All The Rage Up North

By Joe Beale on July 13, 2011 at 1:00p
MICHIGAN MAN IS DISAPPOINT Michigan Man is disappoint with Smith and Ohio State

In the wake of OSU's official response to the NCAA regarding the Tressel situation and Tat-gate, it seems that our not-so-friendly neighbors to the North are somewhat incensed. You might be wondering why, when their arch-rival is suffering from an NCAA investigation and getting all kinds of bad publicity in the process (not to mention losing recruits), would UM partisans be upset about anything.

Apparently, Ohio State did not crawl on their collective bellies and grovel sufficiently to suit the maize and blue faithful, and they've taken to the internet to vent their outrage about it. On Monday, our favorite Wolverine opinion-maker fired a rhetorical pre-emptive broadside at the NCAA by suggesting that if they agreed with OSU's suggested penalties they would be "dumber than a fourth grader". Many commenters followed suit, although several of them were sidetracked when one of them made a "Brady Bunch" analogy which turned into a lengthy rabbit trail including debates on the Beastie Boys discography.

Such is life when you haven't beaten your rival in football in many years and you're hoping that your new coach can remove the bad smell from the program left by the previous head man. Rocks from a glass house, you say? Fair enough, but if the target is Michigan, I'll throw my rocks while hanging from a chrystal chandelier in my glass house. I don't mind breaking a few windows if I can inflict more damage in the process. No disrespect intended (other than the usual), but this hatred has been nursed for decades.

So how does an OSU fan respond to these types of taunts from the hated ones? Defiance, mockery, rebuke. In other words, show them the back of our collective hands. Not only that, but enjoy how much it must make them squirm to read the well-reasoned and mature comments from UM hoops great Jalen Rose saying that sanctions should not be in order. It's quite a contrast to the juvenile drivel spewed forth by the commenters on Brian's post, although one of them gave away the game when he said:

"If the NCAA buys this BS, the really dirty programs will see this as a green light to do what they like and stonewall any investigation that ensues."

Yes, he's worried about "the really dirty programs".  You see, in their hearts they know the truth. 

To support his contentions, Brian makes reference to "nine Buckeyes ticketed in loaner cars". Ok, so they were ticketed. Got anything else? Nearly all of the "loaner cars" in question were actually cars being purchased that simply had dealer plates. The ones that weren't were a rental car and a case of an inaccurate license-plate number being reported on the public records. Naturally, the BMV has determined that there was no wrongdoing involved in any of these cases, leading to Ohio State dropping their investigation on the matter. Brian also makes a reference to "reports that are unconfirmed but obvious from a half-dozen Buckeyes about Hookups on Tats and other things". That's some slick prose, but "unconfirmed but obvious" does not exactly have me shaking in my boots.

Undaunted, Brian then bolsters his argument by quoting from some other online pundits who are also outraged, starting with Dave Curtis of The Sporting News. Curtis apparently thinks that it's OSU's job to "win back the public", and having failed to do so with this response "The public’s only recourse is ranting and complaining."  No Dave, that was your recourse, and it wasn't your only option. The other option would be to recognize that it is not "two-faced" to, on the one hand, point the finger at Jim Tressel for not reporting the violations, and on the other hand, allow him to "retire" without having to pay the $250,000 fine. The fine was levied at a time when the coach was going to be allowed to continue his employment, and since losing his job will cost him a lot more than 250 grand, it's insult to injury if the fine is levied on top of that.

Jumping on a link from the Curtis post (or perhaps grabbing it from Jason's post), Brian then quotes from Brian Bennett of ESPN. Bennett, like Curtis, is also apparently incensed about the university dropping the fine for Tressel, but he goes further by saying that the probation is merely a "slap on the wrist" and claims that Tressel "knowingly used ineligible players all of last season". I wonder if Bennett really believes that, if Tressel had reported the violations on time, the players would have been suspended "all of last season". The suspensions they actually got were only for 5 games and that was after Tressel covered it up for the whole season. Does Bennett think the punishment would have been worse if Tressel had done everything according to the rules? 

Brian ends with a reference to "OSU's persistently nose-thumbing response", which was entirely predictable. Who among Buckeye fans has not heard the charge that everyone associated with The Ohio State University is "arrogant"? Ultimately, arrogance is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps Brian and Co. will accuse me of it for writing this post. I guess I can take it if I have to. If still getting a chuckle out of "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Forcier" is grounds for such charges, consider me guilty. 

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