The single most important day of the year…today is the day Americans go to the polls and cast their ballot for the next leader of the free world. It’s important that you, our faithful readers, get out and cast your ballots, as it is the single most important thing an American can do.
Why is it important? Today, you get to choose the person our Buckeyes go meet in the White House. So, it doesn’t matter if you vote Trump, Clinton, or even Johnson, just make sure you vote if you have not already. And think about which person you want getting a 45 jersey when Urban takes Washington next.
Last week, “The View From Beyond The Shoe” looked into the scary injuries that we have, as a collective fan base, wanted/called for/saw. As I said then regarding the Willis McGahee injury in the 2002 BCS Championship Game, “I was legitimately scared. I had wished for an injury on that kid, and it happened. And while I know it had nothing to do with the actual injury, I still think about it.” These things still haunt me, and I was not sure I would ever be able to get over that little bit of voodoo.
Then this happened:
My heart stopped as I watched this play. No one in their right minds wants to see a college athlete get hurt. And a true competitor would rather beat the best the opposition can put up, instead of getting a potentially easy way out with a backup playing.
After my initial shock of the injury dissipated, my next thought was immediately on the reaction our fan base would have, and the way it would be perceived outside of the Scarlet and Gray glasses we wear. You have to live under a rock to not know there is a narrative that Ohio State fans are classless, ruthless, and among the worst in the nation. I don’t think it is a correct story line, for I have had the honor of meeting some of the greatest people in the world, and they live and die with the Buckeyes, much like I do.
Sure, like every fan base, we have our outliers who no one wants to claim, but we Buckeye fans know that we have an amazing, caring, passionate nation of fans, and most outside our group have painted us with an unfair stroke of the brush and lumped us with those people we don’t even acknowledge.
And then…something amazing happened. Ohio Stadium was silent for nearly ten minutes as the medical staff from both universities worked to ensure Armstrong’s safety and health. And when it looked like Armstrong was being put on the backboard to be carted off, you heard cheers of “Tommy! Tommy!” coming from the stands. And as much as you would expect it to be from Corn Nation, there were way too many cheers for it to not be Buckeyes too.
Then it got better. When Armstrong gave the thumbs up, you could hear the crowd going nuts (no pun intended) on the TV Broadcast. That moment, even all the way in Houston, Texas, gave me goosebumps as a fan, to see the reaction and class my Buckeye brethren showed for an opposing warrior.
THEN IT GOT EVEN BETTER! When ABC showed Armstrong coming back into the stadium, running…RUNNING across the field to be back on his sidelines, The Shoe erupted again. Seriously, that was a heartwarming moment. It was evident on TV. It was evident on social media. The reaction I saw from Husker fans, who litteraly took to twitter to thank Ohio State for the reception, was amazing. I loved seeing that people in this world, with all the negativity of what’s going on outside our stadiums, were able to understand the love we have for these athletes, and the realization in the heat of battle, that this is just a game played by teenagers, truly was a magical moment to me.
— TJ (@Huskerbubble) November 6, 2016
I am not going to waste my time talking about, or even really acknowledging, the few keyboard warriors out there who wanted to argue that it was a “dirty” hit, that Hooker was trying to injure Armstrong, or that he should have been ejected (for something I will never understand). Because, even in the heat of the moment, these calls were beyond unjustified. What I will say is this: It was a clean hit. Armstrong may have been moving to the sidelines, but he was still a live ball carrier. If you want to say he was “giving himself up”, college football has a slide rule that would have protected him.
I know a win, a Top 10 blowout, cures a lot of the ills Ohio State has been carrying around with them recently. But with the pregame Sam Foltz tributes added into the reaction of the crowd to supporting Armstrong, I have to say I was amazed, thankful, and awestruck by you, the fans in Ohio Stadium Saturday night.
It wasn’t just me, either. This guy knows a thing or two about how great the Block O, and everyone, was, how important they were, and what they mean to our Buckeyes:
Normally, I am full of snark. But you the fans have earned the right to glow in the awesomeness you’ve shown this week. And with it being election day, I think we all could use a reason to smile.