An Open Letter to Terrelle Pryor

The Man Who Saved Buckeye Nation?

Dear Mr. Pryor,

Can it really be? After cheering for the Buckeyes for years, Ohio State has won the national championship. Everyone else is shaking their heads at the Seahawks beating the Packers, but I’m still trying to process last week’s game.

I can’t get over how much I hated your bright sparkly smile after you got Jim Tressel fired. I kept thinking, "over tattoos?"

It's actually weird how much I cared about you. But the Buckeyes are like another member of my family sometimes, since my husband graduated the year they last won a national championship and the obsession appears to be genetic, if my kids are any proof.

I have to admit, it seemed so convenient for you to declare for the NFL draft, basking in the possibilities that millions of dollars promised, leaving the football program at OSU to deal with the embarrassment that such indiscretions create. But, in hindsight, was it really for the best?

I loved your speed, the way that you ran across the football field like a horse over the wide open prairie, so fast you looked slow. I bit my nails as I would watch you dance around the pocket, then outside of it before making a first down look easy.

My husband had a book signed by Tressel. He waited for a few hours at the bookstore nearby to shake his hand. The Vest had seriousness and sensibility and came so close, so many times to winning that second national championship. A few weeks after the book signing, when Tattoo Gate broke, I couldn’t believe the stories. Tressel’s legacy was ruined and the Buckeyes suffered the blow of a one-year Bowl Ban -- which, in typical Ohio fashion, was the year that the Bucks went undefeated.

Yet, if not for the tattoos that you and your friends had inked, Urban Meyer never would have come to the Buckeyes. The speed of the SEC wouldn't have mixed with the strength of the Big 10, leading to a new type of college football team. We wouldn’t have won last week’s national championship, creating a new legacy in a new NCAA football era.

Next time I pull out my #2 jersey, I am going to remind myself that it’s to honor you. Thank you for saving Buckeye Nation. Without you, I am certain that us Buckeye fans would still be hoping for a championship. I see now that you were only taking one for the team!



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