The Spring Game Sucks

DJ Byrnes's picture
April 18, 2013 at 3:48p

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

  - Robert F. Kennedy

When I look at the Spring Game, this RFK quote is what comes the rum-saturated sponge that masquerades as my mind. (I'm a lot like Robert Kennedy in that we're both privileged white guys, and my naïve worldviews will one day lead to a crazed gunman putting me out of my misery.)

I'm pretty sure the only thing that has come out of Spring Games since the first year of George W. Bush's first Presidential term is low-hanging jokes involving the lack of regular season production from the game's MVP. This year, I didn't even bother watching the annual scrimmage because I'll be damned if I watch football involving Paul Brown Stadium that doesn't involve the almighty Cleveland Browns.

Ohio State fans have interest in the Spring Game in the same way a man would have in the last drop of water in a cantine before wondering into an open desert for the next four months. (Sure, there is the glorious NBA play-offs, but I recognize my opinions on this matter put me in the minority, and unless you're over 65 year-old white guy, please don't pretend baseball is relevant.)

So seeing this, why not spruce up the only hit of football us fiends will have for the next four months?

Coincidentally, I have an original thought to fix this. (NOTE: When I say "original thought", I mean "an idea I cribbed from a tweet by 11W's Michael Citro.") Why not allow soccer-styled "friendlies" between programs, if that's so what they choose?

Would fans have more interest in the Spring Game as currently constructed, or if the Spring Game involved Ohio State and Notre Dame's excuse of a football team?

For all I care, these games could include no kicking-off, fair-catching of all punts, and coaches putting flag football belts on their quarterbacks. Wouldn't coaches rather trot out their prophesied first-team lineups against another high-caliber program rather than another intrasquad scrimmage? Wouldn't a friendly against another program give more of a game-like experience, thus making it better to judge the talent you have on hand?

I realize tinkering with college football, even using typed words on the internet as a tool, will cause some people to throw their hands up in disgust with me, but tell me how an intrasquad scrimmage is better than friendlies against other high-caliber teams? Like nobody here would make the trip to South Bend, Indiana, to enjoy spring weather by guzzling canned beer and talking trash to Irish fans?

Hell, that might even more fun than drinking beer outside on an 86 degree August day with 90% humidity in Columbus before Ohio State rips open the Buffalo Bulls, as they're scheduled to do later this year ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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dumpus's picture

i tend to downvote a lot of the stuff you write for being petulant and overly negative, but i'm really having a hard time downvoting this.  i don't really get the point of a spring game other than to remind people that we have a football if we really need the reminder.  i went on Saturday, watched some of the first half, fell asleep during halftime, and then watched live Masters streaming on my phone for most of the second half and perking my head up every once in a while when the crowd reacted one way or the other.
we talkin bout *practice* man...

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

It is fundamentally flawed, but there are ways to improve it:
1. Publicize the draft
2. Come out of the tunnels like actual opponents  -- this warming up together and having guys play for both teams is horse sh**
The BTN TRULY SUCKED.  Don't want to hear them tell long, convoluted stories while failing to inform us 5 plays in a row who made the tackle. 

Basso Profondo's picture

The announcers were truly terrible for the game, the one guy from Minnesota killed me with all of his irrelevant stories. 
My favorite line was the "At the beginning of the game all of the players gathered in a circle, for a drill in which players went at it one on one... I don't know what it is called though".  Geeze. 
Time and time again the "announcers" had no clue about what was going on or about even basic Ohio State football facts.  Heck, pay me a little and I will do a play-by-play that is better than whoever BTN throws up there.  Plus I'm told I have a nice Basso voice for it..

MN Buckeye's picture

Hey Basso, the guy from MN does not represent ALL guys from MN!

Basso Profondo's picture

I have only respect for you citizens of Minnesota! This guy just seemed to not be providing any quality input on their conversation.

CanadianBuckeye's picture

I just want to say that I am pretty sure it was not a Kennedy who originated that quote.  I believe it was from a play by George Bernard-Shaw.  I may be wrong, but I am sure enough that I am willing to post it online with no references.

buckeyedude's picture

I was wondering about that. Didn't think RFK was the orginator of that quote. Not sure though.



GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Joe Kennedy probably paid Theodore Sorenson to write it for his son

buck-I.8's picture

No time to fact-check, there's whining to do.

Haybucks's picture
George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah (1921), Pt. I : In the Beginning: I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
It bugged me too.

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


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I like the idea of friendlies with other programs, actually.  It would spice things up a bit to say the least.  It's one thing to scrimmage against each other, but it ups the ante when you scrimmage against someone like Notre Lame, or West Virginia, Louisville, or even UC. 

Class of 2010.

