I had sent an e-mail to Buckeyes Boy and felt comfortable taking the higher ground. We didn’t need to be friends per se, but we could be friendly and peacefully-coexist in the DC Twitter/Social Media community, right?
On December 4, 2009, I waited to hear back from Buckeyes Boy. That day, I also received an e-mail from a good friend, Ronny. He and his sister, Rhonda, were born on Ohio State’s campus and are huge Buckeyes fans. (For those of you who aren’t sports fans, a Buckeye is a nut and the state tree of Ohio. Ohio State’s athletic teams are “The Buckeyes,” after the state tree.)
Ronny mentioned that we should go out for drinks one night with his girlfriend and Buckeyes Boy. I told him that I’m happy to meet as a threesome, but that Buckeyes Boy had broken up with me on Twitter. As we were e-mailing back and forth, a thought crossed my mind that I might ask Ronny to do some reconnaissance for me.
“About what?” you might be wondering.
I wanted to find out whether Buckeyes Boy was really a Buckeye.
See…when Buckeyes Boy and I met [at the Twestival], a guy approached Buckeyes Boy and made a comment about the team.
Me: Did you go to Ohio State? [Buckeyes Boy nods.] Did you play at Ohio State? [He nods.] Varsity? [He nods.] Dayum! Your stock is rising!
Since then, he and I talked on numerous occasions about his experiences playing for Jim Tressel and what it felt like to be a college athlete at that level. His playing trajectory confused me a bit, though. He told me that he played for Coach Tressel at Youngstown State, then headed to Ohio State with Tressel, and then went back to Youngstown to finish his degree in four years. I wasn’t sure if that made sense, though, for the following reasons:
1. I did a Google search and didn’t find anything under Buckeyes Boy’s name and Ohio State. Maybe if he just went to school there wouldn’t be anything, but I couldn’t find any entries when I searched with “Buckeyes” or “Football” either. Since Ohio State Football is one of the biggest programs in the US, that seemed odd to me.
2. He wasn’t a friend with anyone from Ohio State on Facebook, and there weren’t any pictures of his playing football after high school. Wouldn’t he at least be friends with a former teammate or groupie, or have been tagged in a photo or two?
3. I also couldn’t find any information on Google or Facebook that indicated that he played for Youngstown’s varsity football team. YSU won the D-IAA Championship in 1997 so for a small school, the football program is anything but. Buckeyes Boy claimed that he graduated in 2000 from Youngstown, and I found one Google entry to indicate that he worked on a project at Youngstown during college. But, a search of the three years of late 1990s football rosters at YSU that I could find didn’t bring up his name.
4. Aren’t there transfer rules that would’ve made it impossible for him to graduate in four years if he kept bouncing between schools?
I briefly shared my suspicions with Ronny, and as I had hoped, he was on the case. And, as any good Buckeyes fan would say:
I know the names of everybody that even considered playing for the Buckeyes, even the walk-ons. I know where they went to high school, what they’re majoring in, and whether or not they’re going to class (I’m obsessed). If he played there in the last 15 years, I’d know him.
An hour later, I received this e-mail from Ronny:
If it makes you feel any better, I can’t find on him a single roster for OSU going all the way back to 1990. Tressel started coaching OSU in 2001, and since he’s 32, he would’ve had to been in college 7- 8 years to have played for him at OSU (the math just doesn’t add up). Either way, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. You deserve much MUCH better. Of all the schools to make up a story about, boy did he pick the wrong one…LOL…
Why would someone lie about playing college football to people at a Twitter charity event…and then to your own girlfriend? I started to wonder:
If Buckeyes Boy had lied about that, what else had he lied about?
And, if Buckeyes Boy isn’t a Buckeye, then what do I call him now?