Winning is never enough in Buckeye Nation, is it?

AndyVance's picture
October 22, 2012 at 4:09p

I'm convinced there is a very vocal minority among the legions of Ohio State faithful who will never be satisfied. Not just with this team, an imperfect 8-0 squad no one expected to be 8-0 anyway, but never satisfied in general.

It's a fun, casual joint.

Case in point: Saturday, after my beautiful bride spared me from the ignominy of leaving The Shoe after Kenny G's fourth-quarter INT (yes, the West Virginia fan in my household saved me from being one of those fair-weather fans streaming from Ohio Stadium like rats fleeing a sinking ship), we popped over to Rooster's to celebrate the Buckeye's victory with a Yuengling and some wings. Standing in line for the men's room - yes, the Hamilton Road Rooster's has only ONE urinal - I overhear two mostly-inebriated fans waxing philosophical about the failings and shortcomings of Ohio State football as we know it.

"He's a good offensive coordinator at best," said Drunk Fan #1 in reference to OSU's current commander-in-chief. "But he's going to ruin Braxton." Were it not for a heavy desire not to get urinated on prior to drinking my first beer of the day, I would have politely asked the drunken reveler what in the name of St. Woodrow he had been smoking up to that point in the day... My self-preservation instincts being soundly intact, I let the opportunity to engage in lively conversation pass.

Throughout my visit to Rooster's two-holer, the conversation between boozed-up compatriots continued, mostly on the central theme of Urban Meyer's shortcomings as a coach, and bemoaning the horrible state of essentially every unit on the field. While I'm not one to view the Buckeyes through scarlet-colored glasses, I'm also one who thinks it is important to keep things in perspective... At this point last season, how many fans would have projected Ohio State to open 8-0 for the first time since 2007?

Arriving back at my booth, I muttered something about "These #*$% Ohio State fans..." about which my wife inquired what had me in such a foul mood. After I recounted the outhouse exchange, she reminded me that barely 8 hours prior I had commented that our fans were among the hardest to satisfy anywhere in the country. We were sitting in the Vivian Hall parking lot waiting on the rain to let up so we could hit some friends' tailgate, and invariably the conversation on the various programs repeated the talking points about how poor the defense has performed, how we nearly got beaten by Indiana and looked uninspired against relatively weak non-conference opponents.

At some point, it gets tiring, really. For a decade I listened to friends and fans alike complain about the myriad sins of Tresselball - we didn't put enough points on the board, we focused too much on managing the clock, and if he talked about the importance of the punt one more time... Here we are in a season where we have nothing more than a divisional title to play for (those dreaming of AP voters putting any or all of Florida, Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Notre Dame, K-State and/or USC behind The Ohio State University... I have some ocean-front property for sale) and an injury-riddled team is showing heart for days AND we've put up 50+ points in THREE games...

In fact, the team has scored fewer than 29 points on only one occasion: that slugfest at Michigan State.

Okay, we're playing crummy defense. Like Coach Meyer, I'm not one for excuses... Still, it's silly to ignore the fact that we're thinking of moving everybody but the second-string waterboy to linebacker because everyone else is hurt.

I'm convinced that even if we win out - a tall order with road trips to Happy Valley and Camp Randall Stadium - the begrudgers among us will continue to scoff and sputter about Urban Renewal until next season, waiting for the "I told you so" moment we don't make it to the Rose Bowl or the National Title Game. Folks who want the coach's head after the most breath-taking come-from-behind victory in since about 2002 aren't really looking for a great team... They're glass-is-half-empty fans who take some masochistic pleasure in calling in to post-game shows to expound on why they saw a big defeat coming all along.

As exciting as this season is, next season could be really magical with everything to play for again... But understand that for Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller, the expectations are nothing short of a National Title and a Heisman Trophy. Anything less is, well, just something else to - literally - piss and moan about.

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theDuke's picture

just keep beating scUM at a 7 of 8 clip and i'm happy as a lark.
*from a person who grew up on Cooperball. ugh.


