Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at email@example.com
On Ohio State football
To editor: I think presenters of Buckeye Nation need to wake up and stop threats to football players. Winners build up and strengthen, not threaten. These young men come to get educated and developed for a career after attending Ohio State. They are learning with each game. Every member of the team on the field wants to do their part to win. The part of Buckeye Nation not on the field needs to provide continuous support.
Dennis Murnane, Croton
To the editor: Watching the national championship football game, I realized if we made a field goal, we would be celebrating a national championship right now! Go Bucks!
Kathleen Hoffman Brewer
To the editor: In an alternate universe, OSU beats TCU 65-64 for the national championship. TCU misses a field goal that would have won it as time runs out. Defensive coaches all receive bonuses.
Tommy O’Shaughnessy, Upper Arlington
Dear sports editor: I wasn’t pleased with your burying my letter in your email section rather than leading with it. I’ve never experienced a bigger disconnect between Buckeye football coverage and Buckeye fans. Old men, young women, in between, most fans I’ve talked to believe the non-targeting was a dirty call that cost us the game, yet the talking heads at 97.1 ESPN radio act as if nothing was the least bit out of place. What it really reveals is that they aren’t out there for Buckeye fans but rather to make money working for ESPN, who owns the SEC Network and makes more money if Georgia wins. It’s a conflict of interests, and when the people responsible in part for articulating the feelings of the fans, including outrage, are being paid to ignore it, it’s a violation of the public trust.
College football is like the U.S. dollar. It’s valuable because people believe it’s valuable. If the people who make their money from advertising dollars sell their products without integrity or shame to Buckeye fans and others, they’re going to ruin their long-term profits with short-term cash grabs. Monday was the least-watched championship game since the football playoffs began, and as teams start paying players with no loyalty and no rules, fans are going to realize that it’s just minor league football, with the one difference being that integrity is optional. If it’s not the job of journalists to hunt for and expose the truth, then who’s job is it?
Bob Young, Columbus
To Bob: I can’t speak for the “talking heads at 97.1 ESPN,” but I’m of the theory that the overturn on the Marvin Harrison Jr. hit was an example of very poor officiating rather than a covert plot to have Georgia win another title. Also, I believe the low ratings for the championship game were not because of any distrust, but because the game was a terrible mismatch. Oh, and you have just joined our group of Dispatch staff writers who also sometimes don’t like their story placements.
To Brian: In 1931, there was a 23-school Southern Conference which broke up with most eventually becoming the SEC and ACC. The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference found that their conference of 32 smaller schools was also unmanageable and split in several directions as well. Here in the Dayton area, the high school GWOC had recently grown to at least 18 before they realized that was ridiculous and also split up. I wonder now how long it will take before these L.A. schools start to re-think sending students on their field hockey, soccer and all of their other teams thousands of miles many times a season to play half of their Big Ten conference schedules, and won’t those California kids enjoy a track meet in Minnesota in chilly April?
Dennis Singleton, Dayton
To Dennis: UCLA and USC will second-guess joining the Big Ten only if the payments aren’t as lucrative as they expect. Until then, they’ll be happy to let their track athletes freeze in Minneapolis.
To Brian: Joey Kaufman pointed out a ratings system which focuses on team strength of schedule and other statistics over a given span of time. He points out that the Michigan teams of Day’s brief run have a rating much higher (18.7) than those of Meyer (11.6) and Tressel (8.9). Whatever the integrity level of that quoted source (sports-reference.com), stats cannot replace individuals. And I wonder about the Buckeyes’ current ratings and those past. Could Day’s losses be due to coaching vs. Harbaugh’s in this rivalry (rather than Michigan’s rating)?
Ohio State has had so much talent over the last two-plus decades under three esteemed coaches and respective staffs (as did a fourth, under John Cooper). And I will concede a little with this season’s list of injuries. But the play of the teams under Meyer and Tressel (vs. UM’s Lloyd Carr) was far superior in performance in The Game vs. the last two under Day. Those were almost lackluster. But, better to find some other “perspective” from former players like Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Denzel Ward, Sam Hubbard or (coach) Brian Hartline, than mine.
