Let me preface this post by saying that I love college football. I will probably always love college football, and there's nothing that the sport could do, as unsavory as pockets of it can be at times, to drive me away as a fan. I went to a school that has a deep, rich college football tradition (Notre Dame). It's also a school who has had its off the field issues at times, not as many as most schools, but a few incidents that were embarrassing. I still watch, I still root for my school.
When done properly college football can be a beautiful thing, and that's why I'm not going anywhere. However, love has degrees, love has shades. I am not blind to the dirty underbelly of the sport that I love. I watch my team, I cheer for my team, I donate a few bucks to my school, but if they lose on Saturday, generally, I am okay by Sunday. Again, I love my team and my school, but I don't obsess or lie to myself about them.
When done IMPROPERLY, though, college football looks a lot like it did on Monday outside of Ohio Stadium, where about 200 delusional sycophants, led by one maniacal organizer who drove 12 hours to organize this fiasco, stood in the 90 degree heat, held signs, chanted things, and sang songs all in support of embattled Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, whose job hangs in the balance right now after he may or may not have willingly harbored a domestic abuser, former wide receivers coach Zach Smith (finally, fired a few weeks ago), on his staff for the last several years.
By now, most of you know that Meyer lied at Big Ten Media Days about his knowledge of Smith's questionable (at best) past, exposed by insanely thorough reporting from media free agent (soon to join the website Stadium) Brett McMurphy. Meyer has now admitted he lied at Media Days and contends he went through the proper channels when he found out Smith had been involved in yet another domestic abuse accusation in the fall of 2015. So now, the whole situation sits with an investigative committee who will take a couple weeks to unearth facts and figure out if Meyer (and Ohio State AD Gene Smith, who was also aware of Zach Smith's peccadilloes and did nothing for years) should join Zach Smith on the unemployment line.
It's probably a coin flip that Meyer keeps his job, despite the efforts of about 35,000 nutcases who signed a change.org petition to "save" Urban Meyer. The question may come down to "How badly is Ohio State willing to sell its soul to win?" There's all sorts of nuance, though, given that Ohio State is a state school, and state schools ultimately report to people who need to get re-elected. Also, this is an age, thankfully, that takes domestic abuse far more seriously than, say, five or ten years ago.
All of this brings us back around to the reason I am posting about this — the Buckeye idiots who were blaming Meyer's current situation on everything from ESPN to the Easter Bunny. If you want to experience exactly what blind idol worship looks like, well, watch this eight minute video. It's absolutely incredible....
Oh, did you know that former Buckeye and current Dallas Cowboy RB Ezekiel Elliott's old man showed up for the rally? Check out his act....
I dunno, if I'm Urban Meyer, I would say that Ezekiel Elliott would be among the last players whose parents I would ask for a public show of support, what with ol' Zeke missing six games due to a domestic violence suspension last season.
Oh, how about the signs! Yes, adults actually took out magic markers and made posters for Urban Meyer. POSTERS!!
I love the passion of college football fans, but man... sometimes people make it really hard to justify liking any of it. pic.twitter.com/ZSgJjRkSK9— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) August 7, 2018
Classy, using a hashtag phrase that attempts to combat sexual and domestic assault and using to to support your football coach. Do these people have jobs? Do they have bosses? Are they at all concerned about how they look doing this stuff? (I know the answer — No. No. NoNoNo.)
More troglodytes for you....
Plenty of people already crowding near Ohio Stadium for a rally to support Urban Meyer. pic.twitter.com/stgEjFOMUV— James Grega Jr. (@JGrega11) August 6, 2018
"Miss my coach" ?— Ari Alexander (@AriA1exander) August 6, 2018
He's been on administrative leave for less than a week! pic.twitter.com/g9UjLOeDeR
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T-shirt tucked in (!!) to camo cargos guy made a surprisingly neatly drawn bracket pic.twitter.com/vNr67uy4l1— Ari Alexander (@AriA1exander) August 6, 2018
The games start back up in 22 days, not soon enough.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.