Ward 1 Portsmouth City Councilman Sean Dunne works by day as a professor of sociology at Shawnee State University. With that in mind, it doesn’t really sound odd when he starts talking about “sports culture.”
Dunne recently noted that culture usually includes trash talking between the fans of opposing teams, especially when there is a history of rivalry or animosity between the two sides. One could easily make the case, probably without much debate, there exists a very long history of antagonism – “loathing” probably isn’t too strong a word – between fans of The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan.
Although he didn’t precisely say so, it seems likely the idea of “trash talking” somehow was in the back of Dunne’s mind when he came up with the idea for a new adornment for the banks of the Ohio River, put in place just in time for not only River Days but the opening of the OSU football season.
The new adornment is… well, a trashcan, shaped and painted to look like the patented Michigan “M.”
Dunne contends the riverbank near the amphitheater which serves as the River Days stage more often is a weekday luncheon spot for people working in the area. He added that, unfortunately, diners often leave behind traces of their meals, namely trash. Dunne figured a Michigan decorated trashcan might be a fun way to inspire loyal Ohio fans to properly dispose of their garbage.
Doing a bit of trash talking of his own, Dunne stated he wanted to put replicas of Michigan national championship trophies on top of the trashcan, but, of course, there aren’t any such trophies.
According to Dunne, Portsmouth’s Rush Welding fabricated and painted the trash receptacle. KC Printing & Promotionals, also of Portsmouth, supplied and applied the yellow edging on the metal “M.”
“I’m really hoping and thinking people will really respond to it,” Dunne said, adding he wouldn’t mind at all if Michigan fans in Ann Arbor came up with on OSU trash receptacle.
To Dunne’s way of thinking, anti-littering signs in place on the riverbank and, for that matter, elsewhere, usually tell people what not to do, namely, not to throw their trash on the ground. With the Michigan trashcan, Dunne hopes to inspire would be litterers to do something fun with their waste.
The initial idea for the trashcan Dunne said came to him while he was eating a meal. For whatever reason it occurred to him two individual trash cans could fit inside a large sized Michigan “M.” He said he spent the next two hours or so sketching out what probably more accurately could be described as a trashcan holder.
Dunne regularly donates his city council salary and said his city paychecks between now and the end of the year will go towards paying for the Michigan trash container. He did not mention how much fabrication of the unit cost him.
When the trash unit first appeared earlier this week on the riverbank, it had a very open, seemingly prestigious spot pretty much all to itself along the riverbank with the mural of Portsmouth entertainers on the flood wall behind it. Unfortunately, with the arrival of River Days vendors, someone moved the trash receptacle to a far less visible location, tucked in between two concession stands.
The Times is willing to concede the need for concessionaires to move the waste receptacle in order to make room for additional stands which represent their livelihoods and will supply food and munchies to hopefully large crowds on the riverbank this weekend and Monday. However, the Times also is hopeful River Days visitors – and most especially loyal OSU fans – will seek out the unique receptacle sitting among the concession stands to the right of the River Days stage when facing the flood wall.
And one more thing: O-H-I-O
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370-0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.