In 1781, the original 13 states were still mired in a lengthy and costly Revolutionary War. Knowing that they needed some kind of statement of purpose and design for their new country, they threw together and ratified one of the dumber documents in America's history, the Articles of Confederation. It wasn't all bad, but it was still mostly bad, and so in 1787 they tried again, and got it mostly right.
Still, there were some people who weren't wholly happy with it. Enter the Bill of Rights. The entire point of the Bill of Rights was that unless you explicitly spelled out the rights guaranteed to (white, male, land-owning) citizens, said (white, male, land-owning) citizens might get a big ol' governmental boot up their freedom holes with little recourse to remove it.
They were pretty controversial at the time, but today you'd be hard pressed to find many people who'd say that the Anti-Federalists got this one wrong; Americans are all about speaking their mind, not getting tried for the same crime twice, and having the ability to own Sherman tanks if they want.
Anyway, I'd say that on this, the day of American independence, it's time for a Buckeye Bill of Rights. A collection of statements and values that protects our most sacred values as a fanbase. Button Gwinnett would be proud.
Ohio State fans shall make no law respecting the establishment of a "true fan," or abridging the freedom of someone to say that maybe it's kinda Jim Tressel's own fault he got fired, or the right to make blogs with dumb jokes, or of the right of the fans to peaceably assemble and petition the football gods to redress their grievances.
Look, this is the first and obviously the one of the most important amendments. There's a lot about America that is both good and bad, but one thing that I think we got unequivocally right is the 1st Amendment. And, as Ohio State fans, we should be able to speak our minds respectfully and give voice to what might be some pretty unpopular opinions without getting shouted down. Opinions such as:
- Michigan has a cool fight song
- Our helmets are nice, but not like, mind blowing or anything
- Woody Hayes the coach was at times a mean bully who bordered on abusive
- They need to patch up the facade on Ohio Stadium, the cracking concrete is getting pretty gross
- A college football coach needs long term consistency at the coordinator positions, and Urban isn't ever going to get that
Just opinions! Maybe they're dumb, maybe they're not, but they were all made in good faith. That's what's important.
A well regulated marching band, being necessary to the enjoyment of a football game, the right of the people to keep and bear instruments, shall not be infringed.
Er, wait. So, is this saying that only people in the actual marching band should be able to bring instruments to the game? I mean, they're the ones trained to use them, and we probably don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry running around with an oboe or something during the game and ruining it for everyone else.
On the other hand, who's to say that people can't enjoy a little kazoo action if they want at halftime? Nothing wrong with that, and if anything, it makes being an Ohio State fan a more enriching experience.
I dunno. This is a weird amendment. Too many commas. Let's move on.
No football player shall, in the offseason be quartered in any off-campus housing, without the consent of the renting student, nor during football season, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
This hasn't been an issue since the 1700s, so whatever, I think we're in the clear.
The fans shall be secure in their personal effects, except when at a game and a guy looks really wasted and might start trouble. Keep an eye on that dude. Other than that though, just be cool, okay?
I personally don't think that Ohio Stadium (or any college stadium, really) should sell booze. Sets a bad precedent, and I like that college football atmospheres aren't what you get at an NFL stadium. But I acknowledge that people are going to bring it in anyway, and probably get away with it. 90% of those people don't deserve to be targeted or kicked out, and it's much more important to go after the ones that do than waste time on those that don't.
Also: I want to see more banners and flags in Ohio Stadium. That'd be cool.
No Ohio State player or coach shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb by the NCAA. Except crooked boosters, screw those guys.
Hey NCAA: if you wan to go after a player or a coach on our team for something, you get one crack at it. That's it. If you go ahead and announce that we did something wrong, you'd better come prepared because after we get bored with the story (six Internet Months, which is about two weeks in earth time), you're done.
If, however, you're going after a shady booster, go after those guys forever. They're jerks
A sports program has the right to a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury not in the state of which it resides nor the state in which it's rival program resides, and the right to call witnesses on it's behalf.
How about this, NCAA. If you want to take us to trial again, you have to make all your evidence public, AND make it a public hearing, AND allow us to call character witnesses. By that same token I guess you can too, but good luck trying to find anyone willing to testify against us hahahahaha!
In arguments concerning the best Ohio State linebackers of all time, fans shall not forget to bring up Randy Gradishar, because he was awesome and we always forget about that guy.
Seriously, two time All-American, seven time Pro Bowler, five time All-Pro? 1978 NFL Defensive MVP? Kinda bullcrap this dude isn't in Canton.
Excessive bans may be required, but excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
In a free and open society like Eleven Warriors that still is essentially a dictatorship (like all blogs on the internet), sometimes, sadly, we are forced to ban people for being trolly or mean or whatever. That's a part of life, but we accept it and move on because the last thing we want to do is turn into a certain blog I won't mention after a certain incident involving a really old coach turning a blind eye to some really awful stuff his buddy did.
But! One thing I like about FREEDOM and AMERICA and ELEVEN WARRIORS DOT COM is that we can provide you, the reader, with quality information and opinions on a regular basis for zero dollars and zero cents a month. That's especially important to me, and to ask you to pay top dollar for a tidbit about how a recruit sneezed loudly at Chipotle on High Street seems a tad cruel and unusual.
No rights listed in these Amendments shall be construed to deny or disparage those not listed that the people might have.
You've got rights, and just because they aren't explicitly detailed in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights doesn't mean that they can be violated by the government. This amendment was insisted upon by James Madison, who pointed out that if it wasn't added, the Federal Government could claim that all rights derive from the Constitution and therefore a right had to be listed to apply to the people.
Oops, forgot to make a joke!
Powers not explicitly given to Ohio State, or the NCAA, or to sarcastic bloggers, are reserved to you, the fan.
And that's what America is about.
The strength of this country isn't that it's inherently awesome, or that we're the greatest country on earth because we say it over and over and over. It's real power is that a nation of hundreds of millions can talk and think and debate and ultimately change for the better together, thanks to the freedoms that we have given ourselves.
So when you watch and talk about Ohio State football, don't cheer and yell and argue and laugh because it's "who we are" or "what we do" or any of the other pablum that we like to throw at each other once a year. Cheer and yell and argue and laugh because every time you do, you make those rights just a little more protected.
That's what's important. Not how big the flag is that we wave or how loudly we proclaim that we're the best. It's about how strong we can make each other.