Thursday, April 20, 2006

Playing right into Dodd's hands

If you read Buckeye Commentary (like a good Buckeye - nay, American - should), you've already heard that Dennis Dodd wrote an article about the Tyson Gentry injury and the wider concern of safety in NCAA football. The problem is Dodd's assertion that we, Buckeye Nation, care more about the recent uniform change than about the health of Gentry. His evidence consists of a poll which was, as BC pointed out, conducted before Gentry's injury, and a quote from Tressel:
"I got maybe two e-mails on that," Tressel said of Gentry. "(I got) hundreds of e-mails on what idiots we are for changing jerseys. ... You wonder about the psyche of today's person."
Now, here's the thing: if I want to encourage a change back to the old jerseys, what do I do? I write to the people in charge, hoping that if enough people write with me, we can make a change. Now, if I want to change the Tyson Gentry situation, the sad fact is that unless I'm a world-class surgeon, there's nothing I can do. No amount of letter-writing can heal him. And if I want to wish him well, why wouldn't I write to him directly? This explains why Tressel's e-mail box is full of messages on one topic and not the other.

If Dodd's argument appears weak at first glance, and gets more so the more closely it's examined, why did he use it? You're a smart person, I'm a smart person, we had no trouble seeing his argument sucked. Presumably he's a reasonably intelligent person; why didn't he realize his argument was weak? The answer: he did. It's that old (in internet years) tactic of writing something controversial just to gain readers. Blogs do it all the time, ESPN did it with the whole "USC = Greatest Team Evar!!!11" series, and now Dodd's doing it. Calling us uncaring, ignorant assholes is an easy way to get us to read him. It's just not a very good way to impress people and win their respect.

Listen, my priorities are as messed up as anyone's. I've been known to skip class for no better reason than it's sunny and I'm kinda hungry, yet I would miss my own wedding for an OSU football game. Regardless, it's still very obvious to me that football's just a game, jerseys are just jerseys, and both pale in comparison to someone's life. I have no doubt that this is true of just about every other football fan out there. Just because we enjoy complaining about jerseys, doesn't mean we've forgotten what's really important in life.

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