Blind Allegiance vs. Dedicated Fan

For close to 14 years now myself and El Kaiser have had daily Buckeye sports discussions and every now and again we even mix in a discussion about actual real life stuff that matters but we try to limit that so it doesn’t effect our Buckeye discussions. One of the things we often discuss is how different fans of the Buckeyes are in their opinions on things OSU related.

With all that is going on in Columbus these days it seemed fitting for myself to kind of sit back and reflect on how healthy my fanaticism with OSU is for me. I remember when El Kaiser messaged me there was a Yahoo Sports report out that Jim Tressel had broken rules and covered up the Tattoo scandal. Together we spent the next few hours feverishly searching the internet for info any info. We took rumors and within seconds convinced ourselves that Armageddon had happened and even thought we may have seen a heavenly being coming down from the heavens to judge us accordingly. After several hours of constant page refreshing on twitter and various blogs I told El Kaiser that I thought I was going to be sick and it felt eerily similar to that feeling you get when sitting outside the principal’s office in elementary school after you just threw a spit ball at the prettiest girl in your class. I went to bed (notice how I didn’t say sleep) and I tossed and turned all night waking from the 15 minutes of restless slumber in cold sweats every hour like clockwork and I know I had at least 3 nightmares involving Tressel that night. When I finally gave up trying to sleep I got up and headed to my computer searching for news that it was all just a horrible early April’s fool joke. Alas, though, it was not. I did my best to pretend Yahoo was completely wrong but deep down I knew it wasn’t. All day I waited for word from OSU and then I watched the press conference like it was Pres. Obama telling us we just went to war with the alien army from the movie Independence Day. I even imagined Jim Tressel was Bill Paxton. After the presser finished I felt soothed and comforted like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I began to put my thoughts together and realized everything is going to be okay. I convinced myself that the worst of things was over and that the NCAA will just rubber stamp the OSU self report. Then I made the mistake of going to other websites to look gleefully as the “experts” would simply agree with me and life would go back to normal. HUGE MISTAKE. The media is tearing apart Tressel and OSU like a pitbull on a kitten. I thought well I will just go to OSU specific websites for people who agree with me. That was a problem as well as there seems to be 3 camps: 1.) The people who think Tressel and OSU walk on water 2.) The people who think Tressel is evil and should be fired and is bad for OSU 3.) The people who don’t know what to think because it doesn’t make any sense. With that said, I still think that Tressel is a great person and coach. I think he absolutely is capable of bending rules and breaking them when needed to do his job which is to win games.

Then today I read that Kirk Herbstreit has up and moved his family to Nashville and is leaving Columbus behind. I have been a fan who has had a man-crush on Herbie for years and at times I think he has also been the devil reincarnate. One of the reasons I have heard from people who know Herbie personally for why he is moving is because of the constant berating he takes for his opinions from my fellow Buckeye fans. If he wasn’t a Buckeye I don’t think those words would bother him. After all, he upsets fans of all schools eventually. I truly believe once a Buckeye always a Buckeye no matter what that person says or does.

I am finding myself questioning whether I want to be a fan with Blind Allegiance or a Casual Fan. I have so much of my spirit and body and soul invested in OSU and the people who make up our University that I know I am blind to what is really happening. I shouldn’t be suffering from sleepless nights and anxiety for something I didn’t do and that in the grand scheme of things don’t effect my life personally. I also don’t want to be a flippant casual OSU fan who is happy when they win and could care less about it any other time of the year. I love OSU and I love that I am a Buckeye. I forgive Jim Tressel for what he did and at the same time I am angry at him for being so stupid as well. I feel bad that Herbie has been effected by fans of the school he loves so much and at the same time I am angry at him for trying to separate himself from that same school.

So I ask all of you who took the time to read my long winded rant…. Are you a Blind Fan who can see no wrong? Are you a Casual Fan who could care less about what happens at the school as long as they win more than not? Is it healthy to be so entrenched in Buckeye Nation that I feel the pain and joy of every action that happens at OSU good and bad?


  1. I fully admit, that I lean way toward “blind allegiance” than casual fan. I mean, I go to a (the?) Ohio State bar in DC and I’m the one that gets questioned about my opinion and how I feel every time a Buckeye tragedy happens.

    And I fully admit that I want to name my first son after Woody Hayes (like second date admit) and once broke up with a girl that called me during an Ohio State game (and it was the 2004 Alamo bowl game vs. OkSU [?]) so it’s not like it was a huge game or anything.

    But I have to admit, I feel kinda numb about what’s happen in the program w/r/t this scandal. Partially, because I have an extremely high number of SEC fans, but also because as a fan, a hug fan, of Ohio State Football all of this hurts. I take it personally. They aren’t just lying to the NCAA, they’re lying to us. The people that are there for them through thick and thin. Through the 2002 season and through that horrible 2004 season(with Tressel that is. I’ve gone through much worse).

    The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t hurt that it happened. Because it happens in big time school. Rules get skirted, whatever. What bothers us is a) that we were lied to and b) (this me personally) what actually was sold. Because most of us would literally kill for Gold Pants.

    I don’t know. I could be wrong.

  2. @ ditriech I feel ya buddy. Although I also subscribe to the theory that every school cheats and every coach lies. So when it is proven to be true it doesnt surprise me as much. I just always hope that whoever it is that gets caught is not associated with OSU in any way and if they are that they can cover it up enough to make it go away. I just hope in the end that the NCAA thinks Tressels defense is plausable enough to not drop the hammer.

  3. There is middle ground.

    I am there (camp three in the list above).

    Subject to change… that’s all I’ve got.

  4. @ MaliBuckeye the problem is how do I get to this middle ground place?

  5. Life doesn’t make sense. Neither does being a fan for a sports team that we have no control over.

    BUT I think I lean toward blind allegiance. Even though I recognize the things Tressel has done as VERY BAD THINGS, I can’t help but think in my heart of hearts he does the right things and turns the punk kids that come to Ohio State into contributing members of society. People rail against Terrelle but I think Tressel is the best thing that ever happened to TP.

    I thought after the 2002 season that my fandom “cup” runneth over. I was never going to get emotionally involved again! That ended about nine months later in Madison, Wisconsin with Jim Sorgi on the business end of a Robert Reynolds choke. I cared so much that I was ticked we lost but even more ticked about how Reynolds had represented the University.

    I will never not care.

  6. I agree with el Kaiser. There has been many positives that Coach Tressel has done for OSU and his players to out way the bad for me. While the bad is upsetting we still need to remember that Tressel is human. We hold him on a pedestal and forget that he can have a bad day just as we do. I will stand behind OSU and dare anyone to say something 🙂

  7. Hey, let’s be honest, here: Herbie brings most of this pain on himself. Both Spielman and Robert Smith do good work for ESPN, both have criticized tOSU at times (or the game plan, or a player), and neither really shy away from their connection to Ohio State. Herbie, on the other hand, seems to be tone-deaf when it comes to how he discusses OSU. He’s got a high-profile gig, and I’m sure that’s tough-I don’t expect him to be a complete homer-but it would be nice if he would offer SOME defense of his frickin’ alma mater when Brent Musdouche, or whoever, starts offering blatantly ridiculous criticism of something related to tOSU. EVEN LOU HOLTZ has been known to step up once or twice, for Pete’s sake, and he hasn’t been affiliated with the Buckeyes for 30 years!

  8. Miller while I tend to agree with you. The fact is no one ever brings up the good things he does say about OSU and Tressel. They remember every time he says anything bad about OSU and Tressel. BUT and it is a Big BUT when he is is critical of OSU it is mostly warranted and if he werent a Buckeye people wouldnt be so hurt. Does it seem like he is trying harder and harder to distance himself from his Buckeye roots sure it does. Is that directly related to the job he currently has absolutely. In the end he is a Buckeye and he always will be. I wish he would be the homer all of us want him to be always but it doesnt look like that will ever happen. It also should be stated that he seems to be right in his assessment of the people he is critical of. As much as that pains me to say. He just fits into a certain group of Buckeye fans who think Pryor is bad for the University and that Tressel doesnt care that thats the case.

    I cant though understand the final ranking of this past years team but if the NCAA makes it so last year never happened for us in the end it wont matter.

  9. Well I know I have a problem. I didn’t sleep for a week after the Florida game. It was like one of those times when something really bad happens in your life and every time you wake up in the middle of the night you ask yourself if that really happened while for a split second you are praying it was just a bad dream. I know Tressel has had a very positive influence on the University. My daughter is currently a student and tells me about the events she sees him at and how he is so involved with the University. I hope this is the end of the scandal, I wish Tress has a good reason for holding back on the information but it doesn’t sound like that is the case. I renewed my season tickets 2 days before the Tressel scandal broke. I keep telling myself that OSU is bigger than a coach or any 5 players. I have no doubt that if Tress can survive this that he will eventually rehabilitate his reputation, at least to Buckeyes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: