How I became a sorta Buckeye: a scarlet and gray MMP

Since this immediately follows the most scarlet and gray week in Ohio history I thought I’d reflect for a moment on how an unsuspecting Michigan-born girl could grow up to become a Buckeye, kind of. *

Yes…it’s provincial, but the annual University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University football game is an impressively big deal here in Columbus, Ohio. In some circles, the Saturday before Thanksgiving is more of a holiday than Thanksgiving itself. People who forget about the importance of this date have been known to turn their weddings into football parties in order to ensure attendance. Really. I’ve attended such a wedding.

Anyhoo…when I was growing up in lovely little East Lansing, Michigan (home of my alma mater, Michigan State University), the laws of the universe held that Duffy Daugherty was the best football coach ever and that OSU coach Woody Hayes was, well, not a good person (to put it diplomatically). Our biggest rival was that other large university in Michigan, followed in approximately equal measure by Notre Dame and Ohio State.

So, my move to Columbus for graduate school was part coming home and part culture shock. The coming home part came from the shared contempt (well, that’s a bit more than what I feel, but we’ll go with the extremes) for all things Maize and Blue. The culture shock part came from a couple of things: 1) having to sign a notarized statement of loyalty to the State of Ohio when I accepted my teaching associate position at OSU (wasn’t I, a Michigan-born person, an enemy of the state by definition?), and 2) the generalized reverence for Woody Hayes and all things Scarlet and Gray that I found upon my arrival in Columbus. I thought I knew a little bit about school spirit from growing up in a college town. Wrongo, buddy. I’m confident that Buckeye fans set the benchmark for college ultra-fandom.

The culture shock moment I remember most vividly is from my first visit to a local arts festival on day 3 or so of my residence here. There were the expected paintings, ceramics (you should stop by for inspiration FCM – they have very nice ceramics), photographs, etc. Much of it was quite nice. And then there was the booth with the Woody Hayes statues. Seriously. Little statues of Coach Hayes, dressed in his typical game-day attire. They didn’t call him iconic for nothing. Made me wonder about this place I’d just moved to.

I still wonder about this place sometimes. My jaw about dropped when I read the letter to the sports editor Sunday morning where someone suggested that the former UM football players who live in Columbus should move back to Michigan. I pray that the writer was being ironic, but it sure didn’t sound that way. The letter included the sentence: “Their presence here after playing for the enemy – Ohio fought a real war against Michigan in the 1800s – is not appreciated.” (The paper wrote an article about standout UM players from Columbus who have moved back home again.) OK, mister, it’s been more than 150 years and the “war” was more like an extended trash talk session. No one died. One guy got stabbed in the leg. I’m pretty sure it’s OK to be over it. There are jerky fans all over, but I’m pretty confident that OSU has a larger number than UM, mostly because the rivalry is much more meaningful to OSU than it is to “that state up north” (a favored term among the truly fanatical; I’m pretty sure it was the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s “he who must not be named.”). UM has several major rivalries; OSU focuses on the one.

Most of this weekend was actually a pleasant surprise, though:
[ul]The game was very very good. (At least to a person who watches football maybe twice a year.) Turns out there’s a good reason why the teams are #1 & 2 in the country (or at least why they have just about the same number of points…don’t ask me about that BCS stuff, I just kinda know the rankings…well the top 2 teams, anyway…).
[li]The weather was nice; fall-like but not too cold and not rainy.[/li][li]Everyone was respectful when there was a moment of silence for Bo Schembechler (UM’s coaching legend who died on Friday) at the beginning of the game. (I’d feared there would be a few tacky people who would boo. If there were, you couldn’t hear them on the telecast.)[/li][li]The numbers from the game’s score came up in the lottery Friday night. If you played them in the pick 4 game, you won $5,000.[/li][li]The OSU coach and players remembered to praise the other team first in all of their post-game comments. [/li][li]The vandalism near campus (another aspect of OSU fandom that I’ll never understand) appears to have been much more limited than usual. [/li][li]And the prime example of classy moves from unlikely places: a local punk band that always got together to razz Michigan,The Dead Schembechlers played under that name for the last time on Friday night. Their leader sounded all respectful and non-punklike in announcing the end of their run under that name and extending their condolences to the Schembechler family. I put in two links because the Dispatch switches its articles to subscription pretty quickly. Their website has had too many hits this month to get to it, but when I Googled them, there was even a YouTube video listed.[/ul][/li]
Oh yeah, I was going to tell you how I became a Buckeye. Not actually sure how it happened. Maybe it’s something in the water. There’s a small contingent of people who fight it, but it’s more fun to go with the flow and be amused by the level of enthusiasm. Used to be I’d always root for the Spartans when they played the Buckeyes. Now I just root for whoever happens to have the ball. And I occasionally wear scarlet and gray to work on Fridays. Or my dual-loyalty, red Michigan State sweatshirt.

