Thursday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on November 12, 2015 at 4:59 am
Gareon Conley

Remarkably, yesterday wasn't Thursday and today isn't Friday. It's Thursday, actually.


 IT'S A BOOTLEG EPIDEMIC. You've seen them around: Current Ohio State jerseys with personalized names that aren't always No. 1 or No. 15. (Think a black Darron Lee jersey.) 

Because of NCAA and Ohio State's prohibition on such items, it's spawned the inevitable black market. Some people are hitting Amazon. Some people are going through Ali Baba. (Kevin the Intern made his own Chic Harley jersey.)

It's Economics 101.

From's #goodread on the epidemic:

"It was just a great deal," O'Hara told "I get it with the names and the NCAA and all that money stuff, but it didn't matter to me. It was a good deal, it looks good and there was no other place to get it."


Nike jersey sales accounted for less than one percent of Ohio State's overall apparel business the last fiscal year. That figure is down from the six-year average of 1.51 percent. Jersey sales peaked in 2011 and declined every year since until last season, but last season included special national championship product. 

Marionaire criminal advice: Don't give your name out to a paper about doing a crime. 

In typical Ohio State fashion — we're talking about a group that made us change the Shakespearean-based name of our charity tailgate — despite the fact that it's a small blow to the coffers, Ohio State about to let this pass without a head shake of disapproval.

"The people I've talked to, the majority of people know they're fake and don't care," [Ohio State Director of Trademark and Licensing Rick] Brimmer said. "That's distressing."

Even if the NCAA relaxed its amateurism laws around jersey sales, American retail stores would never be able to rival the price delivered by Chinese bootleggers. Tough place to be.

I'm just glad I'm not in charge of stopping that counterfeit flow, because the only solution I see is to make the football team bad, and that'd be an even bigger crime.

 GRINDS: NOT FUN. We all knew 2015 wouldn't be as fun as 2014. The Grind, by definition, is not as fun as The Chase. Yet here we are watching a 9-0 team, and it's not like we're drinking liquor on every Monday in celebration.

If this part of the season were a movie it'd be a simple 45 second montage showing a frolicking Ezekiel Elliott and a screaming Mickey Marrotti. Then it'd cut to Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer chatting about... football? .... pre-Game at half-field. 


Through the first 10 weeks of the season, one could argue that Ohio State's new mantra has become a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. There simply hasn't been as much joy for the Buckeyes as one would expect to be found in a 9-0 start to the season that has pushed the program's overall winning streak to 22 games.

Even with an average win margin of 22.3 points per game, there's been a sense that Ohio State is doing what it's supposed to do this season, if anything underwhelming without a plethora of dominating performances to point to on its resume.

"This year, I think we just have more of a target on our back," said Buckeyes wide receiver Jalin Marshall. "We did win the championship last year, and people are trying to beat us each and every week. I feel like, this year, it's harder each and every week just because of that target we do have on our back."

I'm glad the juice levels will be back in the season Saturday after Illinois' corpse is disposed somewhere cops can't find. 

Despite the lack of Monday morning liquor drinking (new tradition, anyone? I never understood why we as a culture drifted away from casual workday drinking), this season went by like a speeding Braxton Miller.

Still, I won't complain. I've been salivating over that Michigan State, Michigan, undefeated Iowa, playoff trench run since August. (OK, maybe I didn't envision the undefeated Iowa, but who outside Iowa City did?)

First things first, however. Tim Beckman's lumpy body isn't going to dispose itself. 

 EZEKIEL ELLIOTT TREATS THE SLOBS. Heisman hopeful Ezekiel Elliott took Woody Hayes' advice of "paying it forward" literally recently when he treated his offensive line to a meal at a local four-star Yelp reviewed steak joint, Hyde Park:


Elliott rushed for a career-high 274 yards on Oct. 3 in a 34-27 victory in Bloomington, Ind. Two weeks ago, he took the linemen to the Hyde Park Steakhouse south of campus to celebrate.

“He probably had to take out a loan to pay for it, but it was a lot of fun,” said left tackle Taylor Decker, a Vandalia-Butler High School graduate. “It was a cool gesture by him because obviously he gets a lot of press but he’s not the type of guy to make it all about him. He loves the offensive linemen. He always says he should have been a linemen. We love him.”

(You will never love anything as much as Zeke Elliot loves Hyde Park.)

Idiots will concern troll about how an unemployed student can afford to pay five three-hundred pound men at Hyde Park, but the only response to that nonsense is "Who cares?" Doubt Decker would be speaking on it if it were something "shady."

 THROW THAT BACK. Ron Zook's upset of No. 1 Ohio State got some tread this week (I remember standing in the middle of Eddie George's Overpriced and Mediocre Grill dumbfounded at what just took place), but I prefer to relive the happier times.

I've watched enough wind-influenced zombie walkthroughs in Champaign to shame a man, but when I think "Ohio State–Illinois," I think Carlos Hyde running roughshod over the Fightin' Tim Beckmans in 2013:

 THOSE WMDs. Joe Thomas and the secrets of the offensive line... From 1906: On Shakespeare and drama... My next pet... Inside Britain's trial of the decade... New York's remaining mob: broke and snitching... Fargo is the best show on television right now.

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