Michiganand Ohio State play this weekend. Perhaps you’ve heard about this game. It’s a big one and the fanbases don’t particularly care for each other. It’s also been a bit one-sided recently. But this year the Wolverines are really good and the Buckeyes appear very mortal. The Team Up North is favored in Columbus. Up is down. Down is up. Woody is Bo. Bo is Woody. It’s a brave new world.
Speaking of that, let’s check in on one of the best things in all of sports: guaranteeing a victory in advance. Today’s contestant is Michigan running back Karan Higdon, who allowed himself to be baited into doing just that.
Now, where would he learn something like this? Impossible to know.
Higdon’s proclamation was answered in kind by Ohio State’s running back Mike Weber. With a Spongebob Squarepants meme. Let me repeat: a Spongebob Squarepants meme.
And that’s a good place to start. The old, stoic sporting world would have you believe that giving an opponent bulletin board material is a major no-no. But consider some reality here. There’s quite a bit on the line for Saturday’s game already. If any player on Michigan or OSU isn’t fired up for the contest, they should be rushed to the hospital.
Does one thinking person think that players will play harder because they think the other team believes it has a chance to win? I mean, sports are largely nonsensical, but let’s have some limits here.
Allow me to fully embrace my Millennial here and say this from the chest. Guaranteeing a victory in a big game is very, very cool. More importantly, the benefits far outweight the costs. Get it right and you’re a legend. Get it wrong and it’s just a little extra sting when you’re already sad. And people are far more likely to forget.
Heck, most of the sports media landscape exists on the fuel of being loudly wrong and misfiring on predictions. As a society, we’ve just come to accept that.
We need more of this from athletes, not less.