Five reasons why you should care about OU Athletics

Most people that go to Ohio University think that the athletics are no good and should not be cared about. Yeah, Ohio University is not going to be like Ohio State or Michigan. Those schools have special athletic programs.

Does that mean that Ohio University Athletics suck? Not one bit. In fact, Ohio University Athletics should be cared about and here are five reasons why.

1) A ton of the programs have had recent success

Wait, schools in smaller conferences can be successful too? You don’t have to be in the BIG Ten or SEC to be successful? That is correct.

I will make it very simple for you: Ohio University Athletics have been very successful recently. Since football is usually the most popular sport on a college campus, I’ll start there.

Ohio University Football has been bowl eligible for seven straight years and has played a bowl game in six out of those seven years. That is some pretty good stability. Only good programs can sustain that.

Ohio University Men’s Basketball has had some major national success recently. The Bobcats made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2012. They advanced to the Round of 32 in 2010 and to the Sweet 16 in 2012. In 2012, they lost to number one seed University of North Carolina in overtime. Yeah, the school where Michael Jordan went. We almost beat them on the biggest stage. Not bad right?

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Ohio University Men’s Basketball upsetting Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010

Ohio University Baseball has made the NCAA Tournament 15 times including as recent as 2015. One of the best power hitters in baseball history in Mike Schmidt played baseball at Ohio University, too. He hit 548 home-runs in his career, which is good enough for 16th all-time.

The women have had some recent success as well. Ohio University Women’s Basketball made the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and won the MAC regular season title in 2016.

Last but not least, Ohio University Women’s Volleyball has been terrific. They have made the NCAA Tournament every year since 2003. In 2014, they were undefeated in MAC play.

2) MACtion is not that bad 

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Former Miami of Ohio quarterback and current Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

The average fan thinks that the Mid American Conference, also known as MACtion, is garbage. Th average fan thinks that MACtion consists of bad teams with average players that will never be able to compete against the big schools.

That is completely wrong.

MACtion has produced some tremendous pro talent. Some former MACtion players include Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Julian Edelman, Khalil Mack, Jimmie Ward and Joe Staley. Ohio has two current NFL players in Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell and Oakland Raiders corner back TJ Carrie.

MACtion teams also have shown the ability to compete with the big schools. The University of Toledo beat the University of Arkansas last season. Arkansas plays in the SEC. That conference that MACtion teams “can’t” compete with.

3) A good MACtion team is better to have than a bad BIG Ten team 

Most people think that you have to be in a big conference like the BIG Ten to have a team that you should care about. However, that is not the case.

I have buddies that go to the University of Illinois, and their sports programs stink. Their football team has made it to just three bowl games since 2010. Their basketball team hasn’t made it to the Sweet 16 since 2005.

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An University of Illinois student section during a 2013 football game vs Ohio State.

Do students at the University of Illinois care about these teams? NO because they suck.

Even though they get to play the really good schools like Ohio State and Michigan State, it does not matter. Most of the students do not care because they rarely win.

In fact, a few of my buddies from there have visited Ohio and were impressed by how many students seem to care about the sports teams. They thought it was pretty close and maybe better to what they see on their campus from students.

Also, they were jealous that our teams actually win a decent amount of games each year. Their not to happy with the four wins their football program gives them every year.

4) It can make your college experience better

The whole student body might not care about the sports programs, but there are plenty of students who do. The  student section at the games, called the O-Zone, is a very passionate group of students. 20020404-OZONE

The O-Zone is a great place to meet new people, too. Someone you meet in the O-Zone could end up being one of your closest friends in college.

Supporting the sports teams also gives you something to constantly do. You will quickly find out how much free time there is in college. It is nuts. I did not know what to do with all the free time. I still have trouble filling the time honestly.

You can only play so many hours of video games and watch so many hours of Netflix. Going to sporting events can spice up your day and make it much more fun and interesting .

5) Just give it a chance

Most of the games are free, so you cannot use the excuse that you don’t want to spend the money to get out of going to a game. There are usually tailgates that include free food for students. Yeah, free food. You will learn fast how crucial a free meal is. So, if you don’t like going to the game, you will get a free meal out of it anyhow. Win win situation no matter what.

See you at the first football game in the fall. Who cares, Go Bobcats.

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Fantasy football frenzy

If you’ve ever watched football at a sports bar, you’ve probably encountered rowdy fans that are way too into the game. If you’re with these people, you’re embarrassed. If you’re not, you’re frightened. When you’re sitting at the bar, sipping your beer while you casually watch the game, and some jersey-clad lunatic erupts into a frenzy after a sack or fumble, you can’t help but wonder what is going on inside their head. Why is this person so invested in this game?

The answer to this question is simple: fantasy football.

Fantasy football is deserving of its name. It gives regular Joes everywhere something to cling to and live out their post-high school football fantasies. This kind of delusional make-believe can be intoxicating, even dangerous. Especially when you add money to the equation.

Some fantasy leagues are among friends where no money is at stake, only bragging rights. Some leagues however, can have big buy-ins where the pot can exceed hundreds of dollars. When you consider the financial aspect, you can understand why some people are so prone to outbursts while watching football.

I witnessed them firsthand when I was uptown Sunday night.

It was late in the third quarter of the Steelers-Rams game. I was sitting at the bar when it happened. Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass, but the Rams defense brought pressure. Ben went down, sacked. Groans erupted around the bar because of the sack, but when Ben didn’t get up right away, that’s when it hit the fan.

As Roethlisberger was helped off the field, I could hear one patron in close proximity begin a meltdown. I approached him cautiously.

“That’s my f—-ng quarterback, man! That’s my f—-ng season right there! I’m f—ed, man,” the fan lamented, referring to the detrimental impact Roethlisberger’s injury would have on his fantasy season.

This triggered a flashback to a similar scenario a few weeks ago.  I was at Buffalo Wild Wings when Tony Romo broke his clavicle just a week after Dez Bryant’s season came into question with a foot injury.  This precipitated much of the same from unlucky fantasy players who thought they hit the jackpot at their draft when they secured either one or both of these star players for their teams.

If you’re just a casual football fan, I strongly advise caution when interacting with these crazies.  Give them a wide berth if you aren’t prepared to risk life and limb when one of their players catches a concussion, a broken bone, or an MCL sprain.

If you’re a fantasy fanatic, I encourage you to rethink your life and consider making some changes for the sake of your sanity and overall health.


 

In the following days, it would be reported that Roethlisberger would be out 4-6 weeks.

I sure hope he has a good backup.