AndyVance's picture

Right on, mi amigo. I used to say that the only game most of us really, truly, in our heart of hearts cared about was the one at the end of the regular season.

NGBuck21's picture

Bravo sir. I completely agree with this sentiment. As frustrating as these guys can be I just love the winning. Happy to root for 9-0 even if it comes to be after a sloppy win.

osubuck57's picture

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.This team will get better, a lot of youth on this team and with youth comes mistakes.I'll take 8-0 anyday,ugly,blowouts,whatever.Winning is winning!! No style points last time I checked.I get frustrated right along with everyone else who loves the Bucs,but look where we were last season to now....


theDuke's picture

Hope we make it unscathed but at the very least we need to send this group of seniors out with some more Gold pants. There probably isn't a team of atheletes in college history that has been up and down as much as this bunch. Total props to them for their character, leadership and commitment to tOSU. #heartlandlegends


Buckeye2005's picture

Gosh, I loved your perspective.  Agree wholeheartedly.  

PWLafferty. TBDBITL. TRow.'s picture

I can't say I agree or disagree with your standpoint on this post.  It is absolutely ridiculous that people are taking shots at Urban already with an 8-0 squad, especially considering he's already got one more victory than good 'ol Nick did in his first year at 'Bama.  However, my problem with this post is the mass generalization it creates.  Stating that 'Buckeye Nation' is never content and that our fans are pessimists who are always complaining about something seems to me to be very closely related to generalizations people make about any fan base across the country--Every season I constantly hear about how awful Penn State fans are, but have yet to see it personally.  Granted we have all, most likely, run into or overheard conversations similar to the one above, but in the end, all of these examples are entirely anecdotal.  Think of how many THOUSANDS of fans Buckeye Nation is made up of.  I firmly believe that for as many idiots as there are out there complaining about Urban already, there are just as many, if not more fans that are completely thrilled about this season.  I know I am.  Go Bucks, BEAT PENN STATE

"I'm up there with Chris and Dave Pass, getting ready to broadcast that game, and that band came out of that tunnel, I was wiping tears out of my eyes and all the memories came back." ~Urban Meyer

AndyVance's picture

True enough - I generalized about a "vocal minority" of our massive fan base... I think what I was getting at is that this vocal minority - perhaps think of them as the loyal opposition - is darn difficult to please, no matter who is steering the ship, or what their strategy may be... Sometimes I wish more of "us" could take "yes" for an answer, that's all.

PWLafferty. TBDBITL. TRow.'s picture

Absolutely, I completely agree with you.  It's tough because I think we see glimpses of how great our fan base can be (positive feedback from Nebraska weekend) and it's a beautiful thing to think of having an amazing fan base, school, team/staff, etc all at once.  It's absolutely the people you speak of that bring us all down! We gotta live this up...we're freaking undefeated so far after THIS . As the Graffiti Burger in Grandview says: 'Rock n' Roll 8-0', baby...let's make that a 9.

"I'm up there with Chris and Dave Pass, getting ready to broadcast that game, and that band came out of that tunnel, I was wiping tears out of my eyes and all the memories came back." ~Urban Meyer

Poison nuts's picture

Although it is a pretty broad generalization to say "we're" hard to please, it is quite true IMHO. I believe that on the whole, Buckeye Nation is one of the tougher fan bases to satisfy. And I get that people want excellence, but when I get on this very site immediately following a win like the one against Purdue & I see a blog post that basically questions every move the coach has made since being hired & whether he really was a good hire...that pisses me off that is frustrating. This team hasn't lost yet. We've played some bad teams & a few decent teams. There are issues for sure, & over time those will be worked out - but the fact that this team is pure heart & keeps coming away with wins....for now, I would think & hope that's good enough. With a first year coach, new staff & a new system, we should be thrilled it's gone the way has.
Now on the other hand, if we happen to lose a game,...well then, yeah, somebody is going to have to be fired dammit!   ;)

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

jthiel09's picture

Continued success spoils most fans of any team, that holds especially true for Buckeye Nation. This feeling of not being satisfied reminds me of 2002 and people grumbling on Mondays about the past weekends game. Not saying it's the same type of year but the way people react to wins makes me laugh.


