DeVonta Smith Could Be Featured on Ohio License Plate
An Ohio lawmaker is looking to pay homage to his father's Alabama roots by featuring one of DeVonta Smith's national championship touchdowns on state license plates.
The plate would feature the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner scoring his first of three touchdowns as Buckeye defensive back Josh Proctor desperately reaches to stop the receiver (as shown above.)
Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond wants the plate to provide an option to University of Alabama alumni and fans that reside in Ohio. Bird's father played football during Paul "Bear" Bryant's tenure with the Crimson Tide.
"I grew up in Ohio and I am forever a fan of Ohio State football. I rooted for OSU this past year in the national championship game," Bird told lawmakers Tuesday according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "But I am also forever grateful for the educational opportunity that was afforded my father by the University of Alabama and the change that it made in the lives of my family."
Surprisingly, Bird has some support among his peers to get the tag created. Republican Rep. Margy Conditt, of Liberty Township, and Democratic Rep. John Rogers, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, are both Alabama alumni who support Bird's proposal. Bird was also given a pass by fellow lawmaker Michael Sheehy, D-Toledo, who also has Alabama ties; his son has a University of Alabama master's degree.
"I will always remain a Buckeye fan, but if anybody stands in the way of this legislation, it will not be me," said Rep. Sheehy.
Should the Alabama tag proposal be passed, it would make the second non-Ohio State Buckeye tag available to motorists alongside the Notre Dame fighting Irish.
Of course, in a state that bans a letter of the alphabet for a full week every November, it's no surprise that a scarlet bias was present on the floor for the proposal's hearing.
"This isn't exactly a question. It's more of a statement but it will require a response from you," said Rep. Jeff LaRe, R-Violet Township. "O-H."
Bird obliged with the traditional "I-O."
One topic to consider that a caller presented me on Thursday's Southern Fried Sports is how DeVonta Smith's name, image and likeness (NIL) as well as the Alabama Crimson Tide trademark should be handled in this case.
Of course, Smith is headed to the NFL and could see compensation for his likeness regardless, but there still stands the issue of how the Crimson Tide should be handled with it's uniform being prominently displayed. As for Proctor, unfortunately the NCAA nor the US Congress has passed anything just yet, but the expectation is that players won't be able to benefit monetarily when a university's trademark is involved.
Daniel Moore's ability to include the Crimson Tide in his paintings is always a start, but that required a legal battle the state of Ohio would no doubt rather avoid. The trademark may very stop this dead, unfortunately.
Nonetheless, it's a good jab at Ohio State fans. After all, to the winner goes the spoils and the bragging rights.
Alabama beat Ohio State 52-24 to win its 18th national championship. Despite only playing in the first half due to a hand injury, Smith caught 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.