I've been a Buckeye my entire life. I've seen some really cool sports moments--including Grady Sizemore's major league debut! And if there's one thing I've learned being a Buckeye, it's this: Don't mess with Ohio State fans! Apparently, Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer did not get that particular memo.
For those of you not familiar with his comments, here's what was said to a radio station in Los Angeles:
"I cannot stand the Buckeyes and having to live in Ohio and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts. We got Keith Rivers out there and we got Frostee Rucker, we finally got a couple other 'SC guys. It's amazing to hear what those guys think about that university and what they think about that football program and Tressel and all the crap I got to put up with being back there.
"I just can't wait for two years from now when 'SC comes to the 'Shoe and I get to, hopefully have a home game that weekend and I can go out there and watch us pound on them on their own turf and kind of put all the talk to rest, because I'm really getting sick of it. I just can't wait for this game to get here so they can come to the Coliseum and experience L.A. and get an old fashioned, Pac 10 butt-whooping and go back to the Big Ten."
Now I never claimed to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, but I can't imagine these comments are being taken kindly around Cincinnati or anywhere else in the state. That said, how can someone be so ignorant as to say that on talk radio?! Did he think his comments were not going to make it across the country? I'm seriously dumbfounded on this one.
Of course the very next day, Palmer issued a statement (which is short hand for "I really screwed up and now I'm taking the easy way out to fix the problem."): "I'm a Trojan all the way, and I was talking to a Trojan audience in California. I guess I got a little fired up, as all good fans will do. But I really do respect the Buckeyes, and I know their fans are passionate, too.
"I hope they all understand I'm just looking forward to a big game for my school against a very tough opponent, and that it's all in the good fun of a rivalry. You don't have a real rivalry unless both sides are great teams."
Wow. I have not seen that much bologna since my afternoon snack! If you really respect Ohio State fans, you would not have said it in the first place! I can appreciate being loyal to your college roots, but when you attack as universally loved in the state as OSU, you're asking for trouble. And these are the same fans who were rooting for you! Why would you want to alienate your fans? And by the way, rivalries are usually between teams that play more than twice every 20 years! I have no problem with USC fans or the team, but I hope Cincinnati fans give Carson Palmer an earful for saying things that never should have been said.
Thanks for stopping by, and I'll try to get it right next time.
(Photo courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/webcoderguy/251752786)