Keep Your Friends Close and Your Rivals Closer?

Ohio State Buckeyes, we are told, don’t give a darn for the whole state of Michigan.

But that’s only true in the same way that liberals don’t give a darn for conservatives, and yet spend entire shows carving up Rush Limbaugh; and conservatives don’t give a darn for liberals, yet seem obsessed with some guy named Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, “We’re actually constantly driven to outdo the whole state of Michigan in every way, shape and form,” makes for an awfully clunky song lyric.

Judging by ticket sales, it is even possible that some Ohio State fans are more interested in Michigan’s game this weekend than some Wolverines supporters are.

Reminded that the Maize and Blue will be playing Appalachian State, OSU linebacker Joshua Perry, for instance, admitted he’s familiar with the history there. “That would be something to see. I remember a few years ago, when they went down to those guys.”

Obviously, he’s hoping for a repeat, right?

“I doubt that they’re going to let that happen again, and I want them to play really well, so that when we play them, it’s going to be a big game.”

While he’s not pulling for the upset, note that Perry doesn’t refer to Michigan. He doesn’t even call them the School Up North. He just calls them, “them.”

Buckeye tight end Jeff Heuerman, on the other hand, is cheering for a Mountaineers victory. “My high school coach is the linebackers coach at Appalachian State, so I’ll be obviously rooting for him,” Heuerman said. “I’ll wish him luck before the game, as he always does to me.”

Buckeye Defensive lineman Chris Carter has another perspective still. Once Ohio State’s game with Navy wraps up, he’ll have more pressing things to do than to check in on the Maize and Blue.

“The first thing I’m going to do is call my brother, who’s in his eighth year in the Navy, and he’s stationed in Djibouti,” Carter said. “And my father, who’s a Navy vet.”

After those phone calls? “Then maybe I’ll find out the score,” Carter laughed.

So if you ask an Ohio State fan on this, the eve of their college football season, if they’re also eager to know the outcome of the Wolverines game, they might tell you, “Frankly, I don’t give a darn.”

But tomorrow is another day.

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