The Game, The Game, The Game

Submitted by shswhit51 on November 25th, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Well, its my last day of teaching before thanksgiving break and thusly, before The Game.  A tradition in my american history class is to show the documentary The Rivalry which goes back through the history of this rivalry.  I'm watching this, and I'm looking at the young Michigan fans here in my NW ohio classrooms who still, despite the jeers and ridiculue, still wear their maize and blue while I too have my Nike number 7 maize and blue jersey on.  I like watching this documentary because it reminds me of the greatness of this game.  How even on bad years our boys can still pull one out to play spoiler to the enemy.  


This is a downturn for Michigan.  But this isn't the first in our storied history.  Anything is possible this Saturday.  So let's cut the woe is me crap and rally behind our team and our coach one last time.  


I hate Ohio State.  But more importanly I love michigan


Go blue



November 25th, 2014 at 9:04 AM ^

I said this in another thread yesterday but there is less excitement for the Game this year than even 2008. Why? I suspect that aside from the inevitability of a loss, the meaninglessness of the result for our season and the general malaise, the main reason is that so many of our fans are afraid to hope for a victory as that might - in our dysfunctional AD - be a basis upon which Hoke is saved. I know that logic dictates that Hoke is gone regardless. But, as Brian has noted, logic isn't always the basis upon which our administration operates. Otherwise, Hoke never would have been hired in the first place. Otherwise, we would be one-month into the search for an AD and be close to having that wrapped up. Otherwise, Hoke would have likely been given the Earl Bruce / Muschamp treatment already.

So, while we all know that hoke should be gone, many of us fear that a win can somehow save him. It is for this reason that so many are not excited for this game.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:13 AM ^

Disagree. I don't think it is fear of retaining Hoke. It is utter lack of confidence that the coaching staff can put together a good strategy to beat a very good team, that the players (especially offense) can execute at a level needed to beat a good team, or that the team has any chance of winning a road game in a hostile environment or otherwise against a good team.

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November 25th, 2014 at 9:27 AM ^

I could never root for Michigan to lose against Ohio State.  Ne matter the consequences.  Never.

Well, OK, maybe if my son was the QB for Ohio State . . . except then he wouldn't be my son anymore.  So never.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

but don't let all that get in your way of a good healthy hate of our rivals to the south.  I don't care about Hoke's job this week, I don't care about our record or theirs.  I think one reason why they've had our number the past few years is that they have this rivalry in the right perspective.  I say we go into Columbus and root for Michigan to wreck ANY hopes they have of making the playoff...even though I think with a win they probably won't make it.  A win against them is a win against them.  Its happened before.  Hell, we played with them for 59:30 seconds last year.  Records out the window, boys and girls.  Put your hate-hat on and lets get ready for a football game.  The BEST rivalry in college football. 


November 25th, 2014 at 9:40 AM ^

but I truly believe this:  The coach they have now, despite being a great coach of football, comes with a price that Michigan should not be willing to pay in the long run.  Mark my words, I believe that Urban MF'er Meyer will be the source of controversy within that program and he will brign embarassment to them because of it.  The deal they've made with that devil will come back to bite them. 

So yeah, better coaches...but one of them has already proved that the win is more important than their integrity.

User -not THAT user

November 25th, 2014 at 1:48 PM ^

If Jim Tressel didn't embarrass them AND earn a place in their doghouse over vacated wins, probation despite an undefeated season, and of course his ultimate termination, I really don't think anything Urbz can do will be worse.

To these people John Cooper was an embarrassment.  All he did was win conference championships, recruit Heisman Trophy winners, and send a sh!tload of dudes to the NFL.  What was the ONE THING he didn't do so well?


November 25th, 2014 at 2:02 PM ^

JT did all those things, too.  But my argument was focused on Meyer.  So...okay. 

Yes, the one thing that Cooper didn't do well...I know where you're going with that.  I'm highlighting the difference between their program and ours and that despite the wins, Meyer will cause them embarassment, regardless of what past coaches have done. 

User -not THAT user

November 25th, 2014 at 3:11 PM ^

...I think you missed it.

The only thing that embarrasses them is losing to Michigan.

Tressel did that only once.  He also got the program put on probation making them ineligible for consideration to play for the conference (let alone BCS) championship during a year when they went TWELVE AND OH.  They're not embarrassed about that one bit; they still think he's the best thing that's happened to them since Woody Hayes was fired despite his own conduct being the reason he's no longer coaching there.  Hiring Urban Meyer (instead of say, Brady Hoke) PROBABLY soothes that a little, but there is no doubt Tressel's career ended a lot more ignominiously than it should everyone's eyes save those of an OSU fan.