How is it Monday already…?

GT

*For those of you who are baffled by this talk of scarlet, gray and Buckeyes, a couple of links: ESPN’s North-America-centric sports rivalries list: http://espn.go.com/endofcentury/s/other/bestrivalries.html

Wikipedia’s sports rivalry list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_Rivalries . If you click on college athletics, you can see the bazillions of these that exist, primarily in the U.S. (Look under Big 10 for the University of Michigan/Ohio State University listing.)

An account that gives you a good idea of the emotions behind THE GAME (not sure how long it will be accessible): http://www.dispatch.com/football/football.php?story=dispatch/2006/11/19/20061119-A3-02.html

Also, there’s our very own Pit thread .

gt thanks for reminding me why it’s not a good idea to live in Athens, GA home of the University of Jawja. Folks get rabid fanatic there on football weekends. As a matter of fact, I have been know to drive miles and miles out of the way rather than go through Athens when traveling. I’m glad for the time I spent there and the edjikashun I got and all but if I never set foot on the campus of UGA again that’ll be fine with me. Except for The Creamery. The best ice cream I’ve ever had is found at The Creamery. That’s true at all “cow colleges” I think. Yep, folks UGA is an ag school.

Not much else to report. I recapped my weekend yesterday in the old MMP. Let’s just see what joys today brings.

Three day work week!!! YAY!!!

Great explanation, gt, it’s good to see ours aren’t the only obsessive fans around! Our local football (that’s soccer to you!) team is Wolverhampton Wanderers and their home ground is about 10 mins walk from my front door. Home matches are usually on alternate Saturdays through the season, with occasional midweek games when there’s something more important happening on Saturday (cup games, euro qualifiers and other internationals).

We always know when there’s a home game, parking suddenly becomes a nightmare in our area. We’re just slightly too far out to be hassled by incoming fans looking for parking although they do clog up the surrounding streets and make it very difficult to get anywhere at certain times of day - and I can be reasonably sure that if I drive anywhere during matchplay, my parking space will have disappeared by the time I get back! In the past I’ve even had to call the traffic police out to remove a car that’s been left parked right across the gates to my off-street parking space so that I could get in there. Some people are just so stupid, it beggars belief.

Anyway, my weekend was footie-free which is a relief! We went out on Friday to the Newhampton for a drink or three, slept late on Saturday then had to go into town for important things like shopping for birthday pressies. Sunday I was over at my mum’s delivering her birthday stuff and working my way through the list of jobs she’d got waiting for me.

Home last night to a pile of ironing and a phone call from a friend…so we spent some time putting our worlds to rights and generally grumbling about other people. But it wasn’t gossip. Oh no. Definitely not.

Wow! I’m third!

Now for my real post- that was very informative, gt. Thanks. I knew nothing about the long-simmering hostilities between Ohio and Michigan. In future I will remember not to drive through Michigan shouting, “Buckeyes suck! Michigan won the war!”.
QD and I had a surreal conversation yesterday. She was explaining that her thirty pairs of really ratty underwear are fine, all they need is safety pins. I told her that if the elastic is shot and you have to safety-pin them together, you should toss them. She convulsed in pain, and wailed, “But I can’t throw them out! They still work!”.

“They are not fine. We are going shopping. You are buying new underwear. You are not allowed to have sentimental attachments to thirty pairs of busted undies. Nope.”
Later this week we’re going to the La Vie en Rose outlet, and I am armwrestling her into buying stuff.

I just read that the Ohio pick four lottery picked the same numbers as the score of that game the same day. That’s all I’ve got on anything football, oh, except Washington State university has the same colors as Ohio.