RedStorm45's picture

NCAA is I believe the only level of football that doesn't have a pre-season or sanctioned scrimmages (correct me if I'm wrong) - the "friendlies" idea sounds pretty cool.
I've never really been that interested in the spring game.  Yeah, it's fun to see some backups and young guys fighting for a spot, but overall, those decisions get made in practice.  Perhaps my disinterest is because I've been blessed enough to go to a few games each fall.  I would certainly understand the interest more, I think, if attending a fall game was just out of the question.  Now with the media access, youtube/twitter/etc, the spring game isn't this public showing of the team that's been behind closed doors all winter/spring.  And as was mentioned, a lot of guys are going 75-80%.

ohiowhitesnake's picture

3 days in a row DJ? Are you coming back to the 11W staff? Hated to see you go, so I am hoping so.

I finally got a set of Gold Pants!

captain obvious's picture

doesnt suck

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

OSUinFl's picture

The spring  game you show nothing your opponents can pick up on. You find out more on your younger players. The reason for the spring games is for players changing positions to see if that a perfect fit.
        Do you think Texas Am will show there hand in a spring with Nick Saban and his staff  watching the game.

AngryWoody's picture

This was a waste of my time.

Our Honor Defend!

Toilrt Paper's picture

According to Urban Meyer HIS spring games are to determine starters and depth charts. Once preseason practices start it's too late. All attention there and forward is focused on winning games.


I personally like the reduced chance of a season-ending injury. We've already lost one OL in spring practice as it is. Besides, the spring game isn't for us. The regular season is.

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

SPreston2001's picture

With football comes injuries. Why not just keep them wrapped up in bubble wrap 24/7 lol. Players have to train and compete to get better so its all part of the game. The fact is the less you practice and train the more prone you are to injury....

MN Buckeye's picture

My mind started wandering after 'rum-soaked sponge' . . .

MN Buckeye's picture

after 'wondering' about it for a while

kb1's picture

Sounds like a good idea, but i have a hard time believing Spence or Diesel would "lay off" an opposing quarterback. Then your "friendly" would turn into a "friendly brawl".


The one thing i'd definitely be on the lookout for in a "friendly" would be some second-rate backup who will never play in real games come flying in and knock out XBrax or Roby or Diesel or El Guapo. I can guarantee the "friendlies" would end right there and then after Coach Meyer does his best impersonation of Purple Thad Matta.

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

sir rickithda3rd's picture

i disagree it provides a form of competition. All competition is welcome competition in my book.

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Agree with SIR as a rule, but I am opposed to scrimmages as a Buckeye.  Injuries are worrisome, but bottom line is I don't want some Bearcat fan saying they beat us in a scrimmage.  Invariably someone will keep score no matter how the scrimmage is set up, and the lesser teams will load up while we give reps to our backups.
As a Mt. Union fan, I would love to scrimmage Kent Sate, or Pitt or Bowling Green, but the bigger schools would be foolish to accept.

buckeyedude's picture

Nothing wrong with asking "why not?" I think it would be more plausible to set something like this up with an Akron or Youngstown State.
Agree with KB1. A scrimmage vs. ND or some other high profile school would erupt into a brawl the first time someone gets hit a little too hard or accidentally touches a QB.



Nutinpa's picture

They were discussing this on Sirius Xm earlier this week.
I think it is a pretty cool idea, but don't see it happening for two reasons:
1.  risk of injury; you can put a black or red jersey on a qb sure.  Do you want to trust an opposing Lineman from an opposing school not to hit Miller?  I don't trust them.
2.  Why would Meyer, Saban or any other coach with a top 5 team risk the exposure?  You know that pollsters would be interested in watching the games.  So what if your "1's" don't' look that sharp that day?  The pollsters are human, to state the obvious.  No matter how many times they tell themselves, "it was just a scrimmage"...if your team looks flat or sloppy during that Spring "Game" risk your spot in the polls which are important, even in September.   Too much to lose for the front-running teams, imho.

13THandSummit's picture

How would you determine who got the home venue for the "friendly" game? Spring games are in large part for the fans and not just about evaluating talent. Unless you did a home one year, away the next with one team (which would get old), scheduling would be difficult and still leave a fan base without a spring game to attend every other year. Also, why such disdain towards other sports? I have the Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, BPL soccer, and Reds to get me through this stretch of non-football. I feel sorry for you if you can only enjoy OSU football and the NBA. No need to hate though.

jestertcf's picture

I personally was hoping Brutus would take another snap.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

DaiTheFlu's picture

I accidentally upvoted this article; I meant to downvote it for being boring and stupid. My apologies.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Does anyone know where I can see a replay of this?

jestertcf's picture

~Because we couldn't go for three~