Earlier this month, it came to light that Ohio State had filed a trademark application for the word "the" - arguing it was doing so to protect assets of "significant value." One big-time graduate of The Ohio State University thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.
College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who played quarterback for the Buckeyes in the 1990s, was the subject of an interview with For The Win this week. He was asked about the whole trademark situation. He did not hold back.
Herbstreit called the idea "ridiculous" - suggesting that nobody placed emphasis on the "The" until players on Monday Night Football starting doing so.
Herbstreit went as far as to call the trademark filing "arrogant."
I’ve never really bought into that. 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 one 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,” “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.
Herbstreit openly roots for Ohio State, but he's always done a good job at turning off his fandom when analyzing the Buckeyes against the competition. It looks like he's done so here as well when it comes to moves the school makes on the revenue front.
Ohio State's 2019 season kicks off Saturday against FAU.