Buckeye Nation, I beg you to repent, ask for forgiveness, sacrifice a chicken or something.
I know there are long suffering fan bases throughout this great nation. I know there are lovable losers and plenty of folks who have had their collective hearts ripped out by their favorite sports teams, but I contend that being an Ohio State Buckeyes fan is as tough as it gets in the world of sports.
That statement will strike a chord with Buckeye fans, and it will likely flat out piss off fans of teams who have never been to the top of the mountain. I can see the comments to follow, "I would take 50 seasons of losing for just 1 National Championship" or "you are a spoiled a-hole" or perhaps some even less flattering than those. Well, you can't please everyone.
So it begs the question in my mind..........WHY???? What did Ohio State do to deserve such heartache??? Please someone tell me so we can atone and move on. Move on to happy days filled with B1G championships and Heisman Trophies and crystal trophies. At this point I would actually just be happy to move on to happy days without National TV embarrassments. Forget about the championships for a bit, just give me a winning season and a win over Michigan. How many Hail Mary's do I have to say for that? How many chicken carcasses need to be in my trash bin to accomplish that modest goal?
The list is getting almost too long to bear. Desmond Howard's pose, 41-14, 38-24, 0-9, 35-3 those were all really painful, however, some others have even been harder to stomach like 24-28 in 1998, 2-10-1, 22-25 in C-bus vs VY, 15-18 in 2009, 21-24 2009 Fiesta Bowl, Tatgate et. al, and now 27-34 in Lincoln. PAIN. NIGHTMARE. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL.
What makes it soooooooooooo hard is that it seems to always come with a tease. A late lead against VY's Texas.........dagger. A late lead against USC in 2009...........dagger. A late lead against Texas in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl...........dagger. A win over an SEC team in a bowl............erased, and now 2011 Lincoln. Feelings of hope and visions of victory all snatched away with a rolled ankle..................dagger.
Of course most of those losses come with a counterpart win. 1997 Rose, 2002 Michigan, 2002 Fiesta, 2006 Michigan, 2010 Rose and the feeling after 2011 Sugar will never be completely erased. Celebration. Joy. Adrenaline Rush. You know what though? The pain lasts longer. The pain hurts more. The pain keeps you up at night. The pain sucks.
So where do we go from here? Of course we will press on. We will cheer. We will gnash teeth. We will suffer and we will celebrate, but the pain has left scars that will never go away. Perhaps that's just comes with the territory, but right now that doesn't seem to give me any comfort.