BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture


Member since 06 July 2013 | Blog

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Fellow Buckeyes, I didn't particularly care for college sports until the beautiful day in 2007 when I learned that I had been accepted to Ohio State's stellar Creative Writing MFA Program. From that moment, I have found great happiness in succumbing to the benign tribalism that comes with being a fan of Buckeye sports. (I don't REALLY think that the Wolverines are evil subhumans, but it's fun to engage in good-natured taunting.) Ohio State has a stellar history of nurturing both great writers and great athletes. I hope to contribute poems that will continue both traditions and reinforce that Buckeye sports are really a long and wonderfully complicated narrative.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2008 Michigan Game. At the Shoe. We win. (Of course.)
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER: Current: Kenny Guiton. Past: Brandon Saine.
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER: Current: Aaron Craft. Past: William Buford.
  • MLB TEAM: Detroit Tigers

Recent Activity

Comment 14 Feb 2014

OSUStu's image, it seems to me, is making light of those who long for things from the past just because they're from the past.  Folks who use typewriters just because they want others to think they are cool.  Folks who wear clothes and get tattoos in order to communicate the superficial impression that they are cool just because.  Folks are laughing because hipsters who wear scarves in June just for the image aren't very interesting; they aren't very deep and they don't really have anything to say.

Ironically, these are many of the problems folks have with the new site.  The pictures are pretty but large.  The text is huge and is spaced very widely...it looks like Apple, but it's hard to read.  The menus and links to discussion topics are hidden and change depending on how big the window is on your screen. Again, like Apple; the minimalism reduces functionality.  Yes, I know that the "SB Nation" format is "cool" and "trendy."  It's just harder to use and puts the emphasis on pictures instead of words. 

I'm more than happy to repeat another thing I've said: the folks who create and run the site work very hard and have only the best intentions.  And they toil for the best possible reason: they want to share their love for the Buckeyes with us and help all of us form a stronger relationship with all of our Ohio State student-athletes.  It's also very clear that the powers that be have no intention of reducing the amount of great writing they present, and that's what really matters.  Rest assured, no matter what the site looks like or how it functions, I'd happily buy an 11W staffer a beer if I came across one.

I know that the Internet and American society are increasingly turning toward style over substance--believe me, only a small fraction of college students can identify Iraq on a map or name a Supreme Court justice...or even a Beatles song.  I just feel strongly about the change as a result of my distress over this kind of thing.

Comment 07 Feb 2014

Evanston - I do hope it's clear I'm not just being a jerk to the hardworking people who have done so much for this site.  I would be pretty angry if someone just crapped on something into which I put so much labor and thought and time.  I understand that the whole Internet is going to a shallower click-on-this-slideshow format.  (11W is still providing great content, of course.)  One of the reasons I hate SB Nation, etc. is that the articles are 100 words long, were just copy/pasted from another site and there are 12,000 pictures on a page that takes forever to load and sometimes crashes my computers.  11W is very much interested in great content, but these other sites are not, and it shows.  Those sites are clearly clickbait ad revenue delivery systems.

NJCLEBUCKEYE5 - This is the United States of America and I wouldn't take away your love of Apple, even if I had a magic wand.  I disagree greatly with respect to the ease of use of Apple products.  Yes, I know that you can buy a mouse with two buttons, but Apple mice only have one button.  They're harder to use.  Even the on/off switches are hidden; Apple prefers to make things that look sexy than work well. (And I hate their DRM and refuse to do iTunes.) I do think "intuitive" is a problem with respect to computers and computer programs...how does the computer know what I want?  The newer versions of Word have hidden all of the menus.  What in the world was the point of that?  Perhaps the thing that confuses me most is that the box that comes up when you hit CTRL+F will no longer give you FIND and FIND/REPLACE options.  I still don't know what happened to FIND/REPLACE.  I will need it someday.

Another thing that confuses me about this trend toward eliminating usefulness: There was a site that featured spreadsheets for teachers; you know, you can download the spreadsheets and they make it easy to figure out a grade once you pop in the value of each paper.  Well, one semester, I went to try and find the spreadsheet, but the links were gone.  I asked what happened to the links and I was told that they were eliminated so the page would look cleaner.  The files were still available, but they were only accessible through clairvoyance, apparently. 

Comment 07 Feb 2014

I will also express my appreciation that the site is run by such dedicated people.  I guess I'm not completely bummed about an update, but the sites that are using this kind of new format (SB Nation, Slate, Salon, AV Club) are very hard to use.  There are too many pictures and not enough text.  (And the pictures are so big!)  Each line of text is spaced very widely and the text is far larger than it needs to be.  Yes, I can scroll down on the sizing of the page, but then the sidebars are too small.  And some of the sidebars are gone. 

Menus and navigation should always be more obvious and useful; not less.  I once spent a ton of time at AV Club and Salon and Slate.  I no longer spend much time at these places.  Why?  Everything is hidden.  The menus, when they do still exist, are difficult to find.  The Apple-esque obsession with design is resulting in web pages that are harder to use.  Yes, a larger top bar makes a site a little messier and uglier...but it helps people find the articles they are looking for.  (And didn't know they were looking for.)  A few menus on the side of the screen clutter up the design, too.  But they help people use the site. 

From what I can tell so far, this redesign isn't as bad as the ones I've mentioned; I guess I just dislike that we're in a society in which folks seem to care more about how things look than the quality of the information they receive.  (And I'll reiterate that the information here is amazing.)

