Special thanks to Steve Spencer of The Columbus Dispatch for use of his "Mount Buckmore" artwork.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ryan Seacrest, Terry Bradshaw’s daughters and the NFL’s version of the BCS Nat’l Championship.

Disclaimer: The following has very little to do with our boys in scarlet and gray, just football and the Seacrestization of the game.

Terry Bradshaw is, by any standards, a man’s man. Which is why it was all the more entertaining to hear him on Ryan Seacrest’s morning talk show (broadcast on LA’s Kiss FM). Seacrest, by contrast, has become one of the more polarizing figures in American pop-culture. His ubiquity is undeniable as it is irritating, but his Zach Morris good looks, witty, occasionally self-deprecating banter and admitted tendency to sell-out begin to clarify an otherwise inexplicable likeability.

Anyone who is familiar with Seacrest’s resume as the American Idol poster boy turned heartthrob turned Dick Clark lite, may be slightly perturbed that he will be getting some serious airtime during FOX’s Super Bowl pre-game marathon as the network’s “Entertainment Host.” But, really, it only makes sense that this West Coast edition of Super Sunday has all the Hollywood accoutrements (left over from the cancelled Golden Globes perhaps?)

For this reason Bradshaw, who matched tongues with Seacrest during an uninterrupted 15 minute segment this morning, seems slightly out of place in his own domain. The four-time Super Bowl champion and Steelers legend who co-anchors FOX’s NFL Sunday, has previously stated that the media circus that surrounds the game is not for him. Like Seacrest, Bradshaw has the broadcasting chops and natural charm to engage the audience during spectacles like this, but tabloid fixture he is not.

On this morning’s show he was given the opportunity, in a relatively informal setting, to (briefly) be a football goon once more. He candidly spoke about his distaste for Idol and it’s contemporaries while excitedly reminiscing about pissing contests with his daughters’ (Rachel, top) dates. This naturally segued into Seacrest trying to scam a date with one of the Bradshaw girls and, eventually, a plea by Terry to be “hooked up” with Seacrest’s leftovers.

The segment was wholly entertaining, if not testosterone fueled. Glorified locker room talk, essentially. Bradshaw, despite Seacrest’s brand value, was clearly top dog for the moment. To a younger, hipper, bleach-blonder crowd, however, the gatekeepers are FOX’s newest football analyst, Seacrest and other TMZ mainstays like, say, Tom Brady and Matt “Hollywood” Leinart.

And, in case you missed it, that was indeed a jab at the USC football culture.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bigger Tease: Terrelle Pryor or JJ Abrams?

I pose this question only because the guys at Eleven Warriors staked claim to the more obvious, "Are you sick of hearing about Terrelle Pryor?"

Within the last 36ish hours, a relatively insignificant length of time when compared to the year's worth of strain this young man has put on the collective conscious of Buckeye Nation, these Pryor-related niblets have surfaced:

Though this is most tiresome (nonetheless, I feel like someone needs to make some kind of bold social commentary about the irony of myself and others like me becoming bored with the circus that, essentially, we've created), I can hardly wait to tune in tomorrow to see what twist the Pryor drama has taken.

Coincidently, today (Thursday) is also the return of JJ Abrams' masterwork,
LOST. Abrams, who long ago handed the reins off to Damon Lindelhof and Carlton Cruse, is known for his large scale mindfucks. Cloverfield, which I, admittedly, have yet to see, is heralded as the Blair Witch of monster flicks because of it's clever promotional campaign that divulged as little info as possible about the plot or antagonist. Essentially, the Abrams-produced film rode the internet/word-of-mouth buzz created by thousands of co-opted fanboys to the number one box office spot its opening weekend.

In a similar fashion, Pryor--knowingly or not--is a one man hype machine. Like the
LOST, he scatters nonlinear clues throughout interviews (episodes), playing the media hot and cold. Just when we think we've figured him out, he drops a season finale cliffhanger like "I'm 50-50 about pushing my announcement back."

I'm in negotiations with our friend, traveling reporter Paul Germain, to do a point/ counter-point debating whether Pryor will be a detriment or foundation stone to the Buckeyes if he comes on board.

Stay tuned...