I made Hubby laugh so hard he cried last night. Just as I was falling asleep I said “Its the top of the house.” He, of course, said “WHAT?” So, without exactly waking up I explained that we were assigned to decorate the city and he had lifted the top off a house, thinking it was a box of Christmas decorations for the street lights.
I was explaining that the the police officer who wanted to arrest him for breaking into the house.
I was really sleepy. :rolleyes:

We’re going to Sequim onTuesday to having Thanksgiving, since Hubby has to work on Thursday. I’m making two cheesecakes today (one cherry and one pumpkin)

Here, I’ll start: I’m thankful for all of you who have helped me get through some difficult times this year.

Have a good week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Monday!!!

As I glare at the pile of “work” (aka: stuff other people didn’t want to or know how to do) that was left for me after my week of slackosity, I believe I may not ever surface above the paper pile again…

Heresy. You can’t come back into The State.

I work in Ann Arbor. You should have seen it here Friday with the relaxed dress code for Michigan/Ohio State attire.

I got to tell the Buckeye fans that they were going to win, and it was inevitable…when the warm fuzziness of security seeped in, I told them they were going to win because they paid their players better.

I’m not so sure you’re even allowed back up here for another Doper Dinner. (damn you, traffic!)

I haven’t posted in the MMP since returning from my mini-vacation from the dope. Anyways, here I is. Happy Monday!

What (or where) is Sequim?

I took my clueless pill this morning.

w00t! LOUNE and Winston! Welcome back.
I think it’s time to make some tea and curl up with a book and my grocery list. I’m baking for the inlaws and Mr. Lissar’s godparents this week, and I’ll need insane quantities of butter and sugar.

I have the deepest sympathy for anyone that moved from East Lansing to Columbus. Such a trauma could easily explain the odd behavior of abandoning the green and white for the scarlet and gray. About the only thing that Columbus has to envy is the Clippers of AAA baseball are a better team than the class A Lansing Lugnuts.

After having been around MSU and East Lansing for a good many years, it has been my experience that Ohio State fans are by far and away the most obnoxious visitors that we have the misfortune to entertain. They sing derisive songs about our state as they come into the stadium and in general are boorish and disgusting fans. My memories of Ohio State football go back to 1974, as Levi Jackson broke an 88 yard run to lead the Spartans to the upset win. Even better was that a guy in my dorm managed to pluck the cap off Woody Hayes as he left the field. I also recall a game in the 1980s where OSU was handily ahead in East Lansing, and Earle Bruce called a time out very late in the game so he could kick a field goal and run the score up even more. All that OSU needs to have real class is the C and the L. While MSU isn’t OSU’s biggest rival, we hate them just as badly as the team from Ann Arbor does. I sincerely hope that UM gets a rematch and thumps that team from the south good in the BCS championship game.

I’m not sure I’m awake yet. Good morning. Or something. Gah.

GT, it’s funny that you went from a Michigan fan to an OSU fan. My roommate is from near Cincinnati - and he’s a Michigan fan. Go figure. Actually, he’s both, a fact he emphasized to me while watching the game, since he was quite torn. You football fans is cwazy. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, so I pulled a disappearing act again last week. There’s a good reason for that: my productivity shot through the roof. It was insane. Remember the two homework assignments and the test? Got them all done inside of three days, after which I was completely exhausted. I resumed playing Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in preparation for playing the third one.
Unfortunately, I discovered that the third one doesn’t come out until next spring. :mad: GRUMP. However. My roommate (the Cincinnatian) and I left early, early Sunday morning and I did manage to get myself a Wii. Hooray! We’ve started playing the new Zelda game. 'Tis fun. There will definitely be enough excellent games for the Wii to hold me over until the new Metroid comes out.
So it seems I owe you all a few puns.

And with that, I’m off in search of food.

the words individually make sense, but together…they are a random string of meaningless sports talk. Sorry, Bob --either my eyes can’t focus this morning, or it has been proven once again that I am not a true Midwestern American…
I went to Iowa. Change the names of OSU and UM to Iowa and Minnesota and I understand the whole hostiity/competitivness thing. Or something. I never felt more like a tourist than when the Gophers were in town. And you hate these people why? And you call them what names? And this is enjoyable and meaningful to you?
Color me clueless.
I am going to start the Paper I have been whining about lo these many days TODAY. I know you are all excited (as excited as I am!).

