won't even think about them. I might even forget that they're in the BT.  

Just to make the point that losing a game to losers is not, in itself, enough to inspire hatred that lasts for more than a few days: I wouldn't compare Wisconsin's b-ball program (which is pretty good) to Kentucky's football program (which really sucks), but if Ohio State's football team lost to Kentucky, wouldn't we expect their fans to act like d-bags? Of course, but would we then hate K-tucky? 

btalbert25's picture

I would because I live in Kentucky and already do! lol.

Maestro's picture

They are reviewing the tape so I am sure that the spitter will be punished.  Pffftttt!!!!!!!!!

I can't see Sullinger making this up almost as much as I can't see myself ever spitting in someone's face.  Absolutely disgusting behavior.  Repulsive.

Drunk or not that is so far beyond the line that I hope Karma pays the culprit back 10 fold.

It doesn't indict the entire fan base, but Buckeyes will never forget.

vacuuming sucks

Tim's picture

I don't see how video of the chaos of Wisconsin fans rushing the court can result in anyone getting punished.  It would all happen so fast and be so hard to see who was doing what, except for Bo Ryan, who already said that nothing bad happened.  He's a reliable source.

gravey's picture

There are a lot of lousy fans in a lot of places, including Columbus.  The difference is that in some places, the lack of school pride and plain ol' good manners, allows "fans" to do stuff like that with impugnity.  I swear if I ever saw a Buckeye "fan" doing something heinous like that to a visiting fan, I'd confront them right away and call the cops if it was really bad.  I love Ohio State and to see a fellow "fan" give Buckeye nation a black eye like that would be like watching a M*chigan player take a dump in Buckeye Grove...ain't gonna happen on my watch.  There would have been dozens of Wisky students see that happen and not one of 'em did anything.  It's not an's a culture.  Just like that dick at PSU throwing beer cans at the Buckeye fan.  It wasn't just him at fault it was the many dozens who stood there doing nothing.

robertearle's picture

Two things I'd like to point out:


1. There is - currently, to the best of my knowledge - not a single shred of evidence to corroborate Sullinger's allegation. No video from ESPN or BTN, etc, no photos from any of the photographers present, no cellphone video, no cellphone photos; no person saying "I saw it happen", not OSU coaches, support people, fans sitting behind the OSU bench, and (maybe the most telling of all) none of Sullinger's teammates. Why is that, do you suppose?


2. Robert Reynolds and Jim Sorgi. Now, for that one, there's plenty of video.

JakeBuckeye's picture

LOL, yes, Jared Sullinger is a liar.

Its funny, I've always been able to admit and have my eyes open towards the stupidity of many Ohio State fans. Its just humorous to see people who purposely have their eyes shut and as far as they are concerned their fan base consists of God-fearing Puritans.

You had a couple dumbass fans. Bo Ryan is a five year old. Deal with it.

Its also very easy to believe Sully's tweet based soley upon the "Diebler Swallows" chants. Now that was far past a couple dumbass fans. That was a large chunk of an entire arena on national television.

robertearle's picture

My eyes are wide open, and ready to look at any and all video or photos of the 'event'. Got any?

JakeBuckeye's picture

LOL. Yes, next time I'm in a moshpit of thousands of students, media crew, and other fans and players I'll be sure to be on the look out for inappropriate behavior via my cellular telephone for you.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Jordan Taylor said after the game that he didn't know what the Bob Cousy award was until after he was snubbed. I don't believe him. He must have been on his computer every night checking the watch lists. Where's the evidence that he didn't knowafter all? Why aren't his coaches or teammates backing up his testimony?

flipbuckeye's picture



Dean's picture

1. Because it was a freaking melee in there.  Not every moment could possibly have been perfectly documented, nor could everyone track what the people around them were doing.  

If you're going to try to make a plausible argument Sullinger made it up, which you seem to imply, you'd better have a plausible reason that he'd do it, enough to overcome all the evidence of his exemplary character that has been all over the media for the past several weeks.


2.  Yep, and this from Wikipedia: "After the game... Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said "Robert's conduct was totally unacceptable and has no place in intercollegiate athletics." Ohio State suspended Reynolds for one game and Reynolds issued a public apology."

Compare that to Bo Ryan's response - "Deal with it."

We're not saying that Reynolds acted in a classy manner, nor that people on the OSU side of things don't act badly.  What we're saying is that we're classy enough to recognize when guys on our side cross the line and call them out for it.


Apparently they don't teach the ability to think rationally at Wisconsin.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I'm very glad Bo Ryan replied the way he did. Thrilled in fact. Now any time a Wisconsin fan says absolutley anything negative about an Ohio State fan's behavior I can simply respond "Where's the video evidence?" or "We won. Deal with it." (if we won the previous game.)

jfunk's picture

Lord knows I've been witness to Buckeye fans acting like @$$holes before but I do think we've cleaned up our act in the past few years. I think a lot of that has to do with self-policing. I know a lot has been said of the fan behavior after the loss to Texas but my friends and I went out of our way to congratulate all the Texas fans we saw on a hard fought game. Hell, we even got invited to a BBQ for the game down in Austin by some Texas fans. And after the 2008 loss to Penn State I remember seeing a "fan" of the Bucks spit on a Penn State fan as we were walking past the Towers. I called out the offending fan as did several other people around me, but the dbag ran off. I then apologized profusely to the Penn State fan and asked him not to hold that one event against all Buckeye fans. Finally I gave him directions to his vehicle and even provided an informal escort for part of the way. But it definitely seems like the majority of Buckeyes aren't letting rude fan behavior slide like they used to, which is great. I'm tired of having a reputation as a horrible fan base. 


I worry that someone will get it in their head that there needs to be some type of retribution when Wisconsin comes to play. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but it worries me.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

BuckiGirl's picture

Jared Sullinger is a kid who asked an opposing fan if he could have the sign that was making fun of him, and then had a good-hearted Twitter exchange over the whole thing. I don't see him lying about being spat on.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I live/work in Arizona. And where I work, there are fans of every college/pro sports teams. I am known as the resident Buckeye fan here. Most people are extremely cool and most are rational. There are a few doochbag fans, and ironically, the Wiskey fans rank right up there w/the dildo USC and Florida fans. One in particular is a total tool in that, when they win (like after the loss in Madison on the gridiron) he was a non-stop shit-talker bashing tOSU, Pryor, Tressel, and pretty much every team that wasn't from Madison. But man, he was MIA after the Rose Bowl for about two weeks. Then, of course, he has not shut up since Saturday. I agree with most. The chants were classless, especially on national TV, Bo Ryan was a total prick at the half and after the game. And why were they so excited to rush the court if we we're overrated? And chanting overrated 5 minutes in only being g up by 3 or 4 points just makes you look foolish. Wiskey fans for the most part, are classless, uneducated, and fairweather fans more than just having a few bad apples.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama