Buckeye fans, you’re being gently chastised (the only way the Ann Arbor News chastises anyone). Wrote AAN columnist Geoff Larcom:
“It just goes beyond reasonableness now,” Bert says. “You can exchange friendly or unfriendly barbs on game day, but you don’t really mean it. They really mean it, 365 days a year.”
Not all OSU fans, mind you. In fact, a good number of Buckeyes I know – people who love a good time – are among the most balanced, smart and reasonable people you could meet.
But the number of contentious fans who dislike Michigan in Columbus dwarfs that of any other Big Ten town. And it’s worse when the Bucks win. If they lose, the fans tend to cannibalize themselves, getting angry at the coach and team. But if Ohio State wins, watch out.
Yes, it’s nearly time for the big game (this weekend, here in A2). I have no tickets, opting not to freeze my ass on 15 inches of bleacher seating in the Big House. But for a rivalry this heated, wouldn’t you think a hometown columnist could get away with writing that the opposition’s fans are mean and nasty without having to put in that wussy “some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met” disclaimer?
Howard said on November 17, 2003 at 10:09 pm
As a Columbus resident and an OSU alum (but NOT a football fan), I have to say that Larcom’s column pretty much nails it. I’d guess that most Buckeye fans assume that strong feelings are reciprocated by Michigan fans, in spite of the ample evidence that that is not at all true.
Certainly not nearly all Buckeye fans are truly hostile to Michigan fans, but enough of them are to bring plenty of embarrassment to OSU.
More broadly, I think a substantial majority of OSU fans are generally decent and civil, even on game day, but there has been way too much incivility by a minority of fans. Worse, there has been a general tolerance of incivility by most Buckeye fans. I’d like to believe that the disgusting violence that followed last year’s Michigan game has greatly reduced said tolerance, but the jury is still out.
At least the University is trying to crack down on the worst fan behaviors. Channel 4 recently featured a disturbing video that affirms Larcom’s observations and is part of the motivation for the University’s recent actions against bad fans. http://www.nbc4columbus.com/news/2639347/detail.html