Throughout the week, I have been writing about things that I am excited about for the upcoming season, and while there are more than enough players and possibilities that are currently getting me amped up that I could write about them for the rest of the year, next week, I’m going to transition into more in-season topics as the Ohio State Buckeyes prepare to play the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Oct. 24.
But, before I do, I couldn’t overlook the opportunity to talk about how excited I am to once again fully embrace one of the most tried-and-true modern Buckeye Nation traditions, getting irrationally mad online.
The Ohio State fanbase is a large, passionate group of people, and as with all large groups, the most extreme and vocal amongst us are usually the ones who set the narrative for the rest of the group. So, we have a bit of a reputation for being loud, having a victim complex, and trying to make every college football conversation about the Buckeyes.
Now, I vehemently disagree with that blanket classification. Ohio State just happens to be one of the biggest communities of alumni and fans in the country, and a handful of episodes in which the football team underachieved on the national stage has put a bull’s eye on our backs for talking heads and other program’s fans who need to insult someone else to justify their pitiful existence or to deflect attention away from their own team’s massive failures. So, we’re not the assholes, all of them are the assholes.
Sorry, I got a little worked up there. But, my point remains that the vast majority of OSU fans are wonderful, level-headed people who love the Buckeyes and treat other teams and their fans with respect. They ignore the drama online — if they even know it exists — and go on with their lives, not letting the small-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things machinations of college football weigh them down.
Spoiler Alert: I will not be following their example in this article. One of my great joys in life is tweeting from the LGHL Twitter account (@Landgrant33), especially on game days. As I mentioned in my column about being excited to have something to be excited about, the OSU community online is incredibly smart, funny, and creative, and game days on Buckeye Twitter are the best.
However, if you mosey your way into our mentions and try to talk shit, we are going to have a problem. Beyond good-natured ribbing, we try never to purposely insult an individual team or fan base (other than TTUN, insulting them is always fair game). But, if you’ve got a really bad take involving the Buckeyes, we are going to come for you.
Case in point, this week’s SB Nation Reacts polls. The audacity of our SBN overlords to send out a poll that puts only Clemson and Alabama as presumptive national championship favorites is out-and-out Ohio State erasure, and I will not stand for it.
Don’t forget that it was the BUCKEYES, not the TIDE that was ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll before all of the pandemic rescheduling got things out of whack. Also, OSU and ‘Bama are currently tied for second with the best national championship odds behind Clemson.
So, to assume that the Buckeyes don’t exist in this discussion is not only insulting, it is also libelous, and you will be hearing from my lawyers.
If you want to have your voice heard in the weekly SB Nation Reacts polls, sign up here.
You know what? That felt really good. I haven’t had a chance to go on a legitimate rant that didn’t require a healthy dose of sober nuance in a long time. I missed it. Being able to just go hog-wild on something is a special joy that only college football can bring.
In fact, I need some more. So, let’s take a look at the other SB Nation Reacts national poll from this week. Apparently Clemson’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence received roughly 43% of the votes in this Heisman survey. His teammate, running back Travis Etienne, got like 17%, and then in third place OSU’s Justin Fields and Alabama RB Najee Harris were right around 8%.
EIGHT PERCENT? EIGHT FLIPPING PERCENT? Bro, please! Last season, Fields finished third in the Heisman voting behind fellow Buckeye Joe Burrow and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. You know where Lawrence was? He was at home watching the ceremony on television brushing out his golden locks to make sure that they didn’t get tangled when he cried himself to sleep while Fields was soaking up the Heisman hype in the Big Apple.
Lawrence finished seventh, behind Ohio State’s Chase Young (4th) and J.K. Dobbins (6th), and Etienne was ninth. NINTH. And they are still putting him above Fields this year? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
Seventh and ninth in a year in which Clemson went undefeated through the regular season while defending a national title, and neither of them could get an invite to New York, and you’re still going to #disrespekt Justin Fields by putting them ahead of him? In the immortal words of Buckeye Born and Bread legend Cris Carter, “Come on, man!”
God, I forgot how much fun this can be. Getting pissy online really gets the endorphins going.
There is no doubt that we are going to have plenty of reasons to get defensive and angry online during this college football season. Folks from around the country are going to make fun of the fact that the Big Ten canceled the season and then reversed course, they’re going to try to undermine whatever success Ohio State has by saying that the B1G sucks and that the Buckeyes are overrated; they’re going to say that OSU will just be fodder for Clemson or <insert SEC team here> once playoff time comes. We all know it’s going to happen.
In my real online life, I tend to avoid conflict and just ignore trolls and idiots. But, from the LGHL Twitter page, I kind of feel that as the self-appointed sarcastic, black sheep of the Ohio State blogosphere, we have the responsibility to stand up for our team, our fans, and ourselves. So if you pop off and @ us, or if you are a member of the media and post something that falls below the line of acceptable idiocy, we’re gonna let you (and our followers) know about it.
Now, I never try to be cruel or pick on someone who exhibits some sort of indication that they can’t take it, but I’ve gotta tell you, clapping back — especially when someone is coming for the Buckeyes — is so much fun, and I’m excited to be able to do it in earnest again.
I know that most of social media can be a cesspool of the absolute dregs of human existence, and especially in an election year happening smack dab in the middle of a pandemic, no one needs more negativity in their feeds, so, I promise that any trash talking that I do from the LGHL Twitter account will be done with as much good-natured snark as I possibly can muster — unless you’re a Michigan Man, in which case, you’re gonna get exactly what your punk ass deserves.
After some unexpected start and stops, I am back to posting a column every single day from preseason camp until whenever Ohio State’s football season ends. Some days they will be longer and in depth, some days they will be short and sweet. Let me know what you think of this one, and what you’d like to see me discuss in the comments or on Twitter. Go Bucks!