Just a little more than a year and almost a week ago, a bunch of Ohio State basketball fans started a journey to get the jersey of one of their all-time favorites retired. #Hop2TheRafters had a storied road and it made waves at a blistering pace. It all began with this from Jeremy Birmingham’s The Forgotten Man, continued with a petition that has been re-opened and re-organized here #WHO2TheRaftersOSU, and was blitzkreiged by Grant Edgell here. Through donations and efforts by all, we were able to put t-shirts on the Buckeye Nuthouse for one of the Buckeyes last home games against Illinois.
Shortly after the wearing of the T’s the Ohio State athletic department decided it was time to address the issue as it had finally hit close to home. Athletic Director Gene Smith issued a statement through local media in Columbus and Bob Hunter had this article as a wrap up. In the article we are told that they won’t be retiring anymore jersey’s simply because we would eventually run out of numbers. This is understandable and okay by me, however; if they really intended to begin a new program of honoring those who are deserving and start with football? Wouldn’t we have heard something by now?
The 1960 National Champions are a one of a kind team. They are the only team in Ohio State history to win a national title and then played for two more. They possessed three players that would become All-Americans and first round draft picks to the NBA. All five starters played in the NBA and don’t forget that the team also produced one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history in Bob Knight. They face a 1987 squad led by Dennis Hopson who is the all-time leading scorer both in a career and single season. The Hopson led squad enjoyed good success in a season dominated by Coaches Knight and Thompson and just about pulled off the biggest upset ever against Thompson’s Hoyas in the NCAA tourney. This match-up would be interesting in many ways but the best is the two most prolific scorers in the history of the program getting a chance to go against each other.
What are to follow will be several comparisons of each team’s makeup. We will be including our opinions of each comparison with who has the advantage and at the end will be guest appearances. We hope you enjoy our tournament as we look forward to the outcome!
Progress in a promise.
It all began on January 16th when I started an online petition at Change.org to get Ohio State to retire the number of their leading scorer in men’s basketball, Dennis Hopson. I honestly didn’t realize what we would be up against or what exactly we were going to do. I had a plan to hit twitter hard and round-up as many people I knew would know who “Hop” was and help accomplish our mission. I had NO trouble in that department.
There are many people far and wide who know who he his and what he achieved at THE Ohio State University but there even more who needed reminded. It seemed, though, as if the University itself needed to be reminded of the man who has held the all time scoring record for an astonishing 25 years. That, to go along with the single season scoring mark that may never be broken and his perch atop the steals ladder until one of his best friends, Jay Burson, broke it. And let’s not forget the first triple/double in history at tOSU.
Our journey began with the petition and continued with getting T-shirts on the Buckeye Nuthouse for the recent Illinois game. Fund raising at an amazing pace on Monday when it was realized we wouldn’t have enough funding to purchase said T’s. Several twitter friends who every time they tweeted you saw them use Jeremy Birmingham’s hashtag #Hop2TheRafters. After the Illinois game and the Nuthouse wearing the T’s Tuesday, we saw our best efforts being rewarded with numerous new signatures on the petition. Prominent radio and TV and even newspaper from Columbus was talking about it and finally giving it the publicity it deserved.
Fox Sports Ohio was gracious enough to invite us to write a bit about the #Hop2theRafters movement, and published the following article yesterday.
In an era defined by highlights, by “Oh! Did you see that!!” tweets and texts to friends, every fan is convinced that the others they know need to recognized the greatness of their favorite star or team.
But, as quickly as the excitement builds, it also dissipates; athletes who are all over today’s timeline or emailed YouTube clips are soon out of the public conscious as “Next!” becomes “Now.”
Sure, there are those who transcend the sport – the hall of famers, the heroes of a championship team, the persons responsible for iconic moments in a franchise or team history — those names are readily offered up by the fanatics and casual fans.
Most, though, end up in the “Hey, what happened to?” file, the “I remember that guy…” area of conversations between people who are deeply knowledgeable about the sport, or the discussions where followers of an earlier area are defending their favorites against the young guns of the modern day.
What does it take to be recognized, though, by the institution itself? For some Ohio State basketball fans, that question has been answered in their quest to have the University retire the number of the career scoring leader, Dennis Hopson. Read More
#Hop2TheRafters started at Sign Please one night after a conversation about whether or not tOSU would ever retire Dennis’ jersey. I’m the kind of person that loves a challenge, even though I believe this should be a slam dunk, and took it upon myself to start the petition.
What followed was very exciting. A few of us have been working twitter pretty hard to get signatures and to make contact with former buckeyes. Our success rate was not very pleasing, but we were making headway. There’s more than 250 people who have signed the petition and we started a campaign to raise money for T-shirts. Just over a week ago, the Buckeye Nuthouse agreed to wear a T-shirt that would advertise our mission. Mali came up with a great design which is the logo for this article and we decided on Fresh Brewed T’s to produce it for us. With the help of a BIG donation from Chris Holloway from Our Honor Defend we were underway.
There’s been a small army of friends on twitter that has put a lot of time and effort into this campaign, @OSUHousecall @OHD_Chris @SEAZajac @BrutusBuckeye58 @ClevlndsCapo21 @OurBuckeyeHub @The_BBC @atj1971 and we won’t be done until we get Dennis #32 retired and hanging in the rafters of the Schott. There have been several efforts to help out and everybody is doing more than their share of the work. The best place to go is a dedicated page at The Buckeye House Call by Grant Edgell and you can see the original article I published through Our Buckeye Hub.
We have five days to finish strong so we can purchase as many T’s as possible and need your help! Donate as much as you like because every little bit helps put another T on a Buckeye Nuthouse member during the Illinois and Wisconsin games to finish the season. During the Purdue game the other night, the trivia question was, Who is the all-time scoring leader at THE Ohio State University? Help us put his jersey in the rafters and remember the player who enjoyed the single best season in the history of men’s basketball.
Check out these great stories done by others across the Buckeye Blogosphere:
The Dennis Hopson led 1987 Buckeyes won in a close match up against the Clark Kellogg led 1982 team 43 votes to 38 votes.
They will move on to face the #1 seed 1960 National Champions in game five of our series.
Thank you to everyone for participating and for voting in our first game of this mythical all time best team in Buckeye history.
Next up is #4 Bill Hosket led 1968 versus #5 Diebler/Lighty/Buford/Sullinger 2011
It’s hump day, which means the mid-week linkage and notes from around the world of college sports.