Buckeyes’ Nike Gloves Incident Makes Big Ten New No Fun League

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The acronym slam “No Fun League” for NFL rules acting as a buzzkill to endzone celebrations has been around for a long time. And when you had incidents like Joe Horn pulling a cell phone out of goalpost padding and Chad Ocho Cinco (back in his salad days when he was know simply as Chad Johnson) pumping the football to give birth, I can understand why the league turned their referees into narcs.

But why exactly is college football following suit in becoming fascists against fun. I’ve always thought that the doing a somersault into the end zone bit is NOT EXCESSIVE. It really is pretty mild, but yet the R.A. mentality of the NCAA flags it every time!

When taking in last week’s HUGE rivalry game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, a game tOSU absolutely destroyed their arch-nemesis, this practice and protocol re-surfaced.

By Paul M. Banks

Here’s the gist of it from Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday blog

Nike was obviously very proud of the retro “Pro Combat” look it dreamed up for Ohio State in honor of the Buckeyes’ 1942 national championship team. Part of that look included lightweight “Vapor Jet” gloves featuring “premium Magnigrip CL technology” and custom art specifically designed to display a block ‘O’ when the palms are brought together.

The only problem? When Ohio State receiver DeVier Posey brought the gloves together to form the ‘O’ after taking in a touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to put the Buckeyes up 24-7 in the second quarter, he was hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. OSU was subsequently forced to kick off to the Wolverines from its own 15-yard line instead of its own 30.

Later, when offensive lineman Mike Adams flashed the ‘O’ to the crowd to celebrate a 32-yard touchdown run by Boom Herron that extended the OSU lead to 31-7 in the third quarter, he was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty, too.

sanzenbacher

The incidents gave another storyline to the biggest rivalry game in college football. Even though this specific storyline probably didn’t get as much attention as it really deserved. This is a good excerpt from The Other Paper, which is exactly what it’s name indicates. The alternative weekly paper in Columbus. The alternative to the Post-Dispatch.

Fans couldn’t resist them. They flew off the shelves. The players couldn’t resist, either. Hell, it was encouraged. A full-page explanation of the replica uniforms—the NCAA-approved uniforms—was included in the gameday program, including a photo of the gloves making the Block O on the palms. Nike’s marketing genius, at work again.

Not that it really mattered. Michigan is terrible—again. Ohio State’s 37-7 victory was its seventh straight over the Wolverines, helping to clinch a sixth consecutive Big Ten title for the Buckeyes.

But it could have mattered. Those are big penalties—potential difference-makers in a close game.

Neither the players, nor coach Jim Tressel, said much about it afterward.

“I can’t answer that,” Tressel said when asked about the penalties, though his disgusted head shake was answer enough. “What are you going to do?” he asked to no one in particular.

Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher was a bit more forthcoming—as usual. “It’s safe to say we will never wear gloves with anything on them again,” said the senior.

“You guys are going to get us fined,” Sanzenbacher answered with a smile.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com


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