Don’t get it twisted—Rich Eisen knew exactly what he was doing. Serving as master of ceremonies at Friday night’s Gold Jacket Dinner in Canton, Ohio, the NFL Network host couldn’t resist ribbing Ohio State, alluding to the Buckeyes’ loss to his alma mater, Michigan, last November. Clearly not ready to laugh about it, OSU fans in the audience showered Eisen in boos, resentful of the former ESPN personality rubbing salt in a relatively fresh wound. Eisen, for his part, didn’t let that dampen his amusement, reveling in having the goods on a hated conference rival.
Eisen, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan in 1990, is free to gloat, taking a well-deserved victory lap at the Buckeyes’ expense. However, he seems to have conveniently forgotten their previous eight matchups, with last year’s coronation in the Big House ending a decade-long dry spell for the Wolverines, who have beaten Ohio State just once in six tries under coach Jim Harbaugh. In fact, the last time Michigan won in Columbus was all the way back in 2000 when Harbaugh was still an active player for the Chargers, splitting time at quarterback with draft bust Ryan Leaf.
Friday’s event was just a precursor for Saturday’s main event, celebrating the enshrinement of Jaguars great Tony Boselli, three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour and former Rams and Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, among other Hall-of-Fame inductees from the Class of 2022.