Skull Session: Urban Meyer, Ohio Man, Enjoys Summer Vacation, Mike Thomas Arrives and the Lure of Bowling Green

By D.J. Byrnes on July 17, 2018 at 4:59 am
Isaiah Prince eyes the July 2017 Skull Session


​Word of the Day: Firebrand.

 WORKER ENJOYS PAID VACATION. Few Americans go harder at their job than Urban Meyer. On the gridiron, he's a heat-seeking missile. Off the gridiron, he's a suburban grandfather finding bliss in his golden years.

Meyer recently absconded to the crystalline waters of Lake Erie, where he likes to recharge before the rigors of a football season.

From the Ohio State beat G.O.A.T., Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch

“Now with a grandson ... there’s not many seconds that aren’t used, because I know what’s coming down the road,” Meyer said, referring to the Big Ten media days next week and the start of preseason camp soon after. “When you were a younger coach, people in June would say ‘You ready to go?’ And I’d say ‘Yeah, can’t wait for it to start.’

“It’s changed. Now I can’t wait for vacation, and can’t wait to spend time with your loved ones, because we all know what’s going to happen next week.”

What has struck him is that he is on the brink of doing something he has never done before: coach for the seventh straight season at the same place. Meyer, 54, has put together a 73-8 record with two Big Ten titles and one national title in his previous six seasons with the Buckeyes.

“But I’ve also learned to not look back, look forward, just kind of live in the moment,” he said. “One of the big sayings we have this year with our team is ‘Just win the moment.’ ”

It's hilarious considering critics derided Meyer's "pink contract" with his family as a P.R. ploy. Remember, children: A lot can change in seven years.

 CAN'T GUARD MIKE. Folks forget I was the first person to say Michael Thomas would be a superstar. But it's true.

A little over four years later, it remains my greatest prophecy. Entering his third year with the New Orleans Saints, Thomas remains confident his skills will earn the respect he deserves.

From Matt Miller of Bleacher Report:

Why doesn't Thomas get the recognition he should? 

"Honestly, I'm not exactly sure," he said. "I really hope it's one of those prove-it-a-little-longer type of things, since I've only been in the league for two years.  But I don't worry too much about those type of things, because it's out of my control. I think it's a blessing in disguise at the end of the day because everything will have been earned and nothing will have been given to me.

"At the end of the day, when I hang them up and walk away from the game, I believe I will have earned all the respect and acknowledgment I could ever want. So I just kind of accept it for now, and I'll just keep making history and breaking records and let history be the judge of the rest. Regardless of how anyone feels, I know if I stay consistent and keep working hard, they won't be able to deny what I brought to the table.

"I have no doubt one day, not only will I get the respect, but I will be looked at by my peers as one of the best to ever do it. You play this game to be a champion and to be the best, and I work hard every day so I can accomplish both."

My "friends" clowned me after I "reached" for Thomas in our computer football league in 2016. We'll see who's laughing this fall when Thomas and my team put their families on the street.

 URBAN: STILL LOVES HIS FIRST JOB. Urban Meyer once brought College GameDay to Bowling Green, a city with two Frisch's Big Boys.

Although he left for greener pastures, he'll always retain a connection with the first school to take a chance on a surly Notre Dame receivers coach.

From David Briggs of The Toledo Blade:

Sure enough, when Meyer came to feel the same affection — “I loved every minute of my time at Bowling Green,” he said — and confronted the same crossroads, he took the other path, leaving for Utah after the 2002 season.

“I would do anything for Bowling Green,” Meyer said.

A willing fundraiser for the school, he was back around for its annual Gridiron Golf Classic, which this year doubled as a BG coaching reunion. The legendary Don Nehlen was there too, as were Dave Clawson and Blackney, along with current boss Mike Jinks.

One by one, Meyer — sporting his usual summer goatee — sought them out in the course’s lakefront restaurant before their round.

I love Meyer's willingness to exaggerate. "I'd do anything for Bowling Green" implies he would leave Ohio State if Falcons fans wrote a letter begging him to return. We know that ain't the case.

The best for which they can hope is Meyer baptized Jinks with rudimentary football knowledge.

 CRAFT TO TAKE BIG TEST. It looks like Aaron Craft could soon leave the basketball court:

Good to see Craft close to succeeding in something for once in his life. It's nice to see something good finally happen to him.

 THOSE WMDs. The Anthony Bourdain interview... The man who wants Nevada to kill him... The story of the Thailand cave rescue... Why I drove 70 mph with my ex-boyfriend on the hood.

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