Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In ancient times, the losers were enslaved

There was a time when men were men, when people wore their pants at the proper belt line, when hobos ate only canned beans. This was a time when life was simple. It was in these halcyon days that burly dudes with names like Harmon wore leather hats and ran each other over on chilly midwestern Saturdays. Before Robocop, before Kucinich, before the hash bash, before Jesse Owens took it to the Krauts and before women got all uppity about careers and such, there was Michigan versus Ohio State.

In 1973 both teams entered the game undefeated. They tied and Ohio State won the Big Ten championship in a secret ballot. In 1969, 1993, 1995 and 1996 the Wolverines dealt OSU their first loss. Michigan has won 11 national titles and 42 Big Ten titles. Ohio State has won 7 and 30. It is a rivalry recognized as monumental in its regular importance because of the huge benefits bestowed upon the winner and the devestation which angries the loser's blood for a year. Until 1975, Big Ten teams either got roses or got dirt. The stakes stoke the flames.

Usually the rivalry is cordially hard-headed, unlike in other forums where some bitter partisans persist (not here, that's for sure). The Big Ten has always been classy. Classy teams in classy uniforms play in classy stadiums steeped in history and grand architecture befitting of the immensity of the Midwest. This weekend, as the teams meet as #1 versus #2 in Columbus, all of the pageantry and history of Big Ten football will pulse and breathe. It will be a beautiful game.

I can't do this.

You know what, let me tell you something. Ohioans, well, Ohioans they firmly believe in their power, under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, to be a bunch of worthless shitheads (unless, like Desmond Howard and Elvis Grbac, they go to U of M). And you know what else? You wanna know? Not only that, most of them root for the Browns and the Bengals too, which only compounds the degree to which they subscribe to a subversive blend of indoor kid witchcraft and primitive totemic animism on behalf of the spirit god Ernest Byner. They can go fuck themselves. Except Bootsy Collins, he's cool.

OK. This isn't nice. This isn't classy. Just to bring things back even keel, I'd like to offer that the Ohio Turnpike's new reststops are really nice. I have friends from Ohio. You know, in Europe they got their Hundred Years War and their fancy mustards, but do they have a Ten Years War? No. They also have a Russo-Finnish war, but that's another story. Let me tell you about a crisp autumn afternoon in...You know what, fuck this eloquence. Fuck this writing shit. And Fuck Ohio. See you Saturday.

[Wikipedia: UM-OSU Rivalry History of beatdowns motherfucker]
[Youtube: Woody Hayes punches Clemson player and is a total fucking dick that guy can go fuck himself]
[Youtube: Anthony Carter is the fucking boss]