11 Reasons Why Miami is the Worst

The Ohio University football team plays Miami of Ohio on Saturday, which makes right now a good time to remind everyone why Miami is the worst place on earth.

The Ohio University football team plays Miami of Ohio on Saturday, which makes right now a good time to remind everyone why Miami is the worst place on earth.

Miami is so easy to dislike. It’s too easy. It’s like a hack Hollywood screenwriter came up with the idea. “So, on the one hand you’ll have this fun, hippie, party school in the middle of nowhere, OU. And its rival, Miami, is a bunch of preppy jerks in Sperry shoes and North Face Jackets. The dudes are all named Wally and Chaz and they pop their collars and call their school ‘Miami of Bro-hio.’ The girls are all spray-tanned clones named Muffy or Muffie and they’re in sororities whose hazing rituals will be dealt with years later in therapy. All of the ugly people on campus are rounded up and locked in a tool shed near the physical plant on the first day of class. The school’s mascot is a murderous-looking bird.”

So, not that you need the reminder, but here it is anyway: 10 reasons why Miami is the worst.

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East-West College Bowl Game Names from Key and Peele

The East-West College Bowl Game introductions from Key and Peele is the funniest sketch I have seen on Comedy Central since “Chappelle’s Show.”

With Ohio University in the Top 25, I definitely have bowl fever right now. The East-West College Bowl Game introductions from Key and Peele is the funniest sketch I have seen on Comedy Central since “Chappelle’s Show.”

I wish my name was Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace.


President Obama Makes Historic Visit to Ohio University

I will attend the Obama campaign’s stop in Athens, Ohio, take photos and report back later on this very important fact-finding mission.

President Obama waves to Ohio University students on College Green in Athens, Ohio

In 1994, when I was a freshman at Ohio University, if you would have told me that someday I would stand on College Green while the black President of the United States congratulated the Ohio Bobcat football team on its 7-0 undefeated season, I would have said that there is no way in our lifetime we will ever see a 7-0 undefeated Ohio Bobcat football team. But it happened, and I was there, and it was pretty cool.

On Wednesday evening President Obama addressed thousands of Ohio University students and Athens residents in front of the pillars of Memorial Auditorium. He spoke for half an hour, and he acknowledged Ohio University directly at the top of the speech by praising Frank Solich’s AP Top 25 program, saying, “I heard your football team is fun to watch. They’re undefeated. They might win the MAC. They might go to the BCS.” Obama then took credit for pushing for a college football playoff system and said if it was up to his opponent, Mitt Romney, there wouldn’t even be college football; the only sport would be “The Hunger Games.”

OK, he didn’t really say that. But Obama did use his speech, which came less than 24 hours after their town hall meeting clash in New York, to repeatedly paint Romney as this guy:

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Some advice for President Obama on His Visit to Athens, Ohio

Hi, President Obama. I heard you’re coming to Athens, Ohio to give a speech. I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a little about Athens.

Hi, President Obama. American citizen Joe Donatelli here. I heard you’re coming to Athens, Ohio to give a campaign speech at Ohio University. My wife and I are living here this semester, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you about Athens, from one non-college-student to another.

Athens, as you will discover when you fly in on Marine One, is a small city in Southeast Ohio. It is located along the Hocking River, which the Army Corps of Engineers moved four decades ago to 1.) Prevent the annual flooding that wreaked havoc on the campus  2.) Make space for an indoor recreational climbing wall. (I’m still not sure why anyone even came to school here before we got it.)

The rungs of the city are lined with residential houses, apartments, schools, businesses, churches and Beer Pong tables. Nature is on display here every fall with the changing of the leaves. A bike path provides an excellent view of surrounding area’s bucolic splendor, including the Hocking River, which occasionally contains water.

The pulse of Athens, though, is Court Street, which is known for its impressive 17:1 bar-to-Chipotle ratio. Court Street is one way, so make sure the motorcade is heading north or the Athens Police Department will be all over you. If you should decide to jaywalk (we all do — it’s a town of scofflaws, sir) then make sure you only look south, as looking both ways before crossing Court Street indicates to all passersby that you are freshman.

Should you decide to have lunch on Court Street, you will find that you have many options. Professors and townies tend to favor Jackie O’s, which serves craft beer and cheese plates, or Tony’s, a dive that has a drink called Hot Nuts, which Vice President Biden can probably tell you all about.

Last weekend was Homecoming, so my wife and a friend spent some time enjoying Athens’ Uptown (that’s what we call downtown Athens, and if you make reference to it in your stump speech by saying something like, “Mitt Romney, he wants to take our economy out-of-town. I want to take it Uptown!” then you can probably expect about 20 minutes of wild cheering and applause.) If I was you, I’d hit Lucky’s for cheese sticks (it’s a Steelers bar, so any photos taken there might resonate with Pennsylvania voters), The Union for a Schlitz (shore up the local working-class/hipster vote) and Casa Nueva for a sit-down meal. Now, I have to warn you, Casa is worker-owned, so the Republicans might use that against you, because it’s quasi-socialist. When they do, you are welcome to remind them, “Hey, they built that.”

College Green in Athens in the fall

Athens is best known around the state for its beautiful campus. Ohio University was founded here in 1804. The school has graduated successful politicians, business leaders, journalists and NFL punters. The Georgian architecture is consistent throughout most the campus, which is lined with trees and a squirrel population that, as long as it remains spread out over campus’s 2,000 acres, is in no way intimidating.

Baker Center, which is the student center, is the heart of Ohio University, and College Green, where you will speak, is its soul. College Green is used by students to walk to class, but is also popular for napping, eating, Frisbee, walking small dogs that you hope sophomore girls will notice, reading, photography and, of course, the Kissing Circle. Located near Chubb Hall (stop snickering, Mr. President) the Kissing Circle is a small space on College Green where any man used to be able to kiss any woman. (It was established before the advent of lawyers.)

Ohio’s rival is Miami. Paul Ryan went to school there. You know what to do with this information.

Normally I live in Los Angeles, which you visit often, so I understand how these presidential campaign stops work. You will probably only have time to arrive, shake hands with a few important locals and officials, give your speech and then take off for the big city (Chillicothe.) So if you only have time to do one thing in Athens before your speech, I would advise you to do this: buy a large burrito from The Burrito Buggy. It’s located right across the street from College Green.

You’re here to win votes. When Ohio University students go into the voting booth on November 6, they are going to have a choice: they can vote for Mitt Romney, a man whom America imagines eating a mayo-on-white-bread sandwich with water every day at lunch, or you, the guy who grabbed a burrito at The Burrito Buggy. Elections have been won and lost on stupider questions than, “Which candidate would I rather have an oversized burrito with?”

Good luck.

Enjoy your stay.

And remember to only look one way when (legally, wink-wink) crossing Court Street.

Joe Donatelli is a journalist who currently lives in Athens, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter @joedonatelli.

UPDATE: Getting messages from people who have seen cars and bikes going the wrong way down Court Street. I have never seen this, but I’ll take their word for it. Mr. President, please do look both ways. Or have your people look both ways for you.

More OU stories:

What a 2012 Ohio University football game looks like to someone who watched OU lose 5-0 to Utah State in 1994

The Worst College House Ever

The Junction: A Eulogy

Bobcat Fans Brave Tornado to Witness First Bowl Game Since 1968


To the moron who stole the wheel off my wife’s bicycle last night and tried and failed to steal mine: You’re an idiot

Last night my wife and I heard a noise on our porch. She’d seen an animal run out from beneath it a few nights ago, so I figured it was probably that. Then we heard it again. I flipped on the porch light and didn’t see anything. When I took the dog out around midnight, nothing looked amiss. This morning I took our dog outside for her morning potty and discovered this:

The front tire had been stolen off  my wife’s bike.

A bike chained to a porch. Its tire has been stolen.

And here is my bike below. Someone tried to take the front tire.

Someone tried to steal this bike but was thwarted by the lock.

My theory: I think the robber tried to steal our bikes (or at least the wheels) while we were awake (and home!), was foiled, and came back later last night.

This is incredibly disappointing. We ride those bikes all the time on the university bike path. It’s a beloved ritual, and now we we will not be able to do so because we have been robbed by–and this is the part that hurts–a clearly inferior-grade robber. Hey, dummy, here’s some advice for next time you rob someone:

1.) Don’t try and steal the front wheel of a bicycle when it’s attached to the bike’s frame, the wheel and an exterior object comprised of a hard, inflexible substance such as wood. What did you think would happen when you separated the fork blade from the hub? Did you think–voila!-it would cause the very sturdy bike chain I’d attached to the porch, frame and wheel to magically come apart like a set of magician’s rings? How disappointed were you when you discovered the laws of physics did not bend to your will? I picture you at home right now, stroking your chin, wondering if maybe you shook the bike harder the chain would have fallen off or something, you moron.

2.) I have to question your choice of targets. Is the front wheel to a 25-year-old 10-speed worth 180 days in jail and a fine? It’s (I’m guessing) $25 worth of metal and rubber. Really great heist there, D.B. Cooper. Do you sit there and watch Ocean’s 11 and think, “That’s exactly what I do, except instead of taking down scores at casinos I take the front wheels off 10-speeds!”

3.) I’m 99 percent sure the first time you tried this we were at home. I’m no professional front wheel stealer like you, but here’s a tip: if the owner of the thing you are trying to steal is nearby, he is more likely to successfully thwart your efforts than if he is far away. In the future, when you see the lights on inside someone’s home, stop yourself. I know the urge to take what isn’t yours and totally ruin someone else’s day gives you a great thrill, but one of the keys to succeeding in life is deferred gratification. I have no doubt you’re quite familiar with the Stanford marshmallow experiment. Oh, that’s right, you’re probably not, because you steal the wheels off 10-speeds for a living.

4.) Or–here’s a novel idea–don’t rob anyone. I know. That’s weird, right? Don’t take someone else’s belongings? That’s crazy! Let’s skip the morality behind not stealing, because you don’t care about that. I’ll be practical. I know you see a big future in the stolen front wheel of the 10-speed market, but it’s not as lucrative as you think. There are only so many 10-speed owners out there who are willing to buy 10-speed wheels from guys like you. The market is quite limited for this particular product. And how munch time, in the end, will you have put into the planning, thieving, hiding and selling of the front wheel of that 10-speed? Let’s say you cased our place for 20 minutes, spent 5 minutes on the actual stealing (you did try twice), 20 minutes driving home–careful to make sure the FBI’s Stolen Bike Task Force was not trailing you–and 45 minutes either telling/negotiating with/haggling with your fence about your recently-acquired high-quality 25-year-old wheel. Let’s call it 90 minutes for $25 profit. That’s $16 an hour. Congrats! You just made as much as a part-time cashier at the local university! The big differences, of course, are that the cashier works indoors where it’s warm, and no one goes to jail for selling pizza to college students.

Joe Donatelli is a journalist currently living in Athens, Ohio. You can follow him @joedonatelli on Twitter.