Be a Better Buckeye: A Five-Step Program

By Ramzy Nasrallah on August 20, 2013 at 11:30a
be a better buckeye fan. Just don't be a "superfan."
Eleven Warriors Ohio State Football 2013 Season Preview

Take the entire history of the universe and render it down to just one year: If that single annum contains all of existence, then human beings resembling you and me only appeared on earth a minute ago. We just got here, man.

Those 364-plus days that preceded us walking upright, building McDonaldses and blowing stuff up were undoubtedly terrifying, but even scarier were the seconds within our brief time here that contained absolutely no college football.

You would happily choose to dodge dinosaurs and civilization-ending meteorites in lieu of life without it, because there is no life without college football. It is our biology.

And biologically speaking, college football is our Kingdom. The Football Bowl Subdivison is our Phylum, the B1G is our Class and the Leaders Division is our Order - which means Ohio State is your Family - and you want to represent your Family to the best of your ability.

The strong survive while the weak are relegated to natural selection. Your fate is not predetermined, though - you get to choose what kind of Buckeye fan you are. You probably want to be the best kind. Good for you and good for us.

Here are five Darwin-proof techniques you can use to elevate both our Family as well as yourself during this cherished football season:



Fifty-two weekends adorn our calendar. Only a precious 15 of them contain college football Saturdays.

The remaining 37 are the appropriate ones for you to exchange vows. Those 15 where college football happens are not. This should be simple - there is no gray area.

Oh, whatever you say. It's my wedding you say. But the church is available you say. She has me by the short-hairs you say. Our ceremony will end before the game starts you say. You do little more than expose your weakness when you admit these things aloud to people you like enough to invite to your wedding.

You're embarrassing yourself. But sure - go ahead, get married while the Buckeyes are playing.

When you look back on your special day, you'll remember half of the reception was constantly distracted trying to find a score. The other half was watching a TV they bribed the banquet hall staff to set up even though your bride told them not to - too late, they cashed your check months ago.

Every few minutes you heard shouting, but those screams weren't for the happy couple - they were for the game it was selfishly preempting. That's how you will remember your fall wedding day: When you were the distraction instead of the center of attention you and your lucky spouse deserve to be.

Autumn isn't about you, buddy. It's about the Family. Pick any other season to get married.

Avoid threatening others


This should be fairly self-explanatory: Don't incite violence on account of your beloved team.

Dignity is what separates our Kingdom from the heathens overseas who are passionate about inferior sports. We will touch more on dignity in #4 below.

Perhaps most importantly, though: Avoid threatening the athletes. Don't be the vehicle for NCAA violations, no matter how arcane you think NCAA rules are. When you take matters into your own hands, you threaten the Family - and far less importantly, yourself.

Also, leave Kirk Herbstreit alone. Yes, he routinely talks out of both sides of his mouth and has said things about his alma mater that you find unforgivable, but he's a public figure who is overwhelmingly well-regarded within the Kingdom.

And no, Herbie didn't move his family out of Columbus for Tennessee because of threatening Buckeye fans, but there's a good reason that narrative stuck: It's believable. Ask yourself why that is.

If you're a threatening type who can't quit scaring people cold turkey, consider trying to just be incredibly creepy instead: Tweet at recruits. Because high school boys are absolutely dying to hear from you. 

If you insist on having a sign hustle, HUSTLE WELL

Homemade signs at games are generally frowned upon, largely because the general population is grossly uncreative.

Your inability to be clever transforms a homemade sign into a vehicle for showcasing your mediocrity. This is something your sloppy exterior, $8 haircut and inability to conjugate verbs at a fourth grade level already do quite well. Signs are redundant.

That being said, signs at football games can be like landscaping: They either raise the value of your property, or bring down the whole neighborhood.



Forgetting about the fact that Tressel's 100th win was vacated by the NCAA - you can see right through this sign. There's clearly another message scribbled on its opposite side. That's either a rough draft or a second message. 

This is just plain poor execution. If it is a second message on the back then this gentleman has too much to say. Either shorten it up or run for office, chief.

This particular sign also alternates between handwriting fonts, which has been known to tweak some people's OCD. [points at self] [checks to make sure wallet is still in pants]

[washes hands for the 27th time today]

[checks for wallet again]

[repeats forever]


This gentleman is walking the proverbial tightrope without a net: He has bravely chosen to conjugate you are in front of a giant, captive audience.

