Monday Skull Session

By DJ Byrnes on January 23, 2012 at 6:00a
LOOK. Have you fought the good fight? ------------>

Praise be to the 29th President of the United States of America, Warren G. Harding. Our merciful overlord has allowed us another day, and he has spared us of an All-Michigan Man Super Bowl. In related news, I now have a fully-stocked bomb shelter for when the Nazi-Zombie Apocalypse comes. 

JOE PATERNO IS DEAD AT AGE 85. The former Penn State frontman died over the weekend, and it was another sad if not bizarre chapter in the Jerry Sandusky saga. First, online news organization Onward State prematurely reported Joe Paterno had died Saturday night. This sent media outlets scrambling to cover a death that hadn't yet occurred. CBS Sports just ripped the report off until the family directly disputed it. CBS then passed the shame back to Onward State. (One can deduce from there the effect this had on Twitter.)

Poynter put together a piece on how the false report got started and the subsequent shitstorm it created. To their credit, CBS and Onward State have both apologized. The proprietor of Onward State took his apology even further by resigning from his position, and Onward State has explained where it all went wrong. Hell, I've bungled some things in my day. Granted, I've never prematurely killed off somebody like Joe Paterno; but hey, a player in this game has to take an L from time to time. They always seem to present opportunities to learn, too.

The legendary coach, who had outlasted Fidel Castro, was already reportedly on his way out the door, finally succumbed to lung cancer Sunday morning. Gregg Doyel, CBS' cantankerous troll-writer who has made a living telling you what to think, tells you not to let other people tell you what to think about Joe Paterno. His co-worker and fellow luminary, Dennis Dodd, says you must read the book of Paterno from cover to cover, rather than judge solely judge the sad final chapter. Penn State fans, above all else, seem to think a dumb quote from The Dark Knight for some reason. (They also think the media killed him.) I don't know what sociopath Jerry Sandusky has to say because I'm too baffled by the gall required in his decision to release a statement on Paterno's death in the first place to actually read it. 

Joe Puh, as it was somehow JUST pointed out to me Joe Puhterno should have been called all these years, was responsible for winning a lot of football games. Because of that, people would be willing to defend him even if he had done something criminally wrong. (Penn State's president has said Penn State will honor the late coach.) And though he didn't do enough to see the inside of jail cell, he certainly didn't do enough to pass a rather simple moral test. In the end, Paterno chose to protect "the brand" over the plight of children who had been systematically and chronically raped, even allowing the perpetrator the use of Penn State facilities up until the week he was arrested. Then, in a last ditch effort to wash his conscience during a softball interview with a pre-chosen newspaper reporter, he based the crux of his defense on the idea of men raping boys being over his head. Deadspin's Drew Magary eviscerated this defense much better than I ever could. He'll always have a positive legacy in some realms of the world, but there will rightfully be a stigma attached to his name and "legacy." If for nothing else, than hopefully as a lesson to future generations as to the perils deifying sports figures and programs.

Is it sad? I guess, but Paterno -- who insisted for a long time on being the program's arbiter of justice -- has nobody to blame but himself for this. Sure, Paterno isn't the only adult who was negligent of duty nor the only person in the PSU circle with shame on their hands. But, like Joe Paterno once offered the "victims or whatever they want to say" of this tragedy, it's a "tough life when people do certain things to you."

CHIP KELLY IS TAKING HIS FOOTBALL SKILLS TO TAMPA BAY. Yes, you read that right. According to reports first confirmed by, Chip Kelly will be unveiled as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. This comes on the heels of quarterback Darron Thomas' surprising decision to declare for the NFL draft. Giving the timing of the two announcements, it has folks comparing it to Pete Carroll fleeing and making the logical leap by wondering if Oregon has finally drawn the ire of NCAA investigators. Just how many fixed raffles Chip Kelly was involved still remains unclear, but I assume with the truth-hounds like Greg Dohrmann and Charles Robinson on our side, the facts will soon be laid on the table in a non-hyperbolic manner. (Oh, and BTW, Urban Meyer is probably on the phone talking some some Oregon commits this very instant.) THIS


WILLIE BUFORD IS BACK ONLINE. One of the problems with taking Nebraska into the Big Ten is their basketball team had to come with them. Ohio State's men's team took Nebrasketball to the rack on Saturday. Most importantly, my man William Buford, who I think will be a hoss on the next level, went 3/5 from downtown and finished with 15 points and zero turnovers. Hopefully this means better times for the Toledo product.

