Ohio State’s Newest Gimmick: Pretend Coaching

Between following athletes on Twitter, fantasy “adult baseball” camps, and the incredibly played-out replica jersey, it seems that fans want to be part of the game and the culture. We’re not entirely sure why, other than chalking it up to the old standard insecurity, but whatever. We’re happy to watch on TV and know that we are not them.

Ohio State coaches
(Yeah, these guys are having a blast.)

But at Ohio State, they’re betting there’s someone out there for whom sitting in the stands at the spring game is woefully inadequate. So if you’ve got gobs of disposable income and an irrational need to be right next to all the second-string Buckeye football players, you too can bid on the Ultimate Spring Game Experience* and be named - seriously - the “Honorary Visiting Team Coach”:

As the visiting team honorary assistant coach you will join the home team on the field for their pre-game festivities in Ohio Stadium. Prior to kick-off you will head over to the visiting team sidelines to watch the game. Throughout the game you will have the option to put on a headset and listen in as the coaches on the field communicate with the coaches in the press box. You will join the visiting team in the locker room during halftime and listen in on all of the halftime adjustments. You will return to the sidelines for 2nd half action. Following the final whistle you will join the visiting team in their locker room for post game comments from the coaching staff which will mark the conclusion of this Ultimate Spring Football Game Experience.

How is this any different than when they let the kids with cancer pretend they’re football players? You have to be a child - one who’s dying - for pretending and dressing up to be acceptable.

I mean, here’s the thing - schools normally have to pay people to do this, and not the other way around. We’ve spent some time on sidelines, and once the novelty wears off (usually about five minutes into the first quarter), you realize that it’s a pretty terrible place to watch a football game. There’s a reason why coordinators sit up in the press box, after all.

Then there’s the issue of listening to the in-game chatter. Again, the novelty vastly outweighs the benefit; how long can you tolerate coaches talking about how quick someone’s getting out of his stance before you don’t care anymore? And remember: this is for the visiting (see: backup) team at a spring game. There’s nothing on the line.

The worst part, though? They won’t even let you abuse the privilege and misbehave:

At the sole discretion of The Ohio State University Department of Athletics, if at any time during the Experience the winning bidder is not acting in a professional and courteous manner, The Ohio State University Department of Athletics may end the Experience and no refund or additional services will be offered to the winning bidder whether or not the entire experience was completed.

Well, where’s the fun in that?! If they’re going to stick us on a sideline for three hours, we’re at least trying on someone’s helmet when they’re not looking. Just sayin’.

And yet all the same, since this is Ohio State and all, people are actually bidding big money on this thing. The current high bid on the auction is $2,000 by someone named “OHIOSAM.” No word on what his eBay rating is.

*Even ultimater than all that? Staying at home and doing something else.