Editor: Reading the Mailbox (last) Sunday was a sad reminder of why every negative “ugly Buckeyes fan” stereotype exists.
I have one question: Had Dwayne Haskins been the one to transfer to LSU, winning the Heisman and national championship, what would people have said about Joe Burrow, Urban Meyer and Ryan Day?
In his one season as a starter, Haskins broke numerous Ohio State and Big Ten single-season passing records. He was league MVP, offensive player of the year and quarterback of the year. He was the MVP of both the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. He became a first-round draft pick for the Washington Redskins.
To disregard and disrespect such accomplishments by this young man is both sad and pathetic. It's truly amazing how hindsight can be 20/20.
I'd like fans to consider one final fact: Dwayne Haskins, a kid from Maryland, grew up wanting to be a Buckeye. Joe Burrow, a kid from Ohio, grew up wanting to be a Cornhusker.
Michael A. Thompson, Grove City
Michael: I'd like to believe that everyone involved is better for the experience, that Burrow pushed Haskins to be the best college quarterback he could be and that Burrow found his motivation in finishing second in the QB derby and took it to LSU to make the most of his situation.
Ray: I could not agree more with your response to the letter claiming that OSU made a mistake in not keeping Joe Burrow.
It was, as it turned out, a result of an embarrassment of riches at the QB position that led to Burrow's transfer. To say that OSU made a mistake is ridiculous considering what Dwayne Haskins accomplished.
In the days of Woody Hayes, we would have been able to keep them all. How unfair would that have been? I have not met one Buckeyes fan who is not crazy happy for Joe.
Larry Boes, Gahanna
Larry: I can't speak for hardcore Ohio State fans, naturally, but I'm guessing a fair slice of them would love a return to the days when teams could stack talent six- and seven-deep on the roster.
Ray: College football bowl season used to be like fireworks: It grabbed your attention at the start, entertained steadily and then ended with the grand finale on New Year's Day.
This year, bowl season was more like popcorn: It started with one here and there, built to a peak the week between Christmas and New Year, then tapered back down to one here, one there.
Popcorn is fine. But I much prefer fireworks.
Dave Aurand, Powell
Dave: Get ready for more duds next year when three more bowls are added to the lineup. What a system.
Mr. Stein: I will be so happy when the NFL draft is finally over, so I can finally get a good night's sleep.
I've been having night terrors, in which Roger Goodell is standing at the podium and says, “With the first pick in the 2020 draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have traded their selection to … ”
At least I hope I'll be able to sleep afterward.
Brent Bair, Lancaster
Brent: Not even the Bengals could screw that up. Right? No, seriously: Right?
Ray: As the OSU men's basketball season slides inexorably down the dumper, you have to wonder how many of the highly touted underclassmen on the team will head for the exits at the end of the year.
Michael Lucas, Columbus
Editor: The greatest quarterback to ever graduate from Ohio State never started a game. Ironic.
Michael Holliday, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
Ray: Joe Burrow's three-loss season came after a very short time with the team along with an antiquated offensive system. If he had stayed at OSU he would not have had to overcome either.
Of course, we only had the spring game to make any kind of judgment.
Roger Butler, Pickerington
Editor: I look forward to The Mailbox every Sunday. Your humor and knowledge of the game is entertaining. By the way, I am a Ho-Ho man.
Steve Fultz, Columbus
Ray: The OSU fan base is full of crybabies. You can't play cupcakes all season, then lose to a good team and cry about it.
Both football and basketball programs are the same. You can't schedule all of the easy teams then play a couple of possible good teams and say how good you are. Put them in the SEC or the ACC and they would lose at least two games a year.
Those conferences play somebody EVERY week. No so-called tuneups against the easy lower teams.
The one team that OSU played early in the season has a 38,800 TOTAL enrollment. How many does OSU have? Think about it: Rutgers and Maryland have no football programs to speak of. I can see why they were voted in to the Big Ten — so OSU would get them every year. Wow, what a jackpot.
Play the teams like Stanford, Florida State, LSU, Clemson, Georgia and the likes and see how you do.
Gene Smith should be fined at least $15,000 for berating the officials. Anybody else would have been. Then demand to play the winner of the Clemson-LSU game was a sure sign of being a crybaby. When you lose, you lose. Don't schedule the cupcakes — play somebody.
That is exactly what has happened in the two sports. You can see how OSU puts their priority in sports. They are closing down a housing unit for its students and putting in a sports complex. What does that tell you?
Bill Taylor, via email
Editor: I know we're four weeks removed from the Fiesta Bowl, but did anyone else know that the "official" that made the call on the catch/fumble is also a TALK SHOW HOST in Alabama?
Reason I bring this up is because I just saw a replay of the catch and it (upset me) all over again. It was called a catch on the field, it was blatantly obvious it was a catch in replay, and there was NO indisputable evidence to overturn the call!
