Impressed by responses to recent posts on the state tournament and the Ohio State-Michigan game, we’re pleased to share some of the best, and in a couple of cases…circle the wagons in defense.

We were pretty certain we’d soon hear from critics of our December 2 column about perceived poor sportsmanship during the Ohio State-Michigan game; and the difference in perspective, depending on whether you’re an Ohio State or Michigan fan:

“First-time reader of your site, Mr. Fulks, and I’m disgusted by your suggesting that unprofessional behavior during competition is to be accepted for the sake of having what you call a passion for winning. I also condemn the notion that because coaches like Woody Hayes acted this way fifty years ago it’s still to be tolerated. I think you called it…gamesmanship. Some of us…many of us…are dedicated to improve the culture and example of human interaction for the current generation and those yet to come. You have a powerful platform from which to help with that effort, and it’s a shame you don’t understand that, recognize that, and appreciate that.” … Jody Mericicki

(Ed. Note: Ms. Mericicki, of all the comments received I think I’ll choose yours for the following response. I didn’t ask anyone to accept throwing a headset as acceptable behavior. I simply explained why it happens, as I pointed out that it comes with plenty of past precedent that apparently scarred no one. And of course we tend to look beyond it when our team is the one that benefits or ultimately wins. As for a commitment to make the world a better place, good luck with that. From the book of Genesis forward we’ve proven to be what we are, which was prophesied in the scriptures. We’ve spent countless millions on campaigns to improve, while countless masses have been slaughtered out of a zeal to purify the human spirit – or simply because someone’s different. I would suggest that we remember that relative to the root issues of mankind, and not temper tantrums during a football game.  Continued best wishes for making the world a kinder, gentler, and more gracious place…for us all.)

“The fact is that Urban Meyer did not throw a headset on the sideline, so quit trying to suggest he would.” … Kenneth Buckley

(Ed. Note:  OK, I have to ask.  But would you have objected if he had?)

“You’re probably the only one with the rocks to say that had the outcome been different no one in Ohio would have cared. You’re also right in saying that just because someone else is that demonstrative that others will do it, too, because they watched. And isn’t it Tom Brokaw that suggests that men like Woody Hayes and Bear Bryant grew out of the greatest generation of Americans, because their families had the determination and competitive will to win against the hardships of the depression and war? Those who condemn now are doing so for the sake of a convenient argument supporting the liberal agenda.  And they have the opportunity because of men like Woody and Bryant.” … Joe Bookwalter

“Whether you support winning, Ohio State, or Michigan, I found it interesting that during the recent high school football tournament they were playing commercials that said the outcome of the game doesn’t matter, but how you play the game does. If that’s the case why are we keeping score?” … Daniel Schmittou

(Ed. Note: It’s funny you should mention that, Dan. I asked the same question to some coaches who said, “Yeah, why are we keeping score?”)

“To the root point of your story, it really doesn’t matter if Urban Meyer throws a headset or not, as long as the Buckeyes won.  This is the majority opinion among Ohio State fans, the same as it is with Michigan, Alabama, or any other school.  If no one gets hurt (and no one did in this case) there’s nothing so bad that winning won’t make you forget.”  …  Wm. Ganz

“Sportsmanship has always been graded on a convenient scale.” … Tim Bach

As for coverage of the state football tournament, and the fact of parochial schools winning six of the seven titles, there were plenty of opinions supporting an age-old discussion.

“Once again, here’s the proof that private schools and public schools belong in different tournaments.” … ‘Hooch’ (Chillicothe, Oh)

“Of the seven Ohio High School Football champions this season, six were private schools. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking I’m another crybaby, but I just can’t help but feel there is some unfairness here. And do you think the OHSAA will ever separate the two, or should I suck it up and move on?” … Ryan Bloomfield  (South Webster)

(Ed. Note: Suck it up and move on. In the first place if they separate the OHSAA will lose a considerable amount of membership from one side or the other (probably private), because there will be those who say we don’t need them to make our rules or run our tournament. We’ll run our own. Of course, that will create a financial shortfall for the OHSAA. And second, I can see it creating even more contempt between the two sides over the matter, like … “Yeah, you won your tournament, but you can’t beat us” – that kind of thing, which is probably worse than any current attitude. But the worst thing to happen would be the watering down of overall competition. Not good!)

“I would like to compliment Press Pros, the articles, and for your honesty in presenting what are probably some unpopular facts about why things are done the way they are. You guys are a breath of fresh air.” … Bud Dyles

“In responding to your article “Last Stand For The ‘Shoe’, you made some good points pertaining to our Columbus market and its obsession with Ohio State .  And I agree with you 100%.  But I read you frequently and your comments about efficiency and saving money. And driving to Columbus is far more efficient and cheaper more nearly everyone than driving to Stark County for next year’s tournament.” … Tom Killilea (Columbus)

“I’ve attended every high school football tournament but one since 1990 (26 years) and I can definitely make the case for it being better when its held in Massillon and Canton. The travel part is secondary to the atmosphere of having people in the stands. The picture you ran of an empty Ohio Stadium is all you need to see.” … Scot Jamison

“I want to commend you  for your coverage of the state tournament without making it a story about recruiting.  Thanks for not mentioning how many stars someone had by their name…and for just reporting the score and the story.”  …  Brad Geunther

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