Offensive Training Tactics Deplorable

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 03/05/2012 9:45 AM
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It's Time for OSU's Offensive Weight Training Tactics to Be Addressed by the University
By Tony Gerdeman

A few weeks ago the Ohio State football beat media was granted the opportunity to speak with Mickey Marotti, who oversees the team's strength and conditioning workouts.

It was supposed to be an opportunity to find out how the new workouts were going. It would also give us a chance to get an update on how some of the players were handling the transition.

We got those things—Marotti described some of the workouts in detail, and also said that there had been significant improvements from the players across the board. However, we also got something else—a glimpse into Ohio State's jockocracy of shameful intolerance.

I speak, of course, about Marotti's apparent disdain for baked goods.

"If I win and I know I’m beating you by like ten yards and I point at you or I go slow through the line—even though I still won—that’s called a 'loaf'," said Marotti, describing a particular racing exercise.

"Any deceleration before the finish line and guys get a loaf."

I'm confused. Since when did getting a "loaf", one of human civilization's main components of sustenance, come with a negative connotation? I don't bake much, but if I did, I would be incredibly offended by Marotti's ignorant statements.

Imagine being a baker, and a loved one asks you, "Why do you make loaves of bread when Ohio State tells me that a loaf is something to be ashamed of?"

It's ridiculous and hateful. This country was built on bread, and is still being built on it to this day. It survived the Atkins craze, and will survive this ignorant fear-peddling as well.

"And also, it’s charted in the weight room," Marotti's hate-speech continued. "All the loafs are up there and guys have to do certain things depending on how many loafs they get. As a team, we can’t have that."

What did bread ever do to these people?

For as far as we've come as a society, to still have this type of ignorance being practiced in our country at the highest levels of education is appalling.

Current players will even tweet variances of "No loafs" as some sickening, neanderthalic braggadocio.

In a world where so much of our television programming is focused on baked goods, why is this hate-mongering still permitted, let alone championed?

Why do I care, you ask?

Because, while being disguised as a tool to create a hyper-competitive team atmosphere, compelling a player to fear being saddled with "loafs" as a punishment is the epitome of loafaphobic, grainist and anti-leaven behavior that threatens to flatten our society as a whole.

They take an item—a loaf—a thing that has meant so much to so many, and assign it a negative value. Breads and grains are on the freaking food pyramid, you loathsome oafs!

Before there was a "greatest thing since sliced bread", there was simply bread—and it was already pretty damn great.

I am not a baker, but I know a few people who are, and I know they would never want their livelihood and their way of life to be seen as something for any demographic to avoid on a level second only to death.

The sad part about all of this is that in a university setting you would expect a much more open mind, as opposed to the closed minds that are found today in such positions of power.

I love bread. In fact, I probably eat some form of bread every day, and no amount of testosterone-fueled anti-grain peer pressure is going to change that.

It is beyond time for the people involved in this—Urban Meyer included—to apologize to every baker or consumer of baked goods for the mental damage that they have inflicted upon every single one of us.

They can't get away with this.

I am reminded of one of this country's most beloved songs, "America the Beautiful", written over 100 years ago and done so without a single hate-filled barb populating its timeless stanzas.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

Did you catch that, coaches? "For amber waves of grain." A loaf is a thing to be admired, not to be ridiculed. America's success is so intertwined with its grain production as to be almost inseparable. Your loaf-based jibes are not only offensive, but they are patently wrong, and "America the Beautiful" knew it a century ago.

Though I still don't understand what they meant by "purple mountain majesties". That part always seemed kind of queer to me.

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