Let me say this up front: I LIKE Ohio. I came out here for graduate school over a decade ago, and I've settled here permanently. The people here are generally warm and friendly, and Columbus in particular is an awesome, fun, underrated city. Ohio has produced awesome bands like Guided By Voices, Devo and Afghan Whigs, American heroes like John Glenn & Neil Armstrong, and many bearded US Presidents. Our NHL team isn't very good, but at least they celebrate Ohio's proud Civil War history (from the side that wasn't, you know, fighting for treason and slavery).
So yeah, I dig Ohio- Just not Ohio's football fans. In this space over the years I've talked numerous times about how Ohio fans (mainly those of the Buckeyes and Browns) are passionate, but not exactly gracious or well-informed- and that they have a mean, nasty streak that is slightly horrifying.
In an odd scheduling quirk, our games against Ohio's NFL teams are back-to-back over the next two Sundays- Given the absolute MOUNTAIN of crap I have put up with as a Seahawks fan out here, and given that I'm going to the game on Sunday in Cleveland, I NEED the Seahawks to end up 4-3 11 days from now. I've put myself on the line for the Seahawks as a lone voice of support out here in the wilderness. I've been wearing Seahawks gear to class all week, and I know I have plenty of students who would love to rub my face in a Seattle defeat either (or both) of the next two Mondays.
I'm excited about the game Sunday, but also a bit nervous- I know Browns fans, and right now they are a SURLY bunch. They're pissed about how their season is going (and who could blame them?), and I'm afraid things could get ugly if the Seahawks start kicking the shit out of their Brownies. Mainly, I could have that ugliness directed AT ME. I've been to games in Cleveland twice before, and both days were profanity-filled marathons of insults and crap being thrown at me. They won't treat me much better if the Browns win, plus I'd be depressed, so obviously I'd rather deal with angry, defeated Cleveland fans. I'm hoping that sitting in a "No Alcohol" section will lead to more comity between myself and the woofing hordes, but by no means am I banking on that... Shit, I had LITTLE KIDS giving me the finger last time I went to a game there.
Browns fans are more numerous (and aggravating) than Bengals fans out here, but after the 4-2 start and the Carson Palmer trade the Cincy fans are a bit full of themselves- Beating us on the road would ramp that all the way up to "insufferable."
It's us against Ohio, Seahawks- Let's show these Buckeyes how we play (and cheer about) football in the Great Northwest.
PLEASE win. For fuck's sake, PLEASE win.
What do you think, sirs? Anyone else going to the game this Sunday?