The reason why Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson always calls Ohio State ‘world famous’

Fox Sports covers plenty of Ohio State football games throughout the year, and when they do, it’s often about Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt. Johnson is known for his emphatic calls on broadcasts, and is often considered one of the best at providing the energy on a play-by-play basis.

And with Ohio State providing the excitement, Johnson has picked up on a unique way to refer to the team: the world-famous Ohio State Buckeyes.

The state of Ohio is certainly well known in the United States. The Buckeyes’ football program keeps them in the mainstream at all times, as does the school’s formidable alumni network.

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But college football isn’t huge outside of Columbus, so why does Johnson refer to the Buckeyes as “world famous?” The sports news is watching.

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Why Gus Johnson Calls Ohio State “World Famous”

There may certainly be some people outside the United States who see the Buckeyes’ football program as world famous, but that’s not why Johnson saw them as internationally significant. In fact, it has nothing to do with football at all.

It’s because of Jesse Evans.

Johnson spoke on Ohio State’s campus on Nov. 10, two days before the team’s game against Indiana, during which he talked about defining the Buckeyes as “world famous.” He said that when Evans ran in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, claiming four gold medals, he put Ohio State on the international map.

“The whole world knew about Jesse and Ohio State,” Johnson said. “So that’s why when you see me calling a game these days and you might hear me say, ‘World famous Ohio State University. World famous Ohio State University.’ It’s an honor for him. And it’s something we can never forget.”

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Johnson elaborated more on the Indiana game broadcast.

“My father, he talked about Jesse almost from the moment I heard and what he did when the world was on the brink of war, how he won those four gold medals in Berlin against a bad man who promoted a bad theory of racial superiority,” Johnson said.

Evans, a black sports star at Ohio State, competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics at a point when Adolf Hitler was looking to showcase Aryan and German supremacy on the biggest international sports stage. According to ESPN, a German official said the Americans were letting “non-humans, like Evans and other black athletes” compete in the Olympics.

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In what was supposed to be a show of German and Irish athletic supremacy in Berlin, Evans won all four events in which he competed, winning gold in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump. ESPN’s Larry Schwartz wrote that Evans “single-handedly crushed Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”

The Buckeyes football team may be famous across the US for being consistently one of the best teams in the country. But as far as international recognition goes, it doesn’t get much bigger than what Evans did in Berlin in 1936.


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