Sunday, October 18, 2009

You Don't Want Any of This, Mizzou

There's this ridiculous ad on the AM sports radio station here in COMO where a future is imagined where the current football coach's grandson is winning his tenth-straight national championship. It's ridiculous in that no college football team has ever won anything close to ten-in-a-row. Yale won five straight in the 19th century. It's amazing when a team wins consecutive championships or even more than one in a decade. So, the premise is just sort of dumb.

But that's not the only reason the ad is ridiculous.

Trust me, Mizzou fans. Take it from someone who knows. You don't want to win a national championship. It only ends in heartache and ulcers. If you win one, you have to win another. Any season that doesn't end with a crystal trophy is a complete failure. A loss or two by mid-October means the season is over. You don't want this.

As mentioned her before, I'm an Ohio State Buckeye fan. Always have been. Always will.

I was part of a generation that didn't know what a national championship was like. Ohio State had a few shots in my very early years, but I don't remember what those days were like. Then OSU put together six straight 9-3 seasons. That seemed pretty great to me. They struggled for a few years after that before putting together some 9, 10, and even 11 win seasons in the 90's.

By all accounts, this was a successful football program despite not being a part of the national championship discussion. I figured that I had my team and I could watch the other teams scramble for the mythical national championship.

Then, 2002 happened. Ohio State, led by second year coach Jim Tressel, had the most magical season. Despite a quarterback who's best pass was three rows into the stands and an injury-prone future felon at tailback, the team used an incredibly gifted defense and solid special teams to go 14-0 and win the BCS title. Every game, no matter the competition, went down to the wire. Even the championship game was a double-overtime thriller in which the Buckeyes bear a Miami team who had won thirty-some games in a row.

That 2002 season was as improbable as it was magical. It was the stuff special commemorative DVD's are made of or even more special hard-bound editions of Sports Illustrated. It was one of the most amazing moments for me as a sports fan and it ruined me.

Ever since that amazing season, I and the rest of the Ohio State faithful have simply expected the Buckeyes to win the national championship. In 2006, we entered the national championship game with a perfect 12-0 record that included two wins over the #2 team in the country and the Heisman Trophy winner in Troy Smith. Needless to say, the Buckeyes lost that game to Florida.

The next season was an improbable year of upsets, landing Ohio State in a second-consecutive championship game...and another loss. It hasn't gotten much better since.

The success of the 2002 championship season has ruined my enjoyment of college football. I am obsessed with it. I expect my team to win every game. It's not enough that Ohio State has won five-straight conference championships and games versus their rival Michigan. My expectations are completely off-kilter.

Yesterday, more heartache set in. Seventh-ranked Ohio State fell to the worst team in their conference yesterday, a 1-5 Purdue team. Led by super (hyped) sophomore Terrelle Pryor's four turnovers, Ohio State failed to even score 20 points or gain 100 yards rushing to the Big Ten's worst defense. Usually, the defense just wins games for this team, but the offense had to step up and couldn't, but I digress.

You don't want to know this kind of misery, Misery. Be happy with your 8-5, Big 12 North co-championships and Independence Bowl appearances. Enjoy that game in which you almost beat Nebraska or held Oklahoma to under 50 points. Have fun watching your team even if you can't find them on TV.

Trust me. You don't want a national championship and the crazy, unrealistic expectations with which they come. It's better to enjoy some mediocrity. Ignorance really is bliss, Mizzou fans. Have fun losing to Texas as homecoming. At least you don't have to worry about a national championship like those Longhorn fans.

Now, I am going to go crawl into my little college football hole and cry myself to sleep. I guess there's always next year. Go Bucks.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

My dad will probably be the only one who gets excited when the tigers don't do so well. He's a die hard fan (season ticket holder for +/- 40 years) who gets upset when people just "jump on the bandwagon because they had a good season back in 07" and say things like "our tigers."

anyway, thanks for the kudos. You might enjoy this post on why Snark works online.