Official Request: Don’t Taunt the Ohioans.

As basically the only person in the entire state of Ohio who doesn’t actually give a crap about Ohio State football (born and raised in California, remember?), it falls upon me to make the following request: Don’t bring up the game, folks. My entire state doesn’t want to talk about it. Like, really. And probably won’t want to until, oh, 2023 or so.

I make the request primarily out of self-preservation: I live here, you know. I have to deal with these folks. Please, don’t taunt them. They’ll just take it out on me.

I thank you in advance for your co-operation.

45 Comments on “Official Request: Don’t Taunt the Ohioans.”

  1. John,

    Football and world famous Science Fiction writers, that’s really all Ohio has.

    Florida has the beach, the weather, bitch-slap Tigger, Dave Barry, and now the BCS Championship.

    UGGHHH!!!! Damn you Florida!

  2. As a Big Ten alum exiled to Florida, I am possibly the saddest person in the state. Now those darn UF fans are going to be even more insufferable.

    Time to put away my Penn State t-shirt for a few months.

    (and Kelsey, you forgot about the speed-trapping elf. Florida RULEZ!)

  3. Can we taunt the BCS for having “the big game” on the Monday after New Years’ Day? Can we also taunt them for having the most ridiculous “championship” in college sports?

    A pity about UCLA this weekend though…

  4. As a former rabid Wolverines fan, I lost the right to taunt anything Ohioan until sometime next fall. My condolences to your neighbours.


  5. As a fellow transplant, you have my deepest sympathy. A Toledo resident, I get to enjoy the annual ritual of the colors as the Michigan and Ohio State fans show their mindless allegience to colleges that some of them have actually driven past.

    I’m from Pittsburgh, so as I told one of the more rabid individuals, “I don’t have a dog in this fight.”

  6. I can’t stand Florida, and as Jamilyn said, this will only make their fans all the more insufferable. But it does add more weight to the claim that the SEC is the best conference in college football…

  7. I’m sorry, but I fail to have any sympathy for Ohio State fans. Virtually no one in the country even gave Florida a shot to win the game. And during the game, all I heard the announcers do was make excuses for Ohio State’s miserable performance on the field.

    This is what it came down to:
    Ranked #1 all season (on a weak schedule).
    72 total yards of offense.
    4/14, 35 yards from their over-hyped and overrated Heisman Trophy winner.


    Once more, reinforcing the need for a playoff system in NCAA Div I-A football.

    Go Boise State!

  8. Most of us in Cincinnati like to pretend that we are a city-state unto ourselves and don’t care too much about the rest of the state.

    And Florida’s Coach was a UC player and St.X Couch, so go Gators.

  9. I’m no mindless Wolverine fan! I am, however, frequently mindless ABOUT the Wolverine fandom. It’s a fine distinction. I know it.

    Here’s how I see it: For a number of years, nearly EVERY SINGLE bill I paid–housing, utilities, health insurance (we had M-CARE), parking, medical care, child care, etcetera, etcetera and ARGH, was paid to the University of Michigan. That’s not counting the upwards of 20K per year in tuition for that blasted castle they call a law school, and it’s not including the money I spent there during undergrad.

    I’ve now got a student-loan debt the size of a second-mortgage. It was worth it, but yikes.

    I therefore feel (rightly or not) ENTITLED to two things (a) a decent UM football team, and (b) my right to absolutely HATE Ohio State sports teams.

    My reaction to the game last night was a resoundingly mature (and a bit, erm, strident in pitch), “Na-nee Na-nee boo boo!” And my son, he sang the “Oh how I hate Ohio State” song this morning while eating his breakfast. We’ve never gotten into that “If Michigan loses, we’ll root for another Big Ten team” attitude. Well, actually we do get into that, but just not when the other Big Ten team is Ohio State.

    I’m sorry John, I can’t help you out with the not-taunting, I can’t. I just don’t have it in me. I promise I’ll be done with it by the time you get up here for ConFusion, though.

  10. My fiancee went to UM, I went to NYU (GO VIOLETS!), she wanted to cheer for a big ten team but just couldnt get herlself to do it. It was the weirdest thing watching her face last night I didn’t know if she wanted to cry or scream in glee.

  11. No, John, there’s another. Born and raised in Ohio — with family who are OSU alumni, one of whom played under Woody in a Rose Bowl that was arguably the “big game” of the 20th century — I don’t give a crap, either. Not even a token sphincter contraction.
    So, now that that nonsense is over we can get ready for the real Big Event of the Week. Find my foam apple hat, whup up some nachos, crack a cold one and follow the live blogging from Steve’s Macworld keynote at noon EST. Woooo! I still bleed six colors, boy-ee! Hooahh! Vista sux!

  12. “Anonymous Regular, in mortal fear of my family”:

    Speaking from Great State of Nebraska, I know how you feel. It’s just nuts.

    Here in Omaha, the city has to plan for crowd control at 72nd & Dodge (a major intersection) when a National Championship Game is ending in our favor. The crowds show up and take over the street. Just nuts.

  13. I know… Not a problem for quite a while, but according to my Dad: “Just wait till next year!”

  14. I wouldn’t say college football is not relevant. Sure its not relevant compared to what’s going on in Darfur or where ever bad ish is happening in the world. That said, COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS GREAT!

  15. Well, I for one, was born totally devoid of the football-fandom-gene, so I mostly couldn’t give a crap one way or the other.

    On the other hand, my entire family (back in Jacksonville) are rabid Gators fans, so life is infinitely more pleasant when they are basking in victory.

    And on the third(?) hand, I can’t say my experiences while visiting or working in Ohio have been especially wonderful, so…NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!

  16. I went to Pitt to avoid going to OSU; mostly to never see the vast majority of my high school classmates ever again. I suppose I should check in to see if any of my brother’s in-laws committed suicide overnight.

  17. You won’t get any crap from me. I detest talking about sports under any circumstances. Until you brought this up, I wasn’t even aware that particular game had happened.

  18. So, every year during the ramp-up to the University of Michigan and OSU game, the interlibrary loan staff at the two institutions abuse our daily private courier that travels betwixt the two universities to send taunts on book-packaging.

    This year, after they beat us, they sent an “in-your-face WE WIN” taunt.

    So… what you’re saying is… I shouldn’t get out my blue and yellow markers?

  19. I like to have a spiel about the difference between Sports rivalries and bitter sports rivalries.

    A sports rivalry is Michigan-Michigan State; being a wolverines fan, I cheer Michigan, but don’t necessarily wish harm on Michigan State.

    A bitter sports rivalry is Michigan-Ohio State. Being a Wolverines fan you not only don’t want Ohio State to win anything, ever, you hope that on any given day (hopefully on game day) that the earth opens up and swallows Columbus Ohio whole. I know, it is slightly deranged.

    Having travelled through Europe I have come to the conclusion that nothing is more bitter than the soccer rivalries and the worst is Celtic-Rangers (the two big Glasgow teams). About 1/3 of the fan base for both Celtic and Rangers come from Belfast; Celtic is the catholic team and Rangers is the protestant team. I was in Belfast in the summer of 1990 and it was really frightening to see Grafitti that said “Go Rangers” or “Go Celtic”. The underlying political context of the grafitti turned it really ugly.


  20. As an Ohioan, I regretfully admit that OSU is, to some, a cult.

    Years ago, I made the mistake of wearing a Michigan t-shirt on High Street, Columbus. It was a gift from my folks, and where I went to school, grown ups didn’t really care that you owned clothing with logos from another educational institution on it.

    A couple buddies and I were on a bar hopping road trip punctuated with hitting the dusty second hand book and record stores. I was threatened with violence. It wasn’t the “ha, ha a Michigan shirt” sort of jocularity, but a real threat to spill blood. Having a dangerous looking (but harmless) buddy with me probably prevented an ugly fight.

    Years later I mentioned to a devout OSU grad that if he really enjoyed watching men in tights running around and groping one another he should try ballet, since the music was better.

    He was not amused. (His wife, the football widow, was though.)

  21. Football? Who gives a crap about a girly-man affair like football?

    Speaking as an Alaskan: if it ain’t got dogs hooked to a sled in it, it ain’t a sport. When is the last time you saw the offensive line cross 1100 miles of ice? Or sleep outside at -40F? Pantywastes. Or dodge rapid moose on the gridiron. Never, that’s right, never!

    One month to the Iditarod! If you watch CNN sports closely you might even see me in the crowd on 4th Street in Anchorage at the ceremonial start. I’m the guy in the Austrailian navy boonie hat (ANZAC) yelling my brains out.

  22. On this very website a while ago, John asked what we wanted to happen for the rest of the year. I said I wanted to see UF play in the National Title game. Someone responded that it was never going to happen. To him, I say “Nah Nah.”

    As for life in Gainesville, FL, it is good right now. There was possibly the most civilized sports celebration I’ve ever seen. I think the worst thing that happened is someone tore down an ornamental tree. No fires, no cars flipped, no tear gas. It was fun, but incredibly friendly. Hugs were being given to everyone you saw, and after an hour, no one could scream anymore, let along talk.

    Go Gators. Sorry Ohio. There’s always next year.

  23. Nathan,

    “we have to settle for this:

    What? No giant inflatable rats? I like the name of the race, but it needs it’s own cable sports channel to really hit the big time.

    (and yeah, I’m pretty much just surfing the Whatever today, later I may go get lunch depending how motivated I’m feeling)

  24. Andrew, precisely. On the day of the Michigan v MSU game this year, the Tigers won. After the game, MSU and Michigan fans partied TOGETHER over baseball in downtown Ann Arbor. When MSU is playing, and they’re not playing Michigan, not only do I not wish them harm, I hope they win.

    Sam: Take that back.

  25. The same goes for the rivalry between Florida and Georgia. It helps that we play at a neutral site (Jacksonville). But before the game, there’s taunting, but overall its friendly and fun. After the game, everyone goes to the Landing (an outdoor type mall near the stadium with alot of bars and restaurants) and has a good time.

    It also helps that Florida always seems to win that game, of course.

  26. This obsession my college sports is just one of those facets of American life that look just plain bizarre to us out here.

    Of course, we have local professional football (I guess you call them soccer) teams that don’t get moved around at the whim of owners (yet) As for rivalries – well Rangers/Celtic is just plain ugly (and is palely reflected in Liverpool and Manchester) while we members of the Toon Army can lose 34 matches a season just so long as we beat the Mackems (that’s Newcastle United and Sunderland) Mind you, compared with Roma/Lazio or Real Madrid/Barcelona none of us have got off the starting line yet. Latins take it really seriously – murderously seriously.

  27. John,

    Two questions: Was there a game last night?? and
    What are you doing out here in the tall corn?

    Two years ago, my husband and I moved our family from Carlsbad, CA back to my hometown, Covington, Ohia, after being out in the world for 25 years. He reluctantly joined the Eagles last year because one simply MUST. I just read the exciting news in their monthly flyer that you will be appearing there later this month. Can’t wait to meet you even though I’d never heard of you until a few hours ago.

    Love your politics, and look forward to reading your books.

  28. Oh, is THAT what was going on in the Big Silver Muffin yesterday?

    All I knew was that there was some sort of game being played there, and that a whole big bunch of crazy people had paid upwards of thousands of dollars for tickets (each!, not collectively), and that it was definitely NOT a part of town I wanted to be near while it was happening.

    Crazy people, I tell ya.

  29. Well, as a third-generation UF graduate who actually went to the game, it’s all I can do to stay even just barely on the right side of civil. We were outnumbered at the game by the red team, and definite underdogs on the field. But the team sure as heck didn’t play like it.

    Not only did the Gators crush Ohio State, but now UF is the only Division I team to hold the national championships in both football and basketball at the same time.

    So, yeah, I think we deserve a little gloating right about now.

  30. Jim Wright:

    “What? No giant inflatable rats? I like the name of the race, but it needs it’s own cable sports channel to really hit the big time.”

    I just found out today that the Idiotarod is having a FrooFraw with CSI:NY over them using the race and name as the set-up for tonight’s episode.

    Is that big time enough for ya?

    Go to for full coverage.

  31. I was raised in Dayton, hotbed of high school football and rabid OSU fans, went away for many years and came back a few years ago. I thought I was the only Ohioan (and UD employee) that doesn’t care about OSU football, UD basketball, or any other combination of college/pro team sport. I’m taking classes at night and even my Litagation professor was bemoaning that they gave us MLK day off instead of OSU game day. Gah.

    I do have a soft spot for the Reds because they were good when I was a kid. Johnny Bench! Pete Rose! Sparky Anderson! And I enjoy the Dayton Dragons games because there isn’t a bad seat in the place.

  32. Nathan: “Is that big time enough for ya?”

    Well, yeah, if it’s on CSI, it’s the big time. Hell, even the REAL Iditarod didn’t make CSI. Yet!

  33. As a former rabid Wolverines fan, I lost the right to taunt anything Ohioan until sometime next fall.

    Stuff and nonsense. You can quietly send gifts and kudos to the people you visit when you drive down to Florida in the winter. They’ve done us a great service.

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