People are still getting their yuks in today about Ohio State, and it is likely going to be a long time for Buckeye Nation to live this one down.
You know what I’m talking about.
The “THE” thing.
For years Ohio State has insisted on being called The Ohio State University. Now it is seeking a trademark for the word “the.” When this came out last Tuesday, all those schools who the Buckeyes have slapped around on the football field saw an opportunity to sneak in a few punches of their own — off the field, of course. For them, this has been a source of endless hilarity.
To be expected, the University of Michigan was one of the first to pile on, joking that it was thinking of trademarking the word “of.”
Creg Stephenson of the Alabama Media Group in Birmingham said he had trouble swallowing the thought that Ohio State’s “annoying insistence on calling itself ‘The Ohio State University’ could soon have the federal government’s endorsement.”
Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times lamented that people already think it is obnoxious the way Ohio State athletes emphasize “THE” before stating their university’s name, adding the athletes make an effort to pronounce it “THEE” not “THUH.”)
Others say Ohio State is not fooling anyone. They note the school was originally called the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College when it was founded in 1870. Now, it not only smugly insists on being called “The Ohio State University,” but also wants to own the word “the.”
Some found nothing humorous about Ohio State’s actions, calling it not only stupid, but declaring it a frivolous waste of government resources.
In fairness, it can be argued there are precedents for having such a trademark.
The University of Miami in Florida has long been known as the “U.” It has trademark protection that keeps slogans in-house such as “U gotta believe” and “U is great.”
Syracuse University has a trademark on the phrase “Cuse,” an abbreviation for the school’s name. Last year it threatened legal action against a local distillery which introduced a vodka-based orange liqueur called Cuse Juice. The company discontinued the product.
Ohio State spokesperson Chris Deavey told The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that it’s important to “vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” adding that the trademarks protect “assets that hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and support our core academic mission of teaching and research.”
With that mouthful the obvious question was answered — What’s in this for Ohio State?
Money, of course.
Ohio State hopes to come up with another income source by marketing T-shirts, hats and other clothing items with THE in gigantic letters and a smaller Ohio State logo beneath it.
Actually, that’s not a bad idea.
There is one lingering question, though. Should this trademark go through, can we still refer to the Buckeyes as OSU, or do we have to start calling them TOSU (pronounced toe-sue).
I think I know what Michigan fans would say.
ROSES AND THORNS: A teenager with a patriotic heart gets a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: To Austin Ricker, 16, of Fort Jennings. He created the Putnam County Memorial Field of Heroes in Fort Jennings, which includes 108 wood crosses to honor county servicemen who died in the line of duty.
Rose: To Jeremy Simmons, who moved into his dorm room at the University of Northwestern Ohio carrying his fishing poles. He explained, “My fishing poles are just a little part of Georgia I could bring with me.”
Rose: To the group Heart and Sole of Allen County. It offered a free shoe giveaway at Unity Elementary School in Lima.
Thorn: Four headstones were damaged at Gethsemani Cemetery in Lima when a person believed to be driving a mid-1990s Ford SUV or Ranger was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of his or her vehicle. The driver then left the scene.
PARTING SHOT: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” — words from the character Andy Dufresne in the movie classic “The Shawshank Redemption,” much of which was shot 25 years ago this month in Mansfield.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.