Counter point: Drew Sharp (Detroit Free Press)

Grant Edgell's picture
December 1, 2012 at 6:55p

Earlier today the Eleven Warriors guys posted Drew Sharp's Detroit Free Press piece in the BUCKSHOTS section and after reading it once I had to read it again. And again. And a fourth time. As passionate fans of whatever program or sports organization we wish to support we often find ourselves on the defensive side of a debate, typically accompanied by some level of personal bias, but sometimes you simply disagree with what someone has to say. For me, this would be one of those times.

Sharp, careful to add "crooked ways" within the headline of his story, decided to take it upon himself to declare Ohio State the one program in the Big Ten Conference willing to be unethical enough to compete on a national stage. He focuses on the fact that the school honored the 2002 national title team, Jim Tressel included, last Saturday between the first and second quarter of The Game and he mentioned Urban Meyer by name only once within his 534 chosen words, but this article was aimed directly at Meyer or - at a minimum - aimed at The Ohio State University because of their new head coach.

There are a couple of things that have stuck in my mind as I've continuously tried gauging the overall outlook of the fan base as it relates to the Tressel Era and how they (we) choose to think of it:

  1. Most everyone agrees what he did was against the rules, 'illegal' or not, but never found a place in their heart to store significant hate towards the man because of the things he brought to the table over a decade's time, football and otherwise.
  2. The above personal decision was made far easier with the hiring of Urban Meyer. Afterall, I believe the fan base wants to remember the Tress we knew for ten years, minus the puzzle pieces the NCAA discovered in late 2010.

With those two thoughts in mind, let's go back to Saturday's celebration. Those not connected to the football program by alliance or fanhood despise what they saw on their televisions (or live, in Sharp's case) as players from that 2002 championship team hoisted Jim Tressel on their shoulders to the approval of 105,000-plus within Ohio Stadium. They don't understand how a fan base, much less an entire institution, can celebrate a man who brought a "Failure to Monitor" upon their historically successful football program.

What they fail to realize, in my opinion, is that the hiring (and subsequent success) of Urban Meyer has allowed us all to look forward to likely successes while looking backwards at the recent success that brought the program to where it is today rather than the downfalls that took the program to where it landed in 2011. Last year was a season of epic frustration for all involved, inside and outside of the lines on the field, but now serves as a simple bridge between (potentially) two successful eras of Ohio State football.

The Buckeyes were 11-0 going into Saturday's first half fans, what is there to dwell on?

According to Drew Sharp, plenty.

I've maintained this for years, much to the chagrin of Michigan fans fooling themselves that the Wolverines and Buckeyes are competitive equals. For better and worse, Ohio State's actions last week reaffirmed why it's the Big Ten's only reasonable shot at restoring national credibility.

The Buckeyes have no conscience.

Pardon me? Exactly what does Saturday's celebration, or willingness to do so, have to do with being competitive equals? The university didn't know of Jim Tressel's actions (or lack there of) as they unfolded behind the scenes. Neither did Urban Meyer or the twenty-five commitments who pledged their services to his program in the 2012 recruiting class. I simply don't understand the point Sharp is trying to make.

But the more important countdown begins after tonight's (B1G Championship) game when the Big Ten finally can get the team it really wants on this stage -- the Buckeyes.

So now it's a conspiracy?

Sharp's holier-than-thou article lays direct aim at a university that he chooses to call, "ethically flexible." Would he have taken the time to opine had Ohio State kept Luke Fickell in charge and posted a 7-5 record this season? What if the Buckeyes had dusted off another name from coaching's unemployment line and gone anything but 12-0 two seasons after dismissing Jim Tressel? Certainly not.

His post wasn't aimed at the university at all, in spite of the adjectives he chose to use to describe it. It wasn't aimed at Jim Tressel, the players who lifted him to their shoulders last Saturday or the fans who cheered him. His cross hairs were directly pointed at Urban Meyer and his still-unblemished record as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. They were pointed at the success of the future, the potential of another dominant decade of Ohio State football and the position the conference is now in to play catch up. Again.

He started his article with a tone of astonishment: "It was a surreal moment, but it underscored with absolute clarity Ohio State's football mission statement."

He was pretending to describe Saturday's celebration of a former Ohio State football coach returning to the stadium he ruled for a decade before a fall from grace. Instead it was the perfect description for the 26-21 cap put on a perfect season by a man who will change the competitive landscape of an entire conference.

He was right in one sense - the Buckeyes are indeed the Big Ten's only reasonable shot at restoring national credibility, but for reasons Drew Sharp was unwilling to admit in print.



