A lot of anti-OSU (and anti-ESPN) folks love to point at the photo above. If you haven’t seen it prior to today, the foreground is an interception at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl that featured The Ohio State University and the Miami Hurricanes. The background, however, features ESPN analyst (and former OSU quarterback) Kirk Herbstreit celebrating the huge play on the back of former running back Eddie George.
While many will use this photo in attempt to show Herbie’s potential bias for the Big Ten or Ohio State in general, a recent interview with The Big Lead counters with the following:
When I’m on the air, I would challenge anybody to watch me when I do a game and try to figure out what school I went to. When I’m off the air … I’m an Ohio State fan. Sorry. I went to school there, I was a captain there, my kids wear their Ohio State jerseys almost everyday. They wake up singing the fight song. We’re an Ohio State family. [About the photo] I wasn’t on the air, I’m going to go crazy. My work speaks for itself.
Said answer is one of five in a short interview that TBL managed to snag while visiting Bristol. Check out the rest of the interview here.
As Jerod from MSF points out, judging by the response from Herbstreit, you can tell that he’s had to defend his stance before. But while I can see how others outside of Ohio would love to say that Herbstreit is biased, there is no denying his on-air analysis is typically critical of Ohio State and the Big Ten in general. He claims to love the SEC, their style of play, and even touted the region as the best place to catch a college game.
Then again, maybe he has to – otherwise, the rest of the world would just point fingers and yell “HOMER!!!”
With that said… Five days until kickoff…