Carson Palmer, proudly representing his alma mater, the University of Spoiled Children, had some choice words for Buckeyes fans during an interview with LA radio station KLAC:
I don’t watch what I say. I cannot stand the Buckeyes and having to live in Ohio
and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts. We
got Keith Rivers out there and we got Frostee Rucker, we finally got a couple
other ‘SC guys. It’s amazing to hear what those guys think about that university
and what they think about that football program and Tressel and all the crap I
got to put up with being back there. I just can’t wait for two years from now
when ‘SC comes to the ‘Shoe and I get to, hopefully have a home game that
weekend and I can go out there and watch us pound on them on their own turf and
kind of put all the talk to rest, because I’m really getting sick of it. I just
can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come to the Coliseum and
experience L.A. and get an old fashioned, Pac 10 butt-whooping and go back to
the Big Ten.
Jokes about the Buckeyes sucking in BCS games aside, Palmer's words were pretty, um, fiery for a professional athlete. Obviously, talking smack on the Buckeyes wasn't the best PR move when you play in the middle of Buckeye country, but I guess Palmer won't be donning the scarlet and gray anytime soon unless he loses a bet. Personally, I applaud the guy's willingness to speak out, as it's refreshing to hear a pro athlete who has a candid take on something. The tired, PR-censored, politically-correct rubbish you hear from most athletes *cough* Tom Brady *cough* Jeter *cough cough* is frankly boring and makes many of our favorite stars seem bland and cold. This way, at least I know Palmer's heart is beating (even if it bleeds USC colors).
However, I question his decision to spout off all this anti-Ohio State rhetoric on a radio station conveniently located in... hmm, Southern California! Why not go right on the air in Columbus or Cincy or Cleveland and make your opinions heard there, if you're such a big Trojans guy? That aspect seems a bit cowardly to me, but I still appreciate the spirit of his gesture if not the execution.
Now of course, under tremendous heat from his fanbase, Palmer is already backpedaling and squirming, like when the Bengals line breaks down on a blitz:
I'm a Trojan all the way, and I was talking to a Trojan audience in
California. I guess I got a little fired up, as all good fans will do.
But I really do respect the Buckeyes, and I know their fans are passionate,
too. I hope they all understand I'm just looking forward to a big game for my
school against a very tough opponent, and that it's all in the good fun of a
rivalry. You don't have a real rivalry unless both sides are great teams.
Sigh, another day, another athlete backing down from some actually ballsy comments he made. Still, this incident raises my level of respect both for Palmer and for USC fans (who I love to hate), because at least they agree that the Buckeyes suck.