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Offtopicland. This still isn't the place to discuss politics, religion, or hot-button social issues, however.

11W Etiquette: Being a Journalist Without Being an A**hole

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MrChengsaw's picture
June 12, 2014 at 8:44am

First, let me say that like most of you, I'm a huge fan of the website and all things OSU.  Since stumbling across 11 Warriors some time ago, I've really come to appreciate the OSU-flavored infotainment you guys put forth--witty, often acerbic, typically accurate and relevant, I look forward to visiting every morning.

When I read Ramzy's recent piece on the questionable behavior of some fellow OSU fans, my initial reaction, like many of you, was to express my undying gratitude for finally putting these losers in their place.  But, after digesting things a bit, and I realize that this will put me in the minority here, but I can't help but feel compelled to express some of my own concerns in response to Ramzy's article.

Here me out: I'm not condoning what people like Jeff Haug etc. choose to do--whenever I come across that sort of behavior, it's definitely a face-palm moment for me, and much like Buck-I-Guy, Big Nut, and any number of other borderline manic OSU fans, I genuinely wish they'd stop embarrassing themselves, me, and the rest of Buckeye nation.  But, when I do cross paths with these types, do I go out of my way to shout them down or point out the sheer ridiculousness of what they do?  No, because then I'd be that guy with nothing better to do than to criticize the behavior of that guy with nothing better to do.  As misguided as their attempts to express their undying love for Ohio State may be, we have to remember that they are just that: totally misguided, but largely benign.  If you feel so compelled to pull Jeff Haug aside, buy him a beer and brainstorm more productive ways in which he can invest his fan-hood, by all means do so.  Or, you can publish an article that totally puts these guys on blast.

For the record, I'm going to draw a clear distinction between the misguided efforts of fans like Jeff and the straight-up a**hole-ish behavior of fans like Skid21 (as you point out).  College football recruiting has hit a frenetic level and the inevitable implosion will be terrible and brilliant.  It's so easy to get blinded by the stars.  No one's saying that you're not entitled to your opinion, much less that your dissenting opinion isn't welcomed on a public forum.  What I'm saying though, is that you need to remember that your degrading commentary is about someone's son, someone's big brother, someone's mentor, and someone's legacy.  These 16, 17, 18 year old kids are still just kids, regardless of the stars by their names.  And you may be thinking to yourself, "well, I'm just talking about them as football players."  Fair point, but you also have to remember that as 16, 17, 18 year old kids, they define themselves as football players until they come of an age to realize that life is so much bigger than the football field--perhaps something you should remind yourself of as well.

Again, I'm not saying that I don't find the behavior of some of our fellow fans to be embarrassing, ridiculous, and sometimes despicable.  A guy like Jeff, I can't claim to know him personally, but I'm sure he bleeds scarlet and gray just like the rest of us.  And yeah, every time he tweets at a recruit, it's totally cringe-inducing, but if he feels like he's doing anything and everything he can to help out with OSU's recruiting efforts, who are we to tell him otherwise?  After all, he's not a paid journalist covering recruiting for a credentialed media organization that gets millions of hits a week during the offseason.  But Ramzy, you are.

I'm not entirely sure what your objective was by publishing that article.  But if it was to publicly shame a fellow Buckeye into submission, then well, job well done.

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