I worked a tough weekend-we were short staffed and for some reason, I attract all crazy people. I had (and I am not making this up) a female visitor give out a shriek that sent me flying down the hall. I entered the (nonresponsive) pt’s room to find the visitor wailing and carrying on. I asked what was the matter (pt has been nonresponsive for 3 days, was found at home nonreponsive-massive stroke). She said that she had been told by someone at the hospital that if the number 8 appeared on the bedside monitor that it was dangerous. And of course, the number 8 had appeared.

There is no bottom to the depths of ignorance, is there? What she had been told was that if the respirations went below 8, that it could be dangerous. (and actually, given this woman’s condition, she will have a very irregular breathing pattern, so 8 is going to show up a lot. Normal breathing is about 12-20/minute. 8 is not shrieking territory). It that sounds callous, sorry, but these types never seem to learn. She called me to the room two more times for stuff I can’t even call minor it was so trivial. Do these people never watch ER? (not to be confused with the folks who DO and think that they are all now Dr Carters). argh.

Gorgeous day here-brilliant sunshine and nippy. Yay. I like November when it’s sunny, but it so often forgets this.

spats -my inlaws are getting Wii for #1 son for Christmas. Besides Zelda, what other games are there? The poor parents are getting him a Wii game. Are they available now (the games)? Like at Target?

Dontcha know you are my personal shopping assistant? Congrats on the cranking of the homework. Off to start my Paper. I ahve the first sentence in my head! <nods head and looks down modestly>

You just want to follow me for the cheesecake, right?
Sequim is a small town on the Olympic peninsula where hubby’s parents live.

'im indoors has pre-ordered a Wii for whenever it comes out over this side of the pond. It usually falls to me to field the calls from his family wanting to know what to get him for hexmas. I can just imagine the conversation:

Mother: What shall we get John?
Me: He wants a Wii game.
Mother: A wee game? Which wee game?
Me: No, a game for his Wii.
Mother: His wee what?
Me: I’ll explain it to his sister, she’ll tell you what to get.
Mother: Are you sure you don’t want cake with that?

His mother, bless 'er, is lovely but she is on the typical mother’s mission to feed anyone who sets foot in her house until they reach bursting point. Having accepted a cup of tea, I’ve found myself telling her a dozen times that I don’t want cake, biscuits, pudding, ice cream, chocolate etc with it…and she still gives me a large mug of tea and a plate of cake. Arrrrggghhhhh!

So, Spats, what games besides Zelda can I get for him?

Oh, did I mention he’s Scottish?

Alright … the coffee has sunk in, and I’m ready to have a conversation. :slight_smile:

I’m not a sports fan. It’s just not in my genetic makeup. If you take me to a game, I’ll have a good time, and I even have a pretty good grasp of the rules of most of the major sports–although I’m still a little iffy on hockey, so if anybody wants to take me to a hockey game, I’ll need a short refresher from SCL. But I can’t bring myself to watch a sporting event on television, and I can’t bring myself to get too terribly worked up about various teams.

Put me in a Batman vs. Superman argument, however, and I can be lethal. :smiley:

I’m ready for a week of alternating boredom and excitement. Roomie leaves in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to visit her brother for Thanksgiving, and I’ll have the house all to myself for a week. We’ve been living together for almost a year now, and while I love having my best friend as my roommate, I occasionally miss my privacy.

So, it’s time for the Official What Are You Doing For Thanksgiving Round-Up, I think. I will be taking part in what might just be one of my top three favorite yearly rituals–I get in the car at about 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, and that way I’ve navigated the heaviest traffic and am well on my way to Grandma’s by the time “Alice’s Restaurant” comes on the radio. I usually pull into Grandma’s driveway within three minutes of the end of the song. And then I whip my cousins’ collective behinds at Trivial Pursuit after dinner. Unless my parents whip my behind, instead. :slight_smile:

And then, I go home, and I make it to 50,000 words on my NaNo. I might not even leave the house between Thursday night and Sunday, unless I run out of cigarettes. :slight_smile: