On Tressel and the “blog problem”

Posted by Vico in Buckeye Football |

Lots of dot coms and Ebays are abuzz in the Buckeye blogosphere about Tressel’s recent comments about the need to further Kremlinize (sic?) the Buckeye football program from outside observation.  For those unaware, Doug Lesmerises recently quoted Tressel as saying:

Speaking before practice Monday night, Tressel admitted he wants to keep information from leaking to opponents and was disappointed that news of Saturday’s closed scrimmage had been relayed on Internet message boards by donors and other guests allowed to attend.

“Some of our people brought in little blog sites [that said] ‘We saw this’ and ‘We saw that’ and ‘We saw this,’ ” Tressel said. “I guess you’re just trying to lower the percentage of that going on. Our coaches work hard on what we’re trying to prepare and would rather not have their thoughts and ideas and game plans out there kicked around until they get to showcase them.”

11W and The Buckeye Battle Cry already offered their two cents on the issue, and because they’re cool (no sarcasm intended, don’t read it as such), I thought I’d follow.  I just gotsta be cool.  To summarize, both noted that their blogs — perhaps the two most popular Buckeye blogs out there1 — have done nothing to the kind.  Jeff at the BBC went further to say that should he be invited to observe practices, he (and presumably most bloggers) would more than follow standard operating procedures to the letter.  Perhaps bloggers could be as good as if not better at it than your regular sports journalist.

Of course, the first thing any Buckeye fan who runs a blog will draw attention to is Tressel’s admission that he follows the Buckeye blogs.  As a guy who (poorly) maintains one, my immediate reaction was something like “OMG Tressel might read Our Honor Defend OMGOMGOMGOMG”.  This might explain the one referral I got from the OhioStateBuckeyes.com mail server, which I’m guessing was a belated link regarding the Pryor BKAB feature (could be anyone in the organization, though).  Of course, because I only know of the three of us here and my parents as regular readers of OHD, I can only put our audience at 5.  I can presume no greater readership than that, so the Vest himself is not one of our readers.

To clarify further, Max still lives in Columbus for the moment2 and knows a few people close to the program, but doesn’t ask them anything.  In fact, he chips in with comments and advice on how I run things, but he’s far from the kind that posts regularly.  Further, Gabby and I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and could never disclose game preparations to our wide audience of 5 readers due to this logistical problem.  If it exists, it’s not here.  When I say that Sanzenbacher is the real deal, it’s not because of any inside information; it’s just knowing how hard Sanzenbacher had to work at Toledo Central Catholic to get his scholarship and knowing that he took that with him to Columbus.  I personally go out of my way not to get the attention of people currently involved with the program, since they have much, much better things to do.  It’s why I won’t even allow critical-to-the-point-of-inflammatory words of a player’s performance since we’re just a bunch of 9-to-5ers with not even a fraction of the coaching expertise as Tressel, Heacock, Bollman, et al.  Coaching is their obligation, not ours.  Instead, I do go out of my way to get the attention of some other people, namely Earle Bruce and Brian Baschnagel.  I’m weird like that.

Further, as Jeff said, I know of no Buckeye blog that does that.  11W has their spy, but the guys there are beyond circumspect with that information.

The second thought that came to the forefront was that, if given the opportunity, we would be more than willing to obfuscate Buckeye intelligence with some Drudge Report-inspired false leads.  These immediately popped into mind:

  • THE NEXT TOMMIE FRAZIER: Joe Bauserman featured in wishbone formation at camp… Developing…
  • CHANGE OF PACE: Terrelle Pryor getting snaps on offense… at fullback… Developing…
  • REPORTS: Boeckman benched, Brian Hartline at the helm of a new “Shot-Line Formation”… Developing…
  • 3-3-5: Buckeyes feature 5 defensive backs in regular defensive rotation…
  • MIXING IT UP: Heacock subs in 4-6 Defense for the Nickel package… Developing…
  • BREAKING: Beanie leaves practice and team, will backpack around India… Developing…

Don’t rule this possibility out if he’s serious about the fact that people look to blogs for inside information.

Overall, though, I’m surprised it’s that big of a deal.  I’m probably the only one of the Big Ten Bloggers that has no sense of “we”.  I don’t have the identity of “blogger”, and I’m not particularly interested in blogging-related issues of freedom of inquiry and speech and all that.  I don’t look at myself as a blogger, more an obsessive workaholic with web design prowess, no social life, more social anxieties than you can shake a stick at, and an unhealthy obsession for his alma mater.  This leads me to writing long and rambling fluff pieces, not to be on the cutting edge of news or information.  I understand Tressel’s concern and if he shuts down practices for outside observation because of this anxiety, then more power to him.  Hell, if he identifies OHD as the only barrier holding him from a second national championship and the ultimate demise of Michigan, I’d be more than willing to hand him the keys to the vehicle.  I’m a fan first: I get my kicks more from the Buckeyes winning than I do from writing anything about them.  It could just be that this time of the year has the perfect blend of anxiousness for the season to begin with just enough dead air to make regular posting difficult.  Perhaps the flurry of interest in this quote stems from just that, rather than some kind of communal dismay that Tressel is, perhaps unnecessarily, upset with them.  Are people really bothered by Tressel’s quote3? I only care about the end result4.  I thought we all did.

Of course, when Tressel means “blog sites”, he might be referring to message boards… which is an entirely different animal…

  1. Throw Buckeye Commentary and Around the Oval into the conversation as well.  I’m not in the business of saying who’s the biggest. []
  2. …moving to NYC at the end of the month… []
  3. Bloggers that is, I can understand that regular fans would be upset because it’s becoming much more expensive these days to be an Ohio State fan.  Tickets are harder to come by. []
  4. though to be fair, because I took my education seriously, I expect student-athletes to do the same. []


Written by: Vico | full bio

Vico is the nom de guerre of the founder and current website chair of Our Honor Defend. He is currently living in exile in Alabama.


7 Responses to “On Tressel and the “blog problem””

  1. 1 MikeLew

    Count me as one of your regular readers…..so, that’s 6 :)

  2. 2 Poe McKnoe

    If our opponents are reading blogs to get info on Ohio State, they might be in trouble.

  3. 3 Gabby Jay

    I don’t know, I’m a little more partial to the “blogger” identity, though I don’t have time to really run with it. Work will do that to you.

    I do hope someone out there on this series of tubes looks to us for inside information on gameplanning for the Buckeyes, mostly because I hope some mid-level grunt for a college football program in the Big Ten is furiously gameplanning for the Shot-Line formation. That, or I hope that is inside info, and that we’ll be seeing that in 2008… if just because I’m curious.

  4. 4 Jeff @ The BBC

    I only read the articles that have to do with me, so it’s now 6.5 readers.

  5. 5 Ken

    As a native Ohioan, it’s a treat to read about ‘real’ college football (seriously) from the hinterlands of western New York. You’re up to 7.5..

  6. 6 Massey

    We wrote about bloggers in the press box and being given access along with journalists. Companies like Google embrace bloggers and they have billions at stake. There is no reason Ohio State could not turn bloggers to their advantage (think viral marketing for recruits).

    I am not saying that I am better than a journalist (if you have read one of my posts, you already know that), but I do think that serious bloggers have something to add to the discussion. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I have dinner on the stove and I would bore you just the same.

  7. 7 Vico

    A thought occurs: if Tressel and staff ever take up Jeff’s proposal for a shot at professionalism during the Ohio game, I would more than willingly put on my blogger cap for the event. That ones goes without saying.

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