Skull Session: Ryan Day Wants Narrower Hashes, Marcus Williamson Talks Mental Health, and Tom Brady Disses Buckeye Quarterbacks

By Kevin Harrish on October 22, 2021 at 5:59 am
We've got helmets in today's skull session.

I greet you this morning with one hell of a throwback photo.

A.J. Hawk looks like a child, but a child who could snap me in half across his knee. And Nick Mangold looks like Minkus from Boy Meet World.

Just a couple of All-Americans and first-round picks!

Word of the Day: Manacle.

 MOVE THE HASHES. My favorite thing about the Ryan Day Show on 97.1 The Fan is that sometimes Day just hits you with an unexpectedly passionate response to questions that are clearly designed to be mostly innocuous, harmless, and lighthearted.

Last week, we had him suddenly stumping for the removal of the kickoff. This week, he gave an impassioned plea for college football to consider moving the hash marks in, like the NFL.

Basically, Day said that the game has changed and players are more athletic, so the field should change to reflect that. He said the college hash marks are "antiquated" and moving the hashes in would "open the game wide open."

I'm generally super skeptical of rule changes that simply make college football more like the NFL, because I obviously prefer to watch college football, but Day does have a point that offenses, quarterbacks and passing attacks have evolved to where the wider hashes might not be desirable for most teams in the country.

I'll tell you what, though, that sure sounds like the #take of someone who regularly has one of the nation's top passing attacks. I'm not sure Army or Navy would be quite as keen on adopting these changes, but that's not really his problem!

 “RECLAIM MY LIFE.” Marcus Williamson did a wonderful Q&A with The Columbus Dispatch this week where he was extremely candid, both about lighthearted things, like his favorite movies, but also his struggles.

When asked about his mental health, Williamson gave an extremely thorough, transparent and thoughtful answer that I would only expect from a Super Senior.

"... I think resources and attention is very limited in that field, and so many people struggle with it. You'd be surprised just how many guys I talk to on the team or on the street or in my personal life, and it's just like, the things people struggle through, man. It doesn't discriminate: race, gender, age, class. So maybe if we could go in that direction that's something that would mean a lot to me.


"I've struggled a little bit, just in my journey coming up. And thankfully a lot of light has been shed on it now. We're able to learn about ourselves and our struggles. Because I'd go as far as to say 10-15 years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation. So something that has been very personal to me. I've lost friends to mental health issues. It's just something that is very dear to my heart. Doing what I can to use my platform to shed light on things that I'm passionate about is something I really care deeply for. 

"I'll say this, and maybe a lot of athletes may struggle with this in college or whenever they feel the tail end of their career is coming, but I've had struggles all throughout college — injuries, personal life — and I found myself in a spot not really having direction. And I think it's very easy to lose yourself in that sense. To be able to reclaim my life, reclaim my goals, reclaim my passions and just start to live life; I think finding that through my spirituality and my connection to something I feel like is higher than me has been huge for my life and where I see it going."

This isn't something unique to college football players, either. I'd go as far as to say almost everybody on Earth has felt directionelss at times in their lives. It's great to hear a Buckeye sharing his own struggles on that front, and how he's fighting to overcome it.

This response also also makes it clear that Ryan Day and the football program itself promotes players taking their mental health seriously, and that's cool to see. It's one thing to hear a coach talk about mental health, it's another to see a player actually walk it out.

 BETTER LATE THAN NEVER? This is Tom Brady's 22nd season in the NFL, and Sunday will be the first time he's ever faced a former Ohio State quarterback.

Tom Brady had some thoughts, albeit subtle.

I do appreciate how Tom is always extremely skeptical and subtle about shit-talking Ohio State, given *gestures at the past two decades,* but this is pretty much the only thing he and Michigan have over the Buckeyes in this rivalry, so I'm unshocked he took the chance for a slight jab.

I'll say this, though – Brady's on his way out, and C.J. Stroud is looking like he's on pace to be Ohio State's third-straight first-round pick at the position. So... This isn't a narrative they can hold onto much longer.

Also, I'm not going to pretend Ohio State's had any success at producing a starting NFL quarterback in my lifetime, but "a lot of Michigan guys" just ain't right, either. Sorry, Tom, but I don't see Tate Forcier, John O'Korn, Brandon Peters, Shea Patterson or Wilton Speight topping many depth charts. I guess you've got Chad Henne, though, if that's where you want to boast.

Here's hoping Fields makes him 0-1 against Buckeye quarterback in the league.

 PRESSER CRASHER. Behold, proof that Nick Saban has a beating heart and a face capable of smiles.

Maybe that explains Bama's loss this year – he's gone soft.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Rite of Spring" by Angles and Airwaves.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Restaurant soap theft is at an all-time high as diners pinch luxury handwash from bathrooms... An ex-principal who spent 33 years in prison for wife's murder fights to clear his name... A day with the squirrel hawkers of east Texas... The driest state in the country... Masturbation and mascots, the strange history of cereal... The secret life of a happy-ending masseur and the women who swear by him...

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