Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: Which holiday movie best sums up this Ohio State football season?
Jami’s Take: ‘The Grinch’
All the Oh-Whos down in Oh-Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but Jim Harbaugh, who lived just North of Oh-Whoville DID NOT.
I assume everyone is at least vaguely familiar with Dr. Seuss’s story of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” but as a quick refresher for anyone who might need it, the residents of Whoville absolutely live for Christmas. I mean, their entire personality is Christmas, and they are going to make sure you know it.
It drives one neighbor, The Grinch, a heartless furry green fellow who lives on the nearby Mount Crumpit with his dog Max, absolutely bananas. Mr. Grinch cannot stand the Whos’ toxic positivity and deranged obsession with twinkle lights, so he sets out to ruin their year by stealing Christmas.
With Max as a reindeer, the Grinch dresses himself up like Santa Claus, only instead of delivering goodies a la the Big Guy, he steals everything.
Presents. Trees. Christmas lights. Their Who pheasants and roast beasts. He steals every last drop of their Christmas, shoves it in a sack, and drags it up to Mount Crumpit to dump it.
The Whos’ somewhat naïve, childlike joy and vocal obsession mirrors that of Buckeye fans. Everyone in the land is going to know we are rooting for Ohio State because much like the Whos (and much to the chagrin of our neighbors who absolutely do not want to hear one more round of “Buckeye Battle Cry), we simply won’t shut up about it.
And for most of this season, there was much to celebrate. We headed into Thanksgiving undefeated. We had a solid shot at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. The end of the year was, much like the Whos, our time to shine.
And so, the Whos bedazzled Whoville with Christmas lights, cranked up the carols, and wrapped up their presents. We bedazzled ourselves in Buckeye beads, cranked up the fight songs, and wrapped ourselves up in coats to brave a weekend in Michigan in November.
And our joy was stolen from us by a coldhearted thief. He stuffed our undefeated season in a sack, shoved our Big Ten title hopes up the chimney, and dumped our playoff hopes off Mount Crumpit.
He even stole our signs with the same cold-blooded glee as the Grinch finishing off the Whos’ Who-Feasts.
Devastating, and frankly, disorienting end to the regular season. The following weeks brought the Big Ten Championship game with no Buckeyes in sight. It felt like waking up on Christmas morning to find an empty fridge and no presents, and it required us to recalibrate.
Now Dr. Seuss gave us a happy ending, with the Grinch also returning what he stole, embracing the Whos, and finding his heart grew three sizes in a single day. I’m not expecting Jim Harbaugh to give back what he took willingly the way the Grinch does (for Harbaugh’s heart to grow three sizes, he’d have to have one to begin with). There is still always the possibility the NCAA will play the role of Dr. Seuss here, though, by forcing Michigan to vacate all its wins due to the sign-stealing scandal.
But even if Harbaugh gets to keep it all, where we really mirror the Whos is our resilience. The Whos don’t stop loving Christmas just because the green meanie takes their stuff away. It’s something they feel in their bones, and the spirit still arrives on Christmas Day even without the lights and the presents.
Without any of their goodies, the Whos join hand-in-hand to sing a Christmas song.
And even without a Big Ten Title or a playoff spot, if there’s one thing Buckeye fans are gonna do, it’s get their complaints out of their system and then stand arm-in-arm to sing Carmen Ohio.
The Whos’ love of Christmas runs deep, and not even The Grinch can steal that from them. So to does our love of Ohio State. Our bond is thicker than the waters of the Olentangy, and even if the Grinch of Ann Arbor steals everything else, he can’t take that away from us.
Time, change and Grinches will — and dare I say HAVE — surely shown how firm thy friendship, Ohio.
Happy holidays to you and yours, Buckeye fans, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year.
Matt’s Take: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
I don’t think that there is anyone amongst us who can claim that this past Ohio State football season was as bright and cheery as the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas classics, or as relatively drama-free as a Hallmark holiday movie, but I am starting to feel like we might have happy ending nonetheless.
While you cannot directly map the 2023 Buckeye football season over top of the iconic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I feel like we, as OSU fans, experienced many of the same emotions contained in the movie classic. There were moments of despair, for both George Bailey and Buckeye fans, including — in some cases — ones that led to complete exacerbation that made it seem like there would never be another day when the sun shone upon us.
But one of the things that this season forced us to do was to take a look back at all of the good things that we have as Buckeye fans. As if we had our own guardian angel second class guiding us through the highs of Ohio State football. With all due respect to the recently departed — but still very much alive — Kyle McCord who still managed to put up solid and somewhat impressive statistics, his shortcomings reminded us of how good we had it with the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields, and C.J. Stroud.
Finally having a legitimate Silver Bullets defense again, and an absurd level of offensive talent, this fall was almost like being able to see what Ohio State fandom would have been if none of our elite-level quarterbacks had ever been born. While obviously not as disastrous as what would have befallen Bedford Falls had George Bailey never been born, this season was at times just as emotionally taxing for Buckeye fans.
But as if Clarence was here to grant our wishes, things seem to be turning around for Ohio State. There has been legitimate concern from Buckeye fans — including some who write for LGHL — about the seeming lack of aggression in the transfer portal, but we are starting to learn that there might be a very good reason for that perceived passivity.
While there have been precious few confirmations about veterans’ 2024 intentions, rumors and general vibes seem to suggest that Ryan Day and company are going to get a sizeable number of starters back for next season. And while landing someone like linebacker Tackett Curtis, defensive tackle Derrick Harmon, or even quarterback Will Howard would be nice, if OSU ends up getting back impact players like Denzel Burke, Emeka Egbuka, Donovan Jackson, Jordan Hancock, TreVeyon Henderson, Jack Sawyer, J.T. Tuimoloau, and Tyleik Williams back, that would certainly make a wonderful life for Buckeye fans, besides, as the old saying goes, “every time a player returns, an angel gets his wings.”
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed
Jami: The Grinch
Matt: It’s a Wonderful Life