Monday, June 27, 2011

Waste My Hate

I try to write from an objective point of view. I try to look at the facts, good or bad as they may be for my vested rooting interest, and make educated comments and provoke thoughts among my readers as to the who, what, where, when and why of such a situation occurred. I try to make you see my point of view, but not by jamming it down your throat or trying to bully. And, hard as it may be, I never want to write from of a point of anger. But sometimes it just happens, and things like this get written.

As with most Northeastern Ohioans, my summer allegiance falls to the Cleveland Indians. In my youth, the team was a mess. A pure calamity. The laughingstock. In the mid 90's, something changed. Coinciding with the opening of a new ballpark and new ownership, my baseball team, yes that major league baseball team, the team so consistently terrible they made a movie about them winning, that's how far fetched an idea it was, was actually making moves and looking good. We all remember the mid-late 90's and the first few years of the 2000's. Close but no cigar. Typical Cleveland crushing defeats at the pinnacle moments. But, through it all, you can't blame the effort or the front office being willing to go the extra mile or spend the extra dollar to try and get over that hump.

Then suddenly for a few years it was back to below .500 summers, empty seats at the yard and scalpers giving away tickets. After nearly breaking out in the year before, the 07 team kicked in the door, crushed the division and steamrolled into the playoffs. That season would end with me sitting stunned, again, as my guys lost game 7 in Fenway Park during the American League Championship Series. One win shy of the World Series.

This season, despite preseason talk of "hoping for a .500 team" and prognosticators predicting an all but assured last place finish, the Erie Warriors jumped out to a 30-15 record and first place in the Central Division. Even as I write this, after being swept by the world champion San Francisco Giants over the weekend, they sit a mere half game behind Detroit in the Central pennant race. So why am I not optimistic and excited for a summer run that should leave us tuning in to our radios and checking scoreboards all season long? Maybe it's because Bobby Valentine's comments during the ESPN broadcast Sunday night ring true to me: The Indians look like a team that is going to be content playing out the string and seeing what they have, getting ready for next season.

Of course, and I hate to keep going back to this, but maybe it has to do with that 07 team again. Jog back a few years and make a stop in July 2007. The Indians were solidly set on the hill with CC, Fausto emerging, Jake Wesbrook and Paul Byrd. All that was missing was a bat in the lineup to protect Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. And not just a stick, they needed a bat, someone who came to the plate with dinger potential. They needed Adam Dunn or Jason Bay. Both were available.

I remember being at work and the text messages started rolling in. "Indians made a trade!" and "Indians made some kind of move!" and "World Series!" In my state of pure excitement, I clicked on to the internet, searched around to see who had the story first, and there it was on The Indians had done it... they acquired 40 year old Kenny Lofton to help with the playoff push. What about Dunn? When is the Jason Bay announcement? Kenny Lofton... as if it were 1995 all over again.

To his defense, Lofton performed like a champion. He mentored the young guys, made plays on the basepaths, he looked good for 40 years old! It's no slight to Kenny, but he just was not what the team needed to get that coveted World Series ring... but damn if he didn't try! And I still owe Joel Skinner a shot in the jaw for holding Lofton up at third during game 7 in Boston... talk about stupid.

I guess my anger, actually there is no guessing, it is full on anger, is that the Indians are a half game out of first and I can't see them doing anything about trying to get back into first and making waves in the playoffs short of promoting some farm players. And what really gets me boiling is the excuses I hear from other fans. "They can't trade top prospects, they have to think about the future. The idea is to build a team that wins now and in the future." Alright, listen, maybe you're not keeping up with the score here, but how about we win A championship before we start planning out our dynasty?! You know, a championship, that thing that has eluded us since 1964!

I understand the business aspects and the "can't trade away guys without getting real value" point of view. And I'm in no way saying Chris Antonetti and Mark Shapiro should go off like drunk pirates and offer the farm for anyone who's ever sniffed a batting title or been to an All-Star game. You of course have to be responsible and make what, in your best estimation, are the right moves. I get that. However, you have to make some moves, or you're just throwing in the towel.