Comment 07 Feb 2014

I love the site and I know how very hard the mods and admins work on it, but I just deeply dislike this Web 2.0 thing that is going on now.  I hate it at The Onion AV Club and Slate and Salon, too.  The text is so big and widely space.  The emphasis seems to be on pretty pictures on these sites.  (It's part of the Apple-ization of the Internet...form over function.)  I just don't understand why sites would make it HARDER to find things and use things.

I'll get over it; but these kinds of formats are made to be looked at instead of used.

Comment 16 Jan 2014

Both of you are right, but you're both undercutting your own point.  A big reason that Brax is worth so much is that he's an OHIO STATE BUCKEYE.  Any player who is the quarterback of the Buckeyes is going to be "worth" a lot.  It's a symbiotic relationship, particularly when Brax isn't LOSING any money because the NFL won't let him join their league until he's three years out of high school.

Now imagine Derek Jeter is a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider instead of a New York Yankee.  Is he worth $18 million a year?  Wouldn't you agree that (with few exceptions) ANY minor league shortstop is "worth" less than his major league counterpart?

Comment 16 Jan 2014

Cool comment.

I disagree about value, however.  It's not fair to compare an MLB/NFL player to a D-I player.  The NCAA is the farm system for the NFL; minor leaguers get FAR, FAR less than the major league average. 

You also have to bear in mind the costs of attending college.  Look at the out-of-state tuition costs alone!  I'm not sure 50 grand would give them the lifestyle they currently enjoy.  And while Buckeye football might still be profitable, we would lose a lot of other sports programs in order to remain in the black.

And we're not even thinking about the programs that aren't as flush as ours.  There would be very little competitive balance.  Right now, we're competing with a lot of schools.  Maybe we lose a guy because he can get more playing time at a smaller school with a less-profitable team.  If you offer that guy 100 grand, there's a lot lower chance he'll go to a school for athletics or even a better football experience.

Comment 16 Jan 2014

So we spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not players should be paid.  Maybe we're asking the wrong question: How much should the players pay?  If we're compensating them according to their financial value, we certainly can't believe that a third-string defensive end is worth all of the costs that are put into him: tuition, room, board, travel cost, stipend, health care, support staff...  I think the vast majority of players would be in a worse position financially if they were required to do the same thing as a lot of other college athletes and to take out loans to pay their tuition and room and board. 

In baseball, first-year pro players get about 1100/month during the season and a food per diem of $20.  Our Buckeye football players are a lot better off than most minor league ballplayers.  The primarily free-market system employed in baseball is the same market that results in sky-high salaries for coaches.  Schools wouldn't pay the coaches a ton of money if they didn't believe it was financially responsible to do so. 

Title IX is always a big concern in cases like these.  There were big controversies as Title IX settled in; wrestling teams that had been at a college for 100 years were disbanded to protect the gender balance in the school's athletics department.  Non-revenue athletes already get lower stipends and fewer scholarships...if you're paying the football and basketball players, how will Title IX be affected? 

Comment 15 Jan 2014

Whatifsports is pretty cool.  I've wasted tons of time on their baseball simulator. 


Hmm...what would it have been like had Kenny G started the Big Game?  Would we have suffered without Brax's legs?  Would our D struggle?


Final - 1/15/2014  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Total
2013 Ohio State Buckeyes  10 6 21 13  50
2013 Michigan Wolverines  7 0 3 0  10


Final - 1/15/2014  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Total
2013 Ohio State Buckeyes  0 14 0 0  14
2013 Michigan Wolverines  3 7 3 9  22


2013 Ohio State Buckeyes  6 7 7 14  34
2013 Michigan Wolverines  6 0 3 11  20



Comment 09 Dec 2013

Awesome!  I'm a little bit too bummed only a few days after the loss to write my own poem about the game.  Time heals all wounds, I suppose.

Comment 30 Nov 2013

I don't think anything could replace my Idiocracy wallpaper (Upgrayedd with the military general behind his hoopty), but this is definitely a strong candidate. 

I'll link to the image because so many smart folks are likening Hall's gesture to the one President Camacho made.  There must be an Idiocracy fan or two around.

Comment 12 Oct 2013

HAHAHAHA...Gardner looked like he smelled his own fart and didn't like it.

Comment 12 Oct 2013

Seriously.  The last thing we need is a glut of Manziel autographs; the price will go down.  Then he'll be forced to reduce his fees.

Comment 20 Sep 2013

Friend, they DO get a stipend.  And housing allowance.  And free food.  And free tuition.  And free health care.  And free Gatorade.  And free clothes.  And free bowl gifts. 

From Forbes:

Value of College Football Scholarship Exceeds $2 Million for College Football's Top 25

Another analysis you may find interesting.

While Pryor and Manziel and the superstars may be making under "market value," the other 99% of players are making out like bandits.  You may say that guys like Manziel should be allowed to go to some kind of minor league football, and I don't think I disagree.  Minor league baseball players, on average, receive less value than a college football player, and certainly not the education that boosts their overall earning power.

For the vast majority of colleges, athletics are a losing proposition.  The college subsidizes the football team.  We're very lucky at Ohio State in that the football and basketball teams make the athletics department self-sufficient.

Arian Foster claimed he couldn't eat and pay rent when he was, in fact, receiving free food and free rent.


Comment 20 Sep 2013

I'll build on your point.  In most of these discussions, we really only think about the Pryors or Manziels or Arian Fosters.  Do they make their "market value?"  No. What about all of the other guys on the team?  Would an NFL team, if they were allowed to, pay a D1 backup punter 50 grand a year?  Of course not. The guy would not have a spot on an NFL roster at all.

He might be working as an engineer, a financial planner or a teacher.  Why?  Because he got a free education, free medical care, free housing, free food and excellent academic support for four or five years.