Mailbox: Reader longs for the days Ohio State Buckeyes football played a real spring game
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On Ohio State football
Dear Mr. White: So neatly wedged between Good Friday and Easter is the Lifesports Ohio State Spring Game presented by Union Home Mortgage. I’ve been to a few of these tussles, and the most memorable one occurred in the early '70s when a high school teammate of mine ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. In those sponsor-free days, they played a real Scarlet vs. Gray game, Woody kept score and admission was free. It was deemed a great chance for families on a budget to cheer on their heroes and experience a college football afternoon at The Shoe.
Today, I’m told, the “game” is a dressed-up practice, there’s no need to turn on the scoreboard and, according to Monday’s Dispatch, tickets range from $7-$149. Plan B, the Big Ten Network, just doesn’t hold the same appeal, at least for me.
Jon Armstrong, Columbus
To Jon: I'm among those who think it's a good idea to not play a "real" game and to tone down the contact in spring games, when emotions are amped up and backups are trying to make impressions. The collisions are too fierce to risk anything bad happening. In fact, I'm surprised Ryan Day changed tactic and allowed tackling this year.
On Blue Jackets fans
To Brian: I usually enjoy Rob Oller’s writing but his Wednesday article, “Why aren’t fans outraged over Blue Jackets’ mediocrity,” was pointless and inane. Is he advocating for fans to boo? Not attend games? Boycott the merch? Write nasty letters to the editor? Rob apparently thinks we should be like New York or Philly “fans.” No way. We’re Columbus. We’re more civilized. We’re more appreciative. We love and support our CBJ come what may. We relish the underdog role they work to overcome. We like their hard work. We like what coach Larsen is doing with this group of young players. We like how the team created a hockey environment from nothing that is now sending players to the NHL. Please, Rob, spare us this purposeless drivel. As our Midwest mothers taught us, if you can’t say something nice, hold your tongue.
Brent D. Rosenthal, Westerville
To Brent: I don't want to speak for Rob (I'm not cool enough for that), but I believe one of his larger points was that these nice Midwest fans seem to be fine with the Blue Jackets being mediocre or worse but react with anger when Ohio State basketball loses in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. And if OSU football ever came in third place in the Big Ten, reactions would be even more Philly-ish.
Sir: It is reported that viewership of MLB games is down. Here is one big reason why: Fans are encouraged to subscribe to MLB.TV to view all “out-of-market” games. But, these “out-of-market” games do not include telecasts on ESPN, TBS/TNT, some Fox games, YouTube and, this year, Apple TV and Peacock. (And, the Peacock deal is for game times of 11:30 a.m. or noon on Sundays, which I’m sure the players appreciate, with a mandate that all other venues cannot start before 1:40 p.m. EDT). And, locally, how Pittsburgh is not considered to be an “out-of-market” team remains a mystery. So, in recent years, the number of games available on MLB’s own platform have been reduced, with fans paying more and getting less. How does this grow the game when viewers don’t know where to find it?
Jim Ramlow, Columbus
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