And all this talk of people saying "well, we weren't supposed to be very good anyway, so let's be glad they'll be at or above .500 and look to next year", will you people please raise the bar on your expectations a little bit! Please?! If the Indians were ten games under .500 right now and starting to come on a little, sure I'd agree with you, let's hope for the best and look to next year. Except they're not. They're a half game out of first. As in first place. As in a playoff spot. As in getting into the big tournament that leads to the World Series. And it doesn't matter how they got here, or where they were supposed to be. The fact is, they're here! Carpe diem, seize the day! Got get it!

But I know nothing will happen. I heard Bruce Drennen today talking about Vlad Gurerro and all I could do was shake my head. As much as I agree with him, that Vlad would be awesome to rent for a few months and stick in right field, never mind it would probably not cost very much to get him, they simply are not going to do it. Nope. They're going to bring up Lonnie Chisenhall and Jeanmar Gomez. They're going to toss words around like "young" and "experienced" and "toughness" to get us all thinking this offseason will produce shrewd maneuvering and next year will be the year. And then they will do what they did in the offseason in 2007 going into 2008 to help get that team back into the playoffs and this time win it all... they'll do absolutely nothing.

Chris Antonetti, Mark Shapiro, please prove me wrong. Nothing will make me happier than to write about how I was way off on what the Indians front office would do when faced with serious personnel questions being a half game out of first a week away from the Fourth of July. Please.

Cavs Draft

I'm not sure if any of my Twtter followers could tell, but I was not in favor of drafting Jonas Valucuaninanisiunus at number 4. I was fine with Irving at 1, but in no way was I willing to sit by idly and watch them draft a 7' tall stick-figure from Lithuania who may or not be able to play in the NBA both contractually and based on skill-set. If they took Jonas, much to the fear of my Twitter followers who would have had to experience it live, I'd have shot myself in the face in protest. Luckily it didn't happen and the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson out of Texas at number 4... my face thanks you, Tristan, for being such a quality player and having Chris Grant think so highly of you.

As for the picks themselves:

As I wrote last week, Kyrie Irving was the pick at number 1. Most people felt it would be, though some thought it could very well be Arizona's Derrick Williams. As it turns out, hearing Chris Grant say that they had Irving as the clear cut number one, and that it wasn't even close, gave me an odd sense of comfort. I railed for Derrick Williams for weeks, I still love his game. But if Chris Grant, and especially Byron Scott, see something in Irving that not only makes him the number 1 but the clear cut head and shoulders above number one, then I have to go with that too. I'm no NBA expert. They are, or are at least supposed to be, or at the very least are paid like it. So, Kyrie, you the man!

It's a shame that the only thing people want to talk about regarding Tristan Thompson is his agent Rich Paul and his affiliation with LRMR. Granted, not the smartest group of people to try and "talk up" in your first "new home town" press conference. But, let's face it, a lot of guys are represented by these clowns. Should the Cavs now and forever avoid LRMR clients? All Tristan needs to do is produce on the court and nobody will care who he has for representation.

The drafting of Thompson leads me to believe one thing: JJ Hickson's days as a Cavalier a short.

Buckeyes talk

Tomorrow, in a bit of a shocker, for the first time since Jim Tressel was forced out err resigned, players will be available to speak to the media. Joe Bauserman, Nate Oliver, Michael Brewster and John Simon are the players selected, and if I were taking an early poll I'd bet most say these four will be captains this fall. It should be very interesting. We can also infer that with John Simon being one of the four, he must have been cleared of any of the wrongdoing that he was accused of by one George Dohrmann in Sports illustrated.

Luke Fickell will be on the Dan Patrick radio show at 10:30 eastern tomorrow 6/28.

Metallica track of the week
"No Leaf Clover" as it states "then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, was just a freight train coming your way" Keep running that mouth Flounder. Nothing you and your boys or the fans are saying will be forgotten on November 26th.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do the eyes deceive?

Even before the departure of Terrelle Pryor, one of the big (if not the biggest) stories going into this preseason is who will take the reigns and become the next Buckeye quarterback? Talking about quarterbacks brings heated debate among football fans, and perhaps no debate is more spirited than when it comes to the ability of someone to evaluate talent and make a selection on who to get behind and root for. We've seen it a lot at Ohio State, even recently: Steve Bellisari or Austin Moherman, Craig Krenzel or Scott McMullen, Troy Smith or Justin Zwick to Pryor or Todd Boeckman.

