My last column went really well. That is, everyone seemed to enjoy it and it was easy to write. To what do I attribute both of those, uh, attributes? Well, I excerpted letters to me and articles that I stole.
What a great idea! At least as to those e-mails/letters I get, the people who write me are far more interesting than…me. And a number of them (you, that is…) asked me about other e-mails.
So, in a continuing effort to become more interesting (and to make my life easier, in the bargain…), I am continuing the trend to start this new Bucket of Bullets…
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They said he drove in with a Bentley…I have friends who work in the check cashing biz. This is an actual e-mail that one of them received a few weeks back:
So, I've cashed a check for $44,893.13! Best part, the customer was a player for the New Orleans Saints!!!! I got to call their main office and speak to a coach and HR to verify it! How cool is that? It was his payroll check…he just got traded to the Browns, probably still has to set up a bank account, the fee was over $500!
And that is the account of how LeCharles cashed LeCheck…
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I'll give you the shirt off his back…I keep getting questions and comments about the new football jerseys. Hey – I didn't design the damn things – quit blaming me for it! With nearly universal loathing for the color combo, we got a lot of e-mails with expressions of opinions. Despite my continued remonstrations, many writers assume I still bear some responsibility, as did Gary Plotz below:
Please don't sponsor any OSU Merchandise which shows the new Red and White colors. OSU is Scarlet and Gray. The buck must stop somewhere. If you do I will have to consider dropping my account with your fine organization.
> Gary Plotz
> Rome New York.
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Also plotzing was one Jeff Shultz:
Help!! `Drive, drive on down the field men of the
scarlet and WHITE? What in the world is up with these
new jerseys? It looks like some twit with a squeeky
voice and tight pants gave the order to sabotage our
beloved Buckeyes. We dealt with the Browns leaving ten
years ago, and now this. Does this remind you of the
uniform change back in `79? Thank goodness those came
and went. We need you to throw your weight around, Mr.
Bucknuts. Let's do away with these mindless changes
once and for all!
More than a little upset,
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The Long run…Duane Long has been putting together his lists of the best of the best in Ohio high school football for many years now. I met Duane back when he (and Chris Roberts) were running off lists on their mimeograph machine (Google it kids – such a thing really existed). The old format was called "Ohio's Future Stars". The Bucknuts gang stepped in, cleaned up the grammar and syntax, went to full-color, and pretty soon we had a big smashing magazine.
Well, this week the newest Ohio High magazine comes out and it includes Duane's annual "Ohio's future stars" – his listing of the Top 100 for next year (in order, with explanations), another 150 highly-sought seniors-to-be, plus the best freshmen, sophomores and juniors. It's cool beyond words. At least my words…
I mention all this because I went back into the archives and checked out the beginning years of Duane's touts. How has his soothsaying played out, you wonder? Take a look at this:
The 2000-2001 Edition
This was a weak class in Ohio (particularly in retrospect) and Duane came out with his "Top 75 Juniors" (so weak that there weren't a Top 100?). Here are the Top Ten of those:
1. Simon Fraser
2. Pat Massey
3. Brandon McKinney
4. Angelo Chattams
5. Redgie Arden
6. Pierre Woods
7. Chad Anderson
8. Mark Conley
9. Dustin Fox
10. Tim Murphy
There are good stories and rational explanations on each of those kids. I will go into that in the next episode of the Bucket of Bullets. We will also look at the Top Ten sophomores of this edition, including names like Maurice Clarett and Justin Zwick.
Ahh, the memories…
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These sour grapes produce a fine whine…Bucknuts was asked to be involved with the original thinkers of that newish site, Coachtressel.com; and encouraged all concerned that it seemed like a neat idea. Yes, that's the kind of guys we are.
Although they don't/can't comment on recruiting – and they stay away from all controversies – they do their thing and we do ours. But I squirmed a bit last week when the site used its, well…access to encourage new subscribers to sign up by allowing them to attend a scrimmage that was closed to the public. Anything else I say would be piling on. But since a number of you out there asked for my opinion on this matter, there it is…
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2003, we hardly knew ye…Kirk Larrabee, our swami of the stat, pointed out in a recent update to subscribers that the recruiting Class of 2003 is sagging here at the end of their four-year run. Out of 15 kids recruited in that class, only 6 remain on the team this year. And out of those, only 4 are currently "impact" players. That impact group includes David Patterson, Kirk Barton, Tony Gonzalez, and Marcel Frost. And that's it!
The number of the flame-outs far out-number the success stories. In the former category, we list: Dareus Hiley, Louis Irizarry, Ira Guilford, Reggie Smith, and Brandon Maupin. I also consider Sian Cotton and Devin Jordan on the lost-cause side of the ledger.
To be fair (a new precedent for this column…) a couple "graduates" from the Class of '03 are moving on (Ashton Youboty and Donte Whitner are leaving early for the NFL) plus Todd Boeckman and Curt Lukens still have a chance to prove themselves in the next two seasons. But, man, just four impact guys out of a class in their natural senior year…
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Two-timing, Ohio style…Ostensibly, there are only four players in high school history that repeated as national basketball players of the year. It is accepted wisdom that Jerry Lucas was the first to achieve that amazing feat back in 1958 and 1959. The feet that followed him were the well-heeled Lebron James and now the Hoosier-soon-to-be Buckeye, Greg Oden. Only three in history and all have an OSU tie-in. Yes, I am counting the fact that Lebron said he would have gone to Ohio State if he had gone to college.
Let the cards and letters begin…
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Did you hear about the dyslexic man who walked into a bra… I do get a lot of cards and letters groaning over my glib and injudicious use of language. Look – anyone who would name his website "Bucknuts" (named after my family, of course…) had an obvious and innate irreverence for linguistics. I admit it. So sue me.
I am going through this modest discourse for the sole purpose of cutting down the hate mail from those of you that assume everything Ohio State related should be treated as something of a spiritual icon and not have a tongue-in-cheek attached. Ever. I love the Buckeyes. But I think we can support them without elevating them to the pantheon of the gods. And I appreciate great journalism and the handsome turn of a phrase. I would do it, too – but I just don't write that good!
It's easier for those of us in the feeble-minded category to substitute pseudo-wit in the times we feel that a caustic response is appropriate but counter-productive. And that's where the feeble humor from Mr. Bucknuts will have to suffice.
So, the next time you get upset by my wordplay, think of me as that guy that sent twenty puns to a friend to see if at least ten would make him laugh. No pun in ten did…
For further pun-ishment – or if you –prefer swordplay to wordplay – take your best shot at Mr. Bucknuts by contacting him at MrBucknuts@yahoo.com