I would call the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan during the week of The Game a friendly rivalry — except it really isn’t. Deep down, every Buckeyes fan wants to crush Michigan like a cockroach. We want to punish them, humiliate them, and leave them wailing forlornly to their misbegotten gods. Michigan fans share this perspective.
But, since we aren’t fighting with broadswords, we need to make do with humor. When I was a kid, and Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler were fighting the 10-Year War, the battle was waged with bumper stickers. I remember one of the Michigan bumper stickers said: “Save Fuel. Burn Woody!” And I thought — boy, Michigan fans are about as funny as, say, Jerry Lewis during the MDA telethon.
The Ohio side of the humor equation, however, isn’t appreciably better. Consider these two representative efforts:
1. “A University of Michigan fan walks into a doctor’s office and removes his hat to reveal a frog sitting on his head. The doctor asks, ‘How can I help you?’ The frog replies, ‘I was wondering if you could help me get this wart off my butt.'”
2. “Two University of Michigan grads are laughing it up on their way into a bar. The bartender asks: ‘Hey, why are you guys so happy?’ One of the Wolverines says, ‘Well, to be honest with you, we’re proud of ourselves. We just finished a puzzle in a week, and when we were done we noticed the box said 4 to 6 years.'”
In Ohio, we try to make our statements on the football field.