Thursday, September 07, 2006

Annual heresy

It is about time for my annual whining and complaining about organized religion in central Ohio. I won't be discussing the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Christians, Protestants or the Episcopalians. I won't even be discussing the Buddhists, Muslims, or Hindus. Heck, I don't even have a beef with the Adventists, Jewish, Hari Krishnas, snake handlers or even Moonies. So what organized religion am I upset about?

Ohio State Buckeye Football

Yes, it's that time of year again when coverage from the local news media switch from covering East side shootings, gas prices, animals at the zoo giving birth, the weather, and just about anything else to covering what flavor of Kool-aid our starting tailback prefers on Wednesdays. There was a major collapse of a diamond mine in New Guinea, hundreds were buried alive, no Buckeye football players were in the mine or the country at the time of the disaster. It is to the point where it is transparent and sickening.

I refuse to watch the sports departments on the local stations anymore. Their job is to cover local and regional sporting events. Last Saturday (the Buckeye football season and home opener), all coverage was on the football game and other Big Ten football games (i.e. Michigan, etc.) with 10tv also covering the Ohio University game. There was not a single mention, much less coverage of, other sports news from the central Ohio area. On that Saturday the Columbus Crew (soccer team in Major League Soccer) did something they haven't done all season under a new coach, score more than a couple of goals to defeat an opponent. The Crew beat the New England Revolution (a team we have been a personal bitch for recently) 3-0 in front of a respectable home crowd. Not a single mention on all three networks. The NHL hockey franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets, lost their recent top pick Derick Brassard to injury during a junior club exhibition. He will miss rookie training camp with a dislocated shoulder. No information. Our minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers, defeated local rivals the Toledo Mudhens with a two-out, two-run homer to right field in the 12th inning (they ended the disappointing season by beating Toledo, forcing the Mudhens to possibly miss the playoffs). No coverage.

Would it have killed any of you sports dweebs to perhaps event mention any of these events in the final ten seconds of their broadcast instead of bantering with Elizabeth Scarborough while starting at her chest or stuffing your face with buffalo wings?

The sucking up to Buckeye football doesn't end with the local media, it extends into the service industry as well. Whether it is a server or fry cook, someone selling a book, or someone at a gas station punching lottery tickets for eight hours straight many of them appear to be asked to wear something "Buckeye" like a pin or shirt to show support. There is nothing wrong with honest, heartfelt support for a team but transparent ass-kissing to not alienate a segment just makes me ill. I feel lucky my workplace does not force me to support OSU football. Of course having a diverse group from Ohio University, Penn State, Michigan, Hocking Technical, Devry, Franklin University, Columbus State Community College, and Denver working around me helps a little bit.

It's not like I don't want to support the Buckeyes, I have since I was a kid watching Woody and Earl run the sidelines. The past number of years, though, coverage and promotion has simply become overpowering to me. It is like a plate of raw onions. Sure I like onions but I'd like something else as well. The Buckeyes are like too many air fresheners inside a hot car; they smell good but overwhelm you. They are a case of Schlitz when a 12 ounce Guinness would have been more palatable. They are too much cow bell.

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