Conversely, we have fans who are still embarrassed over stretchgate; that was nothing, but it's the first time Michigan football has ever been sanctioned by the NCAA and some folks hold that against RichRod as much as they do his accent and coaching record.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

Not sure if I am in the minority or not, but I can't justify right now watching the game Saturday. I'd rather just be happy with my young kids or take my wife to a movie. Never thought I'd be so indifferent about "The Game".


November 25th, 2014 at 9:35 AM ^

Cut the "true fan" bullcrap. There are very few reasons to be excited for the game this year and even fewer reasons to think we have a chance at pulling off the upset. I will watch, and I will root for the kids and even Hoke to win so he can save some face, but I wouldn't be opposed to skipping this one out either.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:43 AM ^

many times we'll play OSU.  Every time we have a chance to win - therefore, I will watch.  Do we suck? Sure. But that's why they play the game.  Just pisses me off that people are wishy washy because we're not good.  That's bullshit so no, I will not cut the true fan BS - you stand by your team or you GTFO.


November 25th, 2014 at 10:03 AM ^

I stand by the team. That doesn't mean I have to watch them get slaughtered by our biggest rival who is miles ahead of where we are with an equally young team.

I'm not wishy washy. You know what's worse than not being excited to watch your terrible dumpster fire of a team get slaughtered? Imposing your rules for fandom on others. You can watch the game, and I'm glad you will, but don't judge others who don't do it.

Everyone Murders

November 25th, 2014 at 10:09 AM ^

I don't feel that I have the standing to tell someone how to be a fan, and I don't like others telling me how to be a fan.  So I avoid tossing around the "true fan" moniker.

However, there are a lot of good reasons to watch The Game in my mind.  First, it's the greatest historic rivalry in college football.  We've not held up our end of the bargain, but it's still The Game.  Second, as the cliche goes, there's a reason they play the game.  Last year many of us thought Michigan did not have a prayer against Ohio State, but it was a terrific game and a brilliant effort by Gardner.  Third, it is likely the last chance to see many of the seniors play.  These young men have put tremendous effort into the team, and I want to see their last game even if the outcome is suboptimal.  (And if they pull a rabbit out of their collective helmets?  Brilliant.)  Fourth, Michigan is our school for various reasons - alumni, family history, personal choice, and many other reasons.  While I'll not be a slave to the TV during a season like this, I will always make an effort to watch the rivalry games.  Fifth, while being reduced to potential spoiler is not what I want for the program, Michigan does have a chance to destroy any of Ohio State's national championship hopes.

If you disagree, that's OK.  So long as you're not dumping on the players or making personal attacks on the coaches, that's fine.  We all come at this our own way.

And, in conclusion, screw Ohio State and their whole damned state. 


November 25th, 2014 at 10:48 AM ^

in a bit of a bad mood this morning.  I get why you woudlnt want to watch - it's probably going to be ugly.  That said, just for the same reason I never leave a game early - you just never know.  Part of being a fan to me is sticking by them no matter what even when they are bad.  They suffer, you suffer.  They bask in the glory of victory, so do you.  Kind of like the Lions in '08 - 0-16, I still wore my shirt - and one day when they win the Superbowl (hopefully) I can say "I was here in 08".  Maybe others don't get off on that the way I do but I digress.

Maize and Blue…

November 27th, 2014 at 11:53 PM ^

Life is a very fragile and transcient thing. We never know when we will personally see our last Michigan-OSU game, do you think that Bo knew that the 2005 game would be the last one he would ever see ? How many of us will pass away in the next year before another one is played ? No, I do not plan on passing away in the next year, but who does ? If this is my last one, I can only hope for three things, to hear "The Victors" so many times that I can not get it out of my head, to see an OSU cheerleader cry just because they lost, and lastly to see the players run off of that field, and out of that stadium victorious.



