I hate Ohio State. No that has nothing to do with my love for the University of Michigan. In fact, I have no ties to U of M at all. Well, unless you count my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Sova, who was a U of M Cheerleader and taught us the fight song. And several friends who attended the University.
Outside of that, I don’t really bleed Maize and Blue. I do root for them. As I root for all thing in the state of Michigan.
With all that being said. I hate Ohio State. Here’s why:
When I was 16 years old, I had a best friend named Adam. Both of his parents graduated from Ohio State and were really great people. They welcomed me in their home as a second son. Treated me just like their own child.
I was so much a part of their family that when Ohio State played Michigan in 1997 they asked me if I would like to attend the game with them.
At this point in my life, I knew of the rivalry, but at 16 I really didn’t think too much into it. To me, it was just a football game between two excellent teams.
If you remember this was the year, OSU WR David Boston was talking trash to future Heisman Winner Charles Woodson. During the game, these two even got into a scuffle on the field.
The family that brought me to the game was Ohio State Alums, we sat in the Ohio State section. Once again, being a 16-year-old I thought all the jawing was all in good fun. I did not realize the hate between these two schools.
Where it all went wrong at U of M
The play that changed my whole perception of this rivalry was a magical one. With about four minutes left in the first half, the Buckeyes were forced to punt. That is where Charles Woodson stepped in.
Woodson took the punt and went 77 yards for the TD! The entire Big House was shaking. Fans were going nuts. I, of course, was one of them, happy and jumping up and down.
At that moment I felt a tug on the back of my jacket. I turned around. It was a 45-year-old Ohio State fan drunk off his ass.
He put his face about one inch from mine and started yelling at me about how Michigan was “a horrible school and full of cheaters and losers”.
I kind of just laughed it off. Which, I think, pissed him off even more. He then pulled my hood so far back I almost fell backwards. I caught my balance and pushed the old drunk off of me. We exchanged a few f-bombs, and the family I was with broke it up.
At that moment I realized that guy hated me. He had no reason to hate me other than I was rooting for a football team that wasn’t his. I realized that the state of Ohio hates me just for being born here. I realized that if I see anyone wearing an Ohio State logo, I better watch my back.
Michigan went on to win that game in 1997. Charles Woodson walked around with a Rose in his mouth after the game. The old man had to tuck his tail and drive back to his wife/cousin in Ohio.
Michigan went on to win the National Championship that year.
Ever since that day, I learned that I hate Ohio State. Not because I have anything to do with University of Michigan, but because I know they hate me. And I’m ok with it.
So as Michigan travels into the world’s largest toilet bowl stadium, just know, I hate Ohio State. Because I know they hate me too.
And that is why Michigan will stomp them this year. Final Score 31-20
Photo: © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK