Buckeye Fans Are the Craziest…..

Here is a gem I found about how of fans we are, I included the web address from where I found it:

http://michiganzone.blogspot.com/2006/01/best-and-worst-college-football-fans.html

Best and Worst College Football Fans in America

This is the first of a two part post looking at my picks for the classiest and most classless fans in college football that I’ve personally encountered. In order to recognize the best, one must be familiar with the worst. So, today, here are the three worst fan bases I’ve come in contact with.
1. Ohio State – THE Rudest Fans in America

Used to be, I always wanted Ohio State to win every game each season…except one. In fact, leading up to our annual showdown with the Bucks, I never understood Michigan fans cheering with glee whenever I was sitting in the stands at the Big House and the stadium announcer came over the PA system to reveal Ohio State was losing or had been upset . Made no sense to me. Because I didn’t want to beat a three or four loss Tosu squad at the end of the season, I wanted to dash the hopes of an undefeated team playing for something truly meaningful.

And let me also say, like a guy defending himself against charges of being a racist, “Some of my best friends are Buckeyes.” One was my roommate for a couple years out of college, one was in my wedding party and another is work colleague. All very good friends to this day.

Yet, having said all that, I now hope Ohio State loses every game. Even though it looks bad for the Big 10, I openly root against them in their bowl games. And it’s all for one reason: their fans.

Over the years, I’ve grown to really dislike Buckeye fans. And it all stems from one too many bouts of abuse attending games in Columbus.

Sweeping generalization? Sure. But once you get attacked and barked at by the neighborhood dog enough, you begin to loathe the creature each time you pass. Hey, there’s a reason the Ohio State mascot is a nut: because their fans are crazy. And not in a good way. More in that, “Shit, we had to bail Stank out of jail again after he got into another bar fight last night” way.

Funny thing is, I used to respect Ohio State fans. They love their team and they are LOUD. But, in my 10+ trips to the ‘Shoe, they are also the most abusive fans I’ve ever come in contact with at a sporting event. The things that I’ve personally experienced in Columbus which have brought me to my current feelings are as follows:

* My dad was once hit in the back by a thrown full beer bottle before The Game. Now, maybe whoever threw it was aiming for a trash can somewhere, but I think it might have had something to do with the maize and blue color of his jacket.

* A few years before it burned down in ’96, I was at Papa Joe’s, an Ohio State watering hole the night before the big game when a waitress ran over to me and advised me to turn my Michigan shirt inside out. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. Said it wasn’t safe. When I actually asked if she was joking, she shook her head and said it would be the “same if a Buckeye fan was wearing an Ohio State shirt in Ann Arbor.” Not that she believed me (or any Ohio State fans reading this will) but I told her, actually, it was very different.

* Before the 2002 game, when a win would send Tosu to the BCS title game in Tempe, it seemed every fan in Columbus was carrying a bag of Tostitos (or making a fashion statement by wearing an empty one on their heads). Well, before kickoff, I was standing on Lane Avenue near the Varsity Club when a group (plural) of rather large Buckeye fans spotted the Michigan shirt under my jacket (for safety purposes, I had given up wearing a Michigan jacket when my father got pelted with the beer bottle). One of them ran up to me and threw a handful of Tostitos in my face. I felt my fist clench but, being surrounded by, oh, about 10,000 Buckeyes, I realized whatever swing I got in would be my last. And hey, the Buckeye guy was really cool. He just laughed, went to wipe the Tostitos off and said, “Hey, man, I’m just fucking with you.”

* In 2004, we awoke at our hotel the morning of the game to find the cars with Michigan plates each had a side window smashed out. My buddy, whose car was vandalized, filed a police report. When the cop was taking down his info, he told my friend about this glass place that could come out and fix the window while we waited at the hotel. When my friend called the glass place, the guy said he’d be right out…until he found out it was a Michigan car. Suddenly, he said he wasn’t available until Tuesday! Only when the state trooper got on the phone and told him to get his ass down there did he agree to come out ASAP. (100% true story, Benny and Wangs were witnesses to this).

* I have been flipped off and told to fuck a) myself b) Michigan c) numerous other things more times than I can possibly count while walking near the ‘Shoe on gameday. And while I expect it from the drunk frat guy crowd, I’m always surprised when it’s a co-ed or the elderly (along those lines, another 2004 incident too “good” not to share is, after we lost, Benny, Wangs and I were rushing out of the ‘Shoe with seconds left in order to beat the crowd. Passing an elderly couple (70+), the woman, seeing our M gear, shouted, “Go back to Michigan you big losers!” Couldn’t believe it.)

As I tell people all the time, the thing that always surprises me the most is that I hear “Fuck Michigan!” more than “Go Bucks!” before The Game in Columbus.

Again, those are my personal firsthand experiences in Columbus over the years. And I’m not alone. My friend who was in the Michigan Marching Band told me about dodging debris and loogies as they took the field. We all know about the Michigan team bus being subjected to drug/bomb sniffing dogs in ’04. And, lest one think it’s strictly M fans that get such special treatment in Columbus due to our long-festering rivalry, Texas fans were treated so poorly that the THE OSU President wrote an apology to one Texas fan.

The ironic thing is, get Buckeyes away from the ‘Shoe and they seem like nice folks. But put them within a few square miles of the stadium on a football Saturday and mob rule takes over. I’m sure theories abound, but I honestly wonder why that is. And as stories continue to mount (like the Texas mention above), the university sincerely needs to address this problem before somebody gets seriously hurt. Whether they want to admit it or not, there is a problem in Columbus on gamedays.

Funniest Columbus Memory: In town for what turned out to be John Cooper’s final M/OSU game, one of the local radio stations was only playing songs from years in which Ohio State beat Michigan. But, since Coop had only won The Game twice in 13 years, it was like listening to an oldies station. I don’t know who came up with that idea and thought it was a good one, but as a Michigan fan, it was hilarious. And I’ve never heard so many Beatles tunes on a Top 40 station before in my life!

Ok, after that pick for #1, I must tell you that my other two picks pale in comparison. They aren’t even “bad” so much as annoying. Put it this way, if this were a scale, with what I’ve encountered at THE Rudest Stadium in America being a perfect 10 for classlessness, my next two picks are simply in the 3 range.

2. Michigan State – That Annoying Little Brother in the Backseat During a Looong Car Ride

Again, it’s almost unfair to put them here in light of how bad things are in Columbus. “Abuse” in East Lansing is mostly of the good-natured variety. I’ve never felt afraid for my safety (or that of my vehicle) in EL. However, while it hasn’t affected me personally, they really do just love to set their furniture on fire regularly. And the “Fuck Michigan!” so popular in Columbus is more of the “Michigan sucks!” sort of cheer on the banks of the Red Ceder.

Then again, maybe I’m just including them because they never admit that Desmond Howard was indeed tripped on that 2-point conversation play in ’90 and without Clockgate, time would have expired in ’01.

3. Illinois – But Only During the Mike White Years of the ’80s

For a brief, fleeting moment, Illinois reached for the upper echelon of college football in the ’80s. As such, like the ugly chick who becomes suddenly hot in some college football fairy tale, their fans took out their years of frustration on Michigan fans during those few heated contests in the 80s…before the team returned to its usually mediocrity.

Admittedly, I only went once and, since I was just a kid, my memory of specifics is about as hazy as writer James Frey’s on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but I just remember their fans being off the deep end the year I went and nobody wanting to travel down there again.

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