Now that we have made it through Christmas, the next holiday we have on the calendar to look forward to is New Year's. Last year was a bit of a tough year for Ohio State fans. The men’s basketball team failed to make the NCAA Tournament back in March. While the women’s hockey and basketball teams made deep runs in their tournaments, they both ended up falling a little short of winning titles. Then in the fall, the football team lost to Michigan for the third year in a row and missed out on making the College Football Playoff.
Since the new year is a time to set goals to better ourselves, today we want to know what your New Year’s resolution is for 2024 when it comes to Ohio State athletics. Is there a team you want to pay attention to more? Is there a certain goal you have in mind when it comes to how you root for the Buckeyes? Maybe there is a particular game on one of the team’s schedules you want to attend. If we all reveal our resolutions we can help keep each other accountable in 2024!
Today’s question: What is your New Year’s resolution for Ohio State athletics in 2024?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Watch more of the Ohio State women’s basketball team
Since I moved to Columbus in 2005, last year’s Ohio State women’s basketball team made one of their deepest NCAA Tournament runs, making it to the Elite Eight before losing to Virginia Tech. In the past 20 years there was numerous NCAA Tournament appearances, but they all didn’t make it beyond the Sweet Sixteen. It also helped that the men’s basketball team missed the NCAA Tournament, freeing me up to focus more on the run the women’s team made.
This year’s women’s team has enough talent to make the Final Four. So far this year, the Buckeyes are 10-2 ahead of Saturday’s game against Michigan. While Ohio State has lost two games, those setbacks came to a very talented USC in the first game of the year, and then at home recently to UCLA, who is ranked second in the country. The Buckeyes did beat Tennessee by 20 points, as well topping Penn State 94-84 in their Big Ten opener.
Jacy Sheldon, Cotie McMahon, and Taylor Thierry are averaging over 13 points per game, and the team recently saw guard Madison Greene return to the court after she was injured last season. Even though Greene is averaging just 10 minutes per game in her first four contests, she could be a huge factor off the bench as March nears. All this and I haven’t even mentioned Rebeka Mikulasikova or Celeste Taylor.
There would be times when I would keep track of scores from the women’s team but I wouldn’t really tune in to games. I know I need to change that this season since this team is so talented. The Buckeyes have two games on the regular season schedule against Iowa, which should be “must-see TV” as they try and slow down Hawkeye superstar Caitlin Clark. Along with Iowa, there are a number of tough teams in the Big Ten on Ohio State’s regular season schedule.
If you’re like me and want to do a better job at keeping tabs on the Buckeye women’s hoops team this year, at least you’re on the right site. Our own Thomas Costello does an amazing job at covering the team, so I know I’m going to keep an eye out for his work as the season moves along.
Happy New Year to all!
Matt’s answer: Tune out the vocal minority
I’ll be honest with you, blogging about the Buckeyes over the last few seasons hasn’t always been a ton of fun. After practically 20 years of dominance, the downturn in on-field success (almost exclusively against Michigan and in the postseason) has made for rather tumultuous reactions from a fanbase that is not particularly known for being level-headed. Part of this is the ability of social media to amplify small pockets of emotion in a way that makes it feel like they are the majority-held position. And it’s almost always the people who are the most disgruntled who are so passionate about letting as many people as possible know about it.
Now, this is not to say that anger, frustration, and disappointment have not been — and do not continue to be — warranted; we have passionately written and podcasted about the team’s failures over the years. However, due to the general anonymity of social media — and blogging — there is a tendency to overamplify the negative so that it goes from being a legitimate, but limited, grievance to something that people have to act like is an affront to our shared decency or an attack on our collective humanity.
These very loud, very angry voices are actually an accurate representation of the thoughts of a group of fans, but it is a small group. And I don’t say that to discount their positions, because often I think that their analysis, while not their toxicity, is fairly astute. Instead, I just mean that the larger majority of fans — be they of the Buckeye or any other team in any other sport — don’t pay close enough attention to the individual minutia surrounding their favorite team.
So, instead of letting embarrassing losses in New Year’s Six bowls (in which the offensive gameplan looked amateur at best) destroy their entire holidays and serve as an ever-present torment on their psyche for the next nine months, most fans move on fairly quickly; still disappointed and intermittently angry, but not enough to go scorched earth on anyone and everything even tangentially associated with the program.
While we as bloggers — remember LGHL is a fan site and in no way claims to be a journalistic outlet, especially when it comes to football — are not the point here, that is from where I have most witnessed the corrosive nature of the eternally online element in the OSU fandom. So, when things don’t go super well for the Bucks, we do what bloggers do and react to it or write about it or tweet about it, That, unsurprisingly, is often met with responses from fans who don’t take kindly to anyone criticizing the team that they love.
However, if we try to take an optimistic, glass-half-full approach to any disappointing outcomes, a different group of OSU fans (or maybe it is some of the same folks) get upset that we are not as actively pissed as they are. So, no matter what we do, there are people in this large and expansive Buckeye Nation who aren’t going to be happy. That’s just how it works when you cover the team with the largest fan base in the country.
And to be honest, that’s a bummer because everyone that covers football at LGHL is a die-hard Ohio State fan and we all want to see them win just as much as all of the readers and listeners do. But, when the team does fall short of its own (or its fans’) expectations, we are going to write about it. And, just like all of the fans out there, we have a wide range of opinions, so someone is practically always angry at us when we discuss the team’s shortcomings.
So, my New Year’s resolution is to just not pay attention to it, whether that’s in the comments of our stories, podcasts, or posts, or just on social media at large. It’s not that I don’t think that those people’s opinions are valid, or that they don’t have worthwhile perspectives, it’s just that they diminish my enjoyment of something that should fundamentally be fun. Being a fan of a football team comes with inherent highs and lows, and a general negativity surrounding a team at is underachieving is to be expected. But it’s the extreme venom that makes being a fan not much fun.
Therefore, in 2024, I’m just removing myself from that part of following the team. Podcasts, newspapers, articles, TV, radio, those are all forms of media that are st all still on the table