Bolt's picture

There are some DBags that will  never be satisfied. There were some people calling for Tressel's head not long after he won us a nat'l title. This minority exists in every fanbase so don't single out Ohio State fans in that regard. I understand this whole fat dumb and happy mentality because we're undefeated because it's been a fun season and I can't wait for gameday each and every week. Playing the way we have in a lot of these games though, we're lucky to still be undefeated against a very very weak schedule and with the meat of the schedule coming up I think it's reasonable for people to be pointing out what needs to get better or else we will no longer be able to say we're enjoying an undefeated season. I am frustrated by all the knee-jerk reactions like the very vocal minority and their already starting the fire Fickell campaign, which I think is absolutely ridiculous.
I am thoroughly pleased with the Purdue game because even playing as bad as we did, the players and coaches alike found a way to pull out a tough win in a game that we really may have been outplayed in all phases, offense, defense, special teams. You're going to have games like that no matter how good you are and yet the true test of the resolve of a team is if they can still find some way no matter how unlikely to pull out a victory. It certainly didn't feel like Indiana when it just felt like we had them throttled and then did everything we could to throw the game away.

AndyVance's picture

Great point about the "Fire Fickell" fanatics... That was another one I was hearing in the stands Saturday, and it was grating to my ears. It's perfectly fair to question the defense this year; it's another to throw Fickell under the bus when half his squad is on the bench for all or part of the season.

Bolt's picture

Agreed. He doesn't have the greatest ingredients to work with, a bunch of injuries and on top of it this is a transition year for all of the coaches really. I know Fickell was here previously, but they don't run the defense off of the same principles that they used to. It used to be a bend don't break philosophy and is now more aggressive, at Meyer's request, and is getting gashed because of it because I simply don't think we have the right personnel at linebacker to run a defense with that type of philosophy.
Throw in with that we've got an offense that is either scoring on big plays or going 3 and out a lot and that puts the D on the field much more often. Throw in on top of that the majority of teams we've played run a spread offense that is specifically suited to exploit our weaknesses based on our personnel limitations.

klfeck's picture

I just wish someone would invent a hearing aid that would tune out "squawkers" who have a football IQ that is less than ideal. You know what they say about opinions.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Maceyko's picture

I'd have to say what bothers me the most are the fans that say it's not good enough because "We're THE Ohio State University."  They somehow think that means that we have to win with perfect defense, blow people out by tons of points, and do it all with style points or something.  That is exactly why I can't stand those SEC fans who think they are better than everybody else.  It's just gets under your skin.  Of course with a such a large fan base we are going to have a bit of everything so I try to accept everyone's opinions for what they are. 

AGL's picture

To some winning may never be enough, I unrealistically want to blow out every opponent,  not going to happen.  Been following Buckeyes since mid 60's and got kind spoiled by so many wins and blowouts.  Right now I will take any win by any score.  There will always be part of the fan base  that vent if OSU wins by 1 or 70 points,  it is inevitable.  I am just glad to see the whole team playing with Heart.  C-Bus is a much happier place after a Buckeye win,  seemed very gloomy after a loss.  Good topic


Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I think the problem is that everyone expected the product that Meyer put on the field in Florida.  There were a lot of blowouts and high scoring offenses under Meyer during his stretch in the swamp.  I admit, I expected more but living in SEC country I'm just happy to see us win and hear everyone gripe and complain about Meyer.  I like to enjoy the wins, and focus on the recruiting classes because you can see what will be on the field in 2-3 years.  Meyer said a few days ago that he built the fastest team in college football at Florida and he intends to do that again at OSU.  Let's be content with the wins, and hope for improvement.