… just how much my hatred for Michigan will continue to grow.
From grandparents to parents to children, alumni to current students to future ones, the excitement of the most stressful day of the season is passed on. It can be someone’s first GAME or someone’s 50th, the emotions are always there, and always abundant. Few games have the tradition, few have the publicity, none have the fans. Two institutions of high learning immersed in a single day of barbaric combat on the field, and unruly aggressive hatred off it.
Don’t believe anyone that says this rivalry is built on a hatred derived from a lack of respect. It’s not a calss war, it’s not the haves and the have nots. The hate can be defined in a statement I wrote in my very first article for The Empire:
We don’t say “Fuck Michigan” because we’ve beat them nine times in the last eleven years- we say it because they beat us fourteen of the previous eighteen.
This is a hatred built on respect, a hatred built on competition. The is the most emotional kind of hatred.
People hate the Yankees because their team loses to them. People hate the Lakers for the same reason. People hate the Buckeyes, Wolverines, Crimson Tide, Fighting Irish and other traditional powerhouses for the same reason. Ohio State and Michigan hate each other because our games decide the winner of the B1G more often than not. Our games decide Rose Bowl berths. Our games decide National Championship appearances. Our games decide recruiting wars that will decide future games. These things are on the line almost every year for the last 50+ years. This is the Yankees playing the Lakers in the cold in front of the entire galaxy for ruler of the universe, with more history behind each team. This is 1890 versus 1879. This is over 100 meetings (only once a year baseball and basketball fans). These are the fan bases who refuse to be bandwagoners and stick it out through the “Cooper and Rich Rod” eras. This isn’t Los Angeles, this isn’t New York. This is the midwest, where people eat, sleep, drink, live and die college football.
This is THE Game. This is THE only win that matters.
Embrace THE Hate