Larry Cheek, Dublin
To the editor: The guys on ESPN were saying for the past two years Ohio State could be the only team that could match Georgia in terms of spreading Georgia out, and I found out Georgia’s DBs are not as good as everyone made them out to be. The most pathetic thing of last three games was lack of defense. Knowles needs to figure it out.
On Ohio State women’s basketball
To the editor: Football is over, and OSU lost. The OSU men’s basketball team just lost to the worst team in the Big 10. The OSU women’s basketball team is undefeated, they are ranked third in the nation, they are incredibly talented and exciting to watch and fans (including potential fans) should be encouraged to go watch, enjoy and root for them. Yet, The Dispatch sports pages include precious little coverage about the most exciting group of winners at OSU, in contrast to copious verbiage about OSU football and men’s basketball. Why?
Sandra J. Anderson, Dublin
To the editor: Congratulations to the Buckeye women’s basketball team for achieving a record start of the season. Doing this while losing two starters and a challenging early schedule. Deserve maximum coverage and notice.
Than Johnson, Urbana
To the editor: Add me to the list of irritated fans who do not understand the lack of articles regarding the undefeated OSU women’s basketball team, ranked No. 3 in the country.
Today’s sports front page has OSU football (Hello?! The season is over), more hockey and men’s basketball. Nothing about the women playing today.
Actually, I’m not surprised. Your women’s coverage has been horrible for years, but I thought since they were having their best season ever, you just might wake up and give them some space on your pages.
Liz Swain, Grandview
To Sandra, Than and Liz: Thanks for your interest in our coverage of the OSU women, which has included several great articles by our Bailey Johnson and a wonderful column on Friday by Rob Oller. That coverage, while not meeting the overall quantity or popularity of OSU football or men’s basketball, still tops by far any other college beat we cover and will escalate as the season goes on.
On the Columbus Blue Jackets
Hi, Brian: I’m responding to a story about Sean Kuraly of the Blue Jackets from Dec. 29. Kuraly is an aggressive player who has learned how to win from the best. He talked about what it’s like being a player on a championship team, namely the Boston Bruins. He said teams get to the top by keeping their foot on the gas pedal. He learned from Bergeron, Marchand and the others that you never take a day off. “They showed up every day, and if you didn’t show up, you were embarrassed.” There were no excuses. “They worked their butts off and left everyone in the dust. And if you didn’t, you were left in the dust.” He said he has felt “humiliated” too many times here.
He practices what he preaches. He delivered a hit on Jonathon Toews in a recent Chicago game that was called “momentum-shifting” and that it “snapped them (Blue Jackets) out of a funk.” Another hit sparked a series of cross-checks, “just the way Kuraly experienced in practices and games with Boston.”
My questions: Are the CBJ just now learning what it takes and how it feels to get to the top? How long will it take the organization – players included – to get the message? And are the Blue Jackets now out of that funk?
Kuraly said this has been “one of the most challenging seasons” in his career. I wonder if it’s so challenging because we’re losing so much or because his teammates aren’t getting the message. He said his goal now is to help the Blue Jackets embrace that mentality. So, pay attention, Blue Jackets. Please!
Joe S. Downing, Westerville
On Denny Kellington and Damar Hamlin
To the editor: Re: “ ‘A real hero’: Buffalo Bills trainer Denny Kellington has master’s degree from Ohio State” (Jan. 6): The word hero is overused in sports to the point where it is often meaningless. Denny Kellington, the Buffalo Bills assistant athletic trainer who administered CPR to Bills safety Damar Hamlin during the Monday Night Football game between Buffalo and the Cincinnati Bengals, is — like Roberto Clemente and Joe Delaney — an exception, reminding us of the real meaning of the word.
Ohio State has much to be proud of this year, including the Buckeyes team that reached college football’s national semifinals and lost a heartbreaker to Georgia. But the Bucks’ success pales in comparison to the pride Ohio State should take in having helped prepare Kellington, who earned a master’s at Ohio State, to help save Hamlin’s life.
Stephen A. Silver, San Francisco
On sports betting
Sports betting in Ohio is not a good thing. Sure, it gives the government more money, but it hurts the integrity of sports and ruins lives. Don’t believe me, just ask Pete Rose or Art Schlichter.
Michael Oser, Columbus
More from the Mailbox:
Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Did refs want Georgia to beat Ohio State football as a favor to ESPN?