Skull Session: Randy Gradishar is Crushed By Another Hall of Fame Snub, Justin Fields is Stepping into a Captain Status, and Chris Olave is Looking to Get Better

By Kevin Harrish on January 16, 2020 at 4:59 am
There's a ball in today's Skull Session.

This morning, I want to give a special shoutout to the quickest emergency response time in the history of emergencies.

That is now the standard in my mind. Best of luck holding to it, firepeople.

Word of the Day: Disconsolate.

 GRADISHAR IS CRUSHED. I didn't think there was a shot in hell that Buckeye legend Randy Gradishar would be snubbed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame yet again, but I was wrong. And he was absolutely crushed.

“Today was not my best day of 2020,” Gradishar told me, hours after being snubbed yet again for induction in Canton, Ohio.

This time, much to the shock of Broncos officials preparing for a celebration, Gradishar was left out of the “Centennial Class,” which welcomed 15 legends previously ignored by the Hall.

“It’s very difficult, very discouraging and very hard to accept when the announcement comes and you don’t hear your name,” Gradishar said. “But tomorrow’s coming. And I believe my day to join the Hall of Fame is also coming.”


Gradishar never heard his name. When roll call of the 15-member Centennial Class was finished, one of the toughest linebackers who has ever lived turned to his wife and …

“To be honest,” confided Gradishar, “we were both visibly upset. There were tears coming down. Tears from being discouraged and frustrated, just the natural human emotion of being disappointed, from being a modern-day finalist two different times and not hearing your name, from now being a senior candidate and not knowing if your name will be called, or if you will be left in the dark.”

Folks get snubbed, that's part of the game, but the way they did it this time had to feel like a gigantic punch in the dick to those who didn't make it. They stretched the entire Hall of Fame announcement over a 2.5-hour television program, giving these guys hope and stringing them out for hours, only for some to not hear their name.

That was extremely frustrating to someone who was just tuning in to run an online post about the news, I cannot imagine being the actual person with Hall of Fame hopes on the line.

They could have avoided all of that by just telling the candidates ahead of time, but instead, they got this:

But I bet those television ratings looked good!

 CAPTAIN FIELDS? One of Urban Meyer's roles at Ohio State is to regularly meet with the Buckeye captains of each varsity sport.

The only returning captain for the football team is Jonathon Cooper (edit: Tuf Borland is too, my mistake). But if you look closely, you can see a second Buckeye player joining him for Meyer's Lead Like A Buckeye session.

I would be absolutely shocked if Justin Fields were not a captain on next year's team, so it's cool to see everybody else seemingly acknowledging that and allowing him to step into that role before it's even formally bestowed.

And to think, a year ago he hadn't even gone through a single practice with the team.

 BACK TO WORK. Ohio State: a magical place where being the 10th-best in the country at what you do is considered underachieving.

But Chris Olave knows exactly what he signed up for.

Ryan Day talked a bit about Olave at his press conference, and from what he said, I'm not sure there's a guy on the roster who's going to be working as hard as he will this offseason.

Also, it was unintentionally hilarious that Day followed that comment with "he'll come back hungry" about three sentences later.

 A BUCKEYE CONNECTION? Turns out, Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings has a soft spot for Ohio State.

With the way Ohio State's admissions standards are trending, I've already conceded that my half of the genes might force my offspring to a slightly less fine institution, but I've got a sneaky suspicion Ken Jennings' kid will be just fine.

 THE LEGEND OF JOE BURROW. Let's set the record straight: I quite candidly hate 95 percent of everything produced by Barstool Sports and would launch Dave Portnoy into the sun if given the chance.

That said, Big Cat and PFT are objectively hilarious, extremely creative, and there's a reason why they have the most popular sports podcast online. So if they're going to give me 20 minutes of them interviewing an extremely candid Joe Burrow while still intoxicated from a New Orleans hotel room, you bet your ass I'm going to consume that and share it with y'all.

You can listen to the whole episode here (Joe Burrow joins at 32:50 and it's glorious), but here are some of my favorite moments:

  • Joe Burrow revealed he slept through the Golic and Wingo interview because they were banging on his door at 8:30 in the morning
  • Burrow said coming out of high school, he wanted to break Brady Quinn's record of 24 reps on the bench press at the combine, but he's probably not going to bench at the combine.
  • Burrow on going out after the game:
    • Burrow: "We went somewhere."
    • Big Cat: "Did you not just get mobbed?"
    • Burrow: "I... I don't know... To be honest."
  • On if Odell gave him money: "I'm not a student-athlete anymore, so I can say yeah."
  • Burrow on his upcoming celebration at LSU's victory parade: "I'm graduated and I'm 23 years old, so I can do whatever the hell I want."
  • On being 23 years old: "It’s really not fair how old I am that I’m playing against these kids.”
  • On if thinks being so old will hurt his draft stock: "I think I'll still make plenty of money."
  • On Burrow's injury, and fans thinking he didn't look comfortable in the pocket: "How many yards did I have?"

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A week in the life of an Amazon delivery driver... A man tried to enter Israel with $260,000 hidden in Oreo boxes... Compelling new evidence that your cat might eat your corpse... A family bought a 20,000-square-foot Freemason temple in Indiana for $89,000, and they're now turning it into their home... After my dad died, I started sending him emails and months later, someone wrote back...

View 75 Comments