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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You say tomato...

In the wake of UMass losing the Division 1-AA championship game, students in Amherst rioted. School officials promised "swift disciplinary action" after the melee in which 11 were arrested and students lit small fires, smashed windows and threw bottles, cans, rocks and even bicycles at police.

“I’m outraged and terribly disappointed in the students involved in this disturbance,” said Michael Gargano, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life.

Now, since the story above was sent by SH, a friend of the MZone who is also a Buckeye fan, as an example of how other schools riot, too, I feel compelled to point out that after the Michigan-Ohio State game, some 40 fires were set, 38 people were arrested (four on arson after cars, furniture and trashbins were set ablaze) and fans flipped a car over.

And rather than being either outraged or terribly disappointed, OSU President Karen Holbrook instead "praised" Buckeye fans for their behavior saying, "Our fans proved they are, indeed, 'The Best Fans in the Land." She went on to add that, "For the second consecutive Michigan game in Columbus, we have had safe celebrations. While we will continue to look for ways to make additional improvements, we have turned the corner on fan behavior."

I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

14 comments:

matsut said...

Yost: It might not jibe with your personal experience or opinion, but having been on or around campus for every home game vs. Michigan since the mid-to-late 70's (and the 2002 NC game), there's no question that things are better now than they were in the late 1990's/early 'aughts. It's nowhere near acceptable yet, but it'll probably keep getting better, because people like me, and Holbrook, and the vast majority of OSU fans, don't like this bullshit (with one exception, which I'll get to in a minute) any more than you do - we just don't hate, hate, HATE the people committing the bullshit as much as you. It'd be interesting to find out how angry/outraged Michigan fans would be about these (relatively few) OSU fans' behavior if the Woverines weren't mired in a 1-5 stretch vs. OSU.

Now: I think we can all agree that when it comes to seriousness, burning/flipping cars > setting a fire in a dumpster > burning a piece of furniture. I would argue that the first two are several orders of magnitude worse than the last one (partly because, as was the case this year, dumpster fires can cause car fires. I've seen it happen). I mean, think about it: it's late fall, you're in your very early twenties, and you're partying at your off-campus house, and your team has just punched its own ticket to the National Championship with a stirring victory over their rivals. The couch and/or recliner on your porch isn't going to survive the winter in usable condition, and besides, you got it for free from somebody you knew who was moving, or you only paid 20-30 bucks at the thrift store for it; you can always get a new one in the spring. Somebody (perhaps inspired by a Mountaineer blog) comes up with the idea to drag it into the yard/street and ignite it in celebration. Is this really such a terrible thing? Silly, juvenile, mildly dangerous, against the law - certainly. But silly, juvenile, mildly dangerous and against-the-law activities are part of the college experience, and should be - they're fun - as long as you're not fucking with anybody else's property or person.

I want opposing fans, especially Michigan's, to feel safe - NOT "welcome", but SAFE - in Columbus, and destruction of others' property is ALWAYS wrong, but I can't get too upset about thirty or so people (at a university that has around 45,000 students and probably 75,000+ college-aged people living in the campus area) setting their own ratty porch-couches on fire.

This UMass incident seems much worse than anything that happened in Columbus this fall - for one thing, this was an on-campus riot, which by definition makes it worse for the school involved than anything that happens off-campus at any school. Also, attacking police is way, WAY beyond the pale, and it's something that hasn't happened in Columbus for some time. While Holbrook's statement (and the "Best Fans..." slogan) is self-serving and inane, mostly, her line about "turning the corner" seems particularly apt, because it's true - things ARE getting better.

I'd like to know what it would take for Yost & other OSU-fan-base-obsessed people to give the university (and us fans who try to stop others from being assholes) ANY sort of credit for progress - does everybody in Columbus have to shake your hands and wish your team the very best of luck, and ask if your stay in our town is going pleasantly? Does there have to be a complete absence of anyone in a gathering of about 150,000 yelling "Fuck Michigan!" Does there have to be a year in which NOBODY burns a couch or gets arrested? Or just no powdered mini-donuts? (What a wuss, or a girl, a person would have to be to get so upset about a powdered mini-donut - most people would, or should, be able to laugh off something so ridiculous) Is there no difference between hundreds of arrests, many vehicles destroyed, and police in riot gear, as was the case a few years back (I was there, watching from a block or so away from one of the trouble spots - it was like Samhain), and 40 or so arrests, a couple cars burned and one flipped, and no need for riot gear because of increased university/student/police efforts, as was the case this year? I'm serious - what would it take for at least some progress in addressing this problem to be acknowledged? Living up to some kind of elitist, effete, dorky, we-don't-need-to-win-because-we've-got-"class" UM-style ideal?

srudoff said...

Yost got a powdered doughnut thrown at him so there's no reasoning with him now.

Mind you when I posted that I had coins thrown at me in Ann Arbor in 1999, people said I should be glad that I wasn't a UM fan in Columbus or it would have been much worse.

I think I'd have taken the doughnut over the quarters.

Jim said...

I don't know Srudoff, if someone is lobbing quarters at me, I think I'd learn to catch. Cokes are expensive at football games, especially when you're pouring out half at a time making room for the bourbon. Can't really barter or make an alcoholic beverage with powdered donuts.

Eric S. said...

But you can't exactly eat quarters. Powdered donuts even come with a fun little protective powdery shell. You just wipe off the dirt/beer/whatever else might be on Hineygate's grounds and eat.

P.S. Good comment Matsut.

BuckFan said...

