The ageless rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University can't be emphasized enough.
Easily one of the top rivalries in all of sports, not just collegiately, the hatred between players who have worn the colors of either school doesn't go away after moving on from the university.
The Detroit News caught up with several former Wolverines players to get their thoughts on the Buckeyes – check out their responses.
Jarrett Irons (1993-1996)
“(Blank) them. I don’t know how else to put that. For my job, I work in Toledo a lot. I have to do overnights, and I will not stay in Toledo. I’m not staying in Ohio. I’m dead serious. I’m entertaining late for my job, I don’t care what it is, I’m not staying in that state. I cannot stand them. I can’t stand that state, and I’m from Texas. It’s deep-rooted. It’s that feeling. You listen to the fans, it drives me nuts. What happened last year ruined Thanksgiving for me. I played in the (John) Cooper years; that’s all that needs to be said.”
Thomas Guynes (1993-1996)
“Visceral. Disdain. Genuine hate. What other negative adjectives can I throw out there? That is my gut reaction. It’s a point of, how do I put it, marrow-sickening adversary. You feel it down to your marrow. You instantly become agitated. You wanted to engage in some sort of gladiatorial experience. What’s worse for me is I hate people that are in Michigan that are rocking that team’s apparel. Like, why are you even here? If I pull a car over (Guynes is a deputy at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office) and that’s the case, like you’ve got some OSU stuff on you, oh, you’re definitely getting a ticket, and then I’ll finish up by saying, ‘Go Blue.’ I remember my mom saying when she came for my very last game against the Buckeyes there, she’s never been called (expletive) that many times before in her life. I can feel this way, but we don’t necessarily let our feelings come to fruition so to speak. We still as Michigan fans are able to have a sense of decorum, where they, on the other hand, are literally rabid dogs that don’t really know any better.”
Rod Payne (1993-1996)
“When I hear Ohio State, there’s nothing you can write about (that's clean).”
John Wangler (1977-1980)
“I see red. It’s like you put a red flag in front of a bull. That’s what I see. That’s what I think. I immediately want to get in a stance and hit somebody. (It was pointed out he played quarterback. “I didn’t shy away from contact,” Wangler replied). When I hear Ohio State, it was never reinforced to me more than last year when I sat in that end zone and they kept scoring and they were taunting. It renewed my — I hate to use the word hatred — but it renewed my disdain for them.”
Jack Miller (2011-2014)
“You need to point out I live in Ohio. Agony might be the first word that comes to mind. Agony. The fan base is just obnoxious. The fans are horrible. Dealing with that here in the state of Ohio is horrible. At least I won one game against them. We’re in such a bad stretch, and dealing with it here in Ohio is agony, it really is. It’s awful, it really is. I think you have a good feel for the sentiment I have. How I really feel is anger all the time. And I feel like God loves the Buckeyes. Is that not true? What other program can lose a legendary head coach and move to a rookie coach and somehow get better? Seriously, who can do that? How does that work? God loves the Buckeyes. They refuse to get bad. They won’t do it.”
Ron Bellamy (1999-2002)
“Must-win game. Always. You’re defined by your record against Ohio State. I always look at Ohio State as more of — while I don’t like them and I want to see them lose — I still respect them. It’s always the last game of the year. And for me being from Louisiana, I knew about this rivalry since I was a little boy watching college football. I think this (downturn) started — I love Drew, Drew is one of my best friends — but it’s the Drew Henson Curse. When Drew left school early, it was Jim Tressel’s first year and they’ve been dominating us ever since and beating us in recruiting. I’m 100 percent certain if Drew Henson would have played in that game, Jim Tressel doesn’t win his first game against Michigan.”
Drew Henson (1998-2000)
Jon Jansen (1995-1998)
“South until you smell it and east until you step in it — that’s the directions to Columbus. When you ask my kids, whenever we travel through Ohio, I tell them, ‘We’ll stop in Pennsylvania — you can go to the bathroom, get a drink, get a snack. We will not stop again until we get to Michigan. There’s no pee breaks, there’s no gas breaks, there’s no nothing. We’ve got enough gas, you hold it.’ They don’t want to stop, either. They’ll say, ‘Dad, we can’t stop here.’”
Mike Martin (2008-2011)
“For me, it’s pure hate. The stuff I dealt with on the field but then also personally. My mom got her windows busted out my first year down there. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the program, but everything tells the story of the mutual bad taste in your mouth. I felt good about being able to leave with a win my senior year and leave on that high note.”