TREE POISONER AIN'T COPPIN' TO NO PLEA. Harvey Updyke the Alabama Tree Poisoner -- not to be confused with the Dixie Dangler in what has been a banner year for Alabamananananas. -- has reportedly rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 13 years and banned him from Alabama athletic events for life. (A just punishment for the barbaric act, in my opinion.)

What is the status on those trees? Are they dead? Did Nick Saban lifting the crystal football over his tiny head like Gollum clutching his Precious finally polish them off? I can't find news on their current state anywhere. As for the Tree Poisoner, I assume the district attorney will attempt to prosecute Updyke to the fullest letter of the law in order to make any other idiot think twice before doing something like this again because Updyke has already won.

JIM TRESSEL MAY BE BE TURNING PRO. Colts owner Jim Irsay was in Florida on Friday to interview Jim Tressel for a second time about his team's head coaching vacancy. I think the move will happen. Irsay has drafted plenty of Tressel's players, so he obviously has respect for Tressel's way of doing things. Tressel isn't a Neapolitan taskmaster like Nick Saban and I think his style of coaching would translate better in the pros. He's also a heralded quarterbacks coach and would probably work well with probable first round pick Andrew Luck. The big question is, does Jim Bollman make the trip down I-70 as well?

THE TOLEDO WAR. Do fancy new concussion tests really work?... Star in your own bootleg Chinese film... The 10 most interesting facts about Founder Kim Dotcom... How big-time sports ate college life... The average American worker spends $1,100/year on coffee... Lol at Hanksy... A bunch of Giants fans bought in on the Giants winning the Super Bowl at 100/1 and now Vegas is scared... 


Comments Show All Comments

Abe Froman's picture

A co-worker and I had Joe's final day at May 11, 2012 (approximately six months after getting fired).  I took the under for lunch at Gordon Biersch.  This week, I eat one lunch for free.


Me:  Joe has lung cancer and it's serious.

Him:  They said it is treatable.

Me:  Nothing is treatable when you are 85.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

When you're that age you have to be worried even when it's something so simple as a cold. Lung cancer? I don't know why people tried to downplay it.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

tampa buckeye's picture

You are a sick bastard

Squirrel Master's picture

yeah, even with all the hate I have for PSU and the idiocy that comes from that state institution (its more like juvenile correction), I would not brag about making those kinds of bets. You are talking about betting on the life and death of a human being. I don't care if you make those bets, just don't tell us about it okay!


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Abe Froman's picture

Apologies to anyone those that didn't wonder how long Joe would make it without coaching the team.  For those that did wonder and how long, all I did was voice it with a co-worker and he agreed to the bet.  To be honest, I actually thought it was 12 months but I gave him 6 since I had already collected on the Blue Jackets NOT making the playoffs (for all intense purposes they are mathematically eliminated). 

Callous?  Perhaps.  Maybe slightly tasteless.... but in Joe's death I eat healthier (humus and goat cheese salad).

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

KenK's picture

Really? Placing this bet, then bragging about it? Enjoy your lunch you sick sonofabitch.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

BrewstersMillions's picture

I LOL'd when the Pats won last night. PSU has to go leaderless for another 2 weeks. I wonder what sort of impact a lack of a head coach has on the program. It has to set them back pretty far. I wonder if Bradley is pulling double duty with New England and Penn State. Anyone have any insight on what, if anything, he is doing as PSU coach?

Denny's picture

Everybody knows Saban isn't from Naples. He's Sicilian.


