In 2010, I had just left Teach for America and was working on a congressional campaign, and both places required me to work with a lot of people with very fancy academic pedigrees, and I would occasionally get ribbed over attending a lowly land grant institution, rife with commoners and all. Some probably agreed with former Northwestern University President Robert Strotz, who thought that having a bad football team somehow meant even greater academic success. The administration at American University felt the same way when I briefly attended there. Only meatheads like football, you know.
I thought this was dumb, so I wrote this poem to gently tease them. I posted it on Facebook, and after some encouragement from friends, posted it as a FanPost on EDSBS, where it was well received. That led to increased activity on EDSBS, which led to me noticing an ad looking for contributors for a new Ohio State project. I used this poem to help get me a contributor gig at LGHL, and now, well, here we are.
I've made a few changes to the original poem...removing some dated jokes, adding some more material, but the gist is essentially the same. I hope you like it. Go Bucks.
I used to be self-conscious about where I got my degree
Since almost everyone in TFA had an Ivy-League pedigree
And when I’d tell ‘em "The Ohio State" they’d roll their eyes and snort,
"Your school is like 50 spots below ours in the US News Report!"
They all might have gone to Europe, and dined with high society,
While I rode a COTA bus downtown that kinda smelled like pee.
But once September rolls around, I'll find myself in luck,
Because now it's football season, and quite frankly, you all suck.
So Harvard, Amherst and Williams, you guys can go to hell,
and join Georgetown, Duke, Yale, Holy Cross, Wesleyan and Bucknell.
Sure, you’ve been leading academic institutions since before the days of Prohibition,
But I don’t see you kicking ass now on ESPN, in sparkling High Definition.
Case Western has a football team and is still a leading academic institution,
but their players are only playing so they can train for Dance Dance Revolution.
George Washington and NYU have even given up it seems,
your schools cost like 60 freakin' grand, and you guys can't afford a football team?
Boston College might be able to recruit a prestigious academic class,
but apparently not one quite bright enough to figure out the forward pass.
U Chicago decided to focus on research, so their football team took a hit,
you might house Nobel Laureates, but y'all can't block worth shit.
We beat Rice by over 70, and we’d beat Tulane by more,
And if Princeton came to Columbus, we wouldn’t even want to guess the score.
We even tried to schedule Vandy, but at the last second, they up and scrammed,
they didn't even have the guts to call us. They sent a telegram.
I'll let you start your secret clubs or bicker about your wage,
I'll stick to the sports section, you can keep the WSJ Editorial Page
I'm aware that you guys rule the world just about every hour,
but that all stops on fall Saturdays. That's when the spotlight's ours.
My Buckeye friends, if you’re in town, please go see the game for me,
Grill outside, throw some bags, maybe have a beverage or three,
Strike up the band, dot the I, and scream LETS GO BUCKS,
It’s 10:35 AM on August 30th, and Michigan still sucks.