College football is home to plenty of insufferable fan bases each capable of annoying the shit out of people in their own unique ways, whether we’re talking about the Penn State fans who defended (and still defend) Joe Paterno to the death or people who support Notre Dame because their great-grandfather was from Ireland.
However, I don’t know if there’s anyone out there capable of irking me more than fans of Ohio State—or, as they’ll be very quick to point out, THE Ohio State University.
I never actually knew the reason why Ohio State fans are so in love with the only definite article in the English language so I decided to do a little digging and came across this explanation:
In 1986, a new University logo was introduced in the hopes of moving away from the “OSU” symbol, which had been used since 1977. The change from simply “OSU” was said to “reflect the national stature of the institution.” University officials wanted the institution to be known as “The Ohio State University,” again, since OSU could also mean Oregon State and Oklahoma State University…
Legend also has it that “The” was used to show the other colleges which institution was supposed to be the leader in the state – both in size and in financial support from the legislature.
I don’t know if the legend in question is true or not but I’m going to choose to believe it is to help justify my admittedly irrational hatred of the Buckeyes, who recently decided to raise the stakes when they filed a trademark for the word “The.”
You read that right.
It’s worth noting that this is a trademark and not a copyright, which means the “The” in question refers to the logo in the application and not the word itself.
With that said, I have one simple piece of advice for the school: try less.