Ohio urged to boycott letter 'M'

Updated: November 29, 2013, 3:35 PM ET
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Already crossed out on signs around Ohio State's campus, citizens around the rest of the state are being asked to follow suit and boycott a certain letter of the alphabet in honor of the intense rivalry with Michigan.

Ohio governor John Kasich posted a resolution on his Twitter account on Friday that recognizes "Scarlet Letter Saturday" and encourages people to avoid using the letter 'M' as the No. 3 Buckeyes travel to take on the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium.

Ohio State Board
Austin Ward/ESPNOhio State took their rivalry with Michigan to another level, boycotting use of the letter 'M' ahead of Saturday's game.

Referencing other famous feuds, the fact that wolverines were added to the threatened species list and mentioning the only war between two states while crossing out every 'M' in the document, Kasich added yet another element to a series that already captures the attention of fans of both storied programs all year round.

"We do hereby recognize Saturday, November 30, 2013 as 'Scarlet Letter Saturday' throughout Ohio," the resolution said. "[We] encourage all Ohioans to avoid using the letter 'M' when possible."

The practice facility at Ohio State was already in compliance with the resolution earlier in the week, with scarlet tape crossing out all the outlawed letters as coach Urban Meyer's team prepared for its regular-season finale.

Meyer had also covered up every other game on the schedule with white paper in the team meeting room, driving home the importance of beating "That Team Up North" above all else -- even a Big Ten championship game appearance next week or a potential spot in the BCS.

"It is different," Meyer said. "It's not just another game. It's not, and our players know that. Does that mean we put less value on Indiana or less value on the following week coming up? I didn't say that. But there is an extra pep in the step.

"Do we make a big deal out of this game? Absolutely. ... That's the way I was brought up. We kind of go over the top here, and we always have."

That approach goes all the way up to the governor's office.

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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