Hashtags (#) on Twitter can be very handy. They're simply a user's way to categorize his or her comments. For example if you want to see the support the Ohio State football program is getting, through thick and thin, then simply got to Twitter and do a search for #GoBucks. You'll see comment after comment in support of Ohio State. All things considered this season it's nothing more than an escape from reality. If you want to see people kicking a horse while it's down then you can just as easily search #Suckeyes (although if you're ultimate goal is simply to be annoyed I would suggest searching #Kardashian instead). Either way, these hashtags are a quick, easy way to either categorize your post and make it readily available to those who know what they're searching for or, in our case, go get the pulse of a fan base.
The hashtag of choice among Buckeye media members, fans, and athletes is #BuckeyeNation. I've used it a number of times myself with our @fanLinks1 account to get stories and news out to the masses. Ohio State athletes use it to reach their fans. Fans use it to voice their opinion and show their support (or lack there of). I was on Twitter following along during most of yesterday's train wreck against Michigan State. It's instant reaction. It's the digital world's way of high fiving after a score or screaming at the refs after a bad call, only you get to do it with thousands of your closest friends. I'll admit it's very entertaining for the most part. But it can also be very telling in the aftermath of such a brutal performance.
The Ohio State fan base is very passionate but rarely turns against the program. On any given day throughout the last few years Ohio State has probably had a 90-95% approval rating or better among its fans. There will always be the random sour puss but the overwhelming majority are in love with our Buckeyes. Those people are still all over the place singing the praises of Ohio State (including all over #buckeyenation), but this year the Pissed Off Gang has started to grow quite the following. Here are some of the most frustrated comments from the last eighteen hours, in 140 characters or less:
@adamneft Fickell acts scared to call bollman out publicly.. Smh now im thinkn this job was too big 4 him.
@Matt_McGraw People have every right to boo when they pay $100 plus to see that garbage.
@NeilKeim What the hell was that at Ohio Stadium?
@jacquesfl Congrats to Coach Fickell on the first loss to Mich St this century.
@MJaeger16 Urban Meyer?!? Urban Meyer?!? Urban Meyer?!? Urban Meyer?!? Urban Meyer?!?
@hilarygleske I really thought Browns fans were the only ones who booed their own team... Nice.
@jsuttonii We need to bring back Jim Tressel.
@Sm1 Fact: until final TD drive we were averaging 1.9yds per play. Fire Jim Bollman.
@hatethesteelers Screw Luke Fickell... Give me MARK MANGINO IN 2012
@sheamusic I would do anything to bring Coach Tressell back
@BrandonLaughlin can we get beilima to leave wisc and come to columbus?
@Louder07 It's Sunday morning and it appears Jim Bollman still has a job.
@Anthony_J_Hicks REWARD for missing OFFENSE please contact OSU if found
Of course these grenades don't go unnoticed by the Buckeye athletes themselves, in particular Ohio State basketball start Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0). Shortly after the game, and after reading just about enough of the negativity as he wanted to read, he put in his two cents with these:
@Jared_Sully0 How you going to boo and than get happy when we make a good play. Come on #buckeyenation.
@Jared_Sully0 s/o to the entire OSU Football Squad. we still #buckeyenation
@Jared_Sully0 For ppl to be true buckeye fans y'all sure are dogging these guys... Don't be a in and out type of person
@Jared_Sully0 I have no respect for the ppl that boo'd us today.
@Jared_Sully0 It's okay to voice your opinion. But if we struggling it's nothing better is to hear the crowd cheering you on through the tough times.
@Jared_Sully0 Instead yall boo'd us through a tough game. Yall make it hard to please yall if y'all expect perfection. Nobody is PERFECT
@Jared_Sully0 don't say you a real fan and boo me when things get bad that's all I'm saying.
Ohio State running back Jordan Hall (@Jordan_Hall7) pitched in later last night with some postgame frustration of his own:
@Jordan_Hall7 They love u then they hate u then they love u again.. But shit.. That's life.
Yep. That pretty much sums it up, for better or worse.
You can't help but love the fact that these athletes, and fans, show so much passion for our University. Obviously fan reaction affects these student-athletes whether we believe they listen to us or not. The above comments alone make me want to root for #0 even more......but not until basketball season. We've got football left to play and apparently Sully is watching. Wonder if he's interested in wearing pads and cleats? Keep dreaming #BuckeyeNation.
(Dear Twitter: I know we're supposed to keep it to 140 characters or less. I just used 4,515. Sorry.)