Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THANK YOU TULEY-TILLMAN, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE HATE

Twitter photo of Tuley-Timman burning letter
Ohio State fans have become outraged over a picture posted on Twitter recently by class of 2013 prep football recruit, Logan Tuley-Tillman.

Tuley-Tillman — a 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive tackle from Peoria (IL) Manual High School — posted a photo of him burning a recruiting letter from Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, causing OSU fans to retaliate with some pretty vulgar online jabs toward the young ... wait for it ... Michigan commit.

Tuley-Tillman told the ESPN.com Michigan blog, WolverineNation, that "It's the biggest rivalry in sports. It's sad that grown men and women get like this over a picture. I say women because there have been a few adult female Ohio State fans sending bad stuff, too. God bless them, though."

No, God bless you, Mr. Tuley-Tillman.

I love the hatred. I love that the "biggest rivalry in sports" means something to him. Sure, some are calling him stupid and immature — and he probably is, I mean, he did commit to Michigan — but he realizes that this rivalry isn't supposed to be a love affair between the programs.  

Ohio State-Michigan isn't just a rivalry, it's a feud. It's college football's version of the Hatfields and McCoys. It goes well beyond Woody and Bo. It goes all the way to the battle of Toledo, when soldiers from Ohio slaughtered millions of Michiganders for the rights to The Glass City. (Okay, don't waste your time looking any of that last part up. It's 100-percent fact. Take my word for it.)

Now, I'm not advocating that Michigan and Ohio State tie the other team's players to a tree and break out the firing squad on them like Anse Hatfield did to Randall McCoy's sons, but a little verbal barrage, letter burning and flag stomping just adds to the awesomeness the rivalry already exudes.

"My mom showed me the letter, and it was more of a personal thing to burn it," Tuley-Tillman said. "I didn't think it would get this much attention."

"It shows to me that they are either jealous or have that much disrespect for Ohio State," Buckeyes class of 2013 commit Jalin Marshall said to WolverineNation. "He doesn't need to get death threats for it, but if he doesn't want something like this happening then he shouldn't have done it."

I despise when players from Ohio State and Michigan shake hands after the game, take photos with one another and request each other as friends on Facebook. It's just not natural. It's too LeBron-ish.

I love that the coaches hate each other. I love that Meyer offers scholarships to Michigan recruits even after they have committed. And I love that Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke tries to go Woody Hayes on OSU by not referring to them by their proper name. 

Although I think it's kind of hokey (pun intended) that the Michigan coach calls them "Ohio," instead of Ohio State. It's kind of a slap in the face to Ohio University, you know, the school that actually goes by the name "Ohio." Yes, the same "Ohio" who defeated Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament back in March.

Hoke should call them THE University of Ohio State or something.

Nonetheless, I love that the disdain between Ohio State and Michigan is continuing to grow with this new generation of players and coaches.

I believe the phrase "friendly rivals" is an oxymoron. So please burn those letters, Mr. Tuley-Tillman! Tear 'em up, blow your nose on them or use as toilet paper. I don't care.

I love the hate, kid!

— You can follow Lee Hudnell on Twitter @LeeHudnell_TBT