Buckeye fans go too far: The exile of Kirk Herbstreit

I’ve painted my face before.  I’ve traveled the country, spending hundreds upon thousands of dollars to attend different sporting events.  I watch SportsCenter eleventeen times a day.  I run a sports website.  My affinity for sports has even cost me a few relationships.

I’ve lauded Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, Billy Donovan, Ron Zook and Lon Kruger after wins and cursed them after losses.  I’ve booed and heckled.  My allegiances are unquestioned.  But I still like to think I keep things in perspective.

Upon meeting a sports personality, I treat them with respect just as I would anyone else I meet.  I respect their profession and their privacy.  Do unto others, right?

One thing I have NOT done, however, is show my ass enough to make them feel uncomfortable or even threatened for their safety.  Don’t get me wrong.  I can be as critical as the next fan but certain lines should not be crossed.  That’s exactly what happened lately to Kirk Herbstreit and his family.

For those of you who don’t know, Herbstreit is ESPN’s premier college football analyst.  He’s also a former Ohio State quarterback.

Buckeye fans are as fanatical as they come.  Trust me, I’ve known a few.  Fortunately, those I’ve known have never resorted to threatening the family member of another for merely doing their job.  At least not around me they haven’t.

After comments he made on ESPN, Herbstreit felt compelled to move his family out of their Columbus home because a ‘vocal minority’ of ‘relentless’ Buckeye fans felt he was too critical of his alma mater.  Turncoat Herbstreit.  How dare he!

Let’s say, down the road, Florida isn’t living up to its potential or its new head coach, Will Muschamp, gets busted for recruiting violations, or any one of another million cardinal NCAA sins.  I would expect, if not be totally disappointed, if Urban Meyer, now an analyst for ESPN, were not openly critical.  I certainly wouldn’t egg his house for it.

If anything, Meyer and Herbstreit know their respective (former) programs better than they know anyone else’s.  Why NOT hold them to a higher standard?  To do otherwise would be irresponsible.

It’s time to put things in perspective, people.  Sports is important to us all but it’s still entertainment.  If the NFL lockout has proven anything, it’s that the professional athlete and the leagues for which they play care about one thing… and it’s not us.  Maybe it’s about time we take a lesson out of their playbook and start doing the same.

42 thoughts on “Buckeye fans go too far: The exile of Kirk Herbstreit

  1. Pingback: Buckeye fans go too far: The exile of Kirk Herbstreit, NCAA Football | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    Buckeyes’ fans on the evolutionary scale or somewhere in between the ardithipicus and homo sapien neandertaliensis ! Along the way came the evolution of the Jets’ fan who felt that scratching their names in the stalls of a restroom actually meant that they were intelligent and enlightened .

    Now he’s trying show his assertiveness and that there’s something wrong ? Well how ’bout him being critical when Clarett was running wild when he was on campus causing all sort of problems on and off campus as a player ? Herbstreit is a friggin’ moron !

    tophatal ………….

  3. I’ll let Buckeye fans respond to your comments on their own, Al.

    And where exactly is Maurice Clarett these days? How has he not appeared on any reality TV show yet?

  4. If I lived in Columbus I would be just waiting for an excuse to move the hell away from there also.

  5. Ouch. It must be pile on the Buckeyes day.

    We’ll see if they have the last laugh as Sullinger leads them to a national championship.

    Beating Kentucky and North Carolina back to back won’t be easy.

  6. I can’t believe I got thru via cell phone! I miss your posts! Keep up the great work!;-)

  7. Most people who hate Herbie, desperately hate their life and want his. Big college sports towns have their share of toothless “townies” who never saw the inside of a classroom there and it seems the case here to an unfortunate unhealthy degree. I’m only surprised there isn’t an apologetic ground swell of support from the sane side begging him to stay.

  8. You’re right, Bill. Chicks dig Herbie and dudes want to be him.

    Toothless townies?

    That’s a great idea for a 2011-2012 sports calendar, don’t ya’ think?

    I’ll contact my agent.

  9. Chris

    In my piece on Jeter did you genuinely overlook Reggie Jackson in terms of where he stood amongst the Yankees’ best players ?

    Because to my mind Mr October has to be up there at least amongst the top 5 or 6 best players in the team’s entire history !

    tophatal …………

  10. Chris

    I’ve never let sports interfere in my personal relationships as such . If a female (girlfriend) starts to cavort around the house half naked while a sports event is on then naturally the Tivo comes on . Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do don’t you think ?

    tophatal ……….

  11. Buckeye fans sound a lot like Jr Nation in NASCAR. Let anyone say anything negative about him, or worse yet, someone wreck him during a race, the Nation goes berzerk.

    (There are, of course, exceptions to the rabid member of Jr Nation, our favorite west coast NASCAR writer/psychiatrist being at the top of the list.)

  12. Chris

    Rose is now trying to say that his words were taken out context with regard to African Americans who’ve played for Duke ? Way to backtrack after showing his ignorance to begin with in making the original statement that’s now fact . The guy is simply an a_hole of the highest order . Michigan education isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked to be …….. at least not the communications degree that Rose apparently has. Because if he knew anything about communications much less journalism he’d make sure you keep statements like that private rather than out in public . He now makes both —– Sharpton and Jackson seem like intellectuals of the highest order !

    Jalen Rose says ‘Uncle Tom’ remark was taken out of context

    Why the hell say it in the first place if it wasn’t meant ? Better yet having made the statement why take so long to even recant ?

    And he expects people to actually take his a_s seriously from now on ?

    tophatal …………..