Run_Fido_Run's picture

Doesn't Nick Saban have Greek ancestry?  

OHIOinME's picture

Adam Schefterm just tweeted, "Chip Kelly has decided not to take Buccaneers offer. "Its a no-go," said a source close to Kelly. "His heart is still with Oregon."

and it was retweeted by Joe Schad.



Northbrook's picture

If he jumps it will be after signing day.

faux_maestro's picture

You mean retweeted by #JoeI'mSoJackedSchad?

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

doodah_man's picture

No update on the trees at Toomer's Corner? Really? If only they had some sort of device that you could type in questions, with perhaps a keyboard/typewriter, into a page that would go out and find information for you and then display it on a video type device...if only:

Found in about 30 seconds:


This may seem silly but being a tOSU grad in Montgomery, Alabama, I am at least sympathetic to this situation. A mass poisoning of the Buckeye Grove would be just as tragic. However, these trees are over 100 years old. 

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

DJ Byrnes's picture

The Auburn site I found through searching was the one I linked to. Your internet skilling is apparently much better than my internet skilling. I award 6 internet skilling points in your column sir. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

flipbuckeye's picture

You mark that column a 6, and you're entering a world of pain.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

A world of pain!!! Dude - MARK IT ZERO

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Maestro's picture

Ha, we need a chart of how to earn those and examples of what types of skilling earn what value of skilling points.

vacuuming sucks

doodah_man's picture I am going to take my skilling points and retire...

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Bucks's picture

A plea deal of that nature is absurd. Never attend another Alabama function again? Fine. Pay resitution for the rest of his life? Fine. Serve between 6 to 18 months in jail? Fine.

13 years? Get the hell out of here with that. There are routinely violent felony convictions (Felonious assault, Armed robbery, etc) that don't bring that amount of time. Heck, there are beginning plea deals for these violent crimes that start under 10.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Exactly. The dude is a giant asshole, but 13 years of tax-payer funded incarceration for what he did is unconscionable.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Disagree. 15 years sounds about right to me, especially considering he'll do half on good behavior.

This isn't some 20 something wrapped up in a life of drugs who did something out of desperation. This is a GROWN ASS MAN who premeditated on poisoning these trees and then he went out and did it. THEN, he called into a national radio show to gloat about what he had done and even boasted how he didn't give a damn.

Since then, he has gone on Twitter, appeared in an ESPN documentary on the rivalry, and was even in New Orleans for the title game. (Not sure if he got a ticket to get in, I heard he was looking.) 

He maliciously struck at the heart of a community of literally tens of thousands of people over a stupid football game, or as he says, "he has too much Bama in him."

This guy is a clown and they need to send him a message so next time a halfwit like him gets some idea in their walnut sized brain, they think about what happened to the last guy. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

William's picture

So that warrants 13 years of prison? That's a huge waste of funds if you ask me, and people wonder why our prisons are over capacity.

DJ Byrnes's picture

much more considered with the money wasted on incarcerating innocent people than this guy.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

buckeyedude's picture

You're right DJ. The prisons are FULL of innocent people. Just ask them and they'll tell you.



JakeBuckeye's picture

Ellis Redding. The only guilty man in Shawshank.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

DJ, why do you say this: "15 years sounds about right to me, especially considering he'll do half on good behavior."? Is this just an assumption or is that actually how Alabama prison sentences are computed with good time credit? Most states have moved away from that much of a break on felony sentences.

Even still, 7.5 years is unconscionable for what this son of a bitch did.

Bucks's picture

Alabama is one of the most generous states when it comes to good time. Don't remember the numbers exactly but I believe inmates are credited 2 days for every 1 served. I'm sure though that is also based on sentencing & given the numerous charges he has and/or any stipulations by the judge ... there is no guarantee of being eligible for it.

I'm not someone who is for changing venues very often but in this case, I do feel like it is very warranted.

