Skull Session: Life in the 11W Slack, Cade Stover Makes His Mom Proud and Ohio State’s Tailgate Scene Needs Respect

When the Big Ten announced its record-breaking media rights deal with Fox, CBS and NBC on Thursday morning, my co-worker and Eleven Warriors senior editor Johnny Ginter sent three separate messages in the company Slack.

9:59 am: SEVEN

9:59 am: BILLION

9:59 am: DOLLARS

At 10:22 am, deputy editor and lead football writer Dan Hope sent an update that Sports Business Journal valued the agreement at $8.05 billion over seven years. Johnny replied again with three messages.

10:29 am: EIGHT

10:29 am: BILLION

10:29 am: DOLLARS

That was precisely my reaction to the news on Thursday. Fox, CBS and NBC backed up the Brinks truck for this deal, and the Big Ten got paid.

With the approval of the conference’s member schools, commissioner Kevin Warren changed the future viewing experience for fans of Big Ten teams – what they’ll watch, how they’ll watch and where they’ll watch. We’ll find out in 2023 whether those changes actually make watching Big Ten football better for fans, but we already know the conference will reap the financial rewards.

Anyways, let’s get to the good stuff and have a great Friday, shall we?

WAIT – ONE MORE THING. OK, I song. Sorry, I’m not sorry. This video from CBS is too good, and I need to ensure everyone watches it. If you’ve seen the clip already, watch it again and take it all in.

It’s beautiful. Get ready to hear that music a lot next fall.

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Ohio State’s six captains are CJ Stroud, Kam Babb, Tyler Friday, Tommy Eichenberg, Kourt Williams and Cade Stover. The final name mentioned has endured a lot of change during his Buckeye career, including several position switches between linebacker and tight end.

Regardless of where Stover has played for Ohio State, he’s always been a leader, and that’s evident in how the team’s coaches speak of him and his impact in the locker room. Take this video, for example, where tight ends coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson calls Stover’s mother to break the news that he had been named a captain.

“This is going to be a special, special year,” Wilson said in the video. “He’s not only making plays, but he’s making a lot of plays behind the scenes. The way he works and the connection with our players – he’s just a special man and a special talent.”

When asked what becoming a team captain meant to him, Stover said he feels blessed and honored to be held in such high esteem by his teammates, whom he considers brothers on and off the field.

“It means a lot,” Stover said on Monday. “I really got no words. I love this team. I love the people around me.”

Cheers to Stover for what seemed a tremendous off-season. May Ohio State actually use the tight end more than they ever this season, and may Stover reap the benefits of his hard work in 2022.

HELP ME HERE. I usually offer no consideration to a Twitter user named Big Game Boomer. However, he released a list on Thursday that caught my attention.

The Boomer ranks all things associated with college football like coaches, players or even the best dining spots on college campuses, among other things. This time around, he created six tiers for the best tailgating schools in college football, and the Buckeyes fell in the third category. They were also the third-best Big Ten school in the tailgate department behind Michigan and Penn State.

Now, I’ve been to fewer tailgates at Ohio State than I could count on one hand. Still, I felt a deep disrespect that the school from which I received a bachelor’s degree was not respected as one of the best gameday environments in college football.

Am I wrong to feel this way? Please tell me whether or not the Boomer’s placement of Ohio State’s tailgate scene is justified in the comments.

OLYMPIC VILLAGE. Ohio State women’s ice hockey won the program’s first national title in 2021-22 with wins over Quinnipiac, Yale and Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA Tournament.

When head coach Nadine Muzerall hoisted the trophy, it fulfilled a prophecy she had foretold to the university’s athletic department before the season – that she possessed a championship-caliber team capable of winning it all.

“At the beginning of the year, Muz stood in front of all of athletics and said, ‘We’re gonna win a national championship this year,'” Ohio State forward Clair DeGeorge said after winning the title. “We look back at that now and realize that we actually made that come true. It’s huge.”

Muzerall’s unquestioned belief, coaching and instruction combined with the Buckeyes’ collective talent on each line pushed Ohio State over the mountain top last season. Now, the team’s historic championship victory will live on forever in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

I think those items would look perfect next to the Stanley Cup. A little Ohio State memorabilia next to that big silver trophy would be really nice.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Feels Right” by Danny’s Dead.

CUT TO THE CHASE. Buffalo Wild Wings adds chicken-wing topped pizza to the menu… Streaming services are surpassing cable networks for the first time… Kid Cudi and Kanye West are feuding again… Japan is encouraging young people to drink more… Michigan woman wins the lottery with a randomly-found ticket.

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