As a Michigan football fan, I am disgusted and underwhelmed whenever I see Buckeye fans chant O-H-I-O and accompany this intellectually challenging chant with arm motions. This repetitive chant is not original or witty (i.e. when an inspired crowd cleverly mocks an opposing player). The chant is not deep and meaningful, like an English soccer crowd singing a one hundred year old drinking song. The O-H-I-O chant leads me to believe that many Ohio State fans are not very educated and truly rejoice when they realize they can spell the name of their beloved state.
"The O-H-I-O chant leads me to believe that many Ohio State fans are not very educated and truly rejoice when they realize they can spell the name of their beloved state."
As a college football fan, I think the O-H-I-O chant is the kind of ritual that is as important as football game and the players themselves. The chant shows pride and tradition (however simple that tradition is). The chant breeds familiarity: if you're an OSU fan screaming O-H-I-O in the Horseshoe, you're surrounded by 100,000 of your closest friends.
It is easy to be cynical about college football. College football is a behemoth system built on the hard work of unpaid young men, work that borders on exploitation. Furthermore, the BCS system has made college football even more of a business than it ever has been. For these very reasons, the simplicity and tradition of the O-H-I-O chant makes it a vital part of college football. So next time you see fans with O-H-I-O on their lips and there arms raised, do not instinctively throw tomatoes or obscenities their way. Just appreciate the spirit and purity of thousands of people being of the same mind and sharing the same passion, college football.