May 16, 2012
Just the very description bothers me. It automatically places a second-class citizen status on sports such as Tennis, Track & Field, Lacrosse, Rifle, Synchronized Swimming, and Volleyball. Yet take a look at the success of these programs in recent years. More trophies, conference titles, and National Championships have come JUST from Synchronized Swimming in the last 15 years than in Football, Basketball, and Baseball combined. These are the student-athletes bringing home the hardware on a consistent basis. Yet they get relegated to the back of the room to watch guys like Braxton Miller and Jared Sullinger get all the attention.
A former soccer player (striker) and wrestler myself, I have a soft spot for these guys and gals. These are the folks that the NCAA commercials talk about when they say "90% will go pro in something other than sports." There is no draft waiting for most of these athletes. No endorsement deals, no shoe contracts, and no agent to sign with. The pinnacle for most of these men and women is the Olympic Games. Then they go into their chosen profession, whether it be Fisheries and Wildlife Services, Sports Communication, or even Accounting.
It is for these reasons that we, as Buckeyes, need to recognize these individuals and teams whenever possible. We're trying to do that here at UnScripted Ohio by bringing you just as many stories and links from these sports as from Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Yet, it's still not enough. These teams don't see near enough support from the fans and student body as they should.
Now, you might be asking yourself, "I'm just an alumnus/student/fan. What can I POSSIBLY do to support these guys? I already forked over hard earned money to get my season tickets in the Shoe."
That's great and I appreciate your willingness to financially support a sport that puts butts in the seats. However, let's take that one step further. The average price for a sporting event at Ohio State, not counting football and basketball, is around $5. Five Dollars. That's a pack of cigarettes, a Subway footlong (not valid in San Francisco), or a tall double shot, half-caf latte. Could you forgo one of these a month to show your pride in ALL things Ohio State? I am sure that you could, given the opportunity.
The question you now might be asking yourself is "Why should I?"
The answer to that is simple. "Why not? Are these not Buckeyes? Are they undeserving of your support, both moral and financial, because they don't play football or basketball?"
Take the aforementioned Synchronized Swimming Team for an example. How many of you knew that the Head Coach had retired after being either the NCAA Champion or Runnerup in EACH of her 15 years at Ohio State? Let me repeat that. Outgoing Coach Linda Lichter-Witter took her team to the finals in EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. that she was in the Scarlet and Gray. That's impressive, even for a small sport such as hers. Yet she doesn't grab headlines. You don't see synchronized swimming suits on sale at the Ohio State Store.
It is my personal goal with UnScripted Ohio to bring these sports to the forefront and force them down your throat if I have to. Oh, you'll still get your doses of football and basketball news and notes, but you can find that anywhere. UnScripted Ohio should be your stop to read about the other sports that the Buckeyes compete in at the varsity level. It is my hope that, by bringing these astounding student-athletes to the spotlight, that more casual fans will start to recognize and appreciate their accomplishments, because their time at Ohio State may be the last time you hear their names.
Let's not let them be forgotten. Go Bucks. All of them.