HUNTINGTON — For much of the year, Marshall guard Taevion Kinsey is locked in to being a college basketball player for the Thundering Herd.
On Monday night, however, Kinsey put away his Marshall gear for a few hours to cheer on Ohio State.
The Columbus native told media members on Monday morning that he’d be locked in for Monday night’s battle with Alabama in the national championship.
In normal years, the team members might get together and have a watch party for such a game, but COVID-19 — and Marshall’s current quarantine situation with several team members — means Kinsey had to watch on his own.
“You just have to keep watch and be safe,” Kinsey said. “It kind of takes away from the fun.”
Ohio State’s football program is a polarizing figure within college football — especially in a year where it played a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet still was granted access to the College Football Playoff as one of the four best teams in the nation.
Obinna Anochili-Killen recalls Kinsey’s discussions concerning the Buckeyes once their place within the College Football Playoff was announced.
“He’s been going on and on because, obviously, he’s from Ohio,” Killen said. “People would always say Ohio State shouldn’t be in the playoffs because they are 6-0 — they only played six games — and every single time they win — especially when they beat Clemson — everybody heard about that from him.”
That win over Clemson brought a big smile to Kinsey’s face — not only because his hometown team won, but also because he got to shut his teammates up a bit and have some fun at their expense.
“We were at La. Tech and I told everybody, ‘Listen, don’t talk to me if we win,’” Kinsey said. “Everybody was like, ‘You know they are going to lose.’ ‘They done lost to Clemson, they done lost to Clemson’...I remember they won that night and I ran through the hallway, saying ‘O-H-I-O’ all throughout the hallway.”
Killen, who admits he isn’t a big football guy, said he likes watching the playoffs — NFL and college — because that’s when it is most exciting.
He, too, was tuned in on Monday night — if for no other reason, to be able to respond to Kinsey, who was sure to talk about it on Tuesday, win or lose.
“Everybody is high alert and wants to watch,” Killen said. “Today, I’m pretty much going to order me some chicken wings and watch the game.”
For Killen and the rest of Kinsey’s teammates, it might have been a good thing the team wasn’t on the road during the national championship.
That meant they didn’t have to hear Kinsey’s screams.
For one championship night, though, Kinsey was able to trade in his Kelly green of Marshall for the scarlet and gray of Ohio State.
On Tuesday, however, it is back to green for Kinsey as he and the Herd prepare for their own big battle — that being a date at rival Western Kentucky, which will start at 5 p.m. on Friday at E.A. Diddle Arena.