Correction, srudoff... Yost got a tiny piece of a donut that hit him. It probably was frosted, which stood out a bit on his blue Michigan shirt. Oh, the horrors. And here we are, sending troops to Iraq, when UM fans are still whining about being made fun of.

As I posted before, the most violent fans in the Big 10 are Michigan fans... I've had batteries thrown at me in the Big House. The Wisconsin jerks throw snowballs, but laugh drunkely while they do it. The Ann Arbor jerks actually try to hurt OSU fans. Of course, you won't convince the Michigan fans that have white powder smudges on their shirts that.

Oh, and someone on the OSU campus just struck a match to light a cigarette. Waiting for the M-zone post on "41 fires now in Columbus."

STOP.WHINING.MOVE.ON.

Anonymous said...

It's no longer I-AA, now Football Championship Subdivision

Anonymous said...

Bad apples in both towns, but it seems to be worse in Columbus as there's an odd fervor that runs through the entire city. They really don't like Michigan or its fans, but I have no problem with that. I agree with Matsut that the Buckeye fans shouldn't be forced to welcome Michigan fans with open arms, some banter is good but lets not have any physical abuse or beer poured on us or things like that. Bottom line, I'm sure that's what some people in Ann Arbor do; I've seen frat brothers in A2 throw water balloons at visiting State fans in late October. It's not fun to be sitting in the Big House when you're wet and cold I'm sure. I haven't seen batteries thrown but I don't doubt that it happens.

I've gotten physically attacked (but in a mild manner, mind you) by tOSU fans but I didn't really feel like my life was in danger at any point in Columbus. Most people settled for screaming "Fuck Michigan", "Go Blow", and other expletives in my face. I can deal with that.

It just so happens that tOSU fans have had a poor reputation for sportsmanship in the past decade or so. It's not just Michigan fans talking about it, quite a few fans of other visiting teams have had a reason to gripe about tOSU fans. So maybe its not overblown, but certainly you agree that Ohio State fans aren't a bunch of choirboys who happen to wear red, do you? But lets not say that the rest of the Big Ten and Texas seem to be ignorant about this issue shall we?

In time, it'll improve. You can't expect results to appear immediately. It takes time for a fan base to change its "personality" so to speak. Although Woody's personality is well entrenched in the tOSU fan base...

Anonymous said...

As an Iowa grad and member of the Hawkeye Marching Band in the mid-80's, I had the following experinces with Tosu and UM fans.

In 1985, one week after the Hawks had beaten Michigan in Iowa City on a last second field goal (it became an ESPN "Instant Classic") the HMB took the road trip to Columbus. As is the Hawkeye football tradition when facing a big opportunity (#1 ranking) and being on national TV, they played like they had never seen a football before and got whipped by the Bucks on a wet, miserable day. The moment the game was over a Tosu fan ran up to our Director and tossed a beer in his face. As we tried to perform in the stands, numerous brass players were smacked in the back of the head by fans who made "quick hits" (and then hid in the safety of the crowd) causing many, many bloody lips and the fear of chipped teeth. As we marched out of the 'shoe, we had to "close ranks" and use our instruments to clear a path because Tosu fans were not just cutting through the band, but agressively trying to force their way in to grab hats, equipment and etc.

One year later, the HMB road trip was to Ann Arbor. Michigan repaid the previous year's lost to Iowa by kicking their own game winning FG as time ran out. Marching out of Michigan Stadium I heard "Nice job, band," "Great game" and "Hey, we got you this year!" As we loaded the buses, UM fans were offering us food from their tailgate speads and thanking us for making the trip.

Now, Iowa fans have their own rep. I've dodged many pieces of fruit, marshmallows, coins, bottles and cans thrown by our students, meant for opponents and refs that ended up pelting the band (Yeah, like our q'back, our students lack accuracy too). But of all the many crowds I have been in, some as large as 500,000, never have I experienced such an outwardly and purposely hostile environment as that day in Columbus.

MGoBlue93 said...

"it goes on everywhere...", "bad fans aren't exclusive to C-bus...", "it happens in Ann Arbor too..." blah, blah, blah, powdered doughnut, yada, yada, yada...

Does Buckstache think if you keep telling yourselves that ("it goes on everywhere"), then it will come true? Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

On a completely separate note, found this by chance today...

www.nbc4.tv/video/10561097/index.html

Of course, some Buckstache will fuss about me posting that link. I can see the comments now... a la the clown who protested that a C-bus structure fire pic was used on Wikipedia to illustrate the definition of fire... "I may have known a family who was displaced in a tragic Frosty slashing accident, Yost, please remove that post because I'm offended."

blue2004 said...

to respond to the original comment by matsut--I thought it was ridiculous when there was a riot after the 2000 game. This was after we had experienced 2 losses in 13 years of the series.

So yes, it's pretty independent of who's winning on the scoreboard.

Anonymous said...

Slashing Frosty was definitely not cool.

Fuck Ohio.

matsut said...

blue2004: I'll take your response to one sentence of my comment as an endorsement of everything else I said - jk. The thing is, what I meant to ask was if we'd be HEARING so much about this stuff if the recent record weren't so lopsided. I'm with you, though - I'm anti- this stuff whenever it happens.

Still haven't heard an answer to my concluding question, though...

Anonymous said...

Matsut,

I agreed with everything you said.

Car fires: bad
Punching cops: bad
Burning couches: non-event
Powdered donut: funny

Anonymous said...

anon 9:02p

you're talking about 1985.

we're talking about 2006