I know that is a very loaded title, but I feel it best suits my current thoughts.
I understand the Mark May’s and Desmond Howard’s of the world taking every chance they get to smear the Ohio State University and our transgressions- they have been waiting for this day for so long. We have been a top program for the last decade and America likes to see the giant fall.
If it was Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Auburn we would probably jump on that train as well; unless you are of the opinion those that live in glass houses don’t throw stones. Those are the haters that you brush off though, because they always do so out of spite and dislike and they never go away. It hurts sometimes to be the brunt of jokes, but get back to doing what we should be and everything will be fine.
What is hard to fathom is how we handle our own. How many ex-Buckeye players, media, or fans have you heard badmouth Coach Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, for example? Or what about “snitching” or calling for the heads of your own president to be turned over on a silver platter? I completely understand some constructive criticism, but comments like “fake buckeye”, “I hate so and so”, “This player should be kicked off the team”, etc. coming from our own fans hurt.
That kind of response makes us the brunt of more jokes because we are shooting our own wounded. That gives people the thought that if your own don’t like you and think those things then they must be true. It becomes more of an embarrasement of our university than anything else. To have a twitter fight between our Qb and an alum talking head in the media? To have Ray Small, Rob Rose, etc come out and say “Yeah we did that, Why wouldn’t we?”- That makes it out to be like it is worse than it is.
Rumor has it that we had our own board members and people in position who were supporting Coach Tressel turn their back on him. Tressel gave so much to this university, community, and to groom these young men that it is hard for me to swallow that all of the people that loved all of these things could turn their back on him in a time of turmoil. No celebration of his career, making him walk in the back door of the WHAC to meet with his team.
If one listens to 95% of his former players like Beanie Wells, Malcolm Jenkins, Chimdi Chekwa your hear what type of man Tressel was- and he was not a liar and a cheater. Chekwa actually tweeted that Tress didn’t just lead him, but gave him a roadmap for life.
Mike Adams is another example. He came here thinking he was larger than life, almost got kicked off the team, and I believe the young man is turning out to be another success story of Tressel’s (in spite of his suspension for a decision he made as a sophomore). Troy Smith is another- He made the mistake early in his career, and turned out great.
Where would these kids be if not for Jim? There aren’t many out there like him. There are other football coaches that can win games, but the great things he did to teach these young men about life, to get the graduation rate up, the GPA up, were uncanny.
I think everyone is disappointed in Tress, but his greatest strength is also his weakness. He always wanted to give the young men the ability to make mistakes, but also then teach them not by embarrassing them in the media, but keeping it in the family so to speak. I truly don’t believe he did the cover-up or whatever you want to call it because he was worried about winning football games.
Now let me talk about the comment I heard on 97.1 the other day from fans that were words of hate towards Pryor. Now I completely understand the disappointment in Pryor, I understand that some may even be as frustrated to make a comment about I wouldn’t be largely dissappointed if Pryor leaves and goes to the supplemental Draft. But we need to remember that Pryor didn’t come from a great home, he is still a young man and while we want him to be the perfect superstar, to speak eloquently to the media, to help starving kids in Africa like Tim Tebow, to be in the film room till 10PM and then to his “regular rate” apartment for bed we have to remember that he is is still learning life lessons, and some of them are hard to swallow for fans.
To insult his IQ, to say you hate TP, that is strong; especially coming from our own. It is easy for those to get on their moral high horse and criticize but as JT would probably tell you not all young men are the same. Terrelle Pryor was probably a lot more work than say Craig Krenzel, but some don’t learn as quickly as others, don’t come from the same background and that was where Tress was able to work with these kids off the football field.
And yet, these are the same fans, media, etc that couldn’t have been more excited when Pryor chose tOSU, when he scores a TD, or if he were to autograph a football for them.
And that’s not even to mention the student athletes who were wrongly identified in the Sports Illustrated article- what response should we now have for them?
Look, I understand that people don’t like negative press, we would all like this to go far far away, we would like to see Pryor keep a low profile like the others, but us knocking our own is not going to allow that to happen.