Tattoos are Forever, Kids

Tattoos are Forever, Kids

Submitted by Six Zero on May 31st, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Feeling a little philosophical this morning, my friends.  I've been thinking all day about all of this whole mess over there in Columbus, and how the meltdown is deserved and how it will affect the Brady Hoke era.  But then I got to thinking about life, and young men, and the choices I make.

And I got to thinking about Terrelle Pryor.  I remember sitting in bed sick as a dog on National Signing Day, waiting for the first victory in the rivalry by Rich Rodgriguez, only to be blown off by an eighteen-ish year old kid several hours away from me.  And even then, as I sat hoping he would choose a block M hat somehwere, I began to dislike him.

But throughout all of this, he is just a young man, making choices.  We've recently seen in our own camp how the choices of a young man can and will crush his dreams, and you can all speculate about who I am referring to.  But these choices affect us only until their position is filled by another athlete.  But for the student-- the kid-- it will affect much more.

Hey, look at my ink, son

Ten, twenty years from now, Terrelle Pryor (and probably each of the rest of his Tat-gate posse) will wake up.  He will scramble out of bed, perhaps a bit slowly as a result of a few, or even several, years in the National Football League.  I will not speculate on the quality of his home, or perhaps who might be lying beside him in that bed.  But he will wake up and have to pee.

And so Terrelle will go into the bathroom, a pale shadow of the athlete he once was.  He will turn on the light, and look in the mirror.  He'll stare into his own eyes, at peace with the choices he's made.  He will be able to sleep at night, and he'll have made peace with himself, and the media, and the fans of the school that he may not have graduated from, but he played football at.  He'll be okay with the tremendous scrutiny he suffered as he moved onto the world of professional sports, and all of the decisions both smart and poor he will have made with the resulting payoff.  He will have moved on with his life.

But then, he'll see them.

Right there, as he reaches for the toothbrush, he'll see those damn tattoos.  No matter where he goes in life, and no matter what he does with his God-given talents, those tattoos will follow him to the farthest reaches of the earth.  Those permanently inked stains of skin, up to and including that iconic Block "O" that symbolizes the very school he painfully severed ties with (and perhaps later sold down the river in a tantalizing ESPN the Magazine tell-all), will be there looking back at him.  When he gets married, they will be beneath his suit.  When he cradles his firstborn son, they will be there in the pictures.  When he reaches out in forgiveness or humility, they will be there.  They will remain as permanent and all-encompassing stamps of his life.

And no matter where he goes, or what he does for the rest of his days on the great green Earth, he will be defined by them.

Life is about decisions, kids.  And decisions are about the rest of your life.

Character Issues: Tressel, Carr & RR

Character Issues: Tressel, Carr & RR

Submitted by StephenRKass on May 31st, 2011 at 11:27 AM

One thing I have read about in some of the articles is the disconnect between Tressel's behavior (win at all costs, cheat, look the other way, etc.) and his "senatorial" demeanor and "molder of young men" meme with his players. Even today, over on the OSU boards, there are quite a few defenders of Tressel being "a good man" who got the shaft. It is clear that many in Buckeye Nation are in denial.

Having said that, Tressel really set himself up for failure. Publishing a book on life lessons and pontificating while at the same time, looking the other way and being willfully ignorant about his own players shows a monumental failure in judgement.

This failure on Tressel's part also reminds me how appreciative I was of Carr. For all of Carr's failings, his reputation will never be tarnished like Tressel's. Think about it:  Carr was voted a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Tressel will never enter those doors unless he pays admission.

It also has caused me to reflect a bit on RR. I always thought he was a man of good character, but I guess I wonder now. This character and integrity thing is a pretty slippery slope. It is complicated. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't put up a few character posts written by me sometime in the last year or so.

Much has been made of Tressel's ability to mold character in players who had made questionable choices. I guess this can happen on occasion, but sometimes, you make trouble by recruiting guys with bad decision making skills.

You see this in pro sports, with the NFL and NBA putting a lot of time into figuring out the character issues of players they recruit. Someone can have all the talent in the world, but if their work habits and personal habits are no good, how far will you get?

My personal thought is that all of us need a healthy does of humility. The proud can fall at any time. I'm glad that we dodged several bullets, and hope that Michigan coaches quietly lead with integrity, in a way we all can be proud of.

How will Tressel Resignation affect Michigan Recruiting

How will Tressel Resignation affect Michigan Recruiting

Submitted by StephenRKass on May 31st, 2011 at 10:15 AM

A number of articles have speculated on how much the Tressel resignation will affect recruiting. Off the top of my head, I am immediately aware of the following having offers from both Michigan and OSU, and being individuals we have a legitimate shot at:

  • Adolphus Washington
  • Dwayne Stanford
  • Ondre Pipkins
  • Sheldon Day
  • Chris Wormley
  • Jordan Diamond

In addition, there are quite a few other offers out there from both Michigan and OSU.

  • Kwon Alexander
  • Jordan Simmons
  • Jarron Jones
  • Stefon Diggs
  • Tommy Schutt
  • Aaron Burbridge
  • Se'Von Pittman
  • Jordan Watkins
  • Tom Stroebel
  • Kyle Dodson

(I didn't even bother listing several LB prospects still listed as holding Michigan offers, given the four commits we already have.)

Lastly, there are verbal commits to OSU that we may want to now pursue:

  • Brionte Dunn
  • Kyle Kalis

With the addition of Gant today, scholarships at Michigan are getting tighter and tighter. Michigan appears to be in the running for a number of other great candidates.

How will the scandal in Columbus affect recruiting? In particular, are there any offered recruits from the state of Ohio that this really opens the door to for Michigan? We already have a solid class. This newest turn of events potentially improves things even more.

Memorial Day Recap: Wow

Memorial Day Recap: Wow

Submitted by orobs on May 31st, 2011 at 12:59 AM

Wow, so all in all, this has to be the most memorable day offseason day that I can ever remember, even more than the coaching searches because of all the pieces coming out throughout the day.

-Woke up to the news that Jim Tressel resigned.  I don't think there could be a more glorious way to wake up other than waking up to a blowjob. 
-Then, it came out that:

 1) Tress was forced to retire and

2) OSU wouldn't even bother searching for a coach until this entire season is over.  Needless to say, a bombshell was coming. 

- A lull for OSU news, but then some more awesome recruiting news with commit #14 on his way tomorrow
- Erik Magnuson (#34 player nationally on rivals) lists us as his favorite before even stepping foot on campus

-Urban Meyer says he's not interested in the job (at least for now)
- NCAA says they are launching an entirely separate investigation on Pryor
-Elevenwarriors reports that they have reliable sources saying Terrelle Pryor played his last game as a buckeye, leaving this guy as OSU's QB:


-Terelle Pryor rolls up in a brand new Nissan 350z with TEMP TAGS from May 24 to a team meeting.

-The article:  Now I know a lot of people were underwhelmed by it.  But let's rehash the key points.
-A Brand new source in Rose
-Memoribilia for tats went back to 2002
-Confirmed players involved in tatgate jumps from 6 to 28 (thats an increase of 366%)
-14 of the alleged players are active players
-Of the new 9, Dorian Bell (LB), Storm Klein (LB), John Simon (DT) and Nate Williams (DE) were likely starters this year
-Players were trading tattoos for weed (1 player traded memorabilia for a pound of weed....a pound is a lot of weed)
-Terrelle Pryor basically had free access to raid the equipment closet and trade it for whatever he wanted
...when asked why, pryor says: I get whatever I want
-Rose Bowl tickets were traded for a Tahoe

I'm sorry, but that is an AWESOME amount of information, and the NCAA is going to get more details about names, etc. than we did from Dohrmann.

Lets break down the losses one final time:
-Head coach: gone
-Star QB: probably gone (but still very much retarded)
-Four likely defensive starters: likely also gone for first 5 games next year

No, a prostitution ring or point shaving system was not exposed.  But holy crap, this guy singlehandedly pushed OSU over the edge to kick tressel to the curb and started a whole new investigation on Pryor.  Also, he made it MUCH harder for the NCAA to deny a "lack of institutional control.  Kudos to Dohrmann for making this the most exciting offseason day of my life.


Also, this happened:

Hector B. Tressel's luck with QBs runs out

Hector B. Tressel's luck with QBs runs out

Submitted by Nonnair on May 30th, 2011 at 10:55 PM

There was an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1961. At the outset, we are introduced to a Mr. Hector B. Poole — played by the original Durwood from Bewitched — who is on his way in to work when he tosses a coin into a newsie's cashbox. The coin stands on its end, and stays that way. Instantly, Mr. Hector B. Poole can hear everyone's unspoken thoughts. A loan manager at a bank, Poole that day saves the outlet from a disastrous loan default when he 'hears' a respected businessman tell himself he's going to take the ostensible business loan and go gambling with it. By workday's end, Poole 'hears' his boss's plans to meet up with his young squeeze on the side, and Poole shrewdly blackmails him into giving him a big promotion. After leaving the office triumphantly, Poole tosses another coin into the same newsie's cashbox — and knocks over the coin that had been on its edge all day. Hector B. Poole can no longer read minds.

"One time in a million, a coin will land on its edge," series creator and narrator Rod Serling says in the epilogue. "But all it takes to knock it over is a vagrant breeze, a vibration or a slight blow. Hector B. Poole — a human coin, on edge for a brief time ... in The Twilight Zone."

This classic episode came to mind at some point near the end of the Troy Smith years of the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State. Maybe it was during the first half of the 2006 showdown, when Smith was as by-god good as any college quarterback I'd ever seen. Again. For the third time. I think that was when it first occurred that Tressel's two best quarterbacks to that point — Craig Krenzel and Smith — were flukes. Neither got his big chance because Tressel figured he was the best quarterback at the start of his breakthrough season. Or, in Krenzel's case, even the second best.

But this incredible string of luck for Tressel didn't end there. Right up until the past couple of months, when it came to his quarterbacks, Tressel was Hector B. Poole. He threw a coin into the quarterback cashbox in November 2001, and it stood on its side for the next 10 years. To wit:
In Tressel's first year, 2001, all Buckeye fans were over-the-moon ecstatic after the autumn press conference at which the then most-heralded HS QB in Ohio history, Justin Zwick, announced he was Columbus bound. All Tressel and OSU had to do was get through the rest of the miserable 2001 season with inconsistent, mistake-prone senior Steve Bellisari at QB, then Zwick would take over in 2002 — because, the belief went, the cupboard was empty at QB after Bellisari. And this kid Zwick was as can't-miss as they come.
Some 10 days before the 2001 Michigan game, Bellisari was caught DUI on campus and suspended for the next two games. Scott McMullen, the backup, started the penultimate regular-season game against Illinois and was terrible. Clipboard-holidng 3rd stringer, Craig Krenzel, was given a chance as Illinois was blowing out the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. He fared a bit better. With Bellisari still suspended, Krenzel got the start the next week in Ann Arbor. We all know what happened then. Krenzel does his thing, is surprisingly efficient and accurate and avoids the big mistakes — ie, Tressel-ball — and a star is born. If Bellisari never had driven drunk, odds are Krenzel never does anything but hold a clipboard or motion in signals for the rest of his Ohio State football career.
Yet come fall 2002, many OSU fans still want the phenom Zwick to start right out of the gate, but Tressel finally goes with the junior Krenzel. We all know what happened in 2002. Krenzel plays solidly if not ever spectacularly, but is amazingly clutch at the right times, and the Bucks go 14-0 and win the national title.
Krenzel of course is QB for his senior year too in 2003, but gets outplayed by John Navarre in the big 100th Big One showdown in Ann Arbor.
Come fall 2004, Buckeye Nation anxiously awaits for the Zwick era to, at last, gloriously begin. One problem. He's terrible. He's big, lumbersome (6-4, 225), not very accurate and surprisingly weak-armed. Tressel, though, still thinks Zwick gives OSU the best chance to win in 2004. Zwick gets OSU off to a stumbling 3-3 start, including losses at Northwestern and an absolute blowout loss at night at Iowa. Buckeye Nation wolves are out, in force. Was 2002 just a one-season fluke? Is Tressel over his head? The Great God Tressel panics. With Zwick dinged up, Tressel decides to bench him come November, and installs a completely new offense late in the season, behind a new QB — a desperate
gamble to do such a thing late in the year, as observers of Michigan's defense the past three seasons can attest. Tressel replaces Zwick with little-known backup QB Troy Smith, who had been only an after-thought 3-star 'athlete' recruit in Zwick's 2002 class. Smith was so much an after-thought all through 2002 and 2003 that, with no chance of playing, he would admit later he was seldom focusing on football and was always getting into trouble, and indeed was out partying with Santonio Holmes in the night-club incident the week of the 2003 Michigan game, which compelled The Great Punisher Tressel to bench Holmes, his best offensive player, for an entire series (!) in Ann Arbor.
Back to Nov 2004. In his first start, Troy Smith looks good vs MSU (what QB didn't that year), but looks terrible in a loss at Purdue the next week. Now Michigan
, undefeated in conference play and 9-1 overall behind its over-achieving true-frosh QB Chad Henne, comes to Ohio State. We all know what happened next. Smith does the Denard Notre Dame 2010 thing in 2004, in 2005 and in 2006. Tressel and Ohio State grab the M-OSU series, Ohio recruiting and the entire Big Ten all by the jugular.
The coin was still on its side when, with Troy Smith finally gone, Todd Boeckman led Ohio State to the 2007 Big Ten showdown game in Ann Arbor, Carr's last game as head coach in Michigan Stadium.
Boeckman plays so awfully in the first half, Tressel is scared to throw at all in the second half. But because Michigan is so inept on offense, Tressel decides he can afford to play it as conservatively as Bo or Woody with a 4-point lead in 1973 and thus sits on a 7-3 lead with nothing but conservative running plays. It works. 14-3 final.

Then the Terrelle Pryor era, come 2008. And yet three more painful Michigan losses to Ohio State.

Think of what might have happened had Bellisari not driven drunk back in Nov 2001. He'd have got the nod at QB in Ann Arbor, when Michigan was playing for the outright BIg Ten title and Sugar Bowl berth (with the Rose rented out for the BCS title game). Bellisari would have probably done what he always did — mixed good plays with terrible ones, and as likely as not UM would have won and gone to the Sugar instead of Illinois, a team UM had crushed in September. It would have been Lloyd's fourth Big Ten title in five years. And Tressel would have been lampooned for having given his unfulfilled "you'll be especially proud in Ann Arbor" speech. What's more, the pressure to start Zwick at the beginning of the 2002 season would have been immense — especially after not having ever taken the clipboard out of Craig Krenzel's hands to see what he could do in real time. And with a true-frosh at QB in 2002, let alone one as mediocre as Zwick, there's no conceivable way that OSU would have won the Big Ten in 2002, let alone gone 14-0 and won the national title.
So, was Ohio State's great run through the Troy Smith years a result of great coaching, or incredibly great fortune? 

Until late last year, I'd been telling anyone who would listen for four years that Tressel had WAYYY overdrawn from the Bank of Good QB Fortune, and that a major correction just had — just had — to be around the corner soon. My friends, and I'm sure Brian, got tired of me saying it. I'd kind of forgotten about the whole thing until today. I wasn't expecting The Great Leveller to come in the form of NCAA rules-breaking shenanigans by Tressel to protect his — tada!!!!! — star QB, Terrelle Pryor. But that's how it went down. It all evens out in the end, friends.

Today, the coin finally fell over.

Hector B. Tressel — a human coin, on edge for a brief time ... in The Twilight Zone.