He has done so successfully, which puts him among the 2% of Americans who can do this. Sadly, this still isn't all that impressive since 90% of that 2% do it by accident (and 50% of you would just have said "on accident" and 100% of them would be wrong).

Perhaps his intent was to act as a public service for fans who didn't have a schedule handy, but based on the amount of time he spent shading in the letters it seems clear that he's threatening Michigan, which is safely one week away from facing the Buckeyes.

That's almost too much bravery for just one man.

Why do they hate Jim Tressel? Let us count the days.

The most impressive thing about this sign is that its creator did not insert an unnecessary apostrophe into "days."

That's the measuring stick for success, sign artisans.

And all the Whos in Whoville celebrated Ohio State's BCS bid

Here we have a bright pink color which has been deliberately chosen to attract television cameras. Unfortunately, this only draws more attention to what appears to be a rodeo clown holding it. Perhaps that was the intent all along, and that is also unfortunate.

It also appears to have been constructed in roughly 30 seconds and shows a general lack of commitment to the craft. If you're going to take the time and expense to dress up like a Dr. Seuss character, you should invest similar effort in your signmanship.

Chip Kelly's checks had cartoon characters on them

This one was made by an Oregon fan. It contains double-irony: Oregon is a program that has been single-handedly elevated into relevance by one man's checkbook. In addition, the Duck program has been known to write a few shady checks too.

Also, "Cam Newton's Dad?" Whatever, Cecil will try to cash it anyway.


The standard-bearer for all signage: It's a full section wide and was unfurled in Michigan Stadium. It also appears to be of high quality, is correctly spelled, void of creases and stings like the cold November sun on Tate Forcier's blushing face.

Imagine a Cooper-like sign in Ohio Stadium during one of those awful November Saturdays during the 1990s. This sign is weaponized to the point of potentially violating international non-proliferation treaties.

The level of commitment here is unparalleled, and the artist spared no expense while cutting no corners. It is perfect. You are incapable of making this sign, so don't even try it. You will fail.

When one of us sucks, all of us suck


We are all snowflakes. Ohio State's diverse and expansive fan base keeps the Family vibrant and strong, so this isn't a call to assimilate or act uniformly. It's merely a plea to isolate your shame and make it your own, not ours.

That means if you absolutely insist on openly masturbating to pornography at the public library, try to do so while not wearing Buckeye gear. Making arrangements to have your three-year old murdered? Fine, just stop popping your Ohio State jersey on camera.

And if you're going to get a tattoo promoting bestiality, please keep Brutus out of it.

The world contains wily perverts, ruthless murderers, despicable thugs and miserable low-lifes. We can't all be perfect. But if you're going to be horrible, please wear something else. Keep your fandom under wraps, even if you only accidentally stepped in shit.

You've already destroyed lives and made a mockery of your name. Keep Ohio State out of it, or at least wear something that matches your actions - like anything that says Florida on it.

Keep your humor

Form of: FAT COACH

An odd thing happened three years ago in Ann Arbor. No, not the empty smugness, Greg Robinson's 3-3-5 defense or the mass-minting of General Studies degrees for athletes. That's the usual. This was odd.

Three years ago Michigan fans completely lost their humor. For five wondrous seasons, Buckeyes and Wolverines were united by one thing: Fat jokes at the head coach of Notre Dame's expense.

Charlie Weis' biggest victory of the previous decade was when he soundly defeated gastric bypass surgery and managed to stay morbidly obese in spite of medical innovation. He is a horrible person who is both literally and figuratively a giant target for ridicule.

From the buffet line to the sideline, Weis embarrassed the Irish, derailed the Ty Willingham blame train in magnificent fashion and brought joy to all of Notre Dame's enemies - all while being fat (and sloppy, unkempt and generally disgusting - but mostly fat).

Michigan fans reveled in it. Ohio State fans loved it. Everyone celebrated what was happening in South Bend. Weis was then fired and we were all united in grief. 

And then a year later, Michigan hired a fat coach of its own. Suddenly fat jokes were deemed childish by the same people who spent five years working with us to create them. The jokes are still funny. Michigan fans just stopped enjoying them.

Similarly, there was a time when Penn State fans could celebrate the hilarity of other people pooping in their pants. Then in 2006 Joe Paterno spontaneously evacuated his bowels into his trousers in the South end zone of Ohio Stadium and all of a sudden shart became a dirty dirtier word in State College.


