The Mailbox | Can this rivalry game please be saved?

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
There's no doubt Ohio State football fans missed seeing this on Saturday. Wait until next year?

Mr. Stein: I wholeheartedly endorse Rob Oller’s idea of delaying The Game until Dec. 19 as a result of Michigan’s COVID outbreak. 

Depending on whether all of the logistics could be worked out, it appears to be reasonable. One could argue that Ohio State certainly would want to play this game since it is favored by 30 points. But we all know that records and other stats largely can be thrown out the window when it comes to this annual hate-fest. 

There is no certainty that Ohio State would win, especially considering the bulletin-board material that former OSU quarterback Kirk Herbstreit inadvertently gave the Wolverines with his statement that Michigan could raise the “white flag” on its dismal season by avoiding playing the Buckeyes, thereby denying them the Big Ten title. (Remember David Boston’s “Michigan is nobody” remark before the 1997 game?) 

If there is any way this game can be played, it should be played. I would say that as an Ohio State fan even if the situations were reversed, with Michigan favored by 30. Find a way to get it done.

Keith Robinson, Fairfield Glade, Tenn. 

Keith: I believe the way it all turned out will benefit the Buckeyes in their playoff chase. But maybe if they lose to Northwestern, they can find a way to meet Michigan in a bowl game. I mean, it’s 2020, after all. 

Mr. Stein: Serious times call for serious questions: How many lives of Ohio 

State football fans would you say were saved by the University of Michigan 

properly cancelling a mere sports event? 

Will Ohio State fans ever thank UM for this selfless gesture of care for their well-being? Why did the Big Ten, after doing the right thing first by earlier canceling the entire season, reverse that call? 

And is it true that the Buckeyes are looking to play Ohio Dominican next week to get that additional game? 

Dennis J. Grady, Severn, Md. 

Dennis: We’ve been down this road aplenty this fall, and there’s no point to my piling on about playing football in a pandemic. Interesting, though, to see Mike Krzyzewski taking heat for making a similar argument this past week. 

Ray: I doubt this will sit well with many, but I wouldn’t mind at all if athletes were among the first to get the COVID vaccine. 

Being able to watch sports, at least on TV, would sure help us get through these crazy times.  

Brent D. Rosenthal, Westerville 

Brent: Not me, chief. With 3,000 Americans a day dying because of this virus, the importance of sports on television would be charted somewhere in the Greek alphabet. 

Ray: I heard a rumor that the president of the University of Xichigan said that this week’s cancellation of the Ohio State game was one of the greatest victories in Xichigan football history. Can you confirm? 

Thad Woodman, Westerville 

Thad: Gordon Gee couldn’t have said it better. 

Ray: How great would it be to have Notre Dame play OSU on Saturday? Both teams are free. Just give them a call and invite them over! 

If only, huh? 

Craig Miller, Leland, N.C. 

Ray: Now that the NFL’s Washington Football Team has (appropriately) decided to drop the name “Redskins,” they'll undoubtedly be looking for a new nickname. 

I have a suggestion: With apologies to the Major League Baseball team from Cincinnati, why not simply go with the Washington Reds? 

Mike Adamkosky, Columbus 

Editor: After watching the Crew win their way to the MLS Cup final (last Sunday) I sent my husband 40 miles to get me a Dispatch (since we don’t get them anywhere around here and I’m sick) for a keepsake paper. 

When he brought it home I first thought maybe the stories would be tomorrow. NO FRONT PAGE??!! I’m sure the all-hallowed Buckeyes will be front and center if they play and beat Michigan next week. 

This just proves that even after already winning the Cup, and playing in two more we still don’t get the respect we deserve. Shameful! 

Debbie Garlock, via email 

Ray: What ore the rules for coaches using masks in both college and the NFL? 

The bald OSU coach yelling at the offensive line sure isn't interested in using one. 

Bob Fisher 

Editor: I was wondering if you have heard whether the Big Ten considered giving teams a win if their opponent had to forfeit? Since the season started so late and was limited to eight games, I think this would only be the fair thing to do. 

For instance, OSU should have had a win when Maryland forfeited the game and Illinois should have had a win when OSU forfeited the game. 

You know that “Hairball” Harbaugh could likely stick it to OSU in the last game this year since we would only be 5-0 and he is probably out the door after this season. 

Ken Shepherd, Gahanna 

rstein@dispatch.com