I don’t really care about Ohio State one way or the other. Somehow, though, I always end up watching them on Saturdays and talking about them throughout the week because KVB drank the Columbus Kool-Aid long ago and thinks about nothing else from September through Ohio State’s eventual BCS drubbing in January.
For the record, I disagreed with his assessment that Ohio Stadium is the best football stadium in the Big Ten (my vote goes to Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley) and I laughed when GQ named Ohio State one of the 25 douchiest colleges in America. But, I sure as hell like Ohio State more than Michigan.
Why do I tell you all of this? Mainly so that you don’t reject the rest of this post as simply being your typical Buckeye propaganda that gets pushed out this time of year by Ohio State’s throngs of sychofans across the country. (like this guy…I know the domain says purdue.edu, but I bet you he’s a Buckeye fan!)
With that said, I want to commend Ohio State for being proactive in showing support to America’s service academies.
Recently, Ohio State began circulating a video that implores its fans to give the Navy Midshipmen football team a rousing ovation — what they are calling the “Take the Field Tribute” — when Navy takes the field at Ohio Stadium on September 5 (click here for tickets). Ohio State head football lieutenantÂ coach Jim Tressel, agrees with idea, saying “We would hope we would treat every opponent with great respect, but I think it’s even raised a notch when you’re talking about people running out on the field who are pledged to defend you.”
(In related news, there is no truth to the rumor that Tressel also wanted to institute a similar ovation policy for every time a special teams unit trots onto the field.)
According to the Take the Field Tribute video, Ohio State hopes “this tradition starts at Ohio State and spreads to other schools who host US Service Academy teams.” Agreed.
Here is the video in its entirety:
The video, as you might expect, is filled with typical Buckeye arrogance, claiming that “even visiting teams respect and appreciate the honor and the tradition of Ohio State…and the opportunity to play football in Ohio Stadium.”
It is also filled with outright lies, like this one: “Buckeyes know there are some things more important than football.”
Oh really? I challenge you to find me a Buckeye fan who believes that anything is more important than football. Honestly Ohio State, I think the idea for a Take the Field Tribute is great, but there is no reason to be disingenuous and say things that everyone knows are false.
Regardless, I think this is a fantastic idea and hope that more schools follow suit if they are not doing this already.
I think a lot of us, regardless of our political leaning, myself included, take for granted the freedoms that we have in this country. And that’s as much of a soapbox as I will get on, because I do not think that too many people would disagree with me. A standing ovation from 100,000+ people would certainly be moving, and I am sure that Navy’s football team, as well as military veterans and officers across the globe, would appreciate it.
Plus, for all of the kids in attendance and watching on TV, it would provide a great opportunity for parents to discuss why the fans are cheering for the opposing team while explaining the importance of the sacrifices that military men and women make.
Doug Lesmerisis has a great article at Cleveland.com discussing the planned Ohio State tribute to Navy, with the most apt statement coming at the end:
A rousing welcome in the largest stadium any of them will ever play in is something most of the Navy players would probably remember forever. But their real dream to return from the locker room to start the third quarter and get booed like crazy — because they’re winning.
So, Ohio State fans, after you take part in the Take the Field Tribute and then watch your Buckeyes gets off to their typical sluggish start in the first game of the season to trail 7-6 at the half, remember to boo too.
The Navy football team represents the reason why we can enjoy college football Saturdays so freely. The least fans can do is temporarily put aside their insatiable appetite for victory to honor the men and women who keep us safe and make our way of life possible.
And Buckeye fans, beware: if you don’t show proper respect by participating in the Take the Field Tribute, Jim Tressel will reciprocate your disrespect with a double bunny ear salute when you least expect it.
* – Jim Tressel bunny ears photo credit: AP Photo/Terry Gilliam via ESPN.com
* – Navy football team photo credit: Saul Loeb / Agence France-Presse via Military Times