Opinion | OU rivalry: Miami students don’t really care, but should we?
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:01
WOUB, Ohio University's public television station, posted an OU-Miami University rivalry video Jan. 20 presenting "The Bobcat perspective."
When I first saw the video, I couldn't help but laugh at how much OU apparently cares about a rivalry that most Miami students brush off. But digging deeper made me wish that I cared a bit more.
The video starts with a bold statement from OU sports announcer Lou Horvath: "I could have gone to Miami, but I went to Vietnam instead. I thought it was the better choice." A succession of OU student-athletes and faculty then go on to talk about how much they hate Miami.
"Obviously I learned to hate them," says a volleyball player.
"I hate everything about it, I hate all my friends that go to Miami," says a basketball player.
"We hate them, we really do," adds a football player.
Then OU's President brags about wanting to beat Miami in any matchup, including checkers.
Do they really mean this? I had to know, so I placed a call to the video's creators.
By the time of press, the only person connected to the video who had gotten back to me was Horvath. Much to my chagrin, he turned out to be a nice, likable guy.
"Any rivalry stems from begrudging respect," Horvath told me. "I think there will always be that between us."
Did he really choose fighting in Vietnam over attending Miami?
"[That statement] was a bit of stretch," Horvath said.
Horvath said he made the decision not to go to Miami in 1965 and served in Vietnam from 1968-70. In between, he attended an engineering school.
Horvath and I traded a few cheerful barbs and half-compliments.
Horvath grudgingly told me he thought Miami has the second most beautiful campus in the Midwest.
He seemed to have genuine admiration, however, for Miami men's basketball coach Charlie Coles.
"Charlie Coles is one of my favorite people," Horvath said.
Something else we could agree on?
"Bowling Green looks like a federal penal colony."
It does seem a little sad (for them) how much the Bobcats care about their rivalry with us, but perhaps we should put a little more effort into the relationship.
My conversation with Horvath convinced me that the Bobcats are "frenemies" worth having.
With the notable exception of hockey, the RedHawk faithful are not so faithful. Caring about the rivalry could stoke some interest in our other teams.
We can also beat OU off the athletic field. While I have to respect their outstanding journalism school, we all know Miami is the best place to come for an undergraduate education.
Besides, we might rescue a few future students from Athens. That is, if they can get into Miami.