Comments Show All Comments

gosolow2000's picture

If I could upvote this I would. You expressed so many of the things that came to mind as I read this article. Fortunately for me, I only read it
It is 7:14 PM and TSUN still sucks.

TheTenYearWar's picture

Though I disagree with what most of Sharp had to say, I do think it was wrong to bring Jim Tressel back for the celebration of the 2002 team.

Pam's picture

yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

TheTenYearWar's picture

I know. That's why I used the word "think."

Pam's picture

Not a Big Lebowski fan are you?

741's picture

Clearly he's not a golfer, man.

Pam's picture

He is out of his element

William's picture

He's clearly out of his element.
Edit: Damnit Pam, you beat me to it.

TheTenYearWar's picture

Oh I know the quote.  It just didn't make any sense as a response to my comment.

Pam's picture

That's because you are out of your element. Clearly.

GoBucks713's picture


-The Aristocrats!

M Man's picture

You read a Drew Sharp column four times?  You should be admitted thorugh an emergency department, for a head CT and an MRI.  It could result in permanent brain damage.

Grant Edgell's picture

I don't remember sh*t after reading it once and I knew I wanted to respond to it so figured I better read it again. I don't disagree with you though. It felt a little like getting your balls caught in a bicycle chain - I imagine.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I wish I could upvote this a million times. Reading it ONCE, let alone four times, could cause permanent damage to the brain.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Frankly Scarlet's picture

Embrace the hate. 
Besides, Drew's schtick is to take the low road. I have lived in the Detroit area for almost 20 years, and I honestly can't recall him saying anything positive about any team, especially Detroit-area teams. 

"Buclkle your chinstrap, we're gonna grind meat!" - Woody Hayes  

Toilrt Paper's picture

There are many north of Toledo who wish Ohio State would seek mediocrity and be an equal of U of M.

KBonay's picture

To counter Mr Sharp, I was at The Game.  And I was standing and applauding the 2002 National Champion team.  To assume we were all giving Tress a standing O is absurd.  And if I recall, I don't think I saw any fans lifting Coach on their shoulders.  It was an act by the team in which he coached, not a voluntary action from 105k plus. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

The thing that amazed me the most about the article, was the fact that Detroit still has a newspaper.

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

bodast67's picture

they gotta put the want ads somewhere, no one there can afford internet anymore.




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

Nutbuck1959's picture

Amazing what jealousy causes people to do.

Jugdish's picture

I just don't understand why ttun believes that their coach and players from Ohio are better and have more character than our coach and players from Ohio. Urban is a fine person with high moral character. It just so happens he is one of the two best coaches in the US. Sports writers can dog us all they want, but we can stand firm in our beliefs of the tOSU and the coaches and players of that great university. It is no conspiracy. It is the mindset of our fans, players, and coaches that we will always do our best to support all of Ohio and reach for the sky.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

OhioBornMichiganBred's picture

Drew Sharp is a hack. His shtick is to take incredibly controversial opinions and use completely baseless arguments to support his crackpot theories. He's the worst.
Giving him page views is a losing proposition - that's why you'll see a TON of Michigan fans avoiding the Free Press at all costs.
People here will defend Tressel's presence at The Game until they die, and whether or not I agree with you is immaterial. One thing we can all agree on is that Drew Sharp is a bag of dicks.

Jarrett's picture

Drew Sharp is a very sad person- I feel sorry for the guy. To live with such stupidity and to exploit your own stupidity every day? One can't take him seriously, so why bother reading anything he vomits to the public. He is a very sad person with a sad, little life. The best thing for him is to hit bottom and then, maybe he will start acting like a normal person. For now, he actually gets paid to be a small, little man, expressing his narrow views, in the eye of the media. 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 


HolyBuckeye1093's picture

Drew Sharp is the Mike Bianchi of the north. Complete and utter garbage!

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Sharp is bitter because he knows the Big Ten will be dominated by Ohio State as long as Meyer is the head coach there. There is a big gap of greatness between Meyer and the rest of the coaches in the conference. Sharp knows it. He saw how his favorite coach was outcoached in Columbus.

3technique's picture

I feel dumber and I didn't even read it. Get used to the hateraid boys!

Iron_Buckeye's picture

IMHO I didn't see a problem with honoring Tress along with the 2002 team, heck it would've been an injustice and awkward to not have him there. If you can't find a place in your heart to forgive a man after all the good that he has done, that's some cold $hit. Heck I'm not perfect and I've never met anyone who was. Hate is easy, forgiveness takes work.

“The minute we stop expecting greatness from our football program, we become Wisconsin.” Craig Krenzel