City of Oregon to temporarily change name in support of BuckeyesWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | email@example.com
The City of Oregon will temporarily change its name Jan. 12 in support of Ohio State, as the Buckeyes take on the University of Oregon in college football’s national championship game.
The idea was raised Jan. 2 as part of a change.org petition by two Oregon natives, Matt Squibb and Mark Rabbitt. Oregon is a suburb of Toledo in Northwest Ohio, about 140 miles from Columbus.
“I grew up in Oregon, Ohio and love the city, but for the day of the ‘Big Game’ I am asking the city council to make a proclamation to change the name of the city for one day,” reads the petition, posted by Squibb. “Call it Buckeye Town, Ohio City, Brutusville, whatever, you get the point. Let’s not leave anything to chance here! Change the name and support the Buckeyes!”
The petition also calls for Oregon’s Clay High School to change its school colors for the day. Clay and University of Oregon share the school colors of green and gold.
Oregon City Administrator Michael Beazley said he and Oregon Mayor Michael Seferian had fielded a number of calls about the petition Jan. 2. He said they plan to issue a proclamation Jan. 5 announcing a name change for Jan. 12.
The name is yet to be determined, Beazley said.
“We’ve heard about [the petition]. We’ve gotten calls. We’re going to do something with it,” Beazley said.
Ohio State upset top-ranked Alabama 42-35 on Jan. 2 while The University of Oregon took down unbeaten Florida State University 59-20 on Jan. 1 to make it to the championship game, which will be held Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. It’s the first time the national champion will be determined by a playoff.
Squibb and Rabbitt, both Clay High School graduates, are now teachers at Whitmer High School.
Neither is actually an Ohio State fan.
Rabbitt, who now lives in South Toledo, is actually a fan of Ohio State’s biggest rival, Michigan.
“When Michigan plays Ohio State, obviously I’m a Michigan fan, but every time OSU plays I hope they win because in the grand scheme it’s good for the Big 10,” Rabbitt said. “It’s just a unique opportunity to show support to a university in their journey to win the first ever national championship in the playoff system, but also for this area, that a school from the Big 10 is able to represent the entire conference in this national championship game.”
Squibb, who now lives in Sylvania, said he’s a fan of the other football, particularly Manchester United. It’s really his father who is the Buckeye fan.
“My mom was worried about his heart,” he joked, referring to the nail-biter against Alabama.
Rabbitt said he and Squibb first discussed the possibility of Ohio State versus Oregon in the title game on Dec. 31 as they gathered to watch the Wisconsin-Penn State basketball game, and cheer on Whitmer grad Nigel Hayes, who plays for the Badgers.
“We were just talking about how neat it was that Ohio State is one of the four teams that got accepted, and my rationale for why I would want Ohio State to win it all rather than some other team,” Rabbitt said.
The petition, which was posted around 10 a.m. Jan. 2, has about 250 supporters and counting.
“We’re just two guys going on a website and sparking something that most people would think is probably a really stupid thing, but to have so many people supporting it and then hopefully rooting for Ohio State to win it all is pretty great,” Rabbitt said. “The Big 10 has been seen as a conference that can’t compete with the SEC or Pac 12. Now Ohio State has beaten the No. 1 team in the SEC and are facing the No. 1 team in the Pac 12 and we have this opportunity for Ohio State to win the national championship. I think it’s pretty good to see a community come together and support them.”
Clay High School’s offices are closed for the holiday and a representative was unable to be reached for comment.
To view or sign the petition, visit http://chn.ge/1vCfFlk.