November 25th, 2014 at 9:13 AM ^

It is what it is. And what it is is likely the final game in a Michigan uniform for Devin Gardner, Jake Ryan, Brennen Beyer, and ten other Wolverines. I don't care if it's a beatdown, I don't care if Hoke is getting fired (well, I do care - it needs to happen - but not the focus Saturday), I'll be watching.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:15 AM ^

Today is OSU Michigan day at my Central Ohio school, which means that myself, along with maybe 6 other brave souls, are donning the maize and blue.  Without fail, every year I get asked the question "why are you a Michigan fan?  They suck!"  Before, I would reply with "well why do you like Ohio State?"  Usually they would say "because I was born in Ohio," to which I would reply "I was born in Michigan."  Today wasn't so much the case, mostly because I think they pity me.

Each day, we have had "OSU Michigan Trivia Question of the Day," with questions ranging to "what two coaches have the most wins for each team in the rivalry?" or "how many Heisman Trophy winners does each team have?"  Today's was:  "in the past 10 years, how many wins does Ohio State have?"  A few minutes later, the "correct" answer was announced as 9.  So, during my plan time, I went to the office and informed them that the correct answer was 8, because they vacated the wins in 2010.

They were not pleased.


November 25th, 2014 at 9:30 AM ^

I live in Northern Ohio and have since 1987.  The saddest part of the rivarly these days is that they really don't "hate" us anymore like they used to.  They really don't.  They PITY us and that is exponentially fucking worse let me tell you.  I'm wearing my Michigan gear proudly and have my Michigan flag flying high in front of my house.  In years past I'd get a lot of snide, sometimes profane, comments about my clothing choices.  These days?  Nothing.  Just a sad smile and shaking of the head and usually a comment like "what the heck is wrong with you guys?"

Read the comments of people going to the shoe and it's totally different now too.  When I was there it was a jungle and they hated every fiber of our being.  Nowdays it's like we used to treat the idiot fans of teams like Purdue that would travel to the Big House to watch their squad get slaughtered.  Anybody here get upset with a travelling Purdue fan lately?  Didn't think so.

Nobody really hates anymore cause we've become Purdue.  How much does that suck?


November 25th, 2014 at 9:56 AM ^

Agree 100%.  I lived around St. Mary's Ohio during the Cooper years.  I was a kid, but my god were they rabid as ever.  I moved to Ft. Wayne Indiana from middle school through high school, then went to college in Columbus in 2004 and have been here ever since.  And the climate sure has changed, for sure.  When I was a kid, I didn't even wear Michigan gear and I got shit.  Now, when one of my students wears Michigan gear, he will get the "Michigan sucks" only to respond: "yeah, I know."  For YEARS, I was telling my OSU colleagues "you hate us, but you NEED us.  You NEED us to be good.  Remember the 1 vs 2 game?  How big was that for your resume?  Now, you beat Michigan, it's no better than beating Purdue or Illinois."  The fact that they really need some help and style points to make the top 4, despite a possible 11-1 record, shows just that.

It just reminds me of Matthew McConaughey's line in Tropic Thunder:  "it's like pistol-whipping a blind kid."


November 25th, 2014 at 10:21 AM ^

When I lived down there I noticed an age boundary in feelings. I'll be 33 in a few weeks, which means my introduction to the rivalry was the comedy years of the late '80s and '90s. As a kid it was hard for me to work up that big a hatred for OSU. I mean, when your very first time watching ends with Cooper's hilarious expression after Kolesar's catch, it's just so much easier to hate Notre Dame, who frequently seemed to have Michigan's number, and MSU, as I learned at an early age that MSU fanhood, to a man, means petty and pathetic. It wasn't until I was a teenager and learned about the history of the rivalry (and, went to The Game and experienced real, live OSU fans) that the Buckeyes truly became #1 for me, even though at that time Michigan was still beating them.

So when I moved to Ohio I found that older fans had more that "healthy hate" that my parents and their peers had, yeah let's kick their ass, but we do acknowledge at least some mutual respect. Ones around my age, within say 5-7 years (more in the direction of older than younger), it's nothing but "FUCK MICHIGAN!!!" and I don't blame them. Their sports fan formative years were spent seeing their hopes crushed every November. I have kept in touch with many, to say their feelings remain unchanged would be an understatement. I don't think OSU can ever beat Michigan enough times for them. 

On the other hand, I never interacted with too many who were significantly younger than me while I was down there. I wonder what their feelings are, having grown up in the Tressel era. 


November 25th, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

There's absolutely something to that.  I'm 29 and, like you, had the pleasure of growing up watching Cooper's stacked teams talk the talk, but never back it up.  

