Archive for the ‘Ninja Soapbox’ Category

On Civility, The Internet, Et Cetera

Monday, March 24th, 2014

NOTE – Apologies if we’ve written this post before. It sure feels like we have.

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

Everyone on the internet, all the time.

Every time Ohio State loses or plays badly, there are a few people who feel the need to make asses of themselves on Twitter or Facebook or CompuServe or MySpace or whatever the kids are using nowadays. They say terrible things to current players, coaches, media folks, and pretty much anyone who will listen expressing their unhappiness with the current situation. Assuming they’re posting from these United States, that’s their right and they won’t get jailed for it*. Is this what we would consider “good behavior”? Absolutely not. Do we spend much time correcting such behavior? Absolutely not. Do we spend ANY time correcting such behavior? Probably not.

* – Exceptions apply. Consult a lawyer if you’re not sure.

Our stance – by which we mean the editorial policy of The Buckeye Ninja and is as follows:

  1. Each individual is responsible for his or her own decision-making and behavior.
  2. The great majority of people are assholes, ourselves included.
  3. In any group of people, there are going to be people who don’t strive to control or contain their innate qualities that make them assholes.
  4. Because of (1), anyone who fits the description in (3) is responsible for his or her own dickish behavior.
  5. Because of (4) and (1) one can’t make reasonable judgments about a group of people based on the actions of a few individuals.
  6. If people decide to behave like assholes, that is their right and any consequences that happen as a result of their behavior should fall on them alone, even they’re in groups we cohabit. In other words, having a few assholes in your fan base does not mean the entire fan base is made up of assholes.
  7. Because of (6) and (1), we feel no need or responsibility to correct the behavior of a tiny minority of people because their asshole qualities do not reflect upon us. Also…
  8. Because of (2) and (3) even if we try and succeed to change one person’s or ten people’s behavior, there will always be more assholes whose behavior we have now committed ourselves to trying to change.
  9. We have kids, man. We don’t have time for (8).


Anecdote: A few years ago Reds pitcher Mat Latos was having a little bit of a rough game and we saw several people bemoaning that some dick Reds fans were saying rude things to Latos’ wife on Twitter. Our first instinct was to mention her and say something like “Don’t worry, we’re not all assholes like that” since they were new to the Reds and all but first we decided to check her mentions.

Literally 99.99% of her mentions were people saying “Don’t worry, we’re not all assholes like that” or berating the two people who had made snarky remarks about Latos messing up their fantasy teams. Seriously, there were two “bad apples” (and what they had said to her wasn’t even really all that bad, considering – no vulgarity or anything) and several hundred people collectively losing their shit as a result.

So we didn’t say anything, because what really needed to be said?

It happens all the time, especially on Twitter. Everyone feels the need to correct other people’s behavior because they think for some reason it reflects on them.

“Aha!” you say. “You’re trying to correct the behavior of the people who are trying to correct other people’s behavior!”

First off, who says a-ha anymore unless they’re referring to “Take On Me“? Second, in a way you’re correct except that our goal isn’t to correct any behavior. We’re just pointing out that correcting behavior is a futile journey that will only end in disappointment and misanthropy.

Take a look at Best Fans St. Louis. Do you think we would suddenly say “Cardinals fans are really great people!” if their collective behavior matched the mythology? Hell no we wouldn’t. They cheer for the enemy so they’re the enemy, no matter if they’re all gooey nice or not (and of course based on our editorial policy we have already established that they aren’t – not all of them anyway.)

We promise the following: we will always talk about TTUN fans being terrible, terrible people. Because if they weren’t, why would they root for TTUN? But we also won’t dwell on the dickish words and behaviors of people who root for our teams. Keep your aim downrange, kids.

We advise you to remember that no one made you the civility police; you don’t have a badge, and you don’t have a gun. Just relax. Or don’t. Whatever, it’s your life.

The end.

Why Rooting For TTUN Is Stupid and You’re a Bad Person If You Do

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Far be it from us to disagree with a legendary corner from the Buckeyes’ most recent national championship. Except that, you know, we are about to do exactly that.

Count us among those amused by TTUN being garbage. Watching them almost lose to Akron and then almost lose to UConn back-to-back weeks was one of the purest, most amazing feelings of euphoria we’ve ever experienced that was legal in all 50 states. It’s been years and years and we still chortle at the words “Appalachian State”. Hell, we will sit around and wait for Kordell Stewart’s Hail Mary that beat the skunkweasels back in the 1950′s even if the rebroadcast of that game is only in the first quarter.

The times when we were able to witness RichRod’s teams flailing around impotently throughout his too-short reign in Ann Arbor* were truly blessed.

* – whore.

Yes, we are aware that the Wolverines’ loss to USC in the 2007 Rose Bowl and the following Appalachian State schadenfreude-fest was one big reason why the B1G is perceived as a step up from junior varsity Pop Warner (along with a few other games that we shall not mention for TOO SOON reasons). However, we submit that this perception would exist even if TTUN had not spent the nights preceding App State blazing up the reefer and laughing among themselves at what an embarrassing opponent they were going to face.

Not to go all conspiracy theorist on you, but when it comes to college football the Big Ten Network is one of the few real competitors to ESPN – who has a deal with the SEC, the ACC, and others when it comes to broadcasting rights. Another major player in college football broadcasting is CBS, who carries SEC games and like one bowl game. If people think the B1G is terrible, they’ll more likely switch to, say, an SEC game when the choice is there. More viewers = more advertising money. More advertising money = more profits. CBS and ESPN are ultimately businesses, and most businesses are in business to make profits. It behooves ESPN and CBS to have a down B1G, and it behooves them to have a dominant SEC.

