A 'Star' Is Reborn

By Luke on September 6, 2010 at 4:00p
49 Comments

Just after midnight July 26th, 2009, there were reasons to celebrate. A 21 year old was visiting relatives in Tampa, Florida to commemorate a wedding anniversary. The young man and several relatives visited a bar called Gator's in the Treasure Island area right on the water front. Celebratory spirits were to be had with family the small group hadn't seen in some time when the evening took a turn for the worse. A 27 year old named Ralph Decker, allegedly after learning Tyler Moeller played linebacker for Ohio State, made the brash, incalculable decision to cold clock the senior to be sending him flying backwards to the concrete surface below.

The back of Moeller's head struck the concrete below, causing him to lose consciousness. Moeller spent the weekend fighting for his life in a local intensive care unit, only to suffer a violent seizure a week later upon dismissal necessitating further hospitalization. Moeller ultimately would have brain surgery alleviate recurring intra-cranial bleeding causing him to miss the entire 2009 season.

Some questioned whether in lieu of the serious head injury whether Moeller would ever truly be the same player he once was; whether the physical limitations of having suffered such a severe operation would inhibit his ability even to play football ever again. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Moeller put the skepticism to bed by returning to the practice field last Spring, and then finally this Summer was allowed to participate in full-contact drills. Moeller told coaches in the early part of August something to the effect of "if I survive that first hit, I'll be good to go full speed." After bracing through initial contact with no complications, the now 22-year old found the reassurance he needed to return to full game speed.

Fast forward to Thursday night, and Tyler Moeller's entire Ohio State experience seemed to pick up on the developmental arch almost exactly where it left off. That year lost (which may not be so lost after all if Moeller is successful as is expected in petitioning the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility) seeming inconsequential and the man who occupies Ohio State's "star" hybrid defensive back/linebacker position looking like the dominant, impact player many thought he would be going into 2009. Moeller finished the game with a team leading six tackles, two shot-from-a-gun tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble en route to the 45-7 victory over Marshall. Afterwards, he reflected on the journey:

"I feel like I have something to prove out there and I think I proved it tonight. After that first hit, everything else felt natural." 

The culmination of hard work and a long road to recovery was fully realized Monday when the Big Ten Conference named Moeller their Week 1 defensive player of the week. His contributions in assisting the defense in keeping the Marshall offense from scoring so much as a single point were recognized accordingly and the 5th year Buckeye can now get back to doing precisely what made him such a force for the Buckeyes in the first play: playing the game with truly reckless abandon.

If you're of the age where it's still age appropriate to rock a jersey on game days (and given the some 50,000+ circling the Shoe Saturdays in the fall, I'd say it's far more socially acceptable for the more veteran amongst us than at other schools), if you hadn't purchased one for this fall, the decision really shouldn't be that difficult. Congratulations to Tyler; we can't wait to see what you have in store for the encore.

49 Comments

Comments

nowakkr's picture

I am really pumped that Moeller is back and he played like an animal but the beginning of this blog post is ridiculous.  Moeller was wronged but I can't help but think he didn't play even the slightest of roles in the altercation.  His fault? Not at all...but come on man, this isn't a fairytale.  Regardless, I'll look past the beginning of this post and get to the point of it...Moeller had something taken from him that he loved and he has a second chance and boy did he look f'in spectacular against Marshall.  I can't wait to watch him play the rest of the year, he is the epitome of silver bullet.  Best of luck the rest of the year Tyler!

Matthew's picture

Didn't the other guy admit in court that he suckered punched Moeller without any provoction from Tyler?

 

Class of 2010

Matt's picture

Decker did indeed cop to the fact that Ty did nothing to provoke the attack, but I don't think Nowakkr is going to let the facts get in the way of his truthiness-gut sense.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Nowakkr is showing his true colors.  Why let facts get in the way when you're on a roll.

nowakkr's picture

HAHA! Coming from someone who had to send me an e-mail that said, "go F yourself" you know a whole bunch about true colors don't you.  Once again my friend, go troll buckeye commentary.  I hear they are in great need of some crappy blog posts

Nik's picture

July 26, 2009, not 2010

 

also, 7 tackles, not 6

Luke's picture

The date was wrong [via typo], thanks, but the number of tackles was right.

nowakkr's picture

I don't think Tyler walks around with a sign over his head that says OSU football player.  Look, I'm not saying Tyler did something that warranted getting punched.  I think it is a great story that he is back, I wish him the best, I want him to succeed in every aspect of the word.  Just because someone pleas to something in court doesn't mean it is FACT.  His attacker got what he deserved and Tyler has regained what was taken from him.  In no way was I trying to attack Tyler Moeller at all.  I wish him nothing but the best, I loved the way he played against Marshall and I hope he dominates the rest of the year.  Geez

Matt's picture

Actually, that is precisely what it means -- Decker's allocution before the Court at the time of entering his plea definitively established the facts of the event, and, if Decker had lied about the circumstances of the attack in describing the assault to the judge, he would be guilty of perjury, which itself is typically punishable by several years in prison. 

Matt's picture

Also, if there was a crime of being a jackass, you'd be public enemy number one AMIRITE AMIRITE, ZINGGG

nowakkr's picture

Where in anything did I come across as a jackass?

Matt's picture

By ambiguously implying, in your initial post, that a kid who nearly lost his life in an unprovoked attack that occurred in front of his family, as established by the assailant's sworn testimony, somehow precipiated said attack against himself, not because you have any proof of Moeller's role in the inciting the attack, but rather because NOWWAKKR KNOWS TRU LIFE AND THIS DONT PASS THE SMELL TEST.  Get bent, kid.

AZ Buck-I's picture

NOWAKKR, give it up. TM was assulaulted in FL. Decker admited to it and stated under oath that TM did nothing to instigate it and had eye witnesses stating the same. It's a black and white issue w/ all the facts out. Stop trying to think there was "something else out there". If what you think is true then Decker purjered himself by saying he was completely at fault instead of pointing at TM...really, does that make sense to you?

BUCKEYE_JOE's picture

NOWAKKR,

While I don't know what really happened in that bar, I think your issue with the post lies in how it was written, not the story.  The first paragraph just seems out of place. While everyone is up for a good human interest story now and then (see Boston Bill), I think that the way in which it is presented in this post seems forced and over dramatic, and your anger towards the post vented in the story, when we should really be hating on the writing. 

Johnny Ginter's picture

i too have difficulty believing that an extremely drunk guy with a past history of violence would act belligerent and punch another guy without provocation

Denny's picture

Usually people just drink one time in their life and then don't do it again. I, too, call shenanegins. 

Taquitos.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Dude, you missed a helluva run...great weather, and I set a PR!

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Denny's picture

I can imagine - it's been gorgeous out there. Big ups on the PR.

Taquitos.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Thanks!

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

Good article, and good call on the TM jersey - I will order one forthwith.  If I may be so bold as to offer a bit of syntactical advice, please stop using "in lieu of" when the proper phrase is "in light of."  Sorry if I seem like a crusty, curmudgeonly grammar nazi.  I love your blog and read it every day.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I disagree. As a former writing tutor (appeal to authority), I say that the first paragraph helps to set the tone and underlying theme of Luke's post. Moreover, it's nice piece of writing overall, especially for a blog piece. What that P.O.S. Decker did was "overly dramatic," but it was also what happened in reality (unfortunately not a "fairytale" but a near nightmare). Luke cannot help it that a story which includes Moeller and Decker would provide such a vivid, almost surreal contrast between good versus douche.         

BUCKEYE_JOE's picture

What that P.O.S. Decker did was "overly dramatic,"

 

-agreed, the plot is dramatic enough

flipbuckeye's picture

Anyone watching the Boise State vs VT game?

BSU is dominating them right out of the gate.  They look legit.

Their pro combats are hideous though.

OSUStu's picture

Yeah.  VT has done nothing but shoot themselves in the foot though.  They don't look prepared.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Matthew's picture

Entertaining game so far, for sure.

 

Both team's pro combats are hideous.

Class of 2010

JakeBuckeye's picture

Coles on Virginia Tech.

What. An. Idiot.

Beamer-ball???

Denny's picture

Boise keeps this up, they deserve to be #2 or #1. I'd have no issue with it, at this stage. If Va Tech turns out to be a 6-6 team though, the win won't be as impressive.

But who cares? EVERYTHING HAS TO MATTER RIGHT NOW AND NOTHING CAN CHANGE.

Taquitos.

Alex's picture

Boise looks LEGIT...we better win out to avoid any controversy

flipbuckeye's picture

We better win out but controversy for the BCS system is a good thing.  Gimme some playoffs.

JakeBuckeye's picture

This game's not over...

Va Tech needs a touchdown RIGHT NOW though.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Herbie and Mus sure love them some Boise State.

Maybe rightfully so, I'm still on the fence.

flipbuckeye's picture

VT gives their fans some hope with a TD, and Boise State seemingly effortlessly marches down the field and puts more points on the board.

741's picture

Game on.

P.S. I find VT's pro combat's far more hideous than Boise State's.

Johnny Ginter's picture

 

 

this game

is  breaking

my brain

OSUStu's picture

I can't see Mark May and his stupid glasses without getting ticked off.  I think its a sickness.   

Serenity now!

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

blazers34's picture

I have a lot of completely irrational hate for Boise.  I hope they let up 40 i nthe second half

Jason Priestas's picture

Ah, the mind begins to wonder a bit over the prospect of those two hooking up again.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Per Mar May, TP should be concerned about Miami's defensive front due to the work they did against FAMU.

 

Unf*ckingbelievable.

Pam's picture

May also said that the "M" on the helmets isn't for Marshall and that tOSU needs to "step it up" 

I hate that guy

741's picture

Williams is a badass.

Bucksfan's picture

Mark May molests collies.

Johnny Ginter's picture

this game don't make no damn sense

Uncle_Buck's picture

I Agree.

I think JT needs to watch the film of this game. In case TP has to run for his life. Still worried the line isn't as advertised

JakeBuckeye's picture

"Jacksonville State has some awesome players. Mostly SEC players that didn't make grades for Bama."

Yes, that was really said. As sad as it may seem, it was.

KCAlum's picture

That was a ticky tack late hit call

741's picture

Shit. C'mon Hokies...

Matthew's picture

Oregon State and some tomato cans along the way. Hello BCS game, Boise State.

 

If Ohio State doesn't make it to the Big Game, I'd love to see Boise smack the smug right off SEC nation in January.

Class of 2010

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Funny how when 'Bama got roasted by a totally OVER-achieving Utah team in the Sugar Bowl, ESPN immediately went to basketball ish. And the same thing would happen if BSU beat them. But if it were tOSU that lost, it will be a farking College Football special for a week on every one of their channels. I actually have boycotted ESPN for about 5 years and get my sports information from SI. Which has a little less of a man crush on the Special Education Conference. But are a bit more rational with their analysis towards other conferences.

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.