UJ, Buckeye Bebe, Richard and I will be going to the first game of this year’s Ohio State football season, versus Navy. There’s a bit of a controversy on Ohio State fan websites about whether true Ohio State fans should clap when Navy trots onto the Ohio Stadium turf or boo like there is no tomorrow. That is an easy decision for me: I’ll clap for Navy, and then root like crazy for Ohio State to stomp them and shake hands like sportsmen afterward.
I don’t feel that I need to hate every team that Ohio State plays. I admire student athletes, because I think the commitment it takes to train and then compete in athletics at the major-college level, while taking classes and maintaining a decent GPA, is far beyond what most people understand. Individuals who show such commitment deserve our admiration, not our enmity. In the case of the service academies, where the commitment to a sport is matched by a commitment to serve our country, our appreciation is even more deserved.
Hatred and contempt should be reserved for the exceptional, truly evil and contemptible teams like, well, Michigan.