Anybody out there got any baller Hocking Hills hikes? Drop 'em in the comments. (All I do now is eat avocados and hike.)
- Four-star Tyreke Smith (who will play for Ohio State if he wants) wore a shirt and spawned 300+ internet comments in June. The sun still rose and we're a closer day to Bucks vs. Hoosiers.
- The Lakers shipped D'Angelo Russell to the hapless Nets. Poor D'Angelo Russell.
- Rashod Berry's tight end potential.
- Get to know Ohio State's basketball latest recruiting offers.
- Help put a life-size statue of Woody Hayes in his hometown of Newcomerstown, Ohio.
Word of the Day: Tumescence.
BOYS BACK IN TOWN. Unit unity would be tough to breed. Guys are friends, sure, but they're also trying to steal everyone else's dreams from right out of their hands. Which is probably why some quarterback derbies are more bitter than others.
But Ryan Day's room hit the town Tuesday night with go-karts and big ol' burgers.
QBs out here speeding & swerving pic.twitter.com/lHW8izBQp5
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 20, 2017
Afterwards, it looks like the Buckeye gunslingers hit (what I assume to be) Thurman's Cafe, where Joe Burrow attempted to tackle the Thurmanator:
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 21, 2017
Pro-Tip: Unless you want to get gastric bypass surgery, do not attempt the Thurmanator. It will rub your face in the dirt.
BIG BANK SOONERS. Apparently Oklahoma elders agree with recent reports of Lincoln Riley already being the greatest coach in university history.
Riley turns 34 four days before OU-OSU and has never been a head coach. Oklahoma guaranteed him ~17.5 million dollars Tuesday afternoon.
From Bruce Feldman:
Oklahoma and new Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley have agreed on a five-year deal that will average $3.5 million per year, per source. This deal is also fully guaranteed, according to the source and believed to be the biggest fully guarateed contract that a first-time college head coach has ever received.
I'm calling my agent (the Starcat) during my lunch hour to demand she find me a similar deal. Whether she picks up the phone is another thing entirely.
Props to Riley, though. My goal after signing a contract like that would be to get fired in Year 3 and cash out like Charlie Weis, Mike Pettine, etc.
And before anyone shames me, please show me the American worker that's never fantasized about being paid not to work and I'll rip the wires from that robot's chest.
RUTGERS ON THE RISE. "Rutgers is trash" is the most ubiquitous Big Ten opinion. But one guru gives hope to the Scarlet Knights.
They probably won't be as bad as they were last year!
The defense got a lot of experience last year thanks to injuries, and there’s a core of sophomore and junior play-makers who should produce a top-60 or so ranking this year, then something even better next year.
Meanwhile, the offense has the new blood and experience it was dying for last year.
A solid defense, paired with an offense that features Martin, Edwards, Bolin, Grant, Mitchell, and a decent line? That’s not a Big Ten East contender, but it’s not one of the worst teams in the country either. S&P+ projects Rutgers 92nd, and I’m thinking something more in the range of 80th.
With home games against EMU, Morgan State, Purdue, Maryland (well, it’s at Yankee Stadium), and Michigan State, plus a less than intimidating trip to Illinois, RU could easily rise to 4-8 or 5-7 this fall. That’s not amazing, and it’s not even where the Knights were as recently as 2014, but after 2016’s disaster, it would be progress.
I will gauge Rutgers' improvements by how many points it scores against Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. Last year it scored 0, so it literally only go up from here.
But in the Knights' defense, no Big Ten power wants to see them respectable ever. Maybe they can cobble together a field goal this year. I'll be cheering for them in every game but one.
E.T. HAS A QUESTION. A wild-ass day in the NBA offseason culminated with a philosophical question from former Ohio State swingman Evan Turner:
Question: if you were in Phil Jackson's shoes and Ms. Buss said that she would get back w/ u if u trade Porzingas to the lakers, would u?
— Evan Turner (@thekidet) June 21, 2017
Jackson should have to give back one of his rings if he trades a 7'3" 21-year-old as skilled as Porzingas.
NEW FOOD GOSSIP. Restaurants come and go in Columbus. And as the Discovery City continues its development into a 21st century destination city, it's hard to keep up on the locale fare sports worth patronizing.
Thankfully it's the offseason and we're talking trendy restaurants.
1. The Light of Seven Matchsticks
5601 N High St
Worthington, OH 43085
Discreetly tucked away in the basement of Worthington coal-fired pizza and live-music joint Natalie’s is boxcar-sized speakeasy the Light of Seven Matchsticks. It’s got all the whimsy of the Wes Anderson film from which it takes its name (the title of a fictional book in Moonrise Kingdom): dim lighting, green velvet booths, 1920s music, and secret cocktail menus hidden (always on page 166) in leather-bound library books. If seats are scarce, write your order on a book checkout card, slip your drink order into the mail slot next to the bar, knock twice, and wait for your drink to arrive.
2. Momo Ghar
1265 Morse Rd
Columbus, OH 43229
Even though Momo Ghar recently hit the one-year mark, it would be wrong not to include it. This no-frills food stand inside Saraga International Grocery on the Northeast Side (where some of the city’s best Asian eateries can be found) remains one of the most talked-about restaurants in town — a destination for from-scratch Nepali and Tibetan homestyle food. Diners cram into its five counter seats with a view of the open kitchen for traditional Nepalese momos, like jhol, doughy steamed dumplings filled with ground chicken and cilantro in a gently spiced broth.
My personal recommendation is Waffle House at 1405 N. Cassady Avenue on the East Side.
THOSE WMDs. Ireland at the heart of soccer tax probes... A year in the Metabolist Future of 1972... The rise and fall of a 1970s peep-show empire... FBI warns Ohio could be at risk for agricultural espionage... In a Bering Sea battle of killer whales vs. fishermen, whales are winning.