The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2005 - 29
A ter our years you cart
learn at least one thingy r Ff
As I inch closer and closer to the culmina-
tion of my stay at this illustrious university,
I find myself asking two questions: (1)
Could cornhole (a beanbag-tossing lawn game that
has quite frankly changed my life) eventually sup-
plant baseball as America's
pastime? And; (2) What
did my $140,000 of tuition
money really go toward?
And considering the
fact that I'm about to
enter a career in the
penny-pushing field of
journalism, the latter GENNARO
question of monetary FILICE
significance has a knack The SportsMonday
of controlling my thought Column
process a lot as of late.
Simply put, I'm just not
sure that I'll leave this university any wiser than
when I left home just four Septembers ago. I'm
a history major, yet my knowledge of the past
is far below serviceable. I'm also an English
major, but thanks to the generosity of my friend
Cliff (can't thank you enough for all those
notes, buddy), I'm still baffled by the ques-
tion posed in the title of my English 239 intro
course: "What Is Lit?"
I'd like to say that my time at the Daily has
molded me into a polished and well respected
journalist. But in looking back at some of the
subject matters I've explored in this "sports"
column - mixing green alcohol with the open-
ing of the NCAA Tournament on St. Patty's
Day, being a dateless grump on Valentine's Day
and reminiscing on the days when Starter jack-
ets reigned supreme - it's apparent that a claim
like this would be fruitless at best.
I struggle with this conundrum concerning
my lost loot on a regular basis. But eventually, I
always flip open the cell and instantly know that
it was $140,000 well spent.
I don't call anyone for condolence, but rather
I just take a quick glance at my custom greeting.
It's short, sweet and most definitely to the point.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether this publica-
tion of journalistic excellence will let me print it.
But I'll give you a hint: "(Expletive) the Bucks."
That expletive is one of the four-letter sort and
conveniently rhymes with "Bucks." This passionate
statement always reminds me that I received a stel-
lar education at the University.
Before setting foot in Ann Arbor, I really
didn't carry any ill will toward that state school
in Ohio. Growing up in the Bay Area as a die-
hard Cal fan, I never paid particularly close
attention to the events unfolding in Ann Arbor.
Maize and Blue didn't define me; therefore I
could stomach Scarlet and Gray. I was well
aware that Michigan and Ohio State regularly
turned out legendary games on the gridiron (in
1999, ESPN.com named this annual showdown
the best rivalry in sports history), but I had no
clue how deeply this clash would come to affect
In my time at Michigan, I've noticed many
factors that display how beautifully this uni-
versity and The (man, that's irritating) Ohio
State University contrast each other. From the
divergent color schemes to the vastly different
academic reputations, these two institutions are
defined by a plethora of differing characteristics
that just ooze polar oppositeness. And these
grand contradictions breed large-scale hatred
that reaches far outside the two campuses.
It has become apparent to me that "Great Lakes,
Great Times" and "The Heart of It All" don't
really mix: Michigan and Ohio despise each other.
This abhorrence between the two states may have
spawned between the years of 1835 and 1837 when
Ohio and Michigan militia members lined up at the
border and almost went to battle for the rights to
Toledo. No joke, Toledo. Wouldn't that be like Indi-
ana and Illinois mixing it up for Gary? Anyway
... Although there were no reported shots fired in
this dispute, a battle has waged on ever since. For
example, it is common knowledge among hand-
state residents that driving acar through Ohio with
Michigan plates is risky; not just because of the
random acts of demolition that seem to occur when
such cars are parked, but also because of the way
that plates of this form tend to swiftly pique the
interest of Ohio's highway patrol.
As a California native, I never thought I'd get
caught up in this detestation of Ohio, butall it
took was one trip to Columbus in my sopho-
more year. I had expected the thousands of
expletives that were thrown my way for donning
Michigan attire. But I was completely thrown
just before kickoff during a five-minute walk
through a seemingly harmless family tailgating
area. The walk was highlighted by a young boy
(no older than six) flipping me the bird while
yelling obscenities and a group of elderly ladies
hurling their sandwiches at me while question-
ing my manhood in a very unelderly fashion. It
was pretty shocking and horribly real.
The day as a whole was one of the most pow-
erful experiences of my life. After Michigan
just missed spoiling Ohio State's perfect season
- losing 14-9 - I left Columbus a defeated
man. But just like a Phoenix, a hatred for every-
thing Ohioan rose from the ashes.
Over the last few years, my animosity toward
Ohio has grown to the point that I can't come across
that combination of four letters without cringing.
Barring a monumental collapse in the com-
ing weeks, I'll hit the Big House at the end of
the month to receive my diploma in English
and history. But my education at Michigan was
far from academic. And as I gracefully exit the
No. 2 public school in the country (according to
U.S. News and World Report), I'm left with one
overriding adage that truly defines my college
Fuck the Bucks.
Gennaro Filice hopes that over the last year
he made some of those Monday morning lec-
tures halfway bearable. He can be reached at