Logan Tuley-Tillman: punk kid or honorable hero? We can probably guess your answer based on the color of the beer koozies in your trunk.
Just as a recap, Tuley-Tillman is the Illinois high school football standout heading to Michigan who also happened to get a scholarship offer from OSU – a letter he burned before the masses on Twitter.
Sure, torching the offer letter and broadcasting the evidence was juvenile, a fratty chest thump to the rest of the Go Blue nation. But, this being Michigan and Ohio State, Tuley-Tillman's move was obviously freighted with a nuclear payload of piss and bile. When the pic hit Twitter, he was bombarded with assaults from all sides by a character straight from the pages of Scene: The Buck Nut. According to Yahoo Sports, he even got death threats.
This is probably as good a place as any to say that – yes of course – not all fans of The Ohio State University are front lobe-stunted knuckle draggers who somehow connect A to B and concluded they have every right to bitch about the life decision of a 17-year-old kid. We know most OSU fans are good folks. In fact, we consider ourselves a member of the tribe.
But as we outlined in our March cover story, “Cracking the Buck Nut,” a certain fringe element of the Buckeye nation is prone to extreme behavior again and again and again, from fielding outlandish moonshot predictions on their team's chances to actual rage at anyone who dares doubt Buckeye supremacy. As the article points out, death threats are often in the Buck Nut's repertoire, and that's what happened to Tuley-Tillman.
"There have been a couple death threats," Tuley-Tillman said. "And they've been sending my mom messages on Facebook. I just told her you can't listen to it because it's one of the biggest rivalries in sports."
The high schooler committed to Michigan back in February, but he did leave the door open for other schools to wiggle in with their own offers. Ironically, it was encounter with Buckeye fans during a trip to Columbus that shot out of the sky any possibility of coming to OSU.
"I was up there and the fans were cussing me out and they were saying '[expletive] you' and stuff like that while I was walking through the mall," said Tuley-Tillman, who admits he was wearing a Michigan hat. "It wasn't like in my face. They were like saying things and then would power walk away. One of them actually threw something at me, but it didn't hit me. So, that's how it started."
This all makes for good theater, and Tuley-Tillman obviously knew what was in the cage he was rattling. That said, once moms are getting trolled over Facebook, you got to start worrying about the psyches in play here. Also, there's got to be a point where the usual excuses don't fly anymore, when these “isolated” instances of the fanatic “few” begin to settle into a single pattern. Or if we're going to saddle the fringe alone with the extremism, isn't there a point where the mainstream has to reign in or at least lay some distance between the nuts and regular Bucks?
We guess what we're just trying to spit out is — isn't this a little extreme? It's not like Tuley-Tillman drew an objectionable cartoon featuring the likeness of Brutus, right?