Buckeyes in Athens: Ohio University students show their support for OSU

When Ohio University President Roderick McDavis welcomed this year’s freshmen at their 2015 convocation ceremony, he said they are not only “Bobcats today, but Bobcats forever.”

However, some Bobcats like to call themselves something else: Buckeyes.

Ohio State fans can be found everywhere at OU, from students, to faculty, to everyday Athens residents. While they all live in a college town with a full Division 1 Athletics program, many choose to cheer on the team from Columbus.

Take a few steps into one of Athen’s more popular book stores — College Book Store — and you’ll notice OSU gear in plain sight amidst the mass of OU items.

IMG_3424

For OSU fans coming to OU for the first time as students, remaining loyal to the Buckeyes in Athens can be challenging.

“It’s kinda tough being a Buckeye fan here in Athens,” OU student Megan Henry said. “I kinda feel like I have to hide that fact, especially at orientation when some of the administrators gave a funny talking to about how we go to OU not OSU.”

Henry said she’s been a Buckeyes fan since she was a kid, but left her OSU gear at home when she moved to Athens last year.

“I try to watch as many games as possible while I’m here in Athens,” she said. “It’s hard because I don’t always get the channel the Buckeyes are playing on or I’ll be busy.”

Henry said she did get to enjoy watching OSU’s national championship win last January.

It was so much fun watching the Bucks win the championship in my friend’s dorm,” she said. “I like being an OSU fan because it’s fun being a Buckeye fan. Our teams do exceptionally well. We have so many world-class athletes and Heisman Trophy winners.”

Another Buckeye in Athens, Liam Niemeyer, said he’s been a fan of Ohio State since he first moved to Columbus when he was six.

“Just living in Central Ohio indoctrinates you into the OSU fanbase,” Niemeyer said. “Everyone on Saturdays throws an OSU block party.”

However, he said coming to Athens changed his priorities. While he still is an OSU fan at heart, being a Bobcat takes precedence.

 “You would think there would be some inner-conflict of allegiances duking it out, but not really,” Niemeyer said. “I still cheer on the Buckeyes in football, but I know where my true home is now — it’s here in Athens”

Niemeyer said he still watches OSU games in Athens.

Whenever I watch them now on TV, I still get just as excited cheering them on as I would at home,” he said. “But if the Bobcats are on also, then OSU’s going in the dumpster of unworthy sports teams.”

Plenty of Bobcats have had their fair share to say about the OSU-OU debate on social media as well:

While Ohio University has a large following in Athens, its clear that Ohio State University still has fans of its own.

Top 5 famous Ohio University alumni

Since Ohio University was established more than two hundred years ago, millions of students have roamed the streets of Athens. The bricks that make up these streets echo the footsteps of all those students – but some of these footsteps are more recognizable than others. These are just a few of the more famous Ohio University alumni who have come before us.

Thom BrennamanThom Brennaman

Son of Marty Brennaman, the famous Cincinnati Reds radio sportscaster, Thom attended Ohio University after graduating from Anderson High School in Cincinnati. As a Bobcat, he was president of Beta Kappa and worked for a local radio station. After graduating, he took a cue from his father by becoming the voice of the Reds on television.

 

Matt LauerMatt Lauer

A native New Yorker, Matt actually dropped out of the School of Telecommunications in 1979. He returned to OU to attain his degree when he was 39 years old. He is now famously known as the host of The Today Show. He has also previously worked for ESPN, HBO Entertainment News, and NBC News. One of his most beloved segments on The Today Show is Where in the World is Matt Lauer? This, of course, is modeled after the game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? You may also recognize Matt from his cameos in the movies Sharknado and Sharknado 2 or his prank wars with Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year.

 

Nancy CartwrightNancy Cartwright

The voice of Bart Simpson from The Simpsons grew up in Kettering, Ohio, where she attended Fairmont West High School. She was active in public speaking competitions throughout her high school years and later during her college years at OU as well. She only attended OU for one year, after which she transferred to the University of California in Los Angeles and obtained a degree in theater. Along with Bart Simpson, she has also created the voices of Chuckie Finster (Rugrats), Mindy (Animaniacs), and Rufus the Naked Mole-Rat (Kim Possible). In 2012, Nancy returned to the hills of Athens to give the undergraduate commencement address.

 

Ed O'NeillEd O’Neill

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Ed attended OU for history on a football scholarship. He was also a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Because of his less-than-stellar studying habits and his arguments with his football coach, he returned to his hometown after his sophomore year to attend Youngstown State University. He later had a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being cut. He is most well known for portraying Al Bundy on the show Married… with Children and more recently for playing Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.

 

Piper PeraboPiper Perabo

Unlike O’Neill and Cartwright, Piper not only completed her degree at OU, she graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Tutorial College with a degree in theater. She is best known for her roles in the movies Coyote Ugly, Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel (as the oldest Baker child), The Prestige (alongside Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman), and the television show Go On (with Friends alum Matthew Perry). She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her work on the television show Covert Affairs in 2010. She is also close friends with Lena Headey, better known as Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.