This year the Buckeyes field four potential candidates in Kenny Guiton, Joe Bauserman, Braxton Miller and Taylor Graham. If you listen to the national pundits, it's Bauserman or Miller, with a lean toward Miller getting the nod roughly mid season, since the "experts" don't want to go out on a limb and say "start the freshman". They'd rather leave that for Luke Fickell to do and them to second guess and criticize.

It would be easy to say Braxton Miller is the most athletic and can be dangerous with his legs and his arms, based solely off his high school game footage. He also comes in as the "blue chip" recruit. However, you could probably make a pretty strong case that Kenny Guiton can be as effective with his feet as Miller, and he has been in the system and knows the ropes a little better. Taylor Graham, I thought, threw some fantastic balls in the spring game and looks to be the a stand in the pocket and be a "gun slinger" type utilizing all the weapons the offense has to offer. Graham also has the pedigree with his dad being former Buckeye signal caller Kent Graham. And then there's Joe Bauserman, who has the most practice reps, by a mile, over the other candidates. Joe brings a small sample of actual game experience, along with him having been around the block, so to say, playing minor league baseball. Attributes we hope can lead us to believe that acquired experience and maturity would be a big plus to his advantage.

All of that being said is what drives me nuts about this debate. Short of the spring scrimmage and a few spot snaps for Bauserman, we have no idea what any of these kids can do under the bright lights on a Saturday. Thank you, God, for giving us Akron and Toledo to work out some bugs in the first two weeks.

Who's my money on? Ok, for whatever it's worth, here goes nothing: I think you know what you're getting with Joe Bauserman. He's (hopefully) a guy that can stabilize the offense, get the ball into the hands of the loaded running back group, make some plays when you absolutely need him to. Conversely, he's likely be the cause of the offense to turn it over, in one form or another, at an average of at least one per game. Then you've got Braxton Miller, the young buck chomping at the bit to get in their and flex his muscles. If we all can agree that based on his recruitment and scout opinions he is the future, the only question then becomes "when?" Taylor Graham will need to play head and shoulders above Miller to get the spot before him. Why? Miller's recruitment. While they aren't going to let Miller fall on his face and look foolish if he isn't ready, they also aren't going to sit a five star recruit unless someone is clearly outplaying him. Because remember, other five star recruits are watching. And Kenny Guiton, poor Kenny Guiton, is going to have to "huck it, chuck it, football!" like Mike Vick to get a serious look. It just is what is for Kenny Guiton.

Cavs and Kyrie

I've come to terms with the reality that Thursday night the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to call the name of Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the first pick in the NBA draft. I've read as much as I can possibly find time for on him, watched youtube highlight reels and scouting videos, I'm believing the hype that the kid should be a difference maker. So why then am I still getting an upset stomach thinking about the Cavs passing on Arizona's Derrick Williams? I'll tell you why, we've seen him play! I can be told by as many scouts and talent evaluators all day long about how Kyrie Irving is the next Chris Paul etc, the fact is I've seen a lot of Derrick Williams and not a lot of Kyrie Irving.

In many ways, it compares to the Ohio State quarterback situation. Coming into the NBA, both of these guys futures are up in the air. They could hit and miss like when Derrick Rose-Michael Beasley or LeBron James-Darko Milicic went 1 and 2. They could wind up being the best number 1 and 2 picks from the same draft ever. Though I drew the parallel, the big difference between the Ohio State quarterback derby and the NBA number 1 draft pick is that their is no "we'll get'em next week" to try and fix things if you screw it up. And, maybe most importantly, the two candidates aren't unknowns in major competitive basketball. At least one for sure isn't. The other played eleven games. One guy spent over 2000 minutes on the floor over two seasons. The other guy just a hair over 300 minutes during one injury plagued season. While their stats may be near equal as it regards points per game, rebound and assists canceling each other out since they play different positions, Williams body of work is over a two year period. Kyrie's body of work is that one injury plagued season.

I guess my biggest fear is, what if the Irving-Williams draft mirrors the Greg Oden-Kevin Durant draft? Durant was a scoring machine, played a full season at Texas and was ready to move on. Oden, on the other hand, missed most of the season with an injury but was considered by experts to be the guy with the most upside, the "difference maker". The Portland Trail Blazers picked number one, ignored the on court body of work, took Oden and have been kicking themselves ever since. Just something to think about.

By the way: If you haven't seen any film or watched any of Derrick Williams games, please I implore you, the kid is a human highlight reel! Go find some and check it out!

Oregon and West Virginia

I said a while back that I was told that Oregon was next for the NCAA investigation and that it allegedly had to do with recruiting. Today, the story broke, check the story here What truly amazes me is the scandal involved, yet ESPN's College Football Live episode today doesn't even mention it. Second on their list of "lead stories"? Ejaun Price asking to be let out of his scholarship with Ohio State. And, absolutely no mention that he is the only incoming freshman not to report and ask out of his letter of intent. Instead, they gave only a grim "see, we told you they'd be losing players, guys jumping ship like it's the Titanic in Columbus!" tone to their voices discussing Ejaun and his apparent need to be near his cousin Dorian Bell at Pitt... which also wasn't mentioned.

And what in the world of burning couches went on at West Virginia last week?! To get you up to speed, Dana Holgorson was brought in to be the offensive coordinator for 2011 and assume the head coaching responsibilities in 2012 when Bill Stewart was slated to retire. Problem is, Dana has a wee little bit of a drinking/partying/staying out late and getting into trouble problem. Let's just say he listens to his music while watching television (if you don't get that Talladega Nights reference, I can't help you and you have bigger issues, probably need a therapist). So, apparently not too keen that his replacement has already been selected and the AD has packed his bags already for him, Bill Stewart decided he'd call a Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter and "confidentially" tell him to look into Holgorson's private life, since it's not exactly on the up and up. Well, if there's one thing we know about Pittsburgh people, they simply cannot keep their mouths shut. It's impossible. So Mr. Yinzer Gazette decides to start looking into Holgorson, then blabs that it was Stewart who told him to do so! Needless to say, Bill Stewart was fired and Dana Holgorson is assuming head coaching duties effective immediately. But now his reputation is tarnished before he even really gets started since everyone knows the guy still thinks he lives in a frat house!

The whole thing is completely surreal.

Special thanks goes to Ben Nesselroad (twitter @Ben_Nesselroad) for the tips on the WVA story. When he first brought it to my attention about three weeks ago, it looked like a potential scandal involving a litany of people, the least of them being Bill Stewart. Who would have thought he was the guy feeding the information.


Real quick shout out to the Indians for sweeping Pittsburgh over the weekend!!! I don't care if it's football, baseball, high jump or marbles... BEAT PITTSBURGH!

Metallica song of the week
"Ride the Lightning"
You can play the whole album or just the title track. The title track falls comfortably into my all-time top 5 of 'tallica tracks. Do yourself a favor, go to youtube and search "Metallica Ride the Lightning live Mexico City" and turn the volume up to 11.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nervous? Sanctions? LeBron lost?

Ok, I'll admit it, Luke Fickell looked a wee little bit nervous today during his introductory press conference. Not that I can blame him, especially considering how him taking "the big chair" came about. But really, who among us wouldn't be a bit nervous given that same situation?

Put yourself in Fickell's shoes for a moment. Think back to something that you truly loved as a child. Something that you aspired to be a part of since your earliest childhood memories. Throw in the fact that the dream lives in your backyard, literally, as you grow up mere miles from where it all takes place. Every day, even when you don't want it to be, it's there, teasing you. Imagine in high school you realize that dream and have said dream come to you and offer to have you take part in it on their dime.

Imagine, if you will, after giving your heart and soul to that dream, when it concludes you establish a new goal. Except this goal is to fulfill a bigger purpose. This goal is to give back to the institution (or in your case, maybe, profession) that as a kid you dreamed about and longed to be a part of. You start working your way up the ladder toward reaching the ultimate goal, the seat at the head of the table. Imagine your working hard and feel like you're on the cusp of being ready... when suddenly it's thrown into your lap without warning, and everyone turns their heads collectively and looks to you to be its savior. That's Luke Fickell these days.

Can't blame him for feeling a little jittery on the stage today.

What do we know?

First question is, what do we know about Luke Fickell? For starters we know he's going to work hard. Nobody starts 50 games at nose tackle in the Big Ten, quickly rises through the coaching ranks in the competitive world that is college football that isn't a hard worker.

We know he's got fire. I stand by my assertion a few years back that the difference in the Laurinaitis led defenses and the changeover to Ross Homan/Brian Rolle led defenses was the move made that put Luke Fickell back on the sideline and Jim Heacock into the press box. The attitude changed. The intensity on the field and camaraderie seemed to be back after disappearing (or at least getting stale) for a few seasons after the Hawk-Carpenter-Schlegel trio left campus. The Silver Bullets clearly had their mojo back back, and it just so happened to coincide with Luke returning to the field.

We know he's a Buckeye through and through. Columbus kid, Buckeye starter for four years, Buckeye assistant coach, married and raising his family in Columbus. And that should mean and count for something. It does to me. I like knowing that if my team falls, the head coach is going to take it harder than me. You don't always see that in sports, especially when it comes to professional players.

Though many will say Fickell is set up to fail, I feel differently. Only time will tell, but I can see Luke making things really difficult on the search committee when looking for Jim Tressel's full time replacement. Their is talent on the roster, loads of it. Their is determination and a sense of "us against the world" that can drive people (especially young people) to incredible heights. I can make a strong case, and will in future writings, on how I can see the 2011 Buckeyes starting the season 5-0 heading to Lincoln, Nebraska for a good old fashioned showdown at an historic venue in a match-up 55 years in the making. Think TNT knows drama? They got nothing on that!


So, did you hear that the Buckeyes are going to get a 6 year bowl ban and lose 83 scholarships? Or did you hear that they are going to get a 4 year bowl ban, but still be allowed to play in the Big Ten title game IF it falls on an even numbered date? Maybe you heard about the more tame ruling of a two year bowl ban and the loss of some scholarships but vacate the 54 title since those guys are getting up there in age anyway? Regardless of what you have heard or who may be telling you, nobody has any idea what the sanctions are going to be after the hearing. Nobody.

Let's make this clear: On August 12th, Ohio State and Jim Tressel will meet with the review board of the NCAA to discuss and answer to the findings by the NCAA's investigation. They will have the charges brought before them, be shown the evidence and have a chance to explain how or why it happened. When that hearing convenes, it will likely be a minimum of another month to six weeks before a ruling is announced on sanctions.

All we can do is go by is past precedence and try to make a guess at what the ruling may be. Come to think of it, that's all anyone can do. So these guys going on the radio and scaring you with comments like "The NCAA is going to come down much harder on Ohio State than it did USC!" are simply blowing hot air. Take that sentence right there, and I'll give you two good reason's why it's garbage: 1. Ohio State self reported, USC did not. In past cases, schools that self report are typically given lesser punishment. 2. Ohio State can claim it has done everything in its power to begin eliminating the "problems", starting with the removal of Jim Tressel, despite his resignation. That's right boys and girls, ol' JT may win one more for us by falling on the sword and taking all the blame in front of the committee. Was Peter Carroll around to do such a thing for USC?

If you take one thing with you tonight, make it this: Nobody has any inside tip or knowledge or access to what the ruling is going to be after the August 12th hearing. Anyone claiming to provide you with "inside knowledge" or "so and so who's so and so said" is merely a false prophet. Tell'em I said so, because their guess as to what will happen is just as good as mine.


Just when you think someone couldn't be any dumber or ignorant, they open their mouth and remove any doubt that it is indeed possible.

“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”

Mr. Quitter: As one of the people rooting for you to fail, let me just say that your comment provides no shock or sting to my psyche. I'll continue to work harder and longer than necessary at my job to earn my paycheck. Will you? I'm sure you'll continue the same selfish lifestyle you've grown accustomed to, off of the money that those people with "real lives" spent on you. Yep, I have the same personal problems today that I had yesterday and will have tomorrow. But, ironically, so do you... you still have no ring.

You stay classy, LeBron.

Metallica track of the day/week/whenever
In keeping with the LeBron theme, I'd likely suggest "King Nothing". However, that's too easy, so what about "Waste My Hate", since we've all wasted a lot of hate and anger toward a guy who could truly care less about any of us? Forget them both! Todays recommended Metallica selection is "Holier Than Thou". The line "Point the finger, slow to understand. Arrogance and ignorance go hand and hand" amongst many lines in that track, sum up LeBron quite well.

"It's not you are it's who you know
Others lives are the basis of your own
Burn your bridges and build them back with wealth
Judge not l'est ye be judged yourself"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2 Down...

Yesterday Terrelle Pryor (through his lawyer) announced he is leaving The Ohio State University. Amongst what I'm sure is a plethora of reasons, the one that sticks out and was made mention by him was "for the good of the team". I'm not sure how losing a 2x BCS game MVP helps the team, but with all the turmoil surrounding him, and the news of more investigations, I can see where he's coming from. Stepping aside, taking the heat with him and letting the team try to concentrate on football seems like the right thing to do. Isn't it?

Naturally, the second it was announced he was leaving, the social media world and national sports network talking heads blew up with various types of reactions, ranging from sentiment to pure elation to schadenfreude. Most of it, especially when it is all lumped together, can begin to make your head spin. I know mine was yesterday. It was then I decided I'd walk away, gather my thoughts and put them down on paper err blog tonight.

The Pryor Legacy

One of the more intriguing questions being asked last night was what type of legacy does Pryor leave now that his college career is over? Do you remember just on the field actions? Is his name forever mud in Buckeye Nation? Thinking about it today, I decided for me, Pryor's legacy falls into three category's: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Cue Ennioe Morricone's "Ecstasy Of Gold" and let's head out to the wild west! (yes, that was cheese at it's finest!)

The Good

Fourth and ten, season on the line at Iowa, Pryor takes the snap, scrambles all over and finally runs for the first down in one of the most breathtaking plays of the season. It was something we had become accustomed to, Pryor bailing us out with his legs.

So many other "moments" instantly pop up. His masterful performance against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Through the turmoil leading the charge in the Super Dome against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. Miami at home. The PSU students wearing anti-Pryor t-shirts, a "white out" and a resulting beatdown on the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley. Three times against Michigan. playing wide receiver and helping nearly pull off what would have been a miracle win over Texas (who could strongly argue they deserved to be in the title game over Oklahoma) in the Fiesta Bowl. Remember his sophomore year early in the season seeking out linebackers to drop a shoulder into before going out of bounds? Maybe you forgot his game winning drive in Madison that same year to beat thee Badgers? Yes, Terrelle, we had a lot of fun.

The Bad

For me, that throwing motion has always been a cause for concern. His 11 interceptions last year (22 combined over his sophomore and junior years) also leaves a lot to be desired. Accuracy has always been an issue. Who could forget Dane Sanzenbacher making circus catches on obviously terrible throws. Even with everything mentioned, I still feel the good on the field far outweighed the bad.

Which leaves...

The Ugly

Where do we begin? We could start with the Mike Vick eye black and roll right into his defense of LeBron James. Not exactly high character (though Vick has served his punishment and is allegedly a changed man, and to be fair, why should a kid from PA playing football in Columbus give a squat about people's feelings in Cleveland?) people to look up to. The verbal spat with Herbstreit (though he did have a point, when did Herbie beat Michigan?) And of course, tattoo-gate. Oh and the car thing. And... you all know the rest.


I find it funny to hear people say "Pryor was never a real Buckeye". Even former coach Earl Bruce said he never felt like Pryor was a real Buckeye. I don't understand that, especially as it pertains to his play. Think about this: Pryor was a Buckeye from day 1 of recruiting. That whole "I'm delaying my announcement" thing in high school was nothing more than an opportunity for him to buy time until after the basketball playoffs ended. Be honest, would you want to select Ohio State over Penn State and then spend three weeks traveling the state trying to win a basketball title in front of people who want to rip your head off? I applauded the move. Dare I say it, but he has a "Block O" tattoo on his arm that he got when he first arrived at campus. He always spent time (until told not to by the athletic office) signing items for fans. He interacted with us on Twitter. He always mentioned Buckeye Nation and being proud to be a part of it. The guy played hurt. I understand what he did was wrong and against the rules. It was also selfish and to an extent juvenile. But to say that in his time here he wasn't fully committed to the fans and the football program is ludicrous!

However, there is more to it than branding a symbol on your arm and talking the talk. And in that regard, I completely understand what Coach Bruce is saying. There is the other side to the "real Buckeye" coin, and it has nothing to do with touchdowns or passing yards. Craig Krenzel said it yesterday "It's not just play on the field that makes you a true Buckeye".

I happen to fully agree with Craig. I want my Buckeyes to be more than just great athletes and winners on the field. I want them to be winners at life and be the type of people that help bring those around them up to their level. And in that ideal, Terrelle Pryor falls short. However I do not feel he should be cast out or shunned. Terrelle Pryor is a 21 year old kid who has made some serious mistakes. Think he doesn't know it? Think he isn't learning the hardest lesson of all, having it all taken away from him. Sure, its from his own doing, nobody to blame but himself. The kid needs guidance. He needs his family. A little encouragement from us that he can make the changes he needs to make in life wouldn't hurt.

And so finally, what is TP's ultimate legacy at Ohio State? Honest answer, I don't think it will be determined for many years. Look no farther than Maurice Clarett for an example. Here's a kid we all loved, then he turned his back on us and admitted to lying for revenge over his dismissal and ultimately wound up in prison. Today on the Dan Patrick Show, Clarett (though he speaks a little too fast) has made it clear he has turned completely 180. And if you've followed his rehab at all, you know today's interview with Dan Patrick wasn't just lip service. Clarett can now admit his faults and owns his mistakes. And I think in time his growing up and making things right will allow him to be remembered more for stripping Sean Taylor of the ball in the championship game and ultimately scoring the winning touchdown than jumping people for money outside a club in an alley. Yes, it's true Clarett's indiscretions did not cost the program what Pryor's are about to. I'm simply drawing a comparison, not saying the two are equal cases. My point is if Clarett can rebuild his image in the eyes of Buckeye fans, certainly we can at some point welcome back Terrelle Pryor. At that time, we can discuss a legacy.

Metallica track of the day/week/whatever time

"Seek And Destroy" which is what our boys are going to do this fall. Take near professional level athletes, some superior, and spend 10 months telling them that their program is a joke, everything they believe in is garbage and that now they are going to fall into a tailspin, backing them into a corner... watch the reaction. Shock the world.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who's next?

This afternoon the BCS decided to strip USC of it's 2004 championship. The BCS also plans to use one of those Men In Black flashy thingies to erase our minds of the beating USC put on Oklahoma that night, otherwise we'll never forget it. I know the 2010 season is going to be "taken away" from Ohio State. And if that's the big punishment they want to inflict, sign me up! I'm of the mindset that removing wins from a program or team is not punishment. So they have to take down banners and can't sell t-shirts anymore... whoopie! It doesn't change what happened on the field. The memory is what matters. USC fans who were in the Orange Bowl that night, or watching in bars or homes across the country, nothing is going to take away the memory they have of whipping Oklahoma and holding up the crystal ball. Good for them.


On my twitter page (@ScriptOhio) last week, I let fly something I had been told accidentally in private. I begged the person who slipped to let me tell my followers what I had heard, and provided I don't reveal him, he reluctantly agreed. Here's what I know and ALL I know:

- A friend (maybe acquaintance is a better word) has some friends in some very high places. Some people he has been friends with for over thirty years. When he visits these friends, and they discuss things they are hearing may happen, these things happen 99 out of 100 times. If I told you the source of the Oregon comment, you'd would not question it. If it hadn't came from this person, I would have never said it.

- Some may be asking "But Script, what did you hear or what did they say? I can't tweet all day like you. I have a job that is fulfilling that I enjoy, unlike you." I was told, verbatim, "Oregon is next. It's supposed to come out in the next week or so. Supposedly, what these guys are doing makes us (Ohio State) look like child's play." And that's it. Finito. Because I said "Oregon! Why... Wha... But..." and it was met with "I should have never let that slip! Shut your mouth!" I swear to you all, especially the Oregon fans, that's all I got!

- For whatever it's worth, an Oregon writer told me on twitter that he had heard rumblings of Oregon being next. Enter Justin Hopkins of (@JHopkins247) who told an Oregon fan when asked if he had heard about my comments "I have and from my sources i'm hearing it would be an ABSOLUTE shock to Oregon if true. Never know though." He also added this "think about this: Eugene is tiny, public would notice nice cars or big spending by any Oregon athletes way b4 NCAA IMO". I've read some of Hopkins stuff, he does nice work. He also seems like a pretty forward "no nonsense" kind of guy. I base that comment on him saying he hopes Oregon is punished if the allegations he has heard are true.

