Richard Lewis passed away Wednesday at the age of 76 after suffering a heart attack. He’s being remembered by many as a beloved comedian and actor. Among the Ohio State community, he’s being remembered as an OSU alum and a Buckeye super fan.

Lewis graduated from Ohio State in 1969 with a degree in business (which helped set up a joke for a 2023 social media post). Even as he went Hollywood, Lewis never forgot about Columbus, particularly the sports teams. As the Ohio State Alumni Association put it, Lewis actively spread the spirit of scarlet and gray everywhere he went.

Lewis was more than just an alumnus supporting his school. He fully embraced everything about The Game rivalry, and was happy to share why he hated Michigan and everything maize and blue.

It’s no surprise to hear from media members that Lewis wasn’t shy to reach out to talk about Ohio State, whether the news was good or bad.

Mourning the loss of a celebrity superfan

Celebrity deaths draw a variety of reactions from people, especially in the age of social media and memes. As sports fans, losing a celebrity superfan hurts for the whole community (or nation, as so many fandoms refer to themselves).

Sports fandom is a special thing. When it’s gameday, we care less about our differences and find unity in being fans of the same team.

Celebrity super fans are a fun reminder that someone we watch on TV or in a movie or up on stage can be “one of us.” As fans, we love to see our colors and our logo associated with a big star.

For Buckeye Nation, Lewis wasn’t just some bandwagon fan. OSU alumni of all generations have a “shared experience” bond with Lewis as someone who actually stepped on campus, took classes and cheered on the football team.

Lewis’ spirit will live on with Buckeye Nation.

Looking to bet on the Buckeyes? Sports betting in Ohio is live and Saturday Tradition has you covered with the top apps and promos!