This isn’t to say the B1G isn’t bad or that the SEC hasn’t been dominant. This is to say that perhaps – just perhaps – the gulf between the conferences hasn’t been as big it’s perceived to be. That perception, of course, being shaped by organizations like ESPN and CBS.

But we’re really digressing from the most basic point – that you have no good reason to root for TTUN this time of year. It’s really basic math:

Ohio State’s opponents’ combined records*: 57-66
Ohio State’s opponents’ combined records if Michigan had lost to Northwestern: 57-66
Ohio State’s opponents’ combined records if Michigan had lost to Indiana AND Northwestern: 57-66

In other words, when TTUN plays a common opponent of the Buckeyes, the result of the game has no real impact on the Buckeyes’ cumulative opponents’ win-loss record. If they lose to a B1G opponent that’s not on the Buckeye schedule that just means the B1G is even stronger. There’s no real downside to TTUN being horrible.

* – This includes teams the Buckeyes haven’t yet played but doesn’t include the B1G championship game because we don’t know anything for certain yet and if you think you do, shut up. But if we included it our case would have only been stronger. Trust us.

If you MUST root for TTUN, do so before conference play starts. Or do what we do and acknowledge that TTUN winning helps the Buckeyes while not actually wanting it to happen for schadenfreude-ian reasons. As far as the Buckeyes’ schedule is concerned, we’re just fine strength-wise with TTUN being 4-8 (0-8 in conference) every year. If you’re not fine with it too maybe you should look in the mirror and ask yourself why you would put yourself into a position where TTUN winning would make you happy.

Then consider drinking bleach as penance. Because people who root for TTUN are bad.

On One John Football

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Artist's Rendition

Artist’s Rendition

After last weekend’s bizarre showing, more and more people seem to be off the Johnny Manziel bandwagon. The exodus started in the offseason when he was seen and often photographed doing immature, obnoxious things and really reached a flood when the allegations came out regarding the possibility that he had signed autographs for money.

The Buckeye Ninja’s official policy on players being rewarded financially for, well, anything is that if someone wants to pay a teenager to play football or basketball for a particular school, a fool and his money are soon parted. We certainly don’t clutch pearls – in fact we don’t have pearls to clutch – when word comes out that a college student may have sold something he or she owned.

Because we aren’t dirty pinko commies. As Shooter McGavin might say, FREE MARKET BABAY! *double pistols*

That’s not to say the universities don’t have an interest in setting some kinds of boundaries in order to maintain a semblance of competitive balance – not at all. Just that their current position does not sufficiently compensate the young men who work very hard and whose efforts bring in significantly more money than they will ever see.

To make a long story short, it was bullshit when Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, et. al. got punished by the NCAA, and it’s bullshit when anyone else gets punished for the same or a similar thing. A.J. Green, for example.

So we are very inclined to be on the side of young Mr. Football. When he is playing well there are only a handful of players who can do what he does, and the fact that he’s so young makes it when more impressive.*

But watching the highlights from Saturday afternoon we can’t help thinking, damn, what a douche.

*-The most impressive football I’ve ever seen was put forth by Michael Vick in a game I watched in Atlanta in 2003. He made a few plays that made me swear. In appreciation. Manziel is capable of making similar plays and has on occasion. His performance against Louisiana Tech last season was a thing of beauty.

At the same time it’s hard to get too down on the kid. He’s 20 years old. When we were 20 we were still figuring out how to prioritize between paying our share of our bills, going to class, working, and paying for alcohol. If we’d had a Heisman trophy we’d have been a massive douche too.

The Ninja Soapbox – Just When We Think Everything’s Fine…

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Someone writes a post like this, we go cross-eyed, and our blood pressure shoots through the roof.

One of the reasons our writing kind of tapered off the last year or two was a general frustration with the attitude displayed in the linked article – an attitude that seems to be prevalent among many who write about sports, even from a fan’s perspective. There seems to be a desire among many people to delineate which fans root for their teams properly and which need re-education in The Proper Way To Cheer Your Team.

Yes, some fans can be negative nancies. We would almost certainly fall into that category, to be honest. Maybe we have a reason to be. Maybe that’s just the way we choose to follow our team. Our negativity does not impact anyone else’s enjoyment of the game beyond the people who make a deliberate choice to read what we write or be in our physical presence as the game goes on. And those people probably associate with us because of our insightful takes and- no, sorry, we couldn’t finish that sentence because we were drowning in BS.

In the grand scheme of things, every team has mega-asshole fans who couldn’t find reason or perspective if it were their ass and they had both hands and a flashlight. But those fans are a tiny, tiny minority* – even in State College – and spending more than a couple paragraphs wringing our hands and wishing they weren’t mega-assholes is affording them more attention than they’ve really earned.

* – for example, early in the baseball season there was a minor flap when Mat Latos’ wife @DallasLatos received a couple Tweets from idiot fans telling her Mat sucked, etc. etc. Everyone was wringing their hands over this boorish fan behavior, so out of curiosity we checked her timeline and saw the following. Maybe two Tweets everyone was in an uproar over (no exaggeration) and thousands of Tweets from Reds fans saying some form of “we’re not all idiots like that”. So, much ado about nothing? 2 idiot fans, 10,000 rational ones. Who gets the attention? Yeah.

Did you like that Posnanski-esque aside? We thought you might.

The point is that we believe people would be happier if they’d ignore the way other people cheered for their team. Sure, report the Nittany Lion fans people who lob bags of urine at opposing team’s fans. Mock the idiots – like we did at the Nebraska game – who yell obscenities at visiting fans that are just minding their own business trying to cheer on their guys. But getting on your own fans for voicing their opinion or being too negative/positive? That’s going too far, in our editorial opinion.