Ridiculous and Arrogant: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit not supporting Ohio State's attempt to trademark 'The'
Kirk Herbstreit may have played at and graduated from Ohio State University, but the ESPN college football analyst is anything but a homer. He’s not afraid to call out his former school when it’s being ridiculous.
And that’s exactly how Herbstreit believes the university is acting.
Recently, Ohio State filed a trademark for the word “the,” for merchandise. As most people are aware, students, athletes and alumni often refer to the school as “The” Ohio State University. When word spread about the trademark attempt, the school received plenty of backlash.
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Herbstreit is the most recent to weigh in on the action. He’s just as critical as so many others. He didn’t pull any punches when talking about Ohio State’s pursuit of the trademark for the most common word in the English language in an interview with USA TODAY’s For the Win.
“I’ve never really bought into that,” Herbstreit said. “My dad played at Ohio State, my dad coached with Woody Hayes. Ohio State’s always been Ohio State. I have a diploma that I’m looking at right now, and it says ‘The’ — T-H-E — Ohio State University, and nobody’s called it ‘The’ Ohio State University, ever, as I grew up in the 70s, 80s and 90s. And then on night on Monday Night Football — I don’t remember who the player was but he said, ‘The Ohio State University,’ and it stuck. And from that point on, all the fans and everybody started saying ‘The,’ ‘The.’ To me, it’s Ohio State — always has been, always will be. I think it’s kind of ridiculous, the whole ‘The’ thing.
“It comes across to me as very arrogant. I’m just not a fan of it. I didn’t grow up with it. Nobody’s more Ohio State than me, and I never heard it. I never heard ‘The’ in my life until maybe about 15 years ago.”
So, there you have it. Herbstreit — not a fan.
Ohio State caught plenty of flack from the likes of in-state school Ohio University and rival University of Michigan on Twitter, trolling the Buckeyes for the trademark. And it sounds like not even all the alumni are on board with the decision.
The decision to pursue the trademark may end up being a regrettable one for The Ohio State University.