  13. Chris

    So Rose is now trying to recant his statement by saying it was taken out of context ? How can it be taken out of context when he reiterated it repeatedly ? Is that what an educations gets from Michigan nowadays ?
    No wonder his dumb a_s and NBA career didn’t pan out into anything meaningful ! The guy is as dumb as they come it’s as if he’s trying to make both Sharpton and Jesse Jackson seem all the more intelligent in fail swoop ! Who knew it could be that easy ?

    You Had Me At Hello …

    tophatal ……….

  14. Al…

    It’s tough to exclude Reggie from that list but keep in mind, he logged a lot of years in an Orioles, A’s and Angels uniform and only played in New York for five years.

    In that respect, Jeter’s got him way beat.

  15. Chap…

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve also made exceptions. But there are times during an important game where a halftime break might be the best compromise.

  16. Speedbeagle…

    Good to hear from ya’.

    And that is actually a great comparison.

    Perhaps we should work on a list of the most homered out, blinded-by-love, fan base and see how many people we can alienate at once.

  17. Here’s the million dollar question: Why would ANYBODY who doesn’t have to live in Columbus still be there?

  18. Dub…

    I ask myself the same question about people who live in Buffalo.

    Shitty weather and an even shittier football team.

    Don’t forget to get me your picks.

    It ain’t over until the fat lady singeth.

  19. Chris

    But look at his impact there in the time he played for the team ? I think that merits something don’t you ? Without him the World Series’ teams he was part of I doubt that they’d have been a contender much less winning !

    Rose says he was misunderstood and his words were taken out of context ? Now I know he’s full of bull_hit ! That’s the only explanation you can have for a moron like that !

    tophatal ………..

  20. They didn’t call him Mr. October for no reason, Al, but I still can’t justify putting him ahead of Mantle, Ruth and Jeter.

    Can you?

    I guess we’ll just agree to disagree on Rose. I’ve come to enjoy his commentary on the NBA. He said what he said about Duke and Grant Hill and now he has to live with it.

  21. Chris-

    You might be on to something; however, the Buckeyes in recent years have proven themselves on the gridiron. Jr really hasn’t done anything other than be the son of one of the most revered names in NASCAR.

    And if you really want overhype, check out a Nationwide race when Danica Patrick is one of the competitors. She finishes in mid-pack, but listening to the talking heads, you’d think she won the race.

  22. I can put him ahead of Jeter ! But most certainly not Mantle or Ruth .

    Rose’s statements smack odious stupidity at best and he makes himself look a complete ass ! He may well have made that statement purely to elevate the pub to be had for the Fab 5 episode when one bears in mind his company produced it (Three Tier Entertainment) but the statement belittles the accomplishments of African American athletes who’ve played at Duke past and present ! If you can’t see that then I guess we can disagree on the issue ? Were that a Caucasian who made that statement…. what do you think that the fallout would be ?

    Just another reason why an alleged black athlete on appearance be eloquent and then in the next prove the stereotype to be so true !

    tophatal …………..

  23. Yeah, Buckeye nation may be in Cali, but they are very underwhelming here…. I have a feeling he’d be fine if Simmons the Celtics fan hasn’t had any death threats…

  24. Speedbeagle…

    It’s never enough for Buckeye fans and rightfully so. They should have won with T Pryor already, or at least that’s their thinking.

    With all the controversy and suspensions flying around Columbus, it’s going to be real hard to do next year. But in the end, they’re no different from any other intense fan base.

    Danica’s a draw, man. I hear she’s going back to Indy. Probably a good thing. It’ll cut down on all the Sunday wreckage.

  25. Al…

    I never said Rose was right. All I said is that I could understand where he was coming from.

    And take a closer look at Jeter’s numbers vs Reggie’s in a Yankee uniform only and tell me if you still think Reg was the third best Yankee ever.

  26. Chris

    It’s simply not always about the numbers as an impact it also can be that one moment that provides impetus for a team . Both of these guys had the intangibles but simply look at the number of time Reggie merely let one fly and it changed the momentum of the game for the Yankees. You don’t see it that often now from Jeter and if anything when the Yankees were winning the multiple WS during the mid to late nineties it was Jeter and if anything more Mo Rivera .

    Are there any Buckeyes’ fans stepping up to the plate as of yet ? It’s like ‘em being inside the confessional waiting for them to step forward and actually make a statement ! Oops perhaps they’re scared that the priest might get a little too friendly and ask them to disrobe ? Wha’d ya think ?

    tophatal …………..

  27. Al…

    Are you asking who was the better PLAYER or who was the better YANKEE?

    If you’re asking who was the better Yankee, I’d still have to say the answer is Jeter. He’s played 16 seasons, all in a Yankee uniform. He has a .314 batting average (higher in the post-season), is half a season away from 3000 hits and has 5 World Series rings, which is the most important statistic for any Yankee fan.

  28. I went out to the ’02 Rose Bowl to watch my beloved ‘Canes. Husker fans were shaking our hands at halftime, buying us shots after the game, singing our fight song. They couldn’t have been any classier.

    Went out to the Fiesta Bowl the year after. Worst bunch of people I’ve ever come across in my life.

    Well said, Chump. I can no longer relate to these “diehards” (could’ve when I was 15), so the lack of self-awareness is truly baffling to me…

    On the other hand, I think the enormity of college sports-related media brings this stuff on itself to a certain extent. Seems like half the shows on ESPN are dedicated to people shouting at each other… I think a lot of people take sports too seriously, media types included.

  29. Fro-B…

    If you thought Buckeye fans were an angry, dysfunctional bunch before, wait until you see them after that Kentucky loss.

    In all fairness, I did think the Buckeyes got jobbed playing in that bracket, having to get past both UK and UNC to get to the Final Four.

    But they didn’t even get past UK.

    Oh well, guess they’ll have to wait until football season… assuming they still have their head coach.

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