ESPN still loves them, but talks bad about them now like a middle school kid that like a girl. When the situation is finalized they will be the first to talk about how they have turned it around. All the college announcers will talk about how awesome they are, even though they get slapped around every time they play a SEC team. 1st one on board.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to live in three different regions of the country — ACC country, Big Ten country, and of course, SEC country. In those travels, I’ve gained a few — not many, but a few — insights.
First, that little nod and wave we give to other drivers we pass down here in the South? Well, you might as well forget that up North. Friendliness isn’t high on folks’ to-do lists up there. Wave “howdy” with a couple of fingers from the steering wheel in Ohio and you’re just as likely to get an obscene gesture back in return.
Second, nothing can match the passion and fervor of a college football game. Unless it’s a basketball game played on Tobacco Road. You have to have two teams that are equally hoops crazed if you’re going to rival a college football Saturday and that only exists when you’re talking about North Carolina, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest. (In the SEC, for example, Kentucky faces 11 schools that would prefer to win in football over basketball.)
Third, every fanbase in America believes ESPN is out to get their school while protecting and loving on schools from another region. Here in the South, Ohio State is believed to be the teacher’s pet of the four-letter network from Connecticut.
But it might be time for SEC’ers to stop trotting that one out. As you might have noticed, ESPN has been beating the Ohio State investigation drum pretty darn loudly over the past month or two. And yesterday it was announced that the network has sued OSU “alleging the school violated state public records law by denying requests for items” related to the Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor investigation.
So let’s go ahead and retire the “ESPN looooooves Ohio State” storyline here and now. ESPN really loves dirt. Dirt sells. And wherever they find some dirt they can sell, they’ll start digging.
(And for the record, I guarantee you that the theme in Columbus today is this: “ESPN hates the Buckeyes and they always take up for the SEC.”)