Don't be like those fans. Don't lose your humor. Even though you will love Jim Tressel to your dying day, "Cheaty McSweatervest" is amusing. Urban Meyer being painted as Charles Manson operating by proxy through his former players is so silly you should try to laugh at it.

Even Maurice Clarett chuckles at his former, destructive self. Remember, mankind as you and I know it arrived on earth only a minute ago. We just got here, man. Try to laugh more often. It's always more fun than being outraged.

You'll like yourself a lot more - and most importantly - the Family will be better for it.


Comments Show All Comments

Buckeyeneer's picture

Great article. Thank you, Ramzy.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

brylee's picture

Ramzy, Another fine post.
I must apologize though; I'm still laughing at Brutus getting him some wolverinie. 

pjtobin's picture

Highly entertaining read! Thank you very much. The rodeo clown joke was a true lol. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

droessl's picture

I've gotten 3 wedding invitations for October ceremonies. Such a shame that I won't be able to make it to any of them. 

Oyster's picture

Think of the money you will save by not buying gifts.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Idaho Helga's picture

Excellent article.  The Joe Pa remarks and the "Rodeo Clown" were especially great.
I always wonder (whether it's a sign at a game or just along the road) why people don't check their spelling &/or grammar before they spend the time, money and effort.

cjmgobucks's picture

Sadly, I think the vast majority have checked their spelling and grammar.

"When I look in the mirror, I want to take a swing at me."

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

OurHonorDefend09's picture

don't you mean there? or even possibly they're?

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

NorthernOhioBuckeye's picture

I doubt it. He has it grammatically correct as it is. 

"Their" is the possessive form of they. 
"They're" is "they are" conjoined.
"There" is an adverb describing position.

bukyze's picture

The year after JoePa shart himself, I'll always remember the sign that said "Our #2 makes Joe Pa go #2".  Absolutely hilarious.

doodah_man's picture

That. Great article Ramzy!

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Denny's picture

I've got two fall weddings to attend this year -- and one of the weddings involves a former Buckeye player. In Columbus. The day of a home game.
/shakes fist at sky


cronimi's picture

REALLY!?!?  WHO??? He should be outed as a traitor to the Family!!!
Unless the wedding is going to be at halftime of the game and all the invitees get sideline passes, in which case it is totally cool and you are a lucky man. But I'm guessing that's not the case....

Jugdish's picture

Several years back, I was standing in line with my son to get into the shoe for an autograph and picture day. There was a nice couple in line behind us and she was very pregnant. She seemed like she was due any time. But she and her husband both assured us that she could make it to the bye week. True Buckeye fans.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

cajunbuckeye's picture

I'm a better Buckeye! No more masturbating in public, and I mean it this time.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

cplunk's picture

My cousin, who is from North Carolina and knows nothing whatsoever about the Buckeyes or college football, somehow miraculously scheduled her wedding on the Saturday bye-week between Northwestern and Iowa. 
She'll never know why, but she is getting a way better gift than the usual. 

Baroclinicity's picture

Ahhhh, the wedding nightmare.  I'm guilty, as I got married last year during MSU weekend.
I explained to my wife that if we got married on any Buckeye Saturday, what would happen is that everyone would eventually just slowly flow to the nearest TV, or if we had a later ceremony, everyone would be on their phone during the nuptials.  She understood, but then the fact that weddings are usually cheaper on a Friday helped to seal the deal.
So we had the wedding on Friday.  The next day we all occupied the sports bar in the area (it was in Virginia) and watched the game there.  It wasn't a home game, either, so there was no problem with people potentially going to that game.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Davep160's picture

I told my wife when I got married that I will happily get marred between Feb-Aug.   The only thing open in the church was September 4th... I went for 5pm because it was a noon game.  
We went on to beat Cincinati 27-6 

brandonbauer87's picture

This made my day, Ramzy. This is one of the best articles I've seen on here in some time. 

CC's picture

Our seats are next to the opposing team's section.  In one of the last games during the Cooper era they had a blue and sun sign that said "Thanks for the memories Coop 2-9-1".  It was perfect and I hated it.

WC Buckeye's picture

Brilliant. Let's never lose either our love for the team or our ability to laugh at obviously hilarious things.
And NEVER schedule a wedding on a game weekend. I wonder what percentage of those which were scheduled/executed on a game weekend end in divorce, never able to overcome that initial resentment (among other things)? Higher than the population's 50%?