Nappy's picture

Agreed.  It's a non violent offense.  13 years is ridiculous. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

buckeyedude's picture

I think a 6 month sentence is excessive. It's a frickin' tree! It probably would make damn good firewood.



buckeyejonross's picture

Any jail time is a waste of money and time. Have him join some arbor club and plant trees for a living, but jail? For trees?

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

THANK YOU.   I was thinking I was the only one who thought that 13 years was insane.   You could drive drunk REPEATEDLY and never get to 13 years in the joint.   You could sell crystal meth to little kids and not get 13 years.   Many sex offenders get off wil easier sentences.   The list goes on and on.

Granted, the guy is an a-hole and should be punished with paying restitution, and even some jail time, etc.   But 13 years for what amounts to vandalaism?  Come on.  

ArTbkward's picture

13 years in jail is absurd, agreed. Imo, I think he should have to plant one tree a day for the next 13 years, out of his own pocket, while wearing Auburn gear.  He should also be required to videotape every planting and upload them to youtube for proof.  That's 4748 trees or so to replace the ones he poisoned.  Excessive? Probably but oh well.

He also should be banned from ever stepping foot onto the University of Alabama and Auburn campus's again, as well as banned from every collegiate sporting event in the country. 

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

William's picture

I like your idea. Planting a tree a day for 13 years sounds pretty damn good. It's coming out of his pockets, instead of taxpayers.

osbucks9's picture

O'Brien is working double duty. The Patriots setup an office for him to work specificaly on Penn State stuff (Supposedly he is doing recruiting from there).

unknownmusketeer's picture

Kickers in the NFL must be salivating at the Tressel news.  #SalaryBump

Has a kicker ever been assigned the franchise tag?

DJ Byrnes's picture

Browns are super under the cap and the fans may have rioted if Dawson were let go. I hope the Browns tag him again to prevent him from leaving.


(In typical Cleveland fashion, he's predicted to leave this year.)

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

buckeyedude's picture

Good to see Buford, OSU b-ball's Toledo connection, back on track. We'll see if he can maintain the level of play that he had against Nebraska, against tougher competition.

Man, I would really love to see Tressel get the gig with the Colts.  Browns fan here, but being that they haven't given me much to cheer for for a while now, could be a Colts bandwagon fan.  /:)

13 years in the in the hoosegow for poisoning a tree seems a bit harsh.



spqr2008's picture

This NYT article is ridiculous.  I went to Ohio State because they had a solid athletic department, and unlike UC, or Carnegie Mellon, or Case Western, I didn't have to pay any of my student fees to support the athletic department, in fact, even when the stadium was being remodeled, the athletic department gave money back to the school.

OSUNeedles's picture

They kind of missed the boat to get large demographics responding & reading. They even pointed it out themselves... They focused on schools with large, profitable athletic departments... They s should have focused more on the ones which are actually taking money from students to run athletics.

Bucksfan's picture

That wasn't the point of the article at all.

OSUNeedles's picture

Sort of realized that after I posted it... It was the argument my brain was making for the article because I am sports obsessed and not willing accept that you shouldn't spend as much of your college life as possible at sporting events... Thanks for pointing out my stupidity... Maybe I should have spent more time focused on classes...

Bucksfan's picture

I went to Ohio State because they had a solid athletic department

I don't understand your point.  Because of that statement, the article would consider you part of the problem.

unlike UC, or Carnegie Mellon, or Case Western, I didn't have to pay any of my student fees to support the athletic department

I know that students at UC don't have to pay extra to see their basketball team, since tickets are included in their activities fees.  Ohio State has an exorbitant activities fee too, which covers your use of the Union and rec centers - whether you use it or not.  Ohio State also makes you purchase at least half of the season's games in order to see the basketball team, and the student block of football costs over 100 bucks and only covers conference games (any other games are extra). 

Universities that treat their athletic departments like another student activity actually wouldn't be looked at like a problem by the author of that article - rather that'd be considered a solution to the problem.

cbusbuckeye's picture

You arent entirely correct regarding student basketball tickets. THe ticket allotment typically includes the big out of conference games in fall quarter (Duke, Florida this year) and all conference games winter quarter. Students do not get the games that take place during winter break, which makes sense since the majority of students to not stay on campus during winter break/are not from the Columbus area.

