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B1G 2016 // Your Team Needs Stickers

The Ohio State Potluck Goes To Columbus, Sees an Elephant, and Drinks.

All State Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Welcome to Columbus, where the motto is “Totally Bigger Than Boston if You Count it This One Way.” What can we say? Every place needs an identity. In that respect, Columbus could use all the help it can get. Outside of being the home to America’s largest university* and some really bad politicians, Columbus flies well under the radar of most Americans. The city is no doubt aware of the issue. A few years ago, D.C. commuters were treated to the curious appearance of “Move to Columbus” ads in Metro stations and on trains. To a man waiting for the Metro at Rosslyn, Columbus probably sounds like Shangri-la.

*As of 2013-14, based on total single-campus enrollment

Columbus has exploded over the past 20 years, transitioning from a sleepy midwestern capital city into a midwestern capital city with at least one cup of good coffee under its belt. Jokes notwithstanding, the Cbus metroplex recently surpassed 2 million people. Much of that growth has happened in neighboring Delaware County, which has been among the fastest growing counties in America over the past 30 years (I know, it surprised me, too).

So what the hell are all these people doing with their time in Columbus (aside from cramming 100,000+ strong into Ohio Stadium)? Welp, it turns out there’s a whole city out there.

Do you love Mother Earth? Check out the Columbus Zoo. It’s one of the best in America (and America is the best in the world so...U-S-A! U-S-A!). You might even run into Jack Hanna, the Director Emeritus.

Do you laugh at Mother Earth’s feeble fragility in the face of man’s brilliance? Then check out COSI, The Center of Science and Industry. It’s a wonderfully hands-on way for you and your kin to pat the Rust Belt on the back for all the insanely cool things we built.

You can go look at statues of dead Ohioans and meet the buffoons we’ve sent to the capital to screw everything up (Spoiler alert: don’t get knocked up in the process...Planned Parenthood got the bum’s rush).

Or you can head out to Easton Town Center and prostrate thyself on the altar of capitalism. If you do, please let me know what the wait is like at Smith & Wollensky.

All of this running around will eventually work up a thirst...if the entire bag of vinegar chips from Mansfield didn’t already. In that case...

Stop past the Land Grant Brewing Company. It’s a Columbus original, and I defy you to find another place offering a beer to commemorate the Morrill Act of 1862. For those who like IPAs (and I don’t know what’s wrong with you), try their Stiff-Arm offering. It always brings back good memories.

National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Whatever you do in Columbus, welcome! And have a great time. It’s a friendly town. You won’t even get jumped for wearing Michigan State colors on the street, despite pernicious fears. Columbus loves visitors, especially because out-of-towners can be tricked into taking a few of these as souvenirs. Only a few million left...

Speaking of stickers...

Everyone knows Ohio State players are awarded Buckeye leaf stickers on their helmets for outstanding performances. Though someone always comes up with an apocryphal one-off claim to the idea, Woody Hayes’ 1968 Buckeye team was the first in the country to adopt team-wide helmet stickers—a tradition that has since been copied by the likes of Michigan, Clemson, FSU, Georgia, and thousands more teams all the way down to the interscholastic level. To some, they’re part and parcel of the glorious lore of college football. To others, they’re a silly affectation or an outright eyesore.

Would you be upset if your coach adopted a helmet sticker? What would your team’s sticker be? Lastly, if you were given the chance to change your team’s uniform permanently...what would you do? (PSU fans have some work to do here).

Al NamiasIV: I have no use for a helmet sticker, nor do I have any desire to change Iowa’s uniform. Why mess with something that works?

MNW: Gary Barnett used cat-head helmet stickers, Randy Walker added paws and something else for exceptional performance, and Fitz continued that tradition when he first started. Since ‘08, I believe, the whole team gets one (1) helmet sticker for each win; no more, no less. I’m cool with that -- I think they make the helmet look kind of busy, but for schools like Ohio State, the Buckeye stickers are iconic. I really like them.

Other schools like Western Michigan, who have invented things like ROW THE BOAT paddles on the back, have even made that work. ‘Cat heads are busy, though, and I don’t think I really need Northwestern to add more any time soon.

Regarding NU’s jerseys? I would love if Northwestern would (1) do the Storm Trooper unis as often as possible on the road because those are fly as hell, (2) never ever do anything “America”-themed beyond a stars-and-stripes sculpted N, and (3) wear purple more regularly at home. I think the black third color that Gary Barnett introduced has gotten a little overplayed. But I love the rugby-style Northwestern striping and am thankful UnderArmour brought it back.

babaoreally: Purdue had, and maybe still has, little sledgehammers for helmet stickers. I thought they were pretty cool.

I'd change the uniforms to be less modern looking. I liked the late 90s look with white/black jerseys and gold pants. Simple and effective, but not something that kids picking schools now are going to be interested in. So I'm not the guy that should be in charge of jersey selection.

Aaron: Penn State’s helmets are notoriously plain, so I wouldn’t be against a paw print sticker if Franklin really wanted to go in that direction. As for the rest of the uniforms, I would probably add a more exciting font for the numbers and maybe some stripes for the pants or even a helmet logo. We can still use the current uniforms for throwbacks on homecoming or something. Or we can just keep them full-time since all the other Penn State fans will go nuts if they try to do anything other than put names on the jerseys.

Townie: Counterpoint...don’t fuck with our unis Aaron. Don’t even go there.

As for helmet stickers, they are a silly, divisive affectation. I don’t like stickers rewarding kindergarteners and I don’t like them for football players. Players know who work hard. They know when a baller makes a play.

Jesse: Personally, I hate helmet stickers, but if we had them, they’d be kernels of corn, and now that I’ve said this, I’m all for helmet stickers. I’m an easy sell.

DJ: I personally don’t like helmet stickers and I think the rest of the conference would appreciate Maryland keeping something the same with their uniform. That being said, to answer the question I would guess they had to be turtle shell stickers, right? That’s not all that bad.

I’m personally a fan of Maryland’s all black or all white uniforms. These generally are reserved for bigger we don’t see them as often. I’ve given up on taking too much of a favorite though since Kevin Plank just showers the team in new combinations each year. They’ve been sort of consistent the past 1.5 years but we’ll see what DJ Durkin likes to do with them.