Profiles In Courage, Part 2

By Johnny Ginter on July 23, 2010 at 7:00 am
Last week I delved into some of the more recent and visible superfans that Ohio State football has attracted as of late, and the response to those men was... mixed. At best. In all honesty I was somewhat expecting this, for two reasons: one, no one likes or will ever like an Ohioan in a cowboy hat. Seeing an Ohioan in a cowboy hat is like seeing Henry Kissinger in a tutu. The rational response is "No. Why are you wearing that? Please take that off. You look ridiculous. You are not a ballerina/cowboy. These are not jobs you can attain." And two, let's be honest, with one exception it is hard for me personally, to get too excited about middle aged dudes who are supplementing a convertible with face paint and buckeye necklaces. True superfan passion that doesn't make me see Patton Oswalt everywhere comes from the students, which is why the Lil' Tressels and the like warm my icy black heart to the point of a near thaw. They mean it. So for the last part of Profiles In Courage, I'm going to talk about my favorites, and hopefully they'll be yours too. This week we'll be eschewing the John 3:16 Guy Scale, as everyone in this entry is straight up awesome.

The Littlest Animals

GWAR eat your heart out
Look: These guys took the wrestling motif from James Laurinatis' dad and ran with it. It's pretty much an even more amusing version of whatever the Oakland Raiders fans do on a regular basis, made more entertaining because of the fact that you don't have to acknowledge that you found anything associated with the Oakland Raiders actually entertaining. Act: Just general craziness, WWE-style strutting. That's all these kids needed to do, really. Look insane and pretend to wrestle. Easy. Intangibles: I actually talked to one of these guys when I went to Ohio State, and he was both huge and a pretty cool dude. On the other hand, when you're 6 foot 5 and look like you just raided a Finnish village, probably not a whole lot can make you too upset. On the whole, what is great about these guys is that they looked terrific, made a clear and unique reference to one of our players, and seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. Can't get better than that.

Orlas King, aka Neutron Man

Still the best
Look: A fat guy with a poofy hat. This is irrelevant. Act: You should all know this by now, but at the prompting of the marching band, Neutron Man would break into a fantastic set of gyrations to the Pointer Sister's "Neutron Dance." As powerful as the bomb from which the song derives its' name, King's dance was truly an inspiration to Americans everywhere, showing us that impossible was indeed possible through hard work, fair play, and one hell of a funky synthesizer beat. Intangibles: In all seriousness, Orlas King was the consummate fan. He was a major fundraiser for the marching band and the cheerleaders. I've never heard anything but glowing stories about the guy. And, at my freshman year orientation in 2003, he gave all several thousand of us a speech about respect and fair play that I won't forget. A class act, a great fan, and an incredible dancer.

The Horde (everyone else)

"Vuvuzelas?!? Who needs Vuvuzelas?? Are you ready Harry?"
Look: T-shirts, jerseys, overalls, jorts, mustard stained hoodies, etc. Act: Noise, ridiculousness, penchant for setting dumpster fires, never ending cycle of being elated by and then furious at Tresselball. Intangibles: If Ohio State fans can be described as a whole (something tough to do when you've got a fanbase this big), I think one comparison that is apt is that of the Mongol horde. A relentless, furious mass of terror and rage, where everyday ills such as a poor economy or your boss being a jerk or your shoe getting a hole in it can, for just a few Saturday afternoons a year, be excised through a gridiron meatgrinder of I formations and blindside blitzes. I like that. I like to see that classic midwest stoicism evaporate, if only for a few hours. Someone once told me that going to an OSU football game is like going to church. And in a sense, it is. Our burdens of everyday life are annihilated every fall as the brute force of smashmouth football pummels our cares to dust. And we love every second of it. So there you go. If there's anybody I left out, give them a shout our in the comments, and if you have any awesome Neutron Man stories, we'd love to hear those too.