Are You Ready for Some…?
For those of you not in Columbus, this past Saturday marked the beginning of the Ohio State University’s football season. I say those of you not in Columbus because if you had been in Columbus there is literally no way you could not be aware of this fact. You could have been living under the proverbial rock for the past four months, but if that rock was anywhere in Franklin County, you would know that the Buckeyes were playing Youngstown State in the home opener at 12:00 on Saturday September 1st.
Please don’t take this post as a rant against the unfortunately named sport of football (where the only time feet enter into the game are at the beginning of play, after an unsuccessful drive, and for a handful of virtually meaningless points). I enjoy American football from time to time. It can be a highly entertaining game. But the levels to which it has been elevated in this country border on the absurd. And for my money, the absurdity reaches its pinnacle here in lovely Columbus, Ohio.
Consider that all the local news outlets have been providing in depth coverage of the upcoming game for the previous week. This is for a game against Youngstown State. I imagine most of you reading this have heard of the Ohio State University. How many have heard of Youngstown State? The game was a massacre. The only points they put on the board were two field goals. And we have to endure in depth analysis of that? How many ways can you say we will/are/have beat the pants off them?
And despite this the game was a sellout. But even beyond the 100,000 people at the game, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing people wearing scarlet and gray. At my former branch, we could adjust the public service schedule based on the game times. Basically from 12:00 to 3:00 there would be about 10 people in the library, and 5 of them would be watching the game online.
But the fun doesn’t stop when the game is over. Oh no, now we’ve got to celebrate our triumph over the football powerhouse that is Youngstown State. So on my ride back home through campus I see even more scarlet and gray, but now it’s football jerseys tied provocatively at the waist over a miniskirt, with enough makeup to put a hooker to shame. Seriously, do you think those women were celebrating the victory? No, I think they were, in the vernacular, “going to get, like, totally wasted.”
OSU’s recently resigned president Karen Holbrook caught some flak last week for describing OSU as having a culture of rioting. She basically had to retract the comments once word got back to C’bus. But why? It doesn’t change the fact that OSU students, and perhaps more importantly local party animals, all head to campus after a football game and put the excesses of ancient Rome to shame. Holbrook caught flak all through her short career as a Buckeye for trying to bring this under control. She said that the attitude she encountered was that “You’re a goodie two-shoes. You don’t understand what it is to be a Buckeye.” Well, if being a Buckeye means drinking to the point of oblivion to celebrate trouncing a team that had no business even getting on the field with a ranked Division I team, then I don’t want any part of it either.