Ohio State has had a fantastic first half of 2011, from the firing of Jim Tressel to the forfeiting of an entire, Sugar Bowl-winning 12-1 season. The second half of the year is all about penance and proving their sincere adherence to Ohio and its culture, so it should come as no surprise that the school is one of three to have signed a deal making them an official part of the LeBron James Brand™. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel first reported Saturday that Ohio State would join Kentucky and Miami as the first three teams to specifically represent LeBron lebranded Nike gear, which should end up looking a lot like Michael Jordan’s, only without any rings. As accessories, I mean. Miami makes sense, Kentucky makes sense because of John Calipari, and Ohio State makes sense because they have no f**king clue what they’re doing anymore.
Of course, OSU has been supporting LeBron and sporting a LeBron logo since before that was a hangable offense, and Ohio State wins a lot so they’re the one Ohio-area sports team LeBron didn’t completely insult and abandon. And yeah, you can leave me a comment to tell me I’m a “hater” or whatever, but I don’t care about the Cavs or The Decision, I’m still pissed about him wearing a Yankees hat to an Indians game.
Anyway, Cleveland is of course already writing newspaper editorials about how Ohio State is tone-deaf to the state’s dislike of this guy, but honestly is there anything more “Ohioan” right now than not being able to shut up about LeBron James? It’s right there next to Jojo potatoes and flammable bodies of water. Bill Livingston of The Plain Dealer is impassioned in his response to the announcement, but he’s missing one important point:
But THE Ohio State University? Are they kidding?
Actually, OSU basketball players have worn “L23” insignia since 2007 on their uniforms. During much of that time, James was a Cavalier and a non-quitter.
I don’t know if Bill watched those years when LeBron lead the Cavaliers into the playoffs, but they didn’t exactly end with LeBron valiantly battling the flu and pulling out a victory in the clutch. LeBron is the same guy, he’s just wearing a shirt we hate. If the LeBron Brand overtakes college sports, Cleveland isn’t going to have anyone to root for.
Man, I wish they had a baseball team.
[h/t The Dagger]