One of the greatest things about being a Buckeye fan is seeing the many examples of young people who really live the truth that it's not what happens to you but how you respond to it that's important. I feel bad that this re-injury has occurred, but I am touched and inspired by his example. He's already a winner in my opinion.
This story is just sad. I never would have expected this from him. Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but he pretty much admitted his crime to the arresting officers. Just very, very sad.
Add another vote for this one. I put this one in the top 5, as it had all the features of the other classics, and for me was Troy Smith's signature game. As someone else mentioned, 2006 was ruined for me by the loss to the Gators. Bowl games made both OSU and UM look like pretenders instead of contenders.
My first loss iike that was the '69 loss to Bo and his defensive stone wall that Woody's greatest team couldn't breach for most of three quarters
It was inconceivable, unbelievable, and devastated my world almost as much as JFK being shot in Dallas six years earlier on a late November Friday. I apologize if that sounds blasphemous, but subjectively, that best describes the level of shock and actual grief I experienced after that game.
At the time, I couldn't fathom how my dad was able to handle the loss so cavalierly. He just said "terrible thing" in the mocking voice he used when we kids were upset and over-reacted to something. I hear younger people speak of the 2007 loss to Florida as being their rock-bottom as Buckeye fans, but for me, that doesn't come anywhere near '69. I had a bad feeling the Florida loss might be coming after watching the Wolverines, fresh off of the 2006 edition of "The Game", perform so dismally against USC in the 2007 Rose Bowl.
My point being, the lows are indeed terrible, but the high points and the shared joy and triumph with others in "the family " are more than adequate compensation. And this season has been a special one that one loss won't-in time-dampen.
But Ramzy is right, and I would add make sure you maintain other passions/interests to help keep you on a more even keel.
Thanks so much for your post. Very nice job.
I like the way you phrased this. I wanted to name Penn State. I have a looonnnng memory, and Penn State has been a perennial football power* as long as I have been following the Buckeyes.
But since I live in PA, I hate to grant them that status and inflate the ballooning egos of their fans even more. But calling them "secondary" rivals serves to acknowledge the program's stature while simultaneously, and subtly, dissing them.
*I have to add that this is more based on historical performance before joining the B1G. I had always maintained that their impressive W/L record prior to joining the conference was due partially to having a fairly weak schedule most years, as an independent in the East. Their fans called in the Cleveland sports radio station I listened to, and pissed and moaned about joining the "lowly Big 10", how it was such a step down for PSU, and boasting how they'd be in Pasadena 4 out of the first 5 years of their conference membership.
I predicted that their fortunes would tend in the opposite direction, and have seldom been so gratified in being proved abundantly correct.
And I gotta emphasize for the record what a fantastic accomplishment that was. I was as frustrated with Cooper's "malaise" as anyone, but I have been vexed throughout the intervening years that people seem to have forgotten how utterly dominant OSU appeared during the '95 and '96 seasons. Of course that made the season-ending train wrecks all the more outrageously unacceptable, but I those were some really sweet victories you mentioned there...
Wow! Matta picked this year for LBJ to return to Cleveland!?! I really haven't been giving him enough credit!! TM rocks!!!
Sorry, forgot to use the sarcasm font. :P
It would be interesting to get the players' take on this topic.
God I wish I could do that. Well done sir!
His stats speak for themselves, and I see no point in continuing to treat him as a pariah; he has commented that he is bothered by the ongoing resentment toward him among some of OSU's fans.
Having said that, I have had the opportunity of talking with some of his contemporaries from Jeanette HS, as well as a few parents, and they pointed out the air of entitlement he carried during his high school days, which only seemed to get worse once he played at the college level. As gifted an athlete as he was, he seemed have a chronic sense of being under-appreciated, even in high school. That sense continued to dog him while he was here, and I think contributed to the feeling among some that he never quite lived up to the expectations that all the hype around him generated. It also led him to say dumb things to the media.
But he is, after all, one of our own, and his accomplishments were/are outstanding. He should be honored for all the positive things he did for the program.
I'd always wondered why there was no real follow-up in mentions of his stellar accomplishments. Thank you, Johnny for enlightening me about what I intuitively knew but didn't want to acknowledge.
This was pretty much the same type of effort we saw out of UM for all of the latter half of this past season, except of course their game against OSU...smh...
Dear fellow Nutinpa,
Well, when you put it like that...I guess so!!
