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A note from Lettermen Row

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State coverage will continue at Lettermen Row during the coronovirus shutdown. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Lettermen Row

A note from Lettermen Row

COLUMBUS — There is a dizzying fatigue that sets in around mid-March on the Ohio State beat.

It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

For just about anybody who made covering sports their professional mission in life, this is a month that has always had a sacred place in their hearts. And for those of us who cover the Buckeyes specifically, the combination of the perfect postseason format for basketball and the return of spring football makes for long hours — but some of the most gratifying of the whole year.

So, what the hell is going to replace that feeling? And what exactly is Lettermen Row going to do with the whole sports world currently shut down amidst the growing concerns over the coronavirus?

A) Nothing can replace those emotions that only sports can provide. Certainly it’s well understood here that the NCAA has taken the proper preventative steps, and anything that can be done to stop the spread of COVID-19 must be done. Health and safety has to be the priority, but that still leaves a big hole in the daily lives for many of us.

B) So, without March Madness or the buildup to a spring game, the frustration, uncertainty and heartbreak are all fair to acknowledge as well. But Lettermen Row covers Ohio State sports, and that’s what we are going to keep trying our best to do every day.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Preparations for the next football season are currently on hold for the Ohio State Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

This is uncharted territory with a complete shutdown, although there is an offseason every year that must be navigated. Ideally it wouldn’t have happened six weeks early, but hopefully our experience allows us to stretch out and fill the void until the worldwide threat dissipates and a sense of normalcy returns.

If there are more developments with coronavirus that directly impact Ohio State sports, obviously that would be covered here. But we also believe our audience might appreciate the distraction from coronavirus over the coming weeks, so Lettermen Row is going to do everything it can to provide our normal programming and start looking forward to training camp and another potential run for Ohio State to the College Football Playoff.

This is an unprecedented situation for everybody, and we want to be sensitive to that fact. We’re also sports journalists, and this is our livelihood — we can’t simply turn off the lights for the next few weeks. We also don’t want to. For the It’s Just a Game crowd, maybe this approach won’t make sense. But covering Ohio State is our job, and we’re going to do it.

Obviously we’ll have to get a little creative, and we welcome the challenge. Hopefully our loyal audience can help guide that with feedback and more suggestions for Question of the Day and recruiting topics for Birm. Beyond that, we’ll continue to have former Buckeyes in the film lab to break down the game. As long as it’s safe to do so, we’ll take the Lettermen Live show on the road to Roosters and provide video analysis with our friends from Byers Auto. If Ohio State opens up any access to the program, we’ll be there. If there are more stories to tell in the weeks ahead, we’ll track them down.

All of this is new and confusing, and we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. At least from that respect, though, it still feels like March.

Stay safe, and let’s get through this together.

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Buck68
Buck68

it is NOT “a complete shutdown”.

You make the asserted conclusion that “nothing can replace those emotions that only sports can provide”? This is a “can’t” statement IF you ‘are human’, and ‘have choice’ you are deceiving yourself. What you are saying is you WON’T ‘replace’.

Start using your brain. Brainstorm those things that can in part or wholly, substitute and [perish the thought!] complement ‘sports’. Was ask and train our players to do this every day. Time to start taking a few ‘baby steps’ of walking our talk.

;-{)}

As i tell my 3 year old grandson: ‘will you try’? when he shows the usual signs of frustration. It’s amazing how fast and completely he… smiles… and starts to try, and often then repeats “I will try”.

;-{)}

c’mon, adults & fanatics … you can do it IF you try!

;-{)}

Robert Paulson
Robert Paulson

Go home bucks68, you’re drunk

Vicvod
Vicvod

Not drunk, but InSaNe

Andy
Andy

thanks for keeping up your work – your writing will be a nice diversion from the current news!

Brian
Brian

Well, this is a bummer, especially missing the spring game.
Nothing we can do about it though.
If you are looking for suggestions on stuff to cover,
Maybe you guys could go into more personal or interesting stories about players and coaches we have on staff. It would be nice learning more about them all especially the assistant coaches. Also, it would be nice to see info on all our opponets this year. Details such as thier o lines, experience, stuff like that or thier defenses, etc.
That would be nice I think. Because it sounds like we are going to be without a lot of the usual things we do, due to this darn virus thing. It’s just an oppurtunity to try something new. Myself, I always like looking into the opponents,maybe others would also ?
I’m sure you guys will figure something out. It may end up being something exciting, enjoyable, and new for us all !

Ron
Ron

This is a great idea.

Brian
Brian

We will all get throught it guys. I ain’t goin nowhere,myself, I imagine most serious fans won’t either.
I’m confident you guys will find stuff to bring us for our daily doses of Ohio State Football !

Andy C
Andy C

Austin, just want to let you and the whole Lettermen Row crew know just how much I appreciate your work on the site and on multimedia. I understand how difficult it must be finding yourselves sidelined during a key time in college athletics–but I believe in you guys to deliver top-notch content the way you have been doing since you launched this initiative.

If I may humbly suggest something to fill these long quiet months, I’d love to see more film breakdown of both rising players on the roster as well as of recent signees to OSU. Your film study helps me look for things outside of just the down and distance during gameday, and motivates me to focus on the less-heralded yet critical players in the game (such as the offensive line or safeties). If you guys are looking to shake things up, I wouldn’t mind seeing commentary on things certain players didn’t do well, as a primer on what to look for in regards to improvement of players when they hit the field again in the fall.

Thanks again for all your hard work and looking forward to more great work from you guys this offseason!

Steve
Steve

I agree! LR has the best coverage around. In addition to Andy’s suggestions, it might be interesting to some (or many?) to develop a “Where Are They Now” series.

Ron
Ron

I mimic Andy’s comment. You guys do a great job.

Jeff
Jeff

Spoken like a true fan of the game we all love so much!

Nancy Phelps
Nancy Phelps

Andy, my sentiments exactly. I was coming to the Spring Game from NC and was going to try to catch the Lettermen‘s Row at Roosters. That will not be happening now. BUT, with the great group of guys on the Lettermen’s staff, I know they will fill the void for OSU sports for all of us. You suggested a great idea for them to look at in this down time. Go Bucks!

Tom V
Tom V

I may not always agree with your takes, I do appreciate that you guys offer the best coverage football coverage of all the major media outlets. And you don’t try to gouge us with text fees etc.

RoadApples
RoadApples

It’s nice to see & hear that those that are level headed have prevailed in these difficult times. Thanks for filling the void between football and the start of baseball season so well along with balance of the year. Just one question: On your trip to VA and NC regarding running back prospects why wasn’t Will Shipley included? He’s right down the street from Evan Pryor.

Birm

I’ll take this one: our decision on who to see is based on who we think is the most likely to end up at Ohio State. I don’t see Shipley in the Buckeyes class.

RoadApples
RoadApples

Thanks for your response. I figured as much as there has been very little said about Will though I don’t understand that as he seems to be a complete running back. NC has been producing some excellent players of late at both RB and QB.

Austin Ward

Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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