We have a family Christmas party at a hotel every year, and I remember texting my buddy that I was going to jump out our "third-story window" if they overturned the call. Sure enough they did, and I really was about to run through the window in our room and fall to my death.
People say "don't leave it in the hands of the refs" or we "should've taken care of business in the red zone," and while these statements are true, that wasn't the reality of the situation. You think it's easy scoring on Clemson in the red zone? No.
You can talk about the drops by Dobbins, Olave breaking off his route, or going after the punt. These are split-second decisions in a fast moving game, it's not easy! We're talking about Clemson getting the ball back due to questionable calls after the defense did their job! The defense had to go back out there and you think that's easy? No!
You know what is easy? THE REFS DOING THEIR JOB CORRECTLY! They have all this technology, all these cameras; cameras that have a high frame rate so you can really slow down replays. You have one of the most honored rules in football and that's INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE! The refs and the officials should've gone into that replay with a single thought on their mind: Is there indisputable evidence? No, there wasn't!
All we needed was ONE of those situations to go our way and we win! The one situation that should've gone our way was the overturned call! Simple as that, the refs doing their job correctly, that was the one situation!
Who the hell decided that it was OK to have a talk show host in 'Bama make huge calls like that?! If it's a talk show related to Alabama football, that's even worse! I would imagine that he's an Alabama fan, and if that's the case, wouldn't you think there would be some harsh feelings from 2014? To top it all off, Bama didn't even make the final four!
Having officials from a single conference calling these games needs to stop. Actually, they should bring in officials from conferences that don't have a team in the final four. Or better yet, bring in top officials from EVERY conference to call these games! Games of that magnitude need to be officiated by the best of the best!
The targeting rule needs to be looked at as well, and changes need to be made! I really hope it happens in this offseason but I doubt it because people are TOO SCARED to question a rule that is related to player safety! It's ruining the game, they're ejecting innocent players in the biggest games of their lives! You want to enforce a 15-yard penalty when helmets collide? Fine! But don't eject a player unless there was malicious intent! If there wasn't, then give a warning; if the player does it again, then they're gone!
Anyway, rant over! If your only comment is "get over it," then feel free to move along! I'm not gonna get over it! Go tell coach Day and those players to get over it and see how that works out! Day already said he's not over it, those players aren't over it, and they will be using it as fuel for the 2020 season!
David Frank, via email
Ray: It's gripe time again. I don't see Jason Day's score in the listing for the Farmers Insurance Open on page D8 in (Friday's) Dispatch. Online, I see that he had a 1 over on the South Course. Yet, the listing shows several higher scores, so where was Jason, a local favorite?
While I'm at it, do we have to endure the endless AP love affair with Tiger Woods? We are fed endless stories with Woods as the center post and headliner, while many other players perform at a higher level.
And we see that in the seventh paragraph, Woods “left himself in a bad shot … ” Could the author have meant, “bad spot”?
Don Denton, Westerville
Editor: I need to get some stuff off my chest:
My dad taught me that whenever you had a job, no matter how insignificant, you should always give your best effort. Voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame is not insignificant, but somebody treats it like it is a joke.
Whoever thought it was funny to leave Derek Jeter off his ballot should lose the privilege of participating in this process.
I don't think basketball announcers should be permitted to refer to taller players as "bigs" unless they agree to call the guards "littles."
Another rule for basketball announcers: They should be prohibited from using the word "run" until the "run" reaches at least double-digits.
What happened to the 3 second rule? The "bigs" go in the lane and rarely leave. Sometimes, it results in their team going on a 5- or 6-point "run."
Why does the "voice in the arena" feel compelled to state there is "one minute" left in the game? Is that for the fans that have such crappy seats they can't see the scoreboard?
And now for football announcers:
Do not refer to ANY play in the first quarter as "critical."
Eliminate redundancies such as "speedy" kick returner & kicker with a "big" leg.
Now I need to educate some sports fans:
Do fans realize when they do the "overrated" cheer, it is a putdown to their own team? Do they believe their squad isn't able to beat a good team?
I still can't get on board with college football games on Friday nights. If a university is recruiting a high school player, will the college coach want him to make a visit when there is a Friday night game and miss his high school game?
I have heard the phrase "irrefutable video evidence" more times than I can count. Is that still the case when the Buckeyes have a "scoop and score?"
I dare you to say, "get over it."
And finally (for now), why would a football team put a basketball player logo on their uniforms?
Thank you for permitting me to rant. I feel much better!
Phil Harris, via email
Phil: It goes without saying that Derek Jeter is and should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player. But I don't get why there has to be unanimity. What about the nine voters who didn't have Hank Aaron on their ballot, or the 23 who omitted Willie Mays — to say nothing of the 11 who didn't think Babe Ruth was worthy?