The mutual disdain between Mark May and Ohio State fans is well established. May takes every chance he gets to knock the Buckeyes and their fans down a peg or two on television, and every Ohio State message board, blog, and Twitter page has some space dedicated on it as to why they hate Mark May. It makes Charles Barkley's little dustup with the Big Ten look like an international peace summit.
This week, May referenced Ohio State's mascot Brutus getting hammered during a spring practice as an opportunity to take another shot at the "haters" from Buckeye Nation. First, the clip of mascot violence – thank goodness the real person inside that suit has a giant foam helmet of a poisonous nut on his head…
Alluding to the viral video, May posted the following on his Facebook page…
The comments on the post are almost all negative feedback from Ohio State fans, naturally. The feud between May and Ohio State fans is reaching abusrd and hilarious proportions. You think May still hasn't gotten over Ohio State fans chanting "Mark May sucks" at him after the 2011 Sugar Bowl?
I honestly don't know where the feud between Mark May and Ohio State began. There are various theories as to its genesis – 11 Warriors had a post dedicated to May vs OSU with a hypothesis that it comes from the Buckeyes' 72-0 victory over May's alma mater in 1996. However the feud started, it's become the Hatfields and McCoys of announcers and fans of a particular team. And in the tribal realm of college football fandom, those provincial alliances and haterism become more and more entrenched. There have been groups of fans that have accused certain announcers or analysts of bias before, but I don't recall one getting to the point where an analyst says he wants to jack up an entire fanbase on his Facebook page and inflict physical pain upon them.
Normally I would say it's a blight on ESPN's credibility and all that jazz, but this is so ridiculously over the top you can't even take the feud or May's analysis of the team seriously. Is it a problem for ESPN and its presentation of the sport that one of its college football analysts publicly says he wants to beat down "haters" from a particular school, especially when the media has so much influence over perception and rankings? Of course it should be! But at this point, nobody should take May at his word when he's breaking down anything remotely associated with OSU next year. It'd be like expecting neutral, impartial coverage from Fox News or MSNBC.
The feud is good for a laugh, but in all honesty it's now reaching cartoonish levels. (Not to mention May's cartoonish skits with Lou Holtz analyzing the rest of college football.) What's next? Mark May takes a crowbar to Braxton Miller's knee before the Michigan game this year to finally settle the score with Buckeye Nation?