Nov 25, 2009

72 hour rule is over.

I hate Ohio State.

“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft; on the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.” – Bo Schembechler.

The year was 2003. I was a sophomore in college. When I walked out of Michigan Stadium on a beautiful November day, after a 35-21 Michigan victory over the defending National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes, you could not wipe the smile off of my face. I drove back to Dayton with two of my college friends, one a U-M fan, the other, an unfortunate OSU fan. The entire ride back from Ann Arbor we listened to Queen’s “We are the Champions.” Full blast. Windows down. On repeat. For two and a half hours. We got back to UD and I partied my ass off that night. I had on my Invincible Cape, stood on top of my Crystal Palace, and life could not get better.

Fast forward six years. To describe what it has been like to be a die-hard Michigan football supporter living in Ohio on a daily basis could be summed up simply as standing on the wrong side of shit hitting the fan. And I’m not talking about a couple of rabbit turds getting chucked into a desk fan every few seconds. I’m talking about digesting the massive triceratops shit pile from Jurassic Park through an industrial-sized fan on full blast—60 mph, right in the teeth.

To combat the onslaught of dung hitting me in the face every single day and being curb stomped by some fat, slobbering bandwagon Buckeye idiot, I took up the “knowledge is power” approach, AKA a sport snob. By definition, according to Urban Dictionary, a sport snob is “someone who believes that their vast and ultimately unnecessary knowledge of sports makes them a better sports watcher. They will often ridicule, or speak condescendingly towards someone of lesser sports knowledge.” Unnecessary knowledge or not, I’ll be damned if I’m going to be ridiculed for wearing a Michigan t-shirt in public by someone wearing scarlet and gay colors that they snagged off the $1 rack at Goodwill. Hey guess what, buddy, I heard that “Michigan sucks” remark as you walked passed me, and if you turn around waiting for my response, get ready to be verbally raped. “Who do you guys play next week? Oh you don’t know? How about name me three players on the current roster? Don’t know that either? Who is the coach? [Insert obscenities here].”

To become the Michigan sport snob that I would consider myself to be, I initiated an obsess---, err, a hobby, with staying caught-up on the latest wolverine football news, reading books on the U-M/OSU rivalry, and constantly refreshing a dozen U-M blogs, websites, and forums every spare chance I got. To say the least, I have a pretty good grasp on things going on at the Big House, how recruiting is going, stats for the players, the Vegas line on upcoming games, you name it. And mind you, this primarily took place during the past five-year winless, frustrating, hair-pulling, nail-biting, random object throwing, door punching, turning cell phone off during games, binge drinking, anti-social, totally unapproachable, yet exciting time of my life.

Looking back on these past few years, I’ve come to the realization that all Ohio State fans are the same. They are assholes. Plain and simple. Not only did ESPN crown them as one of the rudest fan bases in all of college football (if not sports), I have a few personal encounters I would like to share. First and foremost, I can remember clear as day walking to the BW3s on UD’s campus to catch the first game of the ’07 season with my fellow Go-Blue buddy, Murphy. As we walked from his place in our Michigan gear, we immediately were greeted with negative comments from practically every college student within shouting distance. “Go buckeyes!” “Michigan sucks.” “You guys are duechebags!” You get the idea. As we walked into the bar, I looked up in horror to see App State beating the #5 Wolverines in the first quarter. Then it occurred to me, which wasn’t really a surprise, but we were surrounded by a red army of laughing, finger pointing assholes. I can’t remember if we even stayed for a drink, but if we did, I chugged it and got the hell out of there. We got back to Murphy’s place and watched the remaining game on his laptop. In the waning moments, I saw an update that we had drove the ball down the field, in perfect field goal position. All we needed was to kick this to win. I stared at the screen and waited for the score to update to show that Michigan had won. But it didn’t. Game over. Michigan loses. Biggest upset of anything ever. Yadda yadda yadda. I never heard the end of it after that day. And still don’t. Enter the catalyst of my Ohio State fan hatred.

During my senior year of college, I took a communication class that required showing up an hour each week for half a semester. The syllabus essentially stated that the requirements for this course was to a) not be retarded and b) stand up in front of the class and give a speech. As I read this, I began to ponder what I would talk about for a few minutes in front of a bunch of strangers. I was drawing a blank until I caught something that the instructor said. Wait a second, what was that? She’s an Ohio State alum? Bingo. Topic for my speech = Why Michigan is better than OSU. For the remainder of the course, I busted my ass researching facts, practicing my speech, and developing a convincing, yet fact-based speech on my love-fest for Michigan. I nailed the speech, which by far was the best in the class. What grade did I get, from the OSU alum you might ask? B+. That’s right, B+. I could have talked about how I enjoyed to smell my own farts for 5 minutes and pulled an easy A-. Whatever.

Another incident that comes to mind was a few years later, while I was shopping for some pre-gaming supplies at Kroger for the kickoff to the ’08 season. At about 9am in the morning, as I’m strolling through the produce section in my Michigan t-shirt, a random guy with an Ohio State jersey walked straight up to me, looked me in the eye, and said, “FUCK Michigan.” With his wife and daughter standing next to him, I quickly responded with a “Oh REALLY?! Well FUCK YOU! ASSHOLE!” just loud enough for probably everyone else in the store to hear. Seriously, in Kroger? At 9am in the fucking morning? You have got to be shitting me.

The list goes on and on. If I go to the gas station to pay for gas or pick up some beers, and I’ve got anything Michigan on, and I flash my Ohio ID, I typically get some snide remark like “Oh, well it looks like you’re in the wrong state, now aren’t ya?!” You know what, your absolutely correct there Brutus, I am, and you work at a gas station. I used to have a Michigan themed credit card. I paid that off and cut it up for fiscal responsibility reasons, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t take shit for it anytime I bought something. Maybe I ask for it by showing support for my team, year-round. But I also don’t go on a head hunting vendetta to insult anyone I can that provides any inclination that they cheer for Ohio State. Maybe I should.

For all the beatings that I’ve taken throughout the last 0-6 streak, I’ve held my head high, loaded up the sport snob knowledge base for quick, educated comebacks at any second, and counted down the days until Meeeeechigan would be victorious again. When I bought my house, I painted the walls Michigan colors for a reason. I named my puppy “Bo” for a reason. I threw away the nice scarlet and gray shirt I got for Christmas from an ex-girlfriend years ago and told her I lost it for a reason. So if you’re a OSU fan, and you’re gloating on you’re big win last weekend, just keep in mind that I’m ready for any shit talkin’ you want to bring to the table. I have a good feeling the future will be good. I mean, out of the 309 yards of offense Michigan put up on the best defense in the world, 299 of those were contributed from FRESHMAN.

I opened with a quote from Bo Schembechler and I’ll close it with one.

“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” GO BLUE!