As a born and bred, Athens, Ohio townie, there’s not a single phrase that I hear thrown my way more when I go to visit home than:
This is a phrase that at one point in time in my life, I actively said with pride. To be a true Athens native and to truly support the Ohio University (OU) Bobcats to the fullest capacity, there seemed to be one major rule that you had to follow.
You have to absolutely despise Miami University.
And with the family that I came from, I learned to despise the school that I now currently attend, to the fullest extent.
Why? Well, let me offer some more background.
I come from a lineage of 4 generations of OU grads, with both of my parents attending the university as well. Multiple of my family members were a part of the Marching 110 (one of the most notable and revered marching bands in the country). And to top it off, my uncle was the director for the 110 and composed some of OU’s most recognizable game day songs that continue to rile up Peden Stadium year after year.
And if my family’s dedication and love for OU wasn’t enough influence already, my best friend's dad is the Dean of the Scripps College of Communication, one of the best communication schools in the US, and just about every single one of my friends' parents and/or family were professors or were employed by the university in some way.
I bled green and white for my entire life.
I can name every single bar that uptown Athens has to offer, easily recite the OU fight song from memory, tell you the name of the cat that sits within the Athens County Board of Elections office and show you my prom pictures that were taken within the OU student center.
When you're from Athens, you're directly intertwined within the chaos and traditions that OU and its students bring along with them. Hating Miami with your entire heart and soul is one of the most prominent ones on that list.
So how’d I end up at a school that I was raised to despise?
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Well, I knew I never wanted to go to OU – I wanted to branch out, see new things and not feel trapped in the town I already knew like that back of my hand. I was also fortunate enough to receive an amazing scholarship from Miami and it was something that I just couldn't turn down. My own dad, an OU alumnus, even told me I would be stupid to not take an oportunity like the one Miami had offered me.
I was hesitant at first. I mean, I had been raised to hear only the worst about the school, how was I going to consider it my home for the next four years? I remember all of high school telling myself that I would never even consider going to a place like Miami.
Ha! It’s funny how things change.
I love Miami and the community I have built for myself. I feel incredibly supported and loved by all that I surround myself with, and I truly couldn't be happier and feel more at home.
But one thing that still perplexes me all the way into my second year of being a Redhawk, is that the OU v. Miami rivalry that I had known about and participated in for the grand majority of my life, is completely one sided.
Like … embarrassingly one sided.
No one cares that I wear my OU sweatshirt around campus from time to time or that my debit card is from the OU Credit Union. I don’t even believe that the grand majority of the Miami student body have even heard, let alone attended, the annual ‘Battle of the Bricks’ football game.
In Athens that game is one of the biggest and most anticipated games of the season.
But in Oxford, it’s just another football game that students will continue to ignore and not attend.
While OU continues to ridicule Miami for anything and everything humanly possible while screaming Muck Fiami each and every single opportunity that they can, Miami continues to be completely unaware or phased by its rival’s taunts and silly phrases.
I want to make it known that I only have love for the town that I grew up in. Athens is my home and it will forever be my home. And as much as I hate to admit it, I still bleed out hints of green and white from time to time (I can’t help it, the fight song is just so catchy).
But despite this, I do want to send a little message to my OU bobies out there:
I think it might be time for you to let Miami go and to move on … (maybe Bowling Green or Dayton might want to have a feud with you all).
Miami students do not care that you call them preppy rich kids or that they only survive off of daddy’s money. They don’t care. And, I’m sorry to break it to you, I don’t think they ever will.
So throw in the towel, raise the white flag and pack up the Muck Fiami merch. It’s hard for us to keep seeing you guys keep throwing punches at ghosts … we are starting to feel a bit bad. It’s not the best look.
All love as always.
An equally proud Redhawk & A-Town townie