Booing Boeckman? Shame on you
By Tom Archdeacon
Staff WriterWednesday, September 24, 2008
To all the so-called Ohio State fans who booed Todd Boeckman, you showed yourself to be a classless bunch.
Your actions stained a day which should have been nothing but a celebration of a young talent's debut at the helm of the Buckeyes.
Cheer new quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the highly acclaimed freshman. He deserved it for leading OSU past overmatched Troy 28-10 Saturday, Sept. 20.
But shower Boeckman with scorn?
That's a new low, even among those twisted few at OSU who think it's cool to spit on Michigan fans and torch old furniture and parked cars after big victories.
On a day when he already had to be crushed, Boeckman entered the game for just two plays, threw an incompletion and got treated worse than O.J. Simpson.
I made this point in my "Through the Arch" blog the other day, and the avalanche of response has been heated — once again showing no team in this state stokes passions like the Buckeyes.
This came from someone called Bob: "It doesn't shock me at all that they booed him. OSU fans are some of the most obnoxious, classless, bandwagon jumping, in-your-face-for-no-reason-at-all chumps that ever rooted for any sports team. I don't enjoy seeing OSU lose as much as I enjoy seeing their fans' ginormous egos deflated. The team? Go Bucks. The fans? Go home."
Matt offered the opposite view:
"Classless? No. Not in the least. You can talk all you want about the 'College Kid,' and how you should not 'boo.' That is crap. OSU fans who attended the game paid to sit in the stands, so if they want to boo Boeckman, more power to them. In reality, the college athlete is getting paid to perform, in the form of a scholarship, room, etc. When you play for one of the elite teams in the country, you are expected to perform. ... "
At his weekly press conference Tuesday, coach Jim Tressel called the booing "disappointing."
After the game, Bucks defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson was more pointed: "Hey, we're just kids. We're not professionals. There is no way adults should treat us that way."
I don't agree with the "kids" part — guys this age are fighting in Iraq, working in factories, married and raising kids — but he's right that this was no way to treat Boeckman.
There is not a classier, more loyal and likeable guy on the Bucks roster than the sixth-year player from St. Henry.
When OSU showed interest in him out of high school — but didn't initially offer a scholarship — he passed on other full rides and came to Columbus for a year as a regular student. He then red-shirted a year when the Bucks wanted to position him for their future.
He supported Troy Smith and watched — without saying a negative word — as the Heisman quarterback starred on the field but sometimes misstepped off it.
When Bucks recruiters fell in love with Pryor, Boeckman stoically soldiered on and made a point of taking the Pennsylvania phenom under his wing as soon as he hit campus. And after Saturday's game, Boeckman again was all class when he praised Pryor's play.
Boeckman helped OSU win the Big Ten last season and is 13-3 as a starter. He's already earned his degree, is working on his masters and has never been in trouble while at OSU.
You boo a guy like that?