Bucksfan's picture

When I was there, there were 2 different student basketball ticket options - basically half the season or the other half.  Maybe they changed it.  Regardless, I couldn't justify paying what they wanted, and ended up only going to one bball game while I was there.

slippy's picture

Sorry, Buford isn't 'back.'  He just plays well against crappy teams.  He's done this his whole career.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Time will tell. I'm hoping that the light just recently turned on for Buford, because if he "lets the game come to him," (and all other relevent cliches), he undoubtedly has the tools to be a quiet assassin for the team.

A good game for Buford is when he takes 10 or 12 shots in the flow of the offense, has like 5 assists and only 1-2 TOs, and pulls down 6-8 rebounds. He's the first to admit that he hasn't always played within the flow of the offense (and needs to more consistently play with high intensity on defense), but of course it's a team game - it's easier for Buford to play in-the-flow when the entry passes to Sullinger are timely & accurate, Craft and Smith are hitting when they're left alone, etc. 

buckeyedude's picture

I'm hoping he's back, Slippy. But I'll take a wait and see attitude. He's running out of time though. 



Arizona_Buckeye's picture

The Joe Pa story reads like a modern day Shakespearean tragedy.  It was his loyalty and love for PSU that was the reason he had such a successful coaching career and personal life, but it was also the same loyalty and love for PSU that caused him to choose covering up this scandal to protect the PSU brand opposed to calling the cops and doing the right thing.  The other irony is that Joe Pa did the minimum required by the state in all of this, and had any of this athletes put in the same minimum effort on the field, they would have been dismissed. 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Poison nuts's picture

Wow. The above paragraph by Arizona Buckeye is 100% spot on. Particularly the part about how JoePa would have treated minimum effort. Whether or not he coached against my team - I always liked and had tremendous respect for the man. For what he did for his players and school, how he conducted himself, and even for what he meant to CFB. The whole thing is a tragedy in every sense. I'll always remember him as a man who did a lot of good & helped a lot of people in so many ways but unfortunately, failed when it mattered most.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Lets hold off on the Buford praise for now. Every single time we praise him, he lays an egg in the very next game.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

OSUNeedles's picture

RS Fr Fullback Durham has announced he is transferring... Good move for him & one more scholly for the Urbanator

Michael's picture

Ted Ginn returned a combined 67 kicks and punts this year. He had 0 fumbles.

For all the crap he gets, his absense in the NFC Championship Game was the difference on Sunday.

flipbuckeye's picture

Why wasn't he playing? I don't follow the pros but watched the game and was wondering where Ginn was.

EDIT: Nevermind. Injury.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think Updyke should have to spend 13 years with some tree hugging hippies, perhaps someone like this......


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

buckeyedude's picture

OMG Squirrel. That dude is scary. But, I'd like what he's smoking. Geez Louise. Rainbows are cool, but not that damn cool.



Squirrel Master's picture

lol. can you imagine a red blooded, football lovin, (most likely) gun tote'in, southern SOB like Updyke with pure hate in his blood......being forced to spend day and night with rainbow dude? lol

and throw in the yoga guy from Rosanne's nuts tv show. just force the guy to live in a Utopian hippie community planting trees and sapplings for 13 years. it would fit the crime and wouldn't cost tax payers anything. :)

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

DefendOhio's picture

Buford has a pulse? We'll see come March..

buckeyejonross's picture

13 years for killing trees is retarded. Make him pay a fine and be done with it. There are serious criminals that are targeting people, not Oaks.

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

439LawDog's picture

I agree 13yrs is a little long and i'm guessing they are taking into consideration the value of the property and the amount of money and time that will be used to treat them. But at the same time what would you say if it was a piece of tOSU history that was destroyed that meant something to us as the Buckeye-Nation? I'm guessing you would want him/her to sit for a little while as no amount of money would probably fix what was lost.