Friday, September 04, 2009

The Brutal Season

It has begun. Several 50-year-old women in my workplace are carrying pom poms, and wearing earrings in the shape of a poisonous nut. Marching band music blares in the corporate elevators. "O-H," one of my co-workers chanted in the elevator. "I-O," another chanted in return, proving that cooperative spelling is one of the special little touches that make Columbus so charming at this time of year. Several of my neighbors now sport 8-foot inflatable Brutus Buckeyes in their yard.

Every year at this time several hundred thousand central Ohioans lose their minds. I've lived here most of my life, and I still can't get used to it. It is, and always will be, a bizarre phenomenon for me. Look, to the extent that I care, I want the Buckeyes to win their games, if for no other reason than it makes most of the people around me happier. But it also makes them crazier. I'm not sure if it's an even tradeoff.

8 comments:

Someone Said said...

Lived here for almost twenty years and I still shake my head at the hype.

Karen said...

YES. i really do not understand it. at all.

jenny mae. said...

being born to a man who "bleeds scarlet and gray" i find it rather adorable. to me it symbolizes a way that adults can still act like kids. however the burning couches thrown from balconies on campus i could do without.

Ian said...

I grew up in Toledo, and we're split probably close to 50/50 on OSU/UM here. I always thought it was kind of a cute rivalry thing until I got out of town. Never realized how rabid the rest of the state is about its Bucks. Of course, I came of age during the Cooper era...

Julana said...

I haven't seen the giant inflated Brutus's yet. I have been missing out.

I don't get it, either. It seems such a loss; the cost of missed opportunities because energy was directed toward football must be enormous.

I also like them to win, but I feel the whole thing is so exploitative of young people.

Julana said...

We're turning into Crew fans.

uscrewtape said...

I know you're going to think I'm crazy for saying this. But, having lived in the C-bus for close to three decades, I think it's more subtle, more pervasive, and somewhat creepier in the Bend. Imagine a city less than 1/10 the size of C-bus with a fan base nearly as large as OSU. Perhaps, if sales of sports-related merchandise and the ability to keep NBC on permanent Saturday afternoon lockdown is any indicator, even larger.

The people here have nothing nearly as cute or resolvable as O-H...I-O. It's more "God, Country, Notre Dame" around here—as if you could actually be sent to the bottom of one of the lakes for failing to support the team.

There is no couch burning here--far too proletariat. Here, we sue you. Or refuse you medical treatment. Or the eucharist. (I think that's the ultimate trump card.)

Julana said...

We do love our Buckeyes. (I have to say that, after last night's USC game.)

You get up, brush off, and go again.