Thanks to reader Howard in Columbus for finding this story about out-of-control partying at Ohio State home football games, doubtless a contributing factor to the hostility to out-of-town fans there.
1) The drinking is not unique to Columbus. I’ve seen cup and can litter as bad as anything in the slideshow after home games here. The closer you get to the stadium, the worse it is.
2) The attitude, however, is. At least, the degree of the attitude. UM fans are as rabid as OSU’s, but when Dr. Frank and I went out for beers after the Notre Dame blowout, the bar we went to was packed with fans and the only thing any of them said to Frank, dressed in a UND polo shirt, was some shoulder-slapping version of “better luck next year.” Granted, they’d won by an absurd margin, but as Larcom’s column points out, a win is no guarantee of good behavior in Columbus.
I wouldn’t wear a Michigan shirt or drive a car with Michigan plates anywhere near the OSU campus on Michigan game day. It’s a “mug me” invitation. A marching-band member in one of my classes said they routinely leave Ohio Stadium under heavy security to make a safe getaway.
Which, I’d argue, is another reason the hometown columnist might be safe taking, oh, a teensy bit stronger stand when discussing the fan behavior of the school’s No. 1 rival. But hey — it’s his column.
Colleen said on November 18, 2003 at 9:06 am
The peeing in the parking garage is what got to me. Unreal. When I lived in Columbus (ah, the good old days), I concluded that OSU football fans make IU basketball fans look like choirboys. What’s the reason for Buckeye fans to be so rabid and obnoxious? As a non sports person, I don’t get it. I had a co-worker tell me “I feel better about myself if the team wins”. Because you had something to do with it how?
Connie said on November 18, 2003 at 9:15 am
When I finished grad school I moved from Ann Arbor to a Columbus suburb. With Michigan plates and a UM decal on my goofy car. (An AMC MAtador if you please.) The first week my car was vandalized, windshield broken, while parked on the quiet street in front of my townhouse. On a busy Friday afternoon I was having trouble making a right turn out of a store parking lot. A driver stopped and waved me in. At the next light the driver pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and hollered “If I had seen that decal I would have never let you out of that parking lot. Do you wonder why we gloated when Woody Hayes got fired a few weeks later? Connie
Humble Reader said on November 18, 2003 at 9:36 am
We need to remember what Murray Sperber,the IU professor who took on the sports mafia of large universities has been saying:
“big-time college sports, particularly its scandals, can overshadow the academic purpose of a university and cause great harm to a school. I did not speak out because I wished to hurt my university . . . I simply have a very different vision of it — one focused on higher education — than do its . . .fans.”
Nance said on November 18, 2003 at 11:05 am
Ah yes, Murray Sperber, the voice of reason, with the radical idea that a college might think first of academics, then of sports. What a crazy dreamer.
I thought of him during the Katzenmoyer flap at OSU, when this hulking, 290-pound palooka struggled to pass two classes to remain eligible, and they were something like gym and AIDS awareness. Myles Brand has the right idea — a minor league for the Katzenmoyers of the world, a school for everyone else.
Chan S. said on November 18, 2003 at 11:24 am
I always thought Robert Maynard Hutchins had it right when he ended the varsity football program at Chicago in 1939 (…the program that was founded by Amos Alonzo Stagg and produced the first Heisman trophy winner) so that education could be given its deserved priority. Nothing to show for it 60+ years later except a bunch of Nobel and MacArthur prizes…and no Maurice Clarett.
t said on November 19, 2003 at 9:03 am
I wonder if there’s a correlation between average student SAT score and the likelihood of rioting, given that Michigan is academically superior to OSU.
Gene said on November 19, 2003 at 5:59 pm
I always figured the lousy attitudes were an extension of the general Cowtown that Columbus used to be. The town was so boring for so many years that the locals overdid their love of the only exciting thing in town. (In other words, Cowtowners need a life.)
My first year as an Ohio State undergrad, I missed the deadline to buy football season tickets. When I told my roommates it was no big deal, you’d have thought I’d pissed on Grandma’s grave or something.