This week, the thirteenth letter of the alphabet is not to be seen in Ohio’s capital city. All around town, it has been crossed out on street signs, billboards, and business signs–even scooters, as shown by the scooter above that we saw near Goodale Park earlier this week. We excise old #13 wherever it is found because we don’t want to see anything that represents That State Up North this week.
The striking of the thirteenth letter is one of the newer traditions in the old rivalry. I don’t recall it happening when I was a student at Ohio State in the ’70s. Back then, people settled for things like “Screw the Blue” car stickers and got a chuckle out of TTUN toilet paper. But then a person decided that the 13th letter was just too offensive to be endured during this particular week, and the habit caught on like wildfire. Now it’s just another part of the tradition of the greatest rivalry in sports.
After today, the 13th letter will be invited back into the alphabet and we’ll be able to use it again. That’s a good thing, too–it was challenging to write today’s blog post without using it!