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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Most Important Battle This Week?

While college football fans everywhere prepare for the epic showdown on the banks of the Olentangy this Saturday, another battle between the Wolverines and Bucks brews this week in cyberspace. CSTV.com is hosting a "Battle of the Blogs" pitting Michigan against tOSU blogs.

Yours truly was asked to participate and answer the question,
"Which stadium is better?" Representing OSU was Pfef's Sports Blog. Below is our response...

Having been to Ohio Stadium a couple times, I feel uniquely qualified to answer this question. Unlike a shady politician (no doubt from Ohio) who would answer such a query without all the facts, I can speak from firsthand experience gleaned from my trips to Columbus (surprising as it may be for some to believe I got out alive and thus live to tell about it).

NICKNAME

Michigan Stadium is better known as The Big House, which is appropriate seeing as its the largest college football stadium in America. It's not "A" Big House or "One" Big House or even "Some" Big House. No, it's simply The Big House implying there is no other. And of all people, Buckeye fans should understand the significance and definitive nature of the word "The" before a name or title.

Ohio Stadium on the other hand is often referred to as The Horseshoe, or simply The 'Shoe. However, since the stadium renovations a few years ago which made the seats in the once-open end of the stadium permanent, it really doesn't look much like a horseshoe anymore, does it? Then again, I guess calling it the "U With A Line Across The Opening Part" doesn't really roll off the tongue.

Advantage: Michigan

AESTHETICS

The incredible thing about The Big House is that upon first approaching, it doesn't seem like much. Hell, it's not that tall, that "big"...until one walks through the tunnel and first glimpses "the hole that Yost dug, Crisler paid for, Canham carpeted and Schembechler filled each and every Saturday" according to legendary U-M announcer Bob Ufer. It's truly breathtaking. A sea of 110,000 maize and blue faithful cheering the Wolverines on.

Best of all, there's not a bad seat in the place. Because the stadium was literally carved out of the ground, there are no support columns or poles to obstruct one's view.

As for the "U With A Line Across The Opening Part," one is immediately struck by the fact that they have state troopers standing atop the brick towers at one end of the stadium. Each time I see them, I'm reminded of prison guards (and this was long before Maurice Clarett). I guess their purpose is to help spot fires around the campus during the famed Burning of the Couches after a big Buckeye victory...or loss...or any random Thursday night.

Furthermore, in addition to large support beams in the stadium, one's view in the 'Shoe is also often obstructed by the large Ohioans.

Advantage: Michigan

FIELD QUALITY

While Michigan plays on comfortable, sure-footed synthetic Field Turf, Ohio State plays on natural grass...when it's not just a big clump of dirt...or being replaced for the 36th time this season.

Advantage: Michigan

SEATS

In a nod to our great country's democratic roots, in which all football fans are created equal, Michigan Stadium has bleacher style seating, all the exact same size. This is simply the university's way of not playing favorites with Wolverine supporters, making no distinction between rich or poor, large or small, as all the maize and blue faithful sit in identical seats, each enjoying the game in equal comfort (as long as nobody in your section weighs more than Nicole Ritchie).

Ohio Stadium on the other hand has many different sizes, styles and types of seats. From the high-priced luxury boxes where Buckeye boosters can cheer on the athletes they've chosen to support financially each football season to the crappier seats in the low corner of the closed side of the stadium where they stick the Michigan fans, giving those higher up a perfect target to hurl obscenities and other more tangible objects.

As for which stadium has the best seats, I believe in the equality that America was founded on (and the U-M athletic department's assumption that no human being weighs over 132 pounds). Thus...

Advantage: Michigan

NOISE

Ok, here is one category where I must give the nod to our Buckeye brethren to the south. Sitting inside the 'Shoe during a game is something akin to sticking one's head in a jet engine. When not hurling F-bombs at frightened Michigan fans or spelling other four-letter words such as O-H-I-O with the rest of the stadium like they're practicing for a really easy spelling bee, OSU fans can be a loud, intimidating bunch that turn The Horseshoe into one of the loudest stadiums in all the land.

Michigan Stadium...not so much.

Michigan fans are very fond of the "key play" cheer by which, during "key" moments of the game like a critical third down for the opposing team, U-M fans -- in unison mind you -- reach into their pockets or purses, withdraw their key chains...and begin to jangle them with all their might. The hope here is that the mere sight of tens of thousands of Wolverine fans shaking their car key against their house key -- over and over again in the stadium -- is enough to cause an illegal procedure penalty for the opponent, either when the sun hits the keys just right and blinds them or from laughing so hard at the lameness of it.

