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On Ohio State football
To the editor: Rob Oller’s scathing review of the Buckeye’s CFP defensive efforts demonstrates how a journalist has become a homer. Deplorable support to his claims. Oller’s poor execution of writing should be held accountable, no matter his salary.
Dan Finn, Worthington
To Dan: I’m a bit confused. If Rob’s a homer, why is he criticizing the home team? (Note: He is not a homer.)
To the editor: Thank you to The Dispatch for the great coverage this season. Thank you for calling out Knowles. The last three games were a travesty and the man’s coaching likely cost the Buckeyes a Big Ten and national title.
To Bernard: Please tell Dan that Rob’s not a homer.
To the editor: Man, what a bunch of sour grapes! Had you considered the fact that perhaps Georgia won because of their championship poise and that they played well enough, never gave up and did what had to be done? Truly, it is sad that someone had to lose. But UGA has had its share of heartbreaks building this program over the Kirby Smart years, as well. The only writers with larger sour grapes are Alabama! Maybe you could write for them as well.
To Mike: I know Rob likes wine, but probably not sour grapes by themselves. He also likes bourbon and games that end long before midnight.
To Brian: I don’t know if C.J. Stroud is even aware of Theodore Roosevelt’s profound quote about being “in the arena” when he used the phrase while speaking after last week’s game, but it’s well worth looking up to put a lot in perspective. And for those who want to compare Ryan Day to the 1990’s, you better check your hole card. After going 40-1 in games before the last game on the schedule, he has gone 5-5 in that game and postseason games, all of which have been high profile. Not meaning to criticize anyone else, but losing two national championship semifinals on the final play and a championship game isn’t quite the same as losing to Air Force in the Liberty Bowl or not even making a bowl at all. I wish good fortune to coach Day, C.J., Noah Ruggles and all as they move forward in the arena.
Dennis Singleton, Dayton
To Dennis: Former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen once received much acclaim for quoting Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” during a postgame interview. I still think that’s cool, but not as cool now that I know he went to a high school named after Roosevelt and likely had to read it several times.
To the editor: Kudos to Ryan Day and the Buckeyes on a hard-fought game. No kudos to the refs. Don’t waste my time with replays if you don’t know what you’re doing. I would rather have the game end earlier and watch the ball drop in Times Square.
Brent DeWees, Pickerington
To the editor: Well done, C.J. and team and coaches. Thank you for a memorable game! Love you forever.
Crysanne Hill, Frederick, Maryland
To the editor: I applaud the outstanding group of young men, ages 18-22, who make up the great Ohio State football team. I, along with millions of viewers, watched them play Georgia in the Peach Bowl. The loss by Ohio State was devastating to the young men; they were brought to tears of sadness, while the Georgia team wept tears of joy.
For those calling for coach Ryan Day’s firing, let me make this clear: You are fair-weather friends. When someone is down, you kick them, walk around them or, to make your righteous path easier, step on them rather than stand by with support. If they mess up again, you are glad you already abandoned and spit on them with disgust. You act as though you could do better. While you wear your halos, let’s evaluate your behavior.
Those young men who played with all their hearts. I am proud of them, their parents for raising them, the OSU coaches, and the Buckeye staff. Go Bucks!
Carmen Sauer, Columbus
To the editor: Once again blowing the double-digit leads only confirms again that Knowles defense is not as advertised by many. There was no extra pressure put on Georgia once they had these leads to try and put a dagger in the game, but instead it was “safe/prevent” defense mode. We’ve seen where this has gotten teams, haven’t we?
Why didn’t they blitz to put some extra pressure on Bennett to try and throw off his game and/or force Georgia to change its game plan? Is there that little confidence in our defensive backfield to cover if they did?.
What happened to J.T. Tuimoloau? Other than one batted-down pass he had no tackles or sacks in this game? Maybe if they would have blitzed he would have had some opportunities to do so.
Although Dallan Hayden didn’t play all that badly, the bigger question is after the game that he had against Michigan where in God’s name was Chip Trayanum? Are you kidding me? Now one carry in this game? Seriously?
Ryan Day play calling. This guy makes me shake my head sometimes. Why in our last drive with less than a minute left in the game are you calling a running play? They also didn’t really try to throw any real deep balls like Georgia did.
To the editor: Our 2022 version of the football Buckeyes were first in our hearts even though they didn’t win it all. No one gave them a chance against the Dawgs, but they almost pulled out a miraculous victory. Stoic coach Day finally showed emotional grit and C.J. Stroud ran like the wind, putting his body in peril. Our defense played hard and but for some unfortunate injuries to our receivers and running backs I think we would’ve put the Dawgs in their kennel with their ugly mascot.