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

thatlillefty's picture

Hilarious. With so many fans, there are bound to be some knuckleheads among us.
That's some serious pepper spray action just to protect a field goal post. When did the fun police start regulating on that? I'm 26 and I've never seen it in my lifetime.

Oyster's picture

I believe that would be 2002, last game of the season if my memory (and it's fuzzy from that day) serve me correctly.  They were warning fans prior to the game to stay away from the goalposts. 

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

buck i's picture

How to be a Better Buckeye Fan: A One Step Primer
Step One:
Don't be like these guys:

Be like this guy:

And now you know.

Hovenaut's picture

Coming aboard that 11W site has done wonders for me....especially helpful in the dark, dreary days (aka "The Offseason").

It's a pretty cool place, I recommend you check it out of you haven't already.....

Nappy's picture

And the mod lounge puts Oregon's facilities to shame!

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

RoweTrain's picture

They don't even know. It's real and it's spectacular!

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

MN Buckeye's picture

Guess I'll have to stop dressing up like an idiot and just start writing checks to Cam Newton's dad.

Unky Buck's picture

Great article, Ramzy! The football season weddings always make me cringe. I'm very accommodating, but whenever it is that I get married (no time in the near future), my only request will be that it is not during an OSU football game.
Also, I haven't seen him in a few years as we both moved away from Columbus, but I am like 90% certain that I know the guy holding up the "Michigan you're next" sign. If that is him, that's just really funny.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

MassiveAttack's picture

Despite me very loudly protesting my brother-in-law getting married during the 2010 _ICHIGAN game in Florida (both he and his wife live/lived in Cincinnati), my sister-in-law insists on being married on Wisconsin Saturday, this year.  She's freakin' lucky it's a night game.  I told her "I'm out of there come 5pm, so deal with it."
And no, I did not attend the 2010 wedding, I attended The Game.  Although no one can prove it, as that game (allegedly) did not take place.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

ChicagoBuckeyeFan's picture

I got married last September...on a Sunday, thus I didn't miss the OSU-MSU game. See it can still work!

Ashtabula's picture

Ramzy, I have always enjoyed your writing, but this post is on a totally different level.  This stanza is literary genius:
Your inability to be clever transforms a homemade sign into a vehicle for showcasing your mediocrity. This is something your sloppy exterior, $8 haircut and inability to conjugate verbs at a fourth grade level already do quite well. Signs are redundant. 
Well done, your you're awesome.

airbuckeye's picture

I am a true Buckeye FAN through and through and i know of no one who as giving up more than me for that BUCKEYE Saturday. Weddings HA Ha Ha thats nothing compared to what i gave up many many years age. Let me explan and those with a week heart need not read any farther than here. I always talk with my new wife's bother during Buckeye games and still do but during one game about 16 years maybe 17 years ago the old battle axe was in one of her moods.
She was bitching most of the day before the game even game on and i was on the phone with my now wife's brother talking about the game and other games that were being played at the time. Anyway she would not shut the hell up and he heard her in the back ground and he dared me to say it like he also did when he heard bitching about things.
I told its all in the timing and about an hour later i did just that. I said Hun you know what? she replyed what thats when i heard him trying to keep from laughing on the phone. But went ahead and told FUCK OFF she ripped the phone right out of the wall on me.
But thats not the worst part of that day because later night i tried to make it up to her and she told piss on you the Buckeye game was more imported than me. Will knowing me i could'nt leave well enough alone laying there in bed with Mr Happy flying in the breaze and told her hell yes the BUCKEYES come before anything always have and always will.
Well i ask for it i guess she said oh really and reached over grabbed Mr Happy and i swear i never for a minute thought that thing could be broken but DAM was i ever wrong because that just what she did to it snapped its neck and but my ass on the floor in pain for over an hour. And thats the gods honest truth .

BuckeyeSouth's picture

TMI.   Way, TMI.

Champions.  Undisputed.  

TatumRuled's picture

One should never drink and discourse..

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum                       

Haybucks's picture

Airbuckeye - Why did you to it?
The damage is much deeper than you'll ever see
Hit me like a hammer to my head


If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


Buckeyevstheworld's picture

And thats the gods honest truth .

