Skull Session: Basketball Bites the Big Apple, Football Relishes Winter Workouts, and a Buckeye Fan Hustles

By D.J. Byrnes on January 20, 2018 at 4:59 am
Keita Bates-Diop looks to break down the January 20th 2017 Skull Session

The Big Apple! The City That Never Sleeps! Little Marion! 

Call it what you want, but as of today, New York City is the oyster of Buckeye Kingdom and its perfect (in Big Ten play) basketball team. Apparently Iron Bar & Lounge in Hell's Kitchen is the knighted watering hole. Thankfully Justin Timberlake isn't schedule to appear for another two weeks.

The contest tips off at high noon from the historic Midwestern hoops temple we locals lovingly refer to as The Garden—not to be confused with the parquet-floored shithole in Boston, a place I will never visit.

BTN will broadcast the affair as part of the Big Ten's "Basketball and Hockey Double Header." Minnesota and Michigan State men's hockey play the second leg, with the puck dropping at 8 p.m.

I feel like they should have switched those slots. We do love our hockey up here, though.


Word of the Day: Propinquity.

 LOVE TO LIFT WEIGHTS. For the football team, gone are the bright lights and Saturday extravaganzas. Urban Meyer turned their souls over to Mickey Marotti like a Ferrari driver handing the keys to a valet outside his favorite steak joint. ("Eh kid, keep her close and the engine hot."

It's going to be a rude awakening to freshmen used to being the cream of the weight room crop. They're fat and/or tiny all over again.

Not so for veterans like Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon. They have come to relish the winter swollstice for the grind it is.

From Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

“That definitely was a factor, as well, you kind of think about going through that stuff, and obviously at a top level like Ohio State it’s definitely tough,” Campbell said. “But me and Terry, and J.D. (Johnnie Dixon), we’re like immune to that stuff. We came in as young freshmen knowing how to grind, it’s always been something that we had.

“We love the grind. We know how to grind.”

They also know that in coming back for another season, they will face the jeopardy that comes every time the helmet is strapped on, be it for spring drills and preseason camp or in games.

Good to know Marotti won't be the only one ensuing the continuance of cultural excellence. Fourth quarter comebacks actually start during January.

At least that's what they tell me.

 NOW THAT'S HUSTLING. Have y'all heard of this Fan Plan hustle? Apparently it's a 100% legal way to gamble on college sports. 

From in October:

Here’s how it works. Pick your team and buy a “plan,” which gets you a $1,000 voucher if your team makes it to the championship. You can use it to pay for a ticket, air fare or other costs of attending the game.

As of this week, plans cost $20 to $253.88, based on how your team is performing and what lies ahead.

Fan Plan doesn’t guarantee tickets. It’s partnering with a ticket aggregator that sells them. Or you can go on the open market and hunt for one yourself once your voucher has been funded on New Year’s Day.

Of course, you know Ohio lads are always shooting the angles on how to profiteer on such schemes. Meet Colin Angelotti, who turned his dream into reality.

From yesterday:

Colin Angelotti bought four plans for $400: two for his alma mater, Ohio State, and two for Alabama, hoping for an OSU/Bama matchup at the championship.

“That way, I’d be able to cash in on both and get $4,000,” he says. “When Alabama got in over Ohio State, I became a big fan of Georgia.”

The 25-year-old construction manager for a general contractor in Columbus, Ohio, used his $2,000 for airfare and to explore Atlanta. He watched the game at a bar near the stadium and shared his good fortune by buying a few drinks.

We should pull all our money and put it on the Buckeyes next year. Last thing Silicon Valley wants is me running around with a wad of someone else's cash in my pocket. The whole scheme might end up in a smoldering pile of ash if I spent 72 hours out there.

 GO ON THEN, BILL. Missed this the other day. Here's a video of Billy Price showing why he's much more than a guy capable of putting another large adult son on skates:

Browns: Trade up into the late first-round and pick Price. It will be worth the price. I promise. 

 A BIT OF HISTORY. Wide receivers in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference better watch out, because a new heavy hitter could be lurking around the corner.


On Wednesday, Antoinette “Toni” Harris received a scholarship offer to play football for Bethany College, an NAIA program in Kansas. If Harris, a safety for East Los Angeles College, a junior college in California, accepts the offer, she would be believed to be the first female scholarship football player at a position other than kicker in college football history.

There have been female college football players before, but mainly as kickers, and not on scholarship. Most recently, Becca Longo signed to kick for Division II Adams State last year. Before that Katie Hnida was a kicker for Colorado and New Mexico in the early 2000s.

And sure, some men will take their potshots. But they wouldn't say it to Toni's face, though.

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