Michael Oser, Columbus
To the editor: There are two versions of the American West told over the decades. One story presents a struggle between the civilized and the tribal, where there are good guys and bad guys on both sides, and the better organized whites win the West because their way of life is superior. The other story is one of genocide, where the better organized whites use every means at their disposal to exterminate or move off the native populations. Only one actual set of facts exists.
We take for granted that a network is showing a football game as though it’s merely an on-field set of facts when in fact the producers of that product are manipulating viewers to draw conclusions. Georgia’s Javon Bullard blindsided Marvin Harrison Jr., injuring and knocking him out of the game, and was immediately flagged for targeting and confirmed by a second official’s nod of the head. Both were only 10 or so paces from the hit. But instead of the usual targeting discussion, the show director cut immediately to commercial. By the time the game resumed minutes later, Ohio State was kicking a field goal, and only then did fans learn that a booth official waved off the targeting penalty.
Two issues arise. When fact and subjective opinion are allowed to be interchangeable without consequence, then just results become impossible. This is two of four playoff games where Ryan Day and the Buckeyes have been cheated out of a win, including the Clemson game in 2019, by someone with the ability to act on an agenda without consequence. And the producers of the document further have the ability to cut the very discussion out of the telecast. It isn’t enough to cavalierly say that Ohio State should have played better in the fourth quarter, despite the tactical and psychological disadvantage of losing Harrison. One could as easily argue Georgia should have played better in the third quarter, or the first half. Recent American elections have demonstrated that giving an individual carte blanche discretion to change election results by even 2% would change the entire map. How much did supposedly subjective calls change the result Saturday, or in 2019? 5%? 8%?
How many college football fans don’t know that Stetson Bennett is 25, that he was a walk-on, etc. The whole production doubled as a Georgia promotional video, and Bennett’s face might have been on screen a whole 10 minutes. C.J. who? The games, and the production of them, is the No. 1 recruiting tool. It is terribly unfair to Buckeye nation and Day in particular that his reputation of not being able to win the big ones is shaped by these losses determined by a guy in a booth as well as producers acting with an agenda. If we sit back and let these injustices persist, giving the southern states hegemony, even in just this one sport, then shame on us. If we don’t have the sense to insist upon a measure of justice for Day and the players out there battling for our school and our state, then we don’t deserve a champion.
Bob Young, Columbus
To the editor: Why do hundreds of non-participating individuals populate the sidelines of college and pro football events? Doesn’t this imperil the health & safety of the participants?
Dan Finn, Worthington
On Damar Hamlin
To the editor: I write in response to the plethora of opinions and articles we see as a result of the Damar Hamlin injury during the recent Bills-Bengals football game. I suppose we can expect this when something very unusual happens in a popular sport.
My old football coach always said that a player gets hurt when he takes the easy route or loafs in his effort. I do not intend to say that Damar Hamlin is responsible for his own injury. However, after watching replay of the tackle several times, it is evident to me that had the contact been made lower around the ball carrier’s legs, as it should be, there would have been little (if any) contact to Hamlin’s chest.
But, for years now, defensive football players go for the upper body or the football, with the result that the ball carrier continues on for additional yardage. I can only assume that present-day players are coached to do this – or perhaps, with the emphasis on offense, not coached at all.
As a student of the game, I recall very few good defensive backs who played at the college level. I define “good” as one who can tackle effectively in the open field. One such player was Mike Doss, the award-winning player from Ohio State. When Doss went up against a ball carrier in the open, there was little doubt who would come out on top. The tackle was almost always cleanly done down low, often around the ankles.
If Doss happens to see this message, I hope he may opine as to what he thinks is the present state of defensive football. I think that there is so much glory and intensity given to the offensive side of football, the defense is almost forgotten. We have concrete examples, such as in the collapse of OSU defense in the latter stages of the 2022 season. Actually, almost the entire season in the defensive backfield, the results were very disappointing.
So, I would say to the football naysayers that to safely promote football at all levels, let us play harder with the proper technique and forget about the gymnastic showoffs in the dog pound after a touchdown.
Don Denton, Westerville
On football on TV
To Brian: Wasn’t watching the Rose Bowl without that constant scrolling of useless information distracting you nice when you can look up anything from a soccer score to Nick Saban’s hat size in the palm of your hand?
Dennis Singleton, Dayton
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Praise for Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, but jeers for Jim Knowles