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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 04/06/2011 1:20 AM

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Football
Ohio State Could Do Itself a Favor by Making Football a Topic Again
By Tony Gerdeman

Spring is a time of rebirth. A time of rejuvenation and revitalization. A new chapter in the book of life.

And so is Spring football.

So many stories to tell, so much information to glean, so many subjects to broach.

Unless, of course, there's nobody to talk to.

In which case the only thing to talk about is the long, cold winter we've just been through.

That's basically where we are with Ohio State football right now. Spring practice started on March 31st, and so far the media has been able to attend 60 minutes of practice and talk to nobody but themselves about it.

Despite the prospects of a fertile spring football season, it feels a little bit like Punxsutawney Phootball saw his shadow, scurried back into his burrow, and now we've got six more weeks of icy gray Buckeye skies ahead of us.

Just as we saw clouds parting, we must now slink back to the boreal murk of the never-ending football winter.

Jim Tressel clearly has a right and a duty to run things however he sees fit. I have no real problem with it in general, though clearly it's frustrating for those of us who want to cover a little football.

This year is clearly different than any in the past. With a pending NCAA investigation into Jim Tressel and his football program, things have seemingly been put on lockdown because of the situation at hand.

Because it remains one of the only things to talk about, it's still the hottest topic around these parts.

But that could be remedied, or at least masked, if we were simply given something more to talk about.

This is one of the most intriguing springs of the Jim Tressel era, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Jim Tressel error.

One of the most important quarterback battles in the nation is going on right now. We could write about it every day until a week after the Spring Game if the access was there.

What about Ohio State's loaded stable of running backs? People are only getting snippets based on our one hour of witnessing, and begging for more.

How do you replace Dane Sanzenbacher? And Devier Posey for five games! The world may never know.

The Buckeyes have to replace two entrenched interior offensive linemen. Want to know how they're doing? You're going to have to trust what we tell you in our sixty minutes of practice viewing. Though what more can you say than, "They looked good" or "They didn't look so good".

I would like to know how Ohio State plans on replacing Cameron Heyward's explosion and Dexter Larimore's leverage, but have only my best guesses to go on. (I can count my 3.0 quarters on one hand, by the way.)

Would you like to know how the new linebackers look? We can tell you what we've seen, but we can't tell you what the coaches have seen.

The two new cornerbacks? They look good so far, but I don't recall any cornerback coaches working the Ohio State beat.

My point is that there are endless topics to discuss in-depth, and it would do the Ohio State football program some good to have people talking about actual Ohio State football for a change.

Think of football as a laser pointer and the media as the distracted cat. Send us up a wall and laugh with glee. We're cool with it.

If the University is trying to avoid talking about the Tressel situation, then just tell us at the outset that there will be no questions answered regarding the ongoing NCAA investigation, and we'll gladly move on to the topic of football.

Sure, you'll have a couple of people who won't listen because they've got a job to do, but they'll eventually get the hint and remember that they've got content to produce, so they better start asking questions that will get answered.

We want to cover football.

That's not to say the off-the-field stuff would be ignored, but how many times can the same story be written without any new information?

Sadly for Ohio State, the answer is "plenty".

The pending NCAA investigation will always be the top story, but Ohio State is making it the only story, and it's counter-productive.

Don't you want to change the subject? Let us do it for you.

But instead of letting the media flood the market with stories of depth charts, position battles and feel-good schmaltz, Ohio State will get their information to the masses on their own--by releasing their own interviews with players.

The information in the video is good to know, except for the part where All-American center Mike Brewster is labeled an offensive tackle. But if that's worst inaccuracy of the (Ohio) State-run media, then I guess we can't complain.

Don't cry for us, however, as we'll finally get to talk to assorted players and coaches on Saturday, which is ten days into Spring practice.

But just think of all of the things we could have talked about in that time--and everything we talked about instead.

Ohio State missed an opportunity to make their football team the topic of conversation for a change, and in so doing, kept the one topic that they don't want to talk about at the forefront of everyone's mind.

That's not distraction, that's attraction.

But things will pick up this weekend. And it's good for us, it's good for you, and most of all it's good for Ohio State.

Whether they want to believe it or not.


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