Let me be perfectly clear-no one is ever going to confuse any group of fans with Penn State fans. I do have to confess to my Buckeye brothers and sisters that I am a little bit disappointed in a lot of our reactions. Two years ago, when news of that ugly mess from that horrible place in Pennsylvania began coming out, the common theme in a lot of the response to the initial reports was the concern over the impact this news would have on a football season in the short term and program in the long term. I'm not equating what happened here over the last 24 hours to what happened there for decades but threads of the same reaction remain common in both scenarios. I don't know how many "Rod Smith needs to step up" or "There goes the season" comments\tweets I read before seeing something, anything, that showed some concern for an alleged assault victim. As more information comes out, the temperature of fans in scenarios like this goes from one of sheer terror that 'your' season is ruined to utter paranoia that the media is now engaged in a witch hunt to guarded optimism that things aren't all that bad. If there are any teeth to video tape rumors, I feel we will be passing into the last stage any day now. Even that has me worried. Today, I've seen more than my fair share of comments indicating hope this evidence is true so a lot of people are vindicated and a few people eat crow. What about being happy Carlos Hyde's life might not be ruined? Or that someone may not have been maliciously punched in the face by someone much bigger and stronger than themselves.
What really has me worried is the stress we all put on a football season and I can not shake at least some parallels to what we saw out of State College. Make no mistake about it-I am as passionate a Buckeye fan as any here. I bleed the same two colors you all do, but I'm not proud of the way many of us reacted. The underlying concern was for the impact these allegations would have on the 2013 season. I know this won't be a popular stance but I'm not uncomfortable being unpopular. My opinion about Urban Meyer, and potentially Ohio State Football as a whole was going to be shaped by how the organization reacted to these allegations. As much as Meyer's reaction can be seen as a fly being hit with a sledgehammer, it was the right decision. If anyone is to believe Meyer is not the guy he is portrayed to be, he had to take this stance. I applaud him for it-not because it saves a reputation-but because right now, with the information available, it is the right decision to make. If its determined Carlos Hyde isn't the perpetrator of a terrible action, then I will be the first to welcome him home with open arms and will still be proud that Urban Meyer took the stance he did. It was easy when it was Storm Klein. Despite being penciled in as a starter, he was never going to be the reason OSU won a football game. Carlos Hyde is a different animal, given the weight he was expected to carry this season-pun sort of intended. If Carlos is indeed innocent of these accusations, I just hope we take pride in the fact that one of our beloved Buckeyes is not a man who maliciously strikes women before we breathe a sigh of relief that 'our' season might not be ruined. I don't like that our immediate reaction was to worry about the football team and season. It is not as extreme as the reaction to the East, but for my money, the similarities were there.
We are all better than that.