There is no question about this topic: dotting the "i" is superior to any fight song. It is unique, steeped in tradition, and the best part of the Ohio State football experience, outside of the games themselves. The Michigan fight song is just that: a fight song.
"Hail to the Victors" may be a good fight song. It may even be a great fight song, as some have argued (though I personally hate it and find it more annoying than Fran Drescher and Gilbert Gottfried performing a duet version of "My Heart Will Go On"). However, it is still just a fight song, not all that different from the rest in its essential message: "Go team, win the game, we rock, hooray!" Every school in America has a song saying something similar. Script Ohio and the dotting of the "i" are unique to Ohio State. It is as recognizable a tradition as any in college football.
The dotting of the "i" is a more significant event than the playing of "Hail to the Victors." The Michigan fight song, like every other fight song, is played repeatedly throughout the game. If you miss one performance earlier in the game, you'll get another later on (and then again, and again, and again. . .). Script Ohio is only performed a handful of times each year. It is not uncommon to hear an Ohio State fan say something along the lines of "Hurry, we have to get to our seats before Script Ohio starts." Tell me, Michigan fans: when's the last time you were worried about missing a performance of "Hail to the Victors"?
As important as the dotting of the "i" is to Ohio State fans, it is much more important to the people that are actually doing it. For sousaphone players in the OSU Marching Band, it is the culmination of four years of hard work. Many have called in one of the greatest experiences in their lives. Is singing "Hail to the Victors" even the greatest part of game day for Michigan fans? I don't know, but I'm guessing not.
For honorary "i" dotters, the experience is even more special, because there have only been five of them. It's an elite group whose members include one of the greatest golfers ever (Jack Nicklaus), one of the greatest entertainers ever (Bob Hope), and one of the greatest coaches ever (Woody Hayes). It's a group that's next to impossible to join. It's much less of a privilege to sing "Hail to the Victors"; 107,000 people do it at every Michigan home game (unless it's after halftime, in which case many of them have already left).
To sum everything up, dotting the "i" is an honor, a tradition, and one of the most unique events in college football. The Michigan fight song is just a song. Is there really any question which is better?
There is no debate. Michigan and Notre Dame are #1 and #2 all-time in wins, #1 and #2 all-time in winning percentage, and have the #1 and #2 fight songs. And while the polling of the college football fanbase shows as much, the real proof is given to me each and every time I travel to an away game as a Michigan fan. Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery, and from Illinois to Penn State, from Michigan State to Wisconsin...they all have there own version of The Victors with alternate, offensive lyrics. And as they fit the new words in, they do it perfectly to the notes of the original, proving that they too, know The Victors. My simple response to those who mock: "I would like to make up new words to your fight song...but I donít know your fight song."
The Victors is one of the most recognizable pieces of music in American history. John Philip Sousa called it "the greatest fight song ever written." And it was written over 30 years before anyone ever dotted the 'I'. But fortunately for Michigan, this debate is win-win. Because not only did Michigan Marching Band invent "The Victors," they also were the first to perform "Script Ohio." Thatís right. We invented your march Buckeyes. Performed by the Michigan marching band in 1932, the Ohio State marching band copied it starting in 1936.