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jamar Butler: "Dialing up bombs"

After a rough stretch earlier in the month, the basketball Bucks are back to cruising in the W- column, mostly thanks to the play of "old man Butler." Jamar Butler, one of three seniors on the roster, is having the season of his life, averaging more than 15 points while leading the Big Ten in both assists/game and three-point percentage.

Butler added 20 tallies to the 68 points OSU put up against Penn State in PA last night. Here are the highlights from ESPN:

Even though I feel like taking a shower after listening to Steve Lavin, Musberger wisely noted that the Buckeye team he saw last night is almost certainly Tournament-bound.

Iowa is next for OSU, who moved to 6-2 in conference play.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who's comin' with me?

Wheeling, WVa.'s ECHL Hockey franchise, the Wheeling Nailers, is hosting a "Shred Rich Rodriguez" night on Saturday.

This is legit.

The Nailers, who have the most creative marketing guys in the league behind whoever thought of The Columbus Chill's ill-advised "Drop a pass with Ken-Yon Rambo" night, are offering discounted tickets to:

Any fan that brings in a newspaper article or picture of the former West Virginia University football coach to contribute to the industrial sized paper shredder that will be stationed in the concourse. Additionally any fan who wears WVU apparel to the game will receive $2 off their ticket price. Ohio State fans will also receive the discount by wearing their gear to the game to demonstrate their mutual distaste for Michigan.

For Ohio St. fans and RichRod haters everywhere this means a night of discounted ECHL hockey.

So, its either that or the new Rambo movie.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Former Buckeyes get their degrees

A press release issued earlier this week by The Ohio State University details the school's success in issuing degrees to former student-athletes. A report published by the National Consortium of Academics and Sports (NCAS), ranks OSU "second nationally in the 2006-07 academic year in former student-athletes returning and completing their undergraduate degrees." A PDF of the NCAS report can be found here.

Kudos to OSU for offering the NCAS' Degree Completion Program.

The list of alumni athletes (more than 100) that are currently/were in the program reads something like a line-up for the Ohio St. edition of Hollywood Squares. Some of the highlights:

  • Butler By'not'e ('90-'93), who made apostrophes fashionable far before Ni'al Diggs.
  • Mike Nugent ('01-'04). But, really, how did Nuge manage to not get his degree in four years?
  • Michael Wiley ('96-'99)
  • Mike Kudla ('02-'05) Not to perpetuate the meat head stereotype, but there's just no way this guy ever had time to go to class with his rigorous bench press schedule.
  • George Reese ('99-'00). Remember? The small forward on the phantom Final Four team? 'G' tattoo on his arm? Eh? Eh?

The Onion

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OSU alum play well on Sundays

Matt Wilhelm had a break-out year with the Chargers, but not good enough to edge out A.J. Hawk for a starting position on CFN's list.

In another one of CFN's trademark 'more than anyone should ever care to know about college football'-features, they've listed the Ohio St. alumni team near the top of their "NFL Alumni Teams" list.

This is one of their more, ahem, bogus undertakings. The criteria:
Remember, these are current players, or players that are still close to playing, with the occasional current college stars thrown in to to fill out a starting lineup. A * is next to the names of the incoming rookies, and a ** is next to the names of the players coming back to school next year. Also to note, the idea is to find the best players for the lines and the secondaries; they might not always fit with four safeties or five tackles if needed.
Incoming rookies? Current college players? Very curious...

The OSU roster is pretty intimidating, nonetheless (save for the typo on the D-Line.) As expected, our defense goes deeeeeep, especially in the DB and LB positions.

photo/ JIM BAIRD- Union Tribune

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Herbstreit gets the hell out of Dodge

As Bob Hunter reported in Friday's Dispatch, Kirk Herbstreit is on the move.

Herbstreit, his wife and four kids plan on relocating to Connecticut, presumably to be closer to ESPN studios and hopefully appear in more of their clever commercials.

Herbie, a Centerville native, moved to built a MTV Cribs-worthy house near Old Arlington a few years back. Having the ex-Buckeyes QB in the neighborhood was exciting while it lasted, but there were always substantial rumors about the conspicuous location attracting too many unsolicited visitors.

photo c/o REMAX

The house is going for about $3.7 mil, no word as to if mascot heads or Chris Fowler memorabilia is included--though it's almost certain that Lee Corso sleeps on the couch in the den.

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