Advantage: Ohio State

SUMMARY

As you can tell by my scientific analysis above, it's obvious "The Big House" is infinitely better than the ol' stinky 'Shoe.

(NOTE: If this "summary" paragraph feels chopppy, that's because there was more text here at the end giving our prediction for the game, which CSTV.com had asked for. However, it was cut. As such, we'll save it for Benny's KNOW YOUR FOE segment Friday)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMEN, BROTHER!

Eric S. said...

Benny,

Thanks for the nod on the crowd noise, but I gotta disagree with your assessment of the seating situation at "THE" Big House <-- (also well done btw)

As a "large Ohioan" attending the game last year, those seats were awful. Just because you can fit 110,000 125lb people doesn't mean you should. Although I am of the "stand up and cheer" version of fan, I can understand why some of the U of M alums are so keen on the "Sit Down in Front" cheer. They're just cranky cause there asses are getting smashed in a multitude of large-ass-ed-ness. I can't blame them...

I'll concede the nickname (and field quality, but that's a given) to our brethren to the North, but for aesthetics, we've gotta win that one. Giant Roman-like Coliseum > Seat-filled giant-ass bowl.

Other than that, well done. Good work.

TitleIX said...

yeah, I too was surprised by the seat choice.
although, I am proud to say that I have never stepped foot in C-bus or it's stadium...I gotta figure anyone has seating size better than the Big House

WhiteDawg said...

Who cares which stadium is better. It's not really going to help Michigan this year.

The King said...

I would have given four of the five to OSU, but I'm not going to say which four.

Anonymous said...

You got the nickname wrong for Ohio Stadium. It's now referred to as "The Toilet Seat", since horshoe's are obviously open on one end.

surrounded in columbus said...

Benny,
trying to be objective, i'd have vote it closer. the snake pit clearly gets "noise", but i think it may also deserve "aesthetics". as a structure, certainly the original facade, and to agree the new false front, make more of an architectural statement than m stadium.

also, i'm sort of split on the seats. while ours are tight, there's may 50 seats in the big house that aren't a terrific view of the game. tosu does have a lot of better seats from a sitting perspective, but there are a lot of obstructins and poor views in the place. you can't see the scoreboard or punts from half the seats in B deck (they have tvs), and the seats in both end zones are a long way from the action (because of the oval shape around the field). i'd consider that a toss up.

for what it's worth.

Jim said...

As osu 1988 fan put, I have "no dog in this hunt", "horse in the race", "or couch in this fire", but I have to give the nod to the Shoe in one category, and that's turf. College football should be played on grass, not synthetic field turf. So what if it gets torn up and becomes dirt with grass clumps as the season progresses, looks like football has been played on that surface. Come on, if they can have real grass in Lambeau, certainly A2 can have it.

Anonymous said...

Now, if you go by architectural appeal, how can you say The Big House is better? It's just one big boring bowl with a press box on one side and two of setting scoreboards.

I think Ohio Stadium looks a lot better. It looks very appealing from both inside and out. The angle of the upper deck, the arches on the outside, the concrete towers at the ends of the original stadium, the rotunda, the towering scoreboard/jumbotron, the huge flagpole....it's all just gives it a better feel.............compared to a large inground bowl that basically looks the same from most angles.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the "BIG DUMP" is not more appealing in looks. Thats a rediculous comment-

Your stadium looks exactly the same as ND (albeit yours was 1st) and is not beautiful. Its a giant bowl. Get over it.

You have more people b/c your seats are all small. Very small.

THE MAIN POINT: playing in Michigan with the jangling keys and sound that reflects up gives your team very little "home field advantage". The SHOE is the definition of home field advantage. Rediculous comparison.

Anonymous said...

So is arrington a criminal for what he did. It seems to me that Michigan may be better at sweeping things under the rug. I thought Lloyd was Mr. Discipline. Arrington only missed six or seven plays at the most.

surrounded in columbus said...

never convicted. appears now the girlfriend may have fabricated the whole incident.

on the other hand, boone blew the roof off the field sobriety test. was convicted. never missed a down.

there are another 20 or so tosu conviction stories. there's maybe one or two more michigan stories during the same time period.

to paraphrase srudoff, look stuff up first.

matsut said...

Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a crutch, can everybody please shut up about Arrington, and Boone, etc., for just this week? Does it have anything to do with The Game? NO.

I did notice a factual error in your post, Benny: No "brick towers" at Ohio Stadium. Having never been to A2, I'll refrain from commenting on the stadium itself, but it seems to me that "crowd noise" ought to be a heavily weighted category - and it also seems that if y'all are correct about the relative quiet of a game at Michigan Stadium, that's kind of embarrassing - or it ought to be.

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