OH-IO, rip his f*cking head off
A petition is calling to end a popular football chant containing profanity
By Chris ScullinPosted Sep 25, 2013
A great deal of the excitement that comes from attending an Ohio State football game in the ‘Shoe is experiencing all of the traditions involved.
Many of these traditions have remained unchanged for decades; Block O, Buckeye Leaf stickers, TBDBITL playing “Hang on Sloopy” and the ringing of the Victory Bell. Others, such as the Buckeye Bounce or the Tunnel of Pride are relatively new traditions.
Still others have existed for years, but have evolved over time. The appearance of Brutus Buckeye has changed drastically, Buckeye Grove just moved to its current location in 2001 and some modifications have been made to the kickoff chant.
After the Buckeyes kick the ball to the opposing team, the crowd has chanted “O-H-I-O” for years. However, throughout the past few seasons the crowd, mainly the student section, has been including five additional words instructing the Buckeyes to remove the cranium of an opposing player in a violent manner.
This new tradition has caused outrage for some. In fact, students received an email on Thursday, Sept. 19 calling for the cessation of this new tradition. The president of the Ohio State Sportsmanship Council and the director of football operations at Block O signed the email. It instructed students to instead say “Let’s Go Bucks” and begged “please do not use inappropriate language.”
A few days earlier, a petition was started online aiming to an end the chant, but it doesn’t seem to be doing too well. At a university with nearly 60,000 students, the petition has only gathered a few more than 200 signatures.
I’m not even sure who this petition is directed it. The “rip his f*cking head off” chant is not officially sanctioned by OSU. It’s not as if it’s carved into the cement pillars at Ohio Stadium or sold on T-shirts at the bookstore. It’s something the students say out of free will. So is each individual student being petitioned?
Most of the comments on the petition discuss how the up-and-coming tradition tarnishes the reputation of the OSU student body and reflects poorly on the university as a whole. I will agree that it is a bit shocking to hear the entire chant clearly on a network television broadcast of the game, and that this could potential put a few young parents in an awkward position when their toddler asks “What’d they say?”
However, with all things considered, I truly fail to see necessity, or the means to put an end to this practice. The biggest problem would be enforcement. Would the security staff enforce this ban? Would it be all encompassing and prohibit all profanity? If so, I believe the stadium would be silent for each game against That Team Up North. Otherwise, the words to one of my favorite songs would have to be changed to comply with the anti-profanity rule.
I believe the only thing this email to students did was get those who were unaware of the new tradition to ask about it, thus exposing it even more people. Seeing as it was still quite prevalent at the Florida A&M game two days after the email went out, I really don’t think anything can be done to effectively stifle the chant without causing an even bigger blowback by the student body. While it’s possible the chant may die out over the years, it’s improbable that it will be forcibly discontinued.