I cannot speak for the modern OSU fan.  I've managed to score tickets to the Michigan OSU basketball game for the past 4 years, and if anything, the students are obnoxiously arrogant...but you would probably expect that from any rival fanbase.  You'll get the usual "fuck Michigan!" and the singing of "We Don't Give A Damn..." but that's really all I've witnessed.  The worst fans?  The guys in their 40s-50s (guys who were young adults in the Cooper years).  I saw a grown man (with his kids) yell "SUCKS!" every time a Michigan fan would say "Go Blue!"  In the 2013 game (Trey's missed 3 pointer at the end), OSU had built up a HUGE lead (which they then hilariously pissed away), and when Michigan called timeout after an illegal Craft three-pointer, he just stared at the Michigan fan and flipped him the ol' Marcus Hall." With his kids.  Did I mention he had kids?  They were there, too.  The guy was the perfect storm of OSU rage:  all the hatred from Woody compounded with the losses of Cooper.

But as I've always maintained: when you have a generation of fans who model themselves after a coach renowed for sideline tantrums and literal physical violence...well, that's what ya get.  Perhaps the modern fan knows Woody, but they didn't experience and cherish him like so many of the older fans do.


November 25th, 2014 at 11:30 AM ^

Oh yeah, they're ashamed of nothing. I was in a bar on High Street during their game against Penn State in 2008, which the Lions won. Late 50s-early 60s couple come in wearing PSU gear. This table of 21 year-old asswipes immediately start hurling pretty nasty insults, at both of them, bar staff saying not a word about this. Finally they get up to leave, and one of the little shits comes up and gets right in the guy's face. The kid jumped into a defensive posture like he was trying to make it look like the older man was going to do something, but I could hear everything and that was bullshit. They kept talking shit even as these people were walking out, and three or four even got up to follow them. At this point I did as well. I might have been outnumbered and had my ass kicked, but enough was enough. Luckily we all get out onto High Street and there were police outside taking care of a separate drunk Buckeye incident, so the kids immediately went back inside and the older couple could leave in peace. I acted like I was making a phone call so it wouldn't be obvious I had followed these guys outside, I didn't want to be the next target.


November 25th, 2014 at 12:41 PM ^

Sounds like we have a "cool story bro" contest going on...

2005 where we were favored and some guy named Troy Smith went off.  I was with my buddy who's brother went to and rented near OSU, so they all wanted to go to High Street after The Game.  After stepping over bodies and piles of vomit, we arrived at some house near the stadium, that must have been adjacent to a parking lot, because there were thousands of fans walking by.  I remember them making an effort to hurl cans/bottles at any car that had any tribute to Michigan, sticks or plates.  

The worst, and similiar to your story, was an older couple...probably 60s and 70s who were walking along the sidewalk, when about 3-4 ran up to them and just hurled insults and flipped them off to their faces.  They did and said nothing, but I remember the husband just holding his wife tightly the whole time as people chucked beers in their direction (none hitting, thank god).


November 25th, 2014 at 2:27 PM ^

At least n some fans and administration.  I know they really started try to push the idea of being more gracious to our guests.  We still have way to many assholes for my tatses but it seems like it has gotten somewhat better.  I was an undergrad and grad studnet during the Cooper years and you are right a lot of the guys that are around my age have a Michigan hate greater tahn most other fans. 

I think living outside of Columbus and the B1G footprint and in the early days of fan websites gave me a different view of things.  Plus I worked with a guy who grew up in Ann Arbor, went to Wisconsin and worked for PSU.  So we kind of had just each ohter in the island of ACC suckitude we lived on. 

But I almost got into it with a few Greeks before the PSU game in '98 that were giving an older blue haired lady and her husband a bunch of grief before the game. I don't get screaming at poeple who are fans of another team.  Scream and make noise in the stadium, directed at the field.  Don't scream at other fans.  And what makes you think you are a big tough guy, yelling at someone who is the same age as your grand or great grand parents.  I love Ohio State, but there are times I really hate some of my fellow fans.  Every fanbase has their share of assholes, but I am the first to admit it sure seems like we have more than our fair share. 


November 25th, 2014 at 5:38 PM ^

It's because you don't have an NFL team in Columbus.  It's a very large city not to have an NFL team.

They build NFL stadiums in places like Philadelphia with jail cells to save time dealing with out of control fans.  In Columbus, those guys that would have wound up in the NFL jail cells become Ohio State fans.  They have no real connection to the school but there's no pro team like in Cleveland or Cincy.