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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(Columbus Dispatch) Blogging The Buckeyes ~ Tressel dismisses criticism of his conservatism

Found this feed, and thought it was worthwhile to be posted to the blog. Enjoy...

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For the second time in less than two years, coach Jim Tressel reacted a bit on the edgy side when discussing fans' criticism.

Who could forget the aftermath of the 2009 Southern California loss, when Tressel was asked about angry fans e-mailing him:

"The thing when I read some of them is I feel terrible for them because there's no way they're happy," Tressel said. "They've got to be some of the most unhappy people in the world, and I feel bad because we just made them less happy, and I hate to be part of making someone less happy. I mean, they're already miserable, and to make them less happy, I'd feel bad."

There was some truth to that, but it came off sounding very condescending.

On Tuesday at the Big Ten meetings, a reporter asked Tressel about his reputation for being too conservative at times.

First, he gave a long-winded explanation that basically was unapologetic for his play-calling. He said he considers his job is to protect Ohio State's ball, and if someone had something of his, he would want them to be very conservative with it.

He said there is always a "risk versus reward" in every call.

Fair enough. But then he added this:

"I also know some people aren't using the word as a compliment, and they think we're overly conservative," Tressel said. "Most of the people that have that type of comment have no investment in the situation. So whether we're conservative or risky or whatever, it's really not going to affect them the next day, other than how they feel about us."

Personally, I don't think that was necessary.

For one thing, many fans do have something tangible invested in the team -- money, lots of it. Tressel is taking a shot at people who he and his bosses are asking to shell out more and more dollars for tickets, not to mention all the merchandise people buy, concessions, etc.

Secondly, even if it's just, as Tressel put it, "how they feel about us," fans have a huge emotional investment in the team. Tressel makes it sound as if you're not employed by the OSU football program, you have no right to criticize his play-calling.

This statement, coupled with the "miserable" comments from last year, reveal to me a different side of Tressel we rarely see. It's a side of him that believes so strongly in what he does and how he does it, that he is downright dismissive of anyone who disagrees.



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