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?
This is part two in my series on who we should honor next in the retire or not to retire saga at THE Ohio State University. Last week I covered the basketball greats here. This week I am going to take a stab at football and really, for all intents and purposes, this should be called #Who2TheHorseshoeRafters. This can be done in a lot of ways but the “ring of Honor” has already started with the Heisman Trophy winners: Horvath, Janowicz, Hop Cassidy, Archie Griffin, Eddie George, along with Bill Willis’ #99 and Chic Harley’s #47. We have to assume that Troy Smith’s #10 will be there soon, so this will give us a look at the rest of the candidates.
Lets begin with one of the most coveted awards outside of the Heisman Trophy. The Lombardi Award is awarded annually to the best lineman or linebacker. It has gone to Ohio State six times, with one of them winning it twice with Orlando Pace, at one time considered a no brainer for jersey retirement. Jim Stillwagon won the first ever in 1970.
The Buckeye Brass had to answer Buckeye Nation. With #Hop2TheRafters rolling right along and creating a stir in Columbus, the athletic department had to put our information that will make everybody happy. Thanks to all who participated, tweeted, and Facebooked about it. Thanks to the man who it was all about for graciously allowing us to bring attention he didn’t want. Truth is, Dennis Hopson has always wanted all of the greats from Ohio State history to be honored in the rafters. If we were successful getting his jersey retired, he promised his mission would be to get the rest of the deserving retired as well.
This brings us to quite a difficult place in the decision-making that will go behind who is chosen for the rafters. There have been several members that have expressed an interest to be on a selection committee with THE Ohio State University. If allowed, they would help discuss a great format that allows special players their spot in the rafters, or in an Ohio Stadium “Ring of Honor” for football. This is the first of a two-part series where I take a look at some of the “lists” they could draw from.
At the very least, I completely disagree with doing away with retiring jerseys as a whole, as Gene Smith said. One very important reason to continue is that the National POY’s deserve the honor and there’s always the fact that a current player can ask the retired player if he can wear his jersey (re: Katzenmoyer and Griffin even though the 45 wasn’t technically retired). This may be the format moving forward as it is anyway. Truth is there are only 36 numbers in basketball because of numbering rules and NO duplicate numbers as in football, but how many National POY’s will Ohio State eventually have?
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.
Here’s your mid-week morning menudo of links and love
In their past six games, they are nearly 10 percent off that while not relying that much more on the three over the two. No coincidence, probably, that in five of those games, they faced teams that rank among the top five in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense: Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. In the other game, they shot 52 percent and scored 87 points against Purdue, which ranks dead last in the conference in field goal percentage defense.
Jim Davidson – Jim is a professional photographer who is credentialed for the O-Zone, an internet-based fan site. We became aware of Jim selling photos of current athletes in 2009, and met with both him and the O-Zone editor, John Porentus to explain our policies and gain their cooperation. Jim also sold photos to football parents, and we had a follow-up meeting with John about this issue in 2010 when we heard he had continued to sell to parents after our mandate to stop.
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: