Thursday, November 3

Buckeye Bona Fides

On more than one occasion, I've heard the legitimacy of someone's support for a college football or basketball team challenged, on the grounds that the fan in question did not actually attend said college.

This is stupid, and if you're one of the people who does this, then you are stupid by extension. Let me explain.

In the interest of full disclosure, I find this happening to me more and more frequently, but I have a deep enough connection with Buckeye football that my history usually quells any criticism I might receive on that front. In fact, you might say I'm a Buckeye fan for life, as today is my 32nd birthday and also the 32nd anniversary of Ohio State pasting Illinois 44-7 en route to a Big Ten championship. Now that's a birthday present!

To borrow a phrase from the mighty Phil Davison, "in terms of my biography..." my Dad is an Ohio State graduate and has been taking me to Buckeye games since I was about six, so I've got a pretty good in. Also I'm an Ohio native and current resident (and the Buckeyes are undoubtedly the team of record here), about half of my high school went to Ohio State (the half that didn't go to Kent State), and I have had some professional dealings with the University. Only an insane hard-line exclusionist would suggest that this is an insufficient connection to OSU to merit fandom.

But here's my larger point: even if my Dad wasn't an alum, and even if I'd never been to Ohio Stadium, who gives a fuck? What kind of obnoxious moron tells someone else that they don't have the right to support a sports team? It's not like there's some cap on the number of fans allowed. I don't care if you've never even been in Ohio - if you like to watch college football (it's no NFL, but it's a heck of a game) and if you want to support Ohio State, then by all means do so. Why would I, or anyone, be interested in restricting admission to the community of OSU fans, especially considering the near-universal popularity they enjoy across the state (and, I'm happy to report, areas of northwest Pennsylvania)? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

As far as I'm concerned, if you like college football or basketball or whatever sport and want to root for the Ohio State Buckeyes, welcome aboard.

1 comment:

Figgs said...

Go northwest PA! I get this all the time, being from Pennslyvania and all. So why don't I like Penn St? Because I don't, and it's none of your fucking business who I cheer for. It's not like I flip flop each year to better programs. In fact, when I first started really getting into football, JoePa was raking in undefeated seasons. I chose Ohio St when I was a child, and I will be a fan of theirs until I die. If you have a problem with it, you can promptly eat my shorts.