The Mailbox | All-time Ohio State football team had some notable misses
Ray: You know you opened up a “can of worms” when you did this all-time Ohio State football team (last Sunday).
How could you leave Howard Cassady off the list? He played both ways “back in the day.” How many on your team played both ways and won all the awards possible during their playing days at OSU? Just wondering.
Larry Wilson, Anthem, Ariz.
Larry: It was not easy to leave Hop off the team, nor Vic Janowicz, nor Eddie George, nor Wes Fesler nor at least a dozen more. And yes, I walked into that assignment knowing I was opening a can of something, worms or whoop or whatever.
Ray: Finally, someone who understands.
Muhammed Ali was chosen by sportswriters as the top athlete of the 20th century. Other contemporary athletes such as Michael Jordan were considered.
Unfortunately, Jim Thorpe — the football, baseball and track phenom — was a forgotten legend. The writers never thought of him. Without a doubt, he was the man.
Your all-time Buckeye team, which includes Chic Harley among other old-timers, was a delight to read. You actually used thoughtful logic in your selections. It's great to know that someone does his research.
Dave Waples, Kennesaw, Ga.
Dave: Many thanks for saying so. I had invaluable help, as I acknowledged, and not everyone pushed for Harley. But, to me, that would be like picking an all-time New York Yankees team without Babe Ruth.
Editor: We need to boycott the Cleveland Indians as a result of their decision to drop their nickname after the 2021 season. Don’t attend games and certainly don’t buy any new merchandise with the Cleveland logo on it and any new mascot or nickname.
The politically correct movement to eradicate Native American nicknames in sports is bizarre and idiotic. No sports team in America ever adopted a mascot or nickname in order to disparage any group of people associated with the name.
Rather, the nicknames and mascots are intended to honor tradition, American history, and the group so chosen.
Indeed, the term “Indians” is a generically recognized word to represent Native Americans, and could not even be considered as controversial as current and former names such as “Redskins.” I am a proud graduate of Miami University, which previously abandoned the “Redskins” name, and I did not even find that name offensive.
The story about the Indians’ decision mentioned the supposed fact that Native Americans are offended by the name, based on alleged discussions with those groups by the team. In my experience, supposed “offense” at anything — politics, other public opinion or sports topics — is usually driven by the most vocal advocates who may be a distinct minority themselves and who are just loud and obnoxious.
Why don’t the Indians take a poll of the public to accurately view whether the average fan considers the name objectionable? In my estimation, the name “Indians” would have a great majority of support.
In the meantime, show your consternation at the decision to drop the Indians name and mascot by boycotting Cleveland games and by certainly boycotting any merchandise sales with a new and irritatingly politically correct name.
If the name "Indians" is now to be abandoned, can the name “Cowboys” be far behind? Perhaps animal mascots such as “Ravens,” “Cardinals,” “Tigers” and “Bears” will be the next to rise up in protest as well.
Or, perhaps the name “Buckeyes” will be the next to fall, when all of the trees and nuts throughout Ohio file their objections.
Ray Eichenberger, Reynoldsburg
Ray: The Indians don’t need a poll. All they needed to do was put a finger the air, note the corporate cold front that met the Washington Redskins (a name that you don’t find offensive, noted) and come to the realization that it was time. It’s really not that hard.
Ray: The Cleveland Rocks. The Cleveland Naps. The Cleveland Spiders. The Cleveland Blues. I could go on but suffice it to say that I hate all of them.
As we continue to suggest awful replacement names for the team that was called the Indians for my entire life, I have what I think is a better alternative: Put the team naming rights on the open market.
Start the bidding at $100 million and take off the reserve. In return for several hundred million bucks that the team could use for a bevy of stud players and facility improvements I think everybody could live rather with the Cleveland Amazons. Or the Cleveland Facebooks.
Even the Cleveland Walmarts has a ring to it that we could get used to, for the right price. Especially if it can buy us a championship.