Seriously, I had not laid all 3 of "The Game" s out like that, all in a row, to ponder...
I'll waste no more tears on them skunkweasels!
To that, I can only say amen!
If I could +1 you for this,sir, I surely would. "Fight" songs for the service academies pack extra resonance and poignance.
Thank you, and thanks to them.
I'll probably take a hit for this, but as a long-time Buckeye fan, while I think your assessment of the current state of the Wolverine's program is valid, it is axiomatically true that a victory over a depleted foe has less value.
I know how agonizingly frustrating the repeated losses during the Cooper years were. I remember driving to work and screaming at the radio post game analysis after the 1996 loss and wanting to just bag the whole rivlary thing if we weren't going to even show up any more. I mention this because many commenters here seem to have crystallized their hatred of TTUN during those years. But my formative years were during the late 1960's-70's, and I wish to emphatically state that beating Bo's best teams made our whole subsequent winters seem cozy and wonderful. Those games when both teams were ranked within the top 5 or so in the nation were sources of great anxiety and anticipation as the seasons progressed, and while the losses were bitter beyond my power to describe, the victories carried a savor and a warmth that seems lacking now.
The other benefit to having both programs so highly ranked was that "The Game" commanded national attention and envy, and I maintain there has never been a better time to be a Buckeye.
So I have mixed feelings about Blue's current malaise. There is undeniably some satisfaction in schadenfreude, but ultimately, as their period of mediocrity lengthens, I feel we're losing out on something too.
And so I was heartened somewhat when this year's game came down to the final play. It brought back many fond (and not-so-fond) memories.
Thanks for that!! Never knew the words to this. I'll be humming/singing this all evening. And I'll raise a glass to the Midshipmen!
Thanks to both Larry and Nutinpa for these posts.
As I saw Dantonio develop his team over the course of the season, I felt both anticipation, and honestly a bit of dread as it appeared more likely that we would face them in the championship game. I felt that their strengths matched up favorably (for them) with our weaknesses and that we would need our absolute best game to beat them.
Unfortunately, we only got that for about 20 minutes, but our Buckeyes still made a thrilling battle out of it during that time. Congratulations to the Spartans. We nonetheless have ample reason to be proud. I think MSU's current ranking more closely matches where they should have been for the latter half of the season. I don't envy Stanford.
It has been frustrating during some past seasons to watch the Bucks be outmatched by clearly superior efforts from good teams, but this team gave it their all, and more than earned our continued praise and support.
GO BUCKS!! BEAT CLEMSON!!
Wise words there. I already have similar things to balance against the pain of a buckeye loss. So it's not as if a loss is devastating now. Moderation in all things...
Losing still sucks though...
I have no immediate plans to abandon my obsession with "The Rivalry" or "The Game"; there's way too much history and I have invested too much emotion to abandon it now at this stage of life.
But this is an intriguing post, especially in light of the upcoming re-alignment in the B1G, and MSU's status as an annual game on OSU's schedule for the foreseeable future. I think Dantonio and his staff will be formidable in coming years, and can feel the intensity level of competition within our division increasing already. In short, I think MSU would make a dandy additional rival for Ohio State, and look forward to possibility of having some good rivalry games in the 'Shoe during warmer weather than the last week of November. And thank you for emphasizing the idea of mutual respect. I personally think all the emphasis on hate gets a tad overplayed.
Much as I do love the shirt, I have to agree with this. I wouldn't buy it unless it were somehow approved by Marcus Hall himself. Otherwise, it might come off as mocking him.
It's refreshing to see a player express heartfelt remorse as opposed to all those "apologies" required by administrators and/or lawyers.
And because of his actions, he was forced to sit for his final year edition of "The Game", which turned out to be one for the ages.
No one outside of the OSU/UM communities can comprehend what a severe punishment that is. So nuts to all the pundits complaining that Urban should have added on further suspension.
He's suffered enough already.
I guess that all depends on perspective. It pretty much sounds like classic-older-Jackson to me. I enjoyed his calling of that game, and I can't think of a currently active game analyst/team that I like as well. But, each to his own. I'm just an old fart.
Interesting that you say that. I know from reading interviews with him that he was good friends with Don Canham, Michigan's AD who hired Bo, and that he took a dim view of some of Woody's more violent outbursts, but I never ran across anything where he came off as critical of OSU generally.
Do you know of any critical or negative things he said about the Buckeyes? Just curious...