Even if it was a lie I wouldn't have wanted to know. Certain things you take to the grave.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Goalscorer9's picture

"more imported than me"

So, where did you get yours from?

brandonbauer87's picture

By the way, my wedding is scheduled for October 11th, 2014. A bye week. 

-1 HS
buckeyenut10's picture

You're a true bro. You're giving your buddies a chance an excuse to drink with you on a day where the Buckeyes don't play.
Congrats on getting married as well; that's sort of important too.

OneOfOver475000's picture

Funny story, true story. 
A buddy of mine had a sister who got married in the late 90's at noon, on the day of The Game.  Her father refused to attend the ceremony.  Sadly the marriage did not work out.  Obviously pissed at her father, her next marriage was scheduled about 5 years later... on the day of The Game.
Her father did not attend again.

cronimi's picture

I'd like to buy her father a beer.

CC's picture

Somebody doesn't like her daddy.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

A man that has his priorities straight.

Maestro's picture

I just checked for my wallet.  I am a southpaw.  I have a pair of shorts with no back pocket on the left side.  Can't wear those.

vacuuming sucks

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Your the best Ramzy! Oops, just sharted. All in a day's work I guess..........
Seriously, good topic for any Buckeye fan to think about, and a subtle way to make a great point without being preachy to all those who like roaming this site......Be a better Buckeye!  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good stuff, Ramzy.
Btw, in the image collage of the various "You are all the worst" examples of Buckeye fans, why did the young lady with the pouty face, who is tugging the upper front of her #8 Buckeye jersey make the collage? Is she a 28 year old Spanish teacher who slept with her 16 year old pupil or something?

Unky Buck's picture

That's Casey Anthony...and enough said on that one...

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'


Fido, how in the world can you not know who that is? Yikes.
Awesome story, Ramzy. All sports have their own version of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" in terms of fans. Sadly it's the Eli Wallach character equivalent that always gets the most negative attention for Buckeye Nation. Don't make an arse of yourself while wearing the Scarlet and Gray. Don't backstab the guy who saved your neck and leave him to die in the desert, either.


"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Okay, I'd heard of Casey Anthony, but did not follow that story/trial at all. Thanks to 11W, I've been a little better wired-into pop culture stuff the last few years, but I'm still pretty clueless.

Unky Buck's picture

RFR, Honestly, I had to look that it up because I didn't recognize her either. It was in one of the hyperlinks that Ramzy had, though. Once I clicked on some of those, I realized who it was and kind of threw up on my mouth a little bit.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Maestro's picture

I knew it because where I used to be a mod the UF fans were incessant pricks.

vacuuming sucks

Unky Buck's picture

Haha, and that's different from when?

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Idaho Helga's picture

"where I used to be a mod"
Maestro, that's true everywhere, not just there.

Haybucks's picture

Lucky you Unky, the classy fans here in tsun brought that classy pic to my classy office with all kinds of classy comments. 

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


Idaho Helga's picture

I'm like you Fido.  In fact I didn't know until recently she's a Buckeye fan.  <sigh>

nvbuckeye's picture

OK, to prove my true Buckeye Family membership: while walking around stores in Jacksonville, FL (at a convention in town) last week I passed a shop with Buckeye flags.  When I entered the store, to my horror, it had placed a ttun flag above my beloved Buckeye display flag.  This can not be" I shouted to the store clerk who promptly moved that discussing corn and yuck colored flag below the tOSU flag.  In a few short seconds the world was alright again because tOSU was over ttun again.  The store clerk even apologized for the error.  Long live Buckeye Nation!!!!!!

ohiowhitesnake's picture

isn't one of the steps about not tweeting 16-17 year old kids? 

I finally got a set of Gold Pants!

05Buckeye's picture

Great article. I am fired up that I made the background in one of the positive pictures in this story.

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

I'm getting married during football season as well but mine is on our off week!  But still sorry everyone!

Michigan Sucks!

JYBUCKEYE's picture

It better be a bye week!!

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

Ha its November 9th def a bye week. 

Michigan Sucks!

JYBUCKEYE's picture

Haha.  You probably wouldn't have any groomsmen if it wasn't.  I'm guessing it's almost 100% OSU alumni.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Good stuff Ramzy!  Excellent advice and funny as hell!

TatumRuled's picture

On the subject of creepy fans, check out this pillar of the community (skip to the 1:00 minute mark).

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum