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Posted on Mon, May 30, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

Current and former Michigan football players react to Jim Tressel's resignation

By Michael Rothstein

Bennie Joppru didn’t think it would happen this fast. The former Michigan tight end figured former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel wouldn’t make it to the 2011 season — but for Tressel’s resignation to happen as summer kicked off surprised him.

Yet there it was for everyone to see Monday morning. Tressel was out in Columbus, encouraged to resign following a seemingly never-ending investigation into the Ohio State football program and its head coach.

The news left Joppru and other former Michigan players with conflicted emotions.

“As much as everyone likes to joke around about it and it’s friendly fodder for the fans and stuff, you never want to see one of your rivalries hurt like this,” Joppru said. “You don’t want this to happen to anybody and I kind of have mixed emotions about it. They’ve kind of been putting a hurting on us the past couple of years and now we’re heading in the right direction. Just a lot of mixed emotions.

“I don’t know whether to be happy or sad, but like I said, you never want to see any school go through this. It’s frustrating. You feel bad for the kids, feel bad for the university. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

Most of the fickle feelings surround not having another shot to beat Tressel. The former Ohio State coach was 9-1 against Michigan since 2001, including a 37-7 win over the Wolverines in Columbus this year.

Michigan beat Ohio State in 2003, 35-21, but there is a large chunk of recent Wolverines who have never beaten the Buckeyes — and they don’t want excuses if they were to win this season.

“I never got to beat him, obviously, but as a competitor, for myself, I’d want to beat them when they are No. 1, undefeated, the best team ever,” former Michigan offensive lineman Steve Schilling said. “But it’s unfortunate that it happened to any program. We went through some stuff when I was there and theirs is a little bigger spectrum, on a bigger stage with what went on down there, but I’d rather them be at their best.”

It was a sentiment former Michigan running back Mike Hart shared earlier this month when he was on WTKA for the Mott Takeover during the Griese/Hutchinson/Woodson charity weekend. He said he hoped Tressel was coaching during this year’s Michigan-Ohio State game because he wanted to beat the coach who beat him four times during his career.

He echoed those feelings Monday on Twitter.

“Great day for America! Sad day (for) Big 10,” Hart tweeted. “Hate OSU but Tressel was a great coach! Would rather beat them when he’s the coach than some(one) else.”

Now, the concern among former Michigan players is if the Wolverines beat Ohio State, the Buckeyes will have excuses.

“I’m kinda mad Tressel had to resign because I don’t want people saying if we had Tressel Michigan wouldn’t have beat Ohio State this year,” former Michigan defensive lineman Brandon Graham tweeted.

“Really wanted to see coach (Brady) Hoke get a shot a(t) the sweater vest,” former Michigan offensive lineman Jonathan Goodwin tweeted.

Hoke won’t get that shot. Instead, he’ll coach his first Michigan-Ohio State game against 37-year-old interim coach Luke Fickell.

Those who will face Ohio State this year had a different reaction than others to Tressel’s departure via Twitter.

“Tressel resigned,” Michigan cornerback Troy Woolfolk tweeted. “Well I guess it got too hot in the kitchen, lol.”

And this from defensive tackle Mike Martin: “The head of the scarlet and grey Demon has been cut off!!!”

Michael Rothstein covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by email at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.


Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Jun 1, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

I look at this situation and the facts that matter to me are different from what appear to be important to everyone else. The players "win" rings and jersey for slamming their bodies into each other at up to 30 mph, but they are forbidden from selling them. Do they own the items or not?! The players have skin they want to ink up. They can put anything they want on it, but are "in violation" of rules if, they don't pay market value to the artist, or if the artist won't take market value. Then it is not really their skin. The players are in schools where the kids with the nice cars have parents that are of the class that sit on the NCAA rules committee. The kids with the parents on the rules committee, or sitting in the luxury boxes didn't pay for their cars, their business owning, connected parents paid for them. But God forbid a perfectly likable player be given a deal so that they can get an SUV like the kids in the luxury boxes and....once again that is a violation of the rules. The coach is supposed to be a mentoring, father figure to all of these kids and the kids go there because they believe the coach will stick his neck out for them, but then the coach is also supposed to "rat them out" when the kids take an action that is in the economic interest of themselves and their less than privileged families. Any coach that has the empathy for the kids that we would want them to have is going to be hard pressed to "rat them out" over these NCAA that are basically economically oppressive and discriminatory against the less financially privileged players, especially when the coach has the mutual interest of the players and their parents that the players stay on the team, so that they stay in school, graduate, and not limit their long term professional options because they broke the rules of a hypocritical RULES COMMITTEE. I only wish that Tressel had not apologized and instead just laughed as he walks into the broadcast boo

Jake C

Wed, Jun 1, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

I'm not even sure where to starts on these comments. How about just this one: "The coach is supposed to be a mentoring, father figure to all of these kids and the kids go there because they believe the coach will stick his neck out for them, but then the coach is also supposed to "rat them out..." Uh, that's what a mentor or a parent does. You help kids when they need help, and you discipline them when they do something wrong. Otherwise you're just being their "buddy". #2: "[...]when the kids take an action that is in the economic interest of themselves and their less than privileged families." Wowwww..... Please, show me where any one of these kids is doing something in the economic interest of their "less than privileged families". All I'm reading about are accusations of spoiled brats getting a new free car every few months, free tattoos, a free place to hang out and play video games and have someone bring them food & beer, and free bags of weed. Exactly which of those things helps those players' families? If the NCAA wants to make it a rule that 18-year-old amateur collegiate players can get free cars, free cash (and how about free booze and weed and strippers and tattoos?) in additional to already getting a free education and free room & board, that's up to them to implement (which would also basically destroy the College Football system as it exists today). Until that point, if it's agains the rules then it's against the rules, period.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

I begging people to stop this "days since" BS. It's been seven days since Michigan beat OSU, just counting the days when they conceivably could. Why should last February 2 be part of the count? August 3? Today? You can only win or lose on the days that you play. What if a count is maintained by a team that we don't play every year? How many days (any basis) has it been that OSU beat anyone without cheating? I think some of the earlier comments answer that one.

1st Down

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Exactly. The entire Big Ten should be p'od at Ohio for cheating...not just Michigan...every win that Ohio has had for the past 10 years is suspect to cheating...not good for the Big Ten... and enough to get every team riled up to put a beat down on the nuts come this fall. Paybacks a Buckeye.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

When I watched and listened to the reactions from sportscasters and the "loyal" osu alums, I was the usual "not surprised" by the comments and evading of FACTS about this person. Tressel received numerous accolades about how he is STILL such a beloved man of character and integrity. Ex.: Bennie Wells, Kirk Herbstreit, etc. and even Lou Holtz. Excuse me? It's obvious these blind loyalists are true to their own deceptions. A liar is a liar is a liar. The supporters contend he was taking the fall for the players. That is another LIE! Integrity and character are not shown when a person lies, covers up and has a lengthy trail of deception. This person is NOT a person of integrity and character. He is a textbook narcissist. They are masters of deceit. They are never at fault. If I may quote an HONEST person Honest Abe Lincoln - "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time". Jim Tressel and osu are products of their own making. Jim Tressel's legacy will NOT be one of character or integrity, no matter what former players, alums or charities say about him. His legacy wil be the one he created himself - liar.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Pretty similar to Jimmy Leyland's illogical belief in Barry Bonds.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Mike Martin: "The head of the scarlet and grey Demon has been cut off!!!" They should've interviewed all those "one guys that I know." They would have said a lot MEEEEEANer things. MEEEEEEEEEEANchigan football will return from the muck Sooooo Long sweater vest, you are officially a schmuck. Hope all MCC members, the ghost, mission and especially Dusty had a great holiday weekend.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

Not a sad day here in Michigan! Lets just hope that Ohio State does the right thing and hires Rich Rodriguez!!


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Great idea, but that may be too severe of a penalty for OSU.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Tressel resignation has set the table for the NCAA to drag their feet for 18 months while they investigate. Tooooo baaaad. Speculators abound regarding the outcome. For the NCAA to maintain any amount of credibility they will need to lower the boom on o-liar st. Tressel can now claim his rightful spot in line with all the other hypocrites.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

I have often been amazed at how long some investigations take. There is no reason for that. Hire good investigators and get it done as soon as possible. That said, I have long felt that the major violations should be illegal. They should be a type of fraud. That is because lacking subpoena and search warrant authority, obtaining records that may show improper behavior is nearly impossible. Another great thing that might clear this up is if the pro teams had regulations that if you cheat in college, no pro for you. Fat chance of that right?


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

He knew how to win games. What a waste. It will be interesting to see how bad things really are when the SI report comes out. Definitely needed to leave. To the rumors that Urban Meyer is coming to OSU, I have to wonder. Based on what SI could end up reporting OSU may be non-bowl eligible for several years plus other sanctions. OSU would have to pay Urban Meyer an ungodly amount to get him considering he would be coaching a team that won't get star recruits for several years.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

The real question is whether ANY program follows the rules, including ours... UM players w dorm rooms live in multi-bedroom off-campus apts with multiple large screen TVs. If they are on a full ride, who is paying for that? And, assuming they are using a legitimate stipend (assuming there is such a thing), why do we permit it? I suspect that if the average Joe looked at what goes on anywhere he/she would be disappointed. The lack of ethics in society is truly appalling. I love how the NCAA allows the official attendance at a game to be tickets sold, not people in attendance. Hopefully every school, including ours, is raising academic standards and ethical standards. Winning is great, developing young men that GRADUATE with a good ethical barometer would be great. I'd like to see athletes give back scholarships if they choose to go pro before graduating.

1st Down

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

They do receive a stipend already... I didnt play for Michigan but one of my old friends was a kicker on scholie back in the 90s...he told me that they at that time got about a grand a month for housing and food and it was really easy for him to stretch that and have a good lifestyle as a college kid and have enough money to live on....and THAT was totally legal and part of the scholarship. I had a similar situation with my academic scholarships that paid me money for which I paid the tuition and room and board with...but I got that check and determined how it was to be used, once the tuition was paid with it.... The problem is that at goes well beyond a simple legal stipend as part of a scholarship and well in to flat out corruption, abuse of the system, paying players WELL beyond what the simple scholarship does.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

I can relate one thing from experience. Athletes do receive some sort of stipend (or did) for room and board. I have seen homes, apts, with multiple players in the same unit. When you split the rent by multiple roomies, that leave more of your stipend for "board." Perhaps that is how they do it.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

1," NCAA allows the official attendance at a game to be tickets sold, not people in attendance"- why would that be a bad thing? Once they have the money that is all that matters. If I choose to go or not. 2."M players w dorm rooms live in multi-bedroom off-campus apts with multiple large screen TVs" - I was not a college athlete, BUT was required to live in the dorms. I spent much of my time staying at friends who lived in off campus apartments. I guess I am corrupt too? 3. " I'd like to see athletes give back scholarships if they choose to go pro before graduating" How about the U honor a scholarship if the player no longer wants to play the sport? Oh thats right, scholarships are NOT for four years. They are renewable yearly. I wonder if you feel the same way about somebody who received a music scholarship and in his senior year got a record deal that paid him millions and decided to forego his last year? Players are paid a disgustingly low wage with no benefits to line the pockets of billion dollar institutions. They owe them nothing


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 6:19 a.m.

well Blue Brains the Blue and Yellows may even have a chance against OSU. Senator Sweater Vest got exactly what he deserved.No Sympathy at all for him.By resigning though OSU my have escaped severe punishment from the mighty NCAA.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 5:52 a.m.

We are all living in the Era of Fakes and Scandals, so we all have gotten used to the drill. Ministers, preachers, senators, presidents, governors, sports figures - and lets not forget Wall Street executives: all of these alleged "pillars" of our society, nation and economy turn out to be frauds perpetrating scandalous (and sometimes really damaging) schemes "in pursuit of their duty" and under authority they may have attained illegitimately. Former Coach Tressel is one of those perpetrating fraud - on all of college football. Being "experienced" from seeing so much of this, one can legitimately wonder why Tressel resigned. It's said that it was the series of revelations that pressed him to resign. But isn't it just as likely that he resigned to ward off - even more investigations into the OSU football program? One wonders how anyone in today's college football arena could have a 106-22 win / loss record. That's almost 83% wins and only 22 losses in TEN years. It can't be - just recruiting with favors under the table - there's got to be more to the story about that 83% wins margin. Can we spell: p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e e-h-a-n-c-i-n-g d-r-u-g-s?? Maybe we should call 1-800-LANC(E) and ask that question. Send a photographer to Columbus: I understand that 50,000 fans are going to drag their couches into Buckeye Stadium and burn them in protest against Tressel leaving. Oh, forget it, the blaze should be visible from Ann Arbor. ;-)


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

Okay, let's review, shall we: 2002, U-M 9 TSIO 14, Clarrett was their best player, what happens in that game if they didn't have him 2004, U-M 21 TSIO 37, Troy Smith, should he have been eligible to play that game? He was clearly the difference in that game. 2005, U-M 21 TSIO 25, see previous reason I stated (Hint: Troy Smith) 2006, U-M 39 TSIO 42, again, see previous reason (Hint: Troy Smith) 2007, U-M 3 TSIO 14, while our 2 main Offensive Players were hurt, who should have been ineligible for TSIO? In all these previous games, who else should not have been allowed to play? Huh? These things matter, players that had an impact on games and might have been ineligible make a difference in games. We will never know what that might have amounted to, because someone was cheating!

1st Down

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Excellent points Mick as usual. The 05 and 06 games in particular were tough to deal with because we knew that Michigan's kids were going up against compensated professionals. They fought hard, but came up just short vs. coddled buckeyes who were given everything to just play football at the school. take...but in the we will come out on top just like we always do. The Universe is now correcting itself...


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

According to the SI article, there were at least 28 players who were involved in the NCAA violations involving memorabilia for tats/money/drugs, not 6. Imagine the impact of these 28 players, if not more, on these games. That is a huge amount of players who should have been ineligible ... it is totally reasonable to think that the outcomes of some of these games would have been different.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Thanks for posting the scores. I saw the scores posted in another article, and while I must agree a win is a win, all of Tressell's dominance of Michigan was often by only a small margin. Minus the cheating, I doubt his record would be as lopsided as it is. In some of the games a win/loss might have hinged on just one play, like the 2006 game when Smith did a fantastic job of moving them up the field for the final score. One stop on him might have made the difference.

1st Down

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

Here is a photo of the new tricked out ride that Pryor is driving, with the dealer plates on. This is confirmed taken at the Woody Hayes Center earlier today by a well known buckeye forum: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Hmm... another new car for TP. To the poster above that took issue with my statement that Buckeye Cheating has given them a decided - competitive - advantage vs. the entire Big Ten in the Tressel Era: You dont think that giving top recruits free access to free cars, and hooking up their families as well...does not lure more top recruits to a school and give them a slight advantage at least? If not...then there is no hope for you. Every close Big Ten game that the cheaters stole in this decade, and some of the blow outs too...are questionable because they paid their players to go to that school and compete. Paid = professional. Look it up.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

I spoke once with an investigator from the Secretary of State who told me that dealer plates are intended for use by dealer personnel on dealer business and are not supposed to be used on vehicles driven by coaches, etc. or anyone's personal business. That was a Michigan SOS investigator. I do not know what Ohio's law is. Makes sense though. If a person is using a vehicle for personal reasons they should not be able to avoid proper registration fees by using a vehicle with dealer plates.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

I agree with you but I would also add that luxury in lifestyle and economic benefit also lessens much of the stress colleges athletes must endure. I suggest that with more a more lush lifestyle, you perform better as you have less worries.

Stephen Landes

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

I'm glad to see Tressel go, but I would have preferred Michigan had a chance to beat him on the field. He was a great strategist and field tactician, but I have to disagree with Mike Hart: it takes more than strategy and tactics to be a great coach; one must also have integrity and that seems to have been lacking in Coach Tressel. His record on the field will likely stand unless OSU has to forfeit games, but I can't ever see him being considered &quot;great&quot;.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

Leaders and legends. What a joke. The Big ten/eleven/twelve now has two of the most crooked programs in collegiate history. Ohio State in football and Michigan in basketball. Makes you proud doesn't it?!


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Minnesota gets the nod for most crooked basketball program for academic fraud under Clem Haskins. And SMU got the death penalty applied to its football team. Baylor had a huge scandal in 2002 03 that lead to the death of a basketball player. John Calipari at Umass and Memphis makes M/OSUs scandals look like parking tickets. And the University of Colorado ranks up there with two scandals, involving the 2004 football teams rape of several women and in 1997 when sexual assault, underage drinking, providing minors with alcohol, strippers, and sexual harassment were a regular part of football recruitment season. So I would say neither Michigan's basketball or OSU's football teams are close to the National Championship of crooked behavior by a college program.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

The SI article didn't have as much as any of us would have liked, but it did have enough to make Tressel resign today. TSIO cheated for ten years and got away with it; I hope whatever the NCAA does to them puts them in a gigantic hole that it takes ten years to escape.

Ann English

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

I had fully expected Brady Hoke to face Jim Tressel in the fall. Hope there's no cause-and-effect between the criminal acts of the Buckeyes and the criminal acts of the Cincinnati Bengals, or else the other Ohio college football teams and the Cleveland Browns could be headed for trouble, too.

Basic Bob

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

Brady Hoke has the same chance against Ohio State without Tressel. Very little. Let's see how he fares against Urban Meyer.


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

At least he had the class to resign, unlike RR who had to be fired.


Wed, Jun 1, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

Lol. Sound logic.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

No matter what the topic in regard to football, somebody has to mention Rich Rod. Trueblue is correct, the terminology is &quot;quit or be fired.&quot;


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

This statement is laughable. How do you possibly compare Michigan's issues with Ohio State's? They're not even in the same universe! Stop thinking in absolutes. There are levels of indiscretion and Ohio State's indiscretions are orders of magnitude more egregious than Michigan's. And Gee gave Tressel his resignation statement. In other words, Tressel was fired.


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

The culture of corruption and rule breaking during the Tressel years is truly disgusting. It goes all the way back to Clarett. There will be many more skeletons found in his closet before this is over, but like Pete Carroll, Tressel will slither away to another gig. Thanks coach, you just gave Michigan the greatest recruiting advantage in Ohio that we could ever hope for.


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Jim Brandstatter's take on it: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Even today, I give Tressel little credit as it was clearly a forced resignation - it's never a good sign when the President of the University gives your resignation statement for you...


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

NEWSFLASH: Even though not contractually compelled to, Ohio State could still offer Tressel money to leave the job. Athletic director Gene Smith did not immediately respond when asked about the terms of the resignation. An addendum to the contract does provide for Tressel to resign and to continue to be employed by Ohio State. The paragraph, added to the contract in 2010, permits Tressel, if he resigns for any reason, to become an associate athletic director at a salary of $150,000 per year. Section 5.3f does stipulate that Ohio State can void that portion of the agreement. From The Detroit News: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;The more things change the more they stay the same&quot; No, it wasn't a lopsided UM-OSU rivalry but a CHEATING rivalry on Tressel's part.

John B.

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

I saw that, but $150K is a whole lot less than $3.5 Million. Just a placeholder until he finds a new home in the National Felons League or with an SEC team?


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

Corrrection: Number of days since the last time Ohio State had a clean program: 4,149 Number of days since Ohio States last clean victory: 4,215


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Yea..the reason UM kept losing to OSU is because Pryor traded gold pants for a tattoo. The victories were clean the better team won.


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Number of days since the last time Ohio State had a clean program: 3,784


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Recently overheard on a Maize-and-Blue Columbus wiretape: E. Gordon Gee: &quot; I want THE TRUTH!&quot; Coach Sweater Vest:&quot; You can't HANDLE the truth&quot;. E. Gordon Gee: &quot;Looks like I'm going to have to let you go&quot;. Coach Sweater Vest: &quot;Wait, but I beat Arkansas in the bowl game. That was the first time we ever beat the SEC. All I had to give up was five games in 2011, and we made sure they were against teams we should beat soundly anyway. You should be proud of how well I am able to maneuver around the rules and regulations&quot;. E. Gordon Gee : &quot;Still, you ARE the weaklest link. Goodbye&quot;. The rest is today's news.

1st Down

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

It has been over 4000 days since Ohio ran a clean program. Tressel falling on the sword today is fun to watch, however let's see how the NCAA handles it all... and stay tuned tomorrow for the SI article that will blow the lid off of C Bus. As my boy T Owens would say: &quot;Get Ya Popcorn Ready&quot;. More fun to come. The former Michigan players were very classy and diplomatic in regards to Tressel. The fact is though, that he and his school had to cheat to consistently win in the Big Ten and to beat Michigan. This is a FACT....a documented fact, with more to come starting tomorrow.... so.... anyone who competed vs. Ohio for the past 10 years should be outraged that they did it vs. a stacked, compensated team of professionals. This goes for Michigan, Iowa, Illinois etc... we all got beat by professionals. Dirty Tressel is gone...but the stains remain. Go Blue.

Jake C

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

&quot;Tressel falling on the sword today is fun to watch... [...] This goes for Michigan, Iowa, Illinois etc... we all got beat by professionals. &quot; I have no love for OSU, but that's just exaggeration. Michigan got beat by a team of kids of the same age and from roughly the same geographic area. Did OSU manage to recruit an extra top prospect or two because they had a reputation of allowing some &quot;perks&quot;? Possibly. But it's also possible that these kids would have come to OSU anyway because of its reputation as a football program that wins. Don't make it about the kids who got recruited into this OSU program that was willing to bend some rules and look the other way when they got some free perks from the community at-large. There's not a lot of 18-year-olds who can resist the lure of free money (or strippers or booze or fancy cars) coming from within an athletic organization or from their community. Make it about the coach and the administration that knew about these abuses and let it continue to happen when they could have nipped it in the bud and set a better example. You can fantasize all you want that Michigan could have wiped the floor with the Buckeyes over the past 7 years had the OSU students not gotten free tattoos or discounted cars, but that's just imagination.

Jon Saalberg

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

This guy is the epitome of hypocrisy - he claimed to be a righteous religious type, while lying and cheating his way as a coach, and encouraging such behavior in others. At least it was just football, not life and death.