23 September 2006

Today's rant: OSU revenge & payback?

Many of the articles previewing today's Penn State game versus Ohio State are following the same themes: Ohio State is looking for revenge, Ohio State is looking for payback, Ohio State is looking to avenge last year's loss to Penn State because it cost the Buckeyes a shot at the title. Its as if Ohio State deserved to win the national title and Penn State somehow stole that chance from them.

Admittedly, I'm a little confused here. When a team loses a game on a bad or missed call or a controversial play, I can understand the revenge bit. In fact, Penn State has such a revenge game this year against Michigan: in last year's game, the refs added two controversial seconds onto the clock, which allowed Michigan to run a play with one second left to win the game. It was Penn State's only loss, and was surely controversial. I can see revenge being a factor. Similarly, bad sportsmanship by the team or the coach is another cause for revenge. When a team stomps on your midfield logo, revenge makes sense.

However, there was no controversy surrounding the result last year's Ohio State-Penn State game. It was an instant classic, and Penn State came out on top 17-10. Ohio State had already lost to Texas, so it was their second loss of the season. There were no controversial plays or missed calls. It is difficult for me to fathom how Penn State is owed 'revenge' for this game.

I understand the desire to write an appealing article previewing a big game, but using themes that don't apply just doesn't make sense to me.
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