September 03, 2007

Of Course, Things Could Always Be Worse

DESPITE MICHIGAN'S LOSS on Saturday to Appalachian State University, it should be noted there were no reports of rioting, unruly behavior, mob actions or other general rowdiness following the game. In fact, of the 13 people arrested at the game -- out of 109,218 fans who were there -- 12 were arrested for underage consumption of alcohol.

This good behavior is in stark contrast to how things are at a Certain Other Institution a bit south and east of Ann Arbor. The latest proof of Michigan's civilized superiority over its arch-rivals in Columbus, Ohio, comes straight from the mouth of ... Ohio State's most recent president! The Columbus Dispatch has the shocking story of how former Ohio State president Karen Holbrook described game-day behavior at the school:

Holbrook said in the interview for the president's post at Florida Gulf Coast University that, when she arrived at OSU in 2002, she found Buckeye fans who were looking for any excuse to riot. It was "a culture of rioting," she said.

The videotaped interview was provided to The Dispatch by the Fort Myers, Fla., school.

"When you win a game, you riot. When you lose a game, you riot. When spring comes, you riot. [...]" Holbrook said on the tape. "They think it's fun to flip cars, to really have absolute drunken orgies. … I don't want to be at a place that has this kind of culture as a norm." ...

During the videotaped interview, she said she didn't witness bad game-day behavior at OSU, because on game days she would "go to a lovely brunch with a wonderful group of people, and walk over to the stadium and sit in the box."

But she had been told by another university official that if she ventured out into the neighborhood, she would be appalled. So she said she asked university officials to film students' behavior on the day of the Ohio State-Michigan game in 2002.

The film, she said, showed that by 8 a.m. there were people dead drunk "doing disgusting things, unbelievable things."

The film culminated in that year's late-night riot, in which cars and sofas burned, police lobbed tear gas and OSU fans threatened departing Michigan fans.

"Seven thousand people flipped nine cars, burned them, kicked in windows of things," Holbrook said on the videotape.

Now, the newspaper reports that Holbrook has "softened" her remarks now that they've been made public, but I think it's clear she was speaking her mind when she was in that interview. It just goes to show that even though Michigan is down right now, we will always be better than the barbarians in Columbus. Always. And to any Ohio State alumni who may be reading this right now, I have one thing to say to you:

Space, you uncivilized scoundrels! Space!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 3, 2007 06:56 PM | TrackBack
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