OSU football video fail

[flv:http://ericstoller.com/blog/audio/orange.flv http://ericstoller.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/knock-out-orange.png 455 255]

    “I am the last thing they see before the lights go out.

    I am the enforcer.

    I am a giant killer.

    I am Orange.”

I am not orange if this is the way that OSU Athletics is going to promote our football team.

We should not be using the act of making our opponents unconscious as a way to elicit a response from our fan base.

The theme of the video is basically all about gratuitous violence: We are giant killing enforcers who are going to knock you out.

This isn’t the “Beaver Nation” that I want to be a part of and/or associated with.

Update: There is another “I am Orange” video for OSU Football.

In this video, the athleticism of OSU’s football players is celebrated. It’s not about glorified violence, it’s about speed and skill…completely different from the “we’re going to knock you out” video.

10 thoughts on “OSU football video fail”

  1. Hey Eric,

    I thought the “lights out” might have went a little far. Especially after the very scary Locker incident a few years ago. However, I think “Giant Killers” is term that will forever be associated with Oregon State football given the ’67 team.

    Interested in your thoughts on last years “Let it Rage” video. Do you find that more or less violent than this years production?

    BTW – I really like this comment functionality, good work.

  2. Um, except you realize that the sport is built on a sense of violent competition, right? I don’t think they could market it any other way. If you really want to get down to it, let’s talk about how investing heavily in sports programs don’t really do much for universities, and how the focus on football is misguided :).

  3. “….don’t really do much for universities….”

    I guess that depends on how you define your terms. It may not do much, dollar-for-dollar, for academics, but that’s not really the point, is it?

  4. Blair – I remember seeing the “Let it rage” posters, but I don’t think that I ever saw a video for that campaign. It seems like this campaign continues a general theme of violence.

    ML – Yes, but in my view, there is a big difference between accidental knock-outs to intentionally promoting the fact that we are going to knock someone unconscious.

    Dennis – That is an interesting question…

  5. Eric,
    Football has always been a collision sport, thus the references in the ads. It is the inherent nature of the sport that draws its fans. It’s not for everyone (spectators or athletes). As a former college player and coach, the edge one must play on is required not only for success in the sport but for one’s safety.

    I noticed you left out the other ad that is out there: “My play begins when theirs ends” and “By the time you hear the thunder, I’m gone”. http://adcsquad.com/osu/fb/iam/splash.html
    Same tone, same message. One is for defense (tacklers); the other for offense (trying not to be tackled).

    But then, “I’m the last one they see before I expertly execute a form tackle, change the ballcarrier’s center of gravity, and deposit him on the ground” doesn’t make for a great video.

    You make me laugh, Estoller.


  6. @ Blake – There is a big difference between the collisions that occur in football and actively promoting that we are going to knock you out. Whenever someone does get knocked out, and it does happen, it’s a scary moment on and off the field. The idea of intentionally trying to hurt someone is way different than celebrating our athletic prowess. I posted the second video…it’s all about Jacquizz being athletic and skilled. The two videos do not have the same tone or message. One is about being violent and the other is about skill/athleticism.

    I didn’t realize that critical thought was so humorous…

    By the way, here is the official NCAA policy for when a player gets knocked unconscious:

    A student-athlete rendered unconscious for any period of time should not be permitted to return to the practice or game in which the head injury occurred. In addition, no student-athlete should be allowed to return to athletics activity while symptomatic.

  7. Eric:

    I do appreciate reading a perspective on this issue that I’ve never really considered before. I am finding your argument here to be incredibly confusing. On one hand, you would like it if the OSU athletic department wouldn’t promote the football team with references to knock out hits. Conversely, you appreciate the marketing of Jacquizz Rodgers as a fast and dynamic runner. The problem here is that you want to separate the two components of the sport and say “this one is cool, but that one is offensive”.

    Football on offense and defense is an exercise in controlled violence. The essential goal, especially from a defensive perspective, is to pound an opponent into submission through physical contact. Asking a football program to not actively market the hard hitting aspect of the sport to the fanbase, a large portion of which, clearly enjoy the sport for its hard hitting nature seems naive at best.

    It would be absurd to chastise HBO for promoting a pay per view boxing match with shots of one of the boxer’s last knock outs but encouraging them to promote that fighter because his footwork is fantastic. You just can’t separate one aspect of the sport from the other. You either like boxing or you don’t. You either like football or you don’t.

    We could have a really interesting conversation about what the extreme interest in collisions (football, boxing, mixed martial arts, car wrecks in NASCAR) in our society implies about our values. There is a lot to explore in the actual value of big time revenue sports in the collegiate level, although contrary to ML Sugie’s opinion…over 50% of academic donors actually become university donors at OSU FIRST through athletics.

    I think that your argument in favor culling an integral attraction to the sport from the marketing pitch as if that attraction doesn’t exist in the sport just to suit the sensibilities of a few people, many of whom don’t care for the sport in the first place, seems contrived to me.

    Just my $0.02. Sorry for the length!

  8. @ James – First off, I should probably say for the record that I like watching football. I feel like both you and Blake assumed that I don’t enjoy it.

    I also view football as something that I often dislike due to the social, political, and economic issues that are part of the sport and it’s institutions. I think that saying that you have to either like it or not like it is a bit polarized and leaves no room for critical discourse.

    I am not against the marketing of hard hitting, vigorous football activity. I am against the use of a euphemism that promotes the actual injury of a player.

    This is different from boxing (apples and oranges in my opinion) where knocking someone out is, and always has been, part of the constructs of boxing since day 1. In football, unless the rules have changed, knocking out one’s appointment is an unfortunate occurrence that is neither promoted nor hoped for.

    Football is a violent sport. I don’t think that anyone is denying that.

    I enjoy watching football, but I don’t want the team that I support to have been marketed in this manner. We are a hard hitting team, but I doubt that we want to be portrayed as a team that actively promotes knocking someone unconscious.

    Also, I think it is an interesting point about how people come to donate monies to academics at OSU. The 50% figure is fascinating to me because I wonder if the donors who give money to athletics donate at the same level to academics?

    PS: I really need to implement threaded comments..

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