Social Reactions: On Senior Day, Ohio State Puts the Pedal to the Metal and Gets Ready For Michigan

By Johnny Ginter on November 19, 2023 at 7:59 am
Ohio State wide receiver Xavier Johnson

There's a lot of reasons someone might be cynical about the current state of college sports in general and college football specifically. For a long time, it was easy to see it as a refuge from the overly corporatized, money-driven reality that dominates sports and life in every other facet of our lives. While I'm not sure when that actually stopped being the case (probably sometime during the Carter administration), in 2023 it's hard to avoid the seeing the of billions upon billions of dollars that underpins almost every decision made by everyone involved.

But there's still gotta be at least one part of the the game that's innocent and pure and good, and in my humble opinion that's Senior Day.

The thing is, despite all the distractions and money, being a student-athlete in a major college sport is hard. Being a student-athlete playing college football at Ohio State is unbelievably hard. The very literal blood and sweat and tears that go into entertaining the hell out of millions of Midwesterners every Saturday has meaning: to us, but more importantly to the players and families who go through 5 am workouts, painful injuries and subsequent rehab, being pulled in a million different directions by school and sport, and all the other insane and incredible stuff guys like Xavier Johnson, Cody Simon, Tommy Eichenberg, Cade Stover, Miyan Williams, and over a dozen more Ohio State players experienced with each other over the past 4-5 years.

Senior Day is still meaningful because it's not about advertising dollars, or NIL, or goofy scandals involving vacuum cleaner repairmen, or even the fans' relationship with the team. It's about the players' relationships with each other, and with the families that supported them on their journey. We can't really be a part of that journey, not really. But we can applaud as we get to see a small peek into the love and support that got these seniors to where they are now.

One last thing: this was Gene Smith's Senior Day, too. One of the most important and respected athletic administrators in the history of the Big Ten just saw his last home game at Ohio Stadium as Athletic Director, and while there's a lot of retrospectives that'll be written in the summer when he officially retires, I don't want to forget the impact that Smith has made in his time at OSU. He's championed athletics and athletes in a way that many of his predecessors never could and his successor might find difficult to live up to.

Respect to Gene, and everything he's done for Ohio State.





And that's it! You already know what week it is, and we're at DEFCON 1. See you next time.

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