Let me be 100% clear, Justin Hopkins DID NOT CONFIRM THE RUMOR, just that there IS a rumor being spread. PLEASE make that known, he is not confirming the rumor, just that there is a rumor circulating.

- ::The following is completely rumor!:: Because I haven't heard factual details, doesn't mean that I haven't heard rumors. Today I was told that the word out there is that Oregon boosters and Nike are paying "recruiters" to bring in top talent. Basically, these guys are sent to do the old school "how much ya need to think about coming up to Eugene?" I was also told that the campus is a "pawn shop." All those special Nike uniforms they get? Guess where they are allegedly going? Again, this part is all completely rumor and stuff being passed around by "people in the know." How much is true, time will tell. It could be 100% accurate, it could be 100% garbage.

For clarification, let me say this one last time: I have NOTHING against the University of Oregon, the Duck football program or any of its players. I have only disliked the Oregon football program for all of about 4 hours in my life. (Wanna guess when?) They've always seemed to me to be a program that does it the right way with classy fans. I hope that remains true. I wouldn't wish the scrutiny Ohio State has been under since December of 2010 on anyone... except UM!

Who else?

There's stuff floating out there about everyone. Name your program and there is some dirt being discussed. Auburn is a name that comes up a lot. West Virginia has a story that is on the verge of exploding regarding their coach in waiting and current head coach. Texas seems pretty safe. Good for them.

The same person who told the alleged details of the alleged Oregon story also said this: Due to the holes George Dohrman's Sports Illustrated article, the NCAA is running scared on two fronts. 1. They don't want to wrongfully accuse anyone, or investigate a campus that is (for all intents and purposes) clean. 2. They are afraid that if other schools are looked into as hard and by as many people as Ohio State was, the entire top 25 might be facing punishment. I've said it all along and stand by it to this moment, no program in America could withstand the scrutiny and in-depth investigation that went on at Ohio State. Nobody.

Before some of you start squawking, no that doesn't it make it right. It doesn't in any way exonerate Ohio State from it's crimes against NCAA jurisdiction. It does, however, lead me be to able to draw one big conclusion: Careful what you say and who you bag on, cause if they can get us, they can get you! One minute you're running you trap having a big belly laugh at the Buckeyes and the very next you're in the NCAA's (or whatever media outlet decides it doesn't like you) cross-hairs! What was that you were about to say? I'd think better of it Mr. Glasshouse.

Dohrman and Hooley

It's hard to believe George Dohrman has a Pulitzer. It's not hard to believe that a clown like Bruce Hooley would take his "Martyr 2.0 I Told You I Was Right" tour on every outlet in America that would have him to defend Dohrman's story.

What have we learned about the SI article? Well, according to 97.1 The Fan in Columbus' Scott Torgeson, 9 of the "new" players accused have been found to have no involvement. Three of those players, Storm Klein, John Simon and Nathan Williams, parents are exploring their ability to file lawsuits for slander and defamation of character. The "sources" are one of the tattoo shop owners, someone named "Ellis" and some anonymous drug dealers. Now, we have the tattoo shop owner saying he was misquoted and that he may also be taking legal action. So we are left with anonymous drug dealers and "Ellis" as Dohrman's sources. I'll just say this, if you're doubting me about the validity of the person who told me Oregon is next, then you MUST believe Dohrman's article is a load of waste. But I digress... back to Hooley. Now that we've established these "sources" to be jokes, guess who went on every show in America and said, and I quote "The SI article is well sourced and extremely credible." I'm just going to end this section on that. There's nothing else to say about it.

I've got an entire blog I can write on the bitterness that is Bruce Hooley one of these days. Like how he doesn't understand that he was fired from The Fan 97.1 not because of his anti-Tressel opinion, but because of the way he presented it. Like how he doesn't understand you can't speak to adults like the dog that pooped on the rug, and then try to rub their nose in it. You get fired for that kind of stuff. Anyways, that's another day and another blog... maybe I'll open up my week long email conversation with Bruce where he clearly shows he's lost touch with reality. Maybe...

Metallica track of the week
"The Memory Remains" to all the USC fans who had their 04 BCS title stripped from them today. Soon we'll be singing it about the 2010 season.