Chris Dalheim, Galena
Chris: You’re hating on this now but I suspect you will come around once the Cleveland Baseball Team is operating under whatever name they land on. I mean, really, Chief Wahoo had to go, and removing the name makes that easier.
Mr. Stein: Compare Caleb Porter to any coach in any sport and his resume stacks up with the best.
A select few win multiple titles spread across multiple teams. The University of Akron, Portland Sounders, and now the Crew. Not even a loss, ever, in seven Division I level conference seasons.
Porter is the very rare bird to do it both at the college and professional levels. He is very arguably up there with Jim Tressel, Tony La Russa, Bill Belichick, etc.
Columbus is in good hands.
Michael Engbert, Canal Winchester
Ray: Your “Buckeye Pantheon” story (last) Sunday was terrific. A little “back story” on Jack Tatum. He was among the “Super Sophs.”
In 1967, we recruited an incredible number of top level running backs: John Brockington, Leo Hayden and others. Jack was clearly the best, but became known for his fantastic play on defense, not one play on offense.
I was a graduate assistant on the defense coaching staff with Lou McCullough, Earle Bruce and Bill Mallory. In 1967, the “Super Sophs” were just freshmen, ineligible at that time. They worked against our defensive players, replicating the offense of the team that we would play on Saturday.
Every defensive coach agreed that Jack, an incredible athlete, was the best running back among all those great ones. He was truly unbelievable. Our defenders simply could not stop Jack. He was a marvel.
So why did Jack never play offense if he was the best? That is a story in itself. Woody Hayes always loaded up the best players on offense with the weaker players on defense. On offense, some talented players sat on the bench while others played on the field. This aggravated the defensive coaching staff.
After the 1967 season was over, OSU had an incredible amount of talent that had to be sorted out. The defensive staff demanded that they have an equal opportunity to obtain some of these great players.
After a good deal of persuasion, Woody finally agreed to have kind of a draft program where there was an equal sharing of the talent on both offense and defense. It was agreed that Woody had first choice of quarterback and one other player. Then, the defense had a choice. Thereafter, the choices went back and forth, spreading the talent equally, with Jack among the first selected. That was how this tremendously talented team in1968 won the national title.
Jack Tatum was a truly unique talent. It was said that no one knew how fast Jack could run. He was always fast enough to catch anyone. Ray, you might already know this information. But thought you might add a little information to your mountain of sports facts.
Daniel D. Connor, Columbus
Ray: I enjoyed your article (last Sunday) about the past Buckeyes at each position and who you named as the best of the best.
I don’t question any of the highlighted fellas who donned the scarlet and gray, yet I do believe, as I am biased, that one was missing. Jim Houston, an end both ways for three years, easily should be on the defensive lineman list as a stalwart, two-time captain and two-time All-American.
Again, I know I am biased, but my old man spent an average of 51 minutes a game on the field his senior year. Let that sink in for a second. That will most likely never happen again in college football at any level, ever.
Dave: Trust me when I tell you that your father was highly considered.
Ray: One choice to replace the Indians nickname is “Rockers,” as in the Hall of Fame in Cleveland. A great logo would be a silhouette of Elvis with a guitar or mic stand in hand. “Rockers” also reflects my affection for the great Rocky Colavito of the Indians of my youth.
Another choice would be to honor Larry Doby in some way. Doby was the first African-American in the American League. Maybe “Pioneers,” as Doby was certainly a pioneer in the battle for racial equality.
Michael Holliday, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
Editor: I cannot fathom the thought process that went into the front page of (last) Friday’s Sports section.
You lead off with the Crew co-owners being delighted at being in the playoff game here in Columbus, then you give most of the page to the Seattle Sounders’ “history within reach.”
What about Crew history within each? This is Columbus, not Seattle.
Please think before showing your stupidity to the city of Columbus again.
Shere Everett, via email