Silver Bullet Points Keeps Shoveling

Written February 7th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

You’re either reading this from home on a “ice day”, or from work after having dug yourself out of yet another mid-week snow storm.  Stupid freaking groundhog…  At any rate, here’s today’s soundtrack… for reasons that will hopefully soon be evident.

In addition to Gold Pants…

Buckeye 411

  • Thank You, CB2- Sad news this week for Buckeye Senior and site favorite Christian Bryant, who had his appeal for a medical redshirt denied by the NCAA. Bryant, who missed parts of one whole season due to injury during his tenure in Columbus, had already had his case denied by the B1G Office… this means that his playing career in the Scarlet and Gray is officially over.  Godspeed, Christian… Glad you were a Buckeye, Bro.
  • Going Pro In Pro Football- In spite of what the NCAA will tell you, a good portion of D1 Athletes who choose football are looking at careers in that field. Today, we found out which Buckeyes were invited to explore the next step, as Carlos Hyde, Ryan Shazier, Bradley Roby, Jack Mewhort, Philly Brown, and Corey Linsley will be part of the 350+ member NFL combine in Indianapolis later this month. Hyde, Roby, and Shazier are expected to be the highest rated of those six, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Linsley and Mewhort with lengthy professional careers.  Best of luck, gentlemen!
  • This Week In “Journalism”- Not going to point fingers, but rumors of an unfortunate incident between Coach Meyer and former Coach Vrabel swirled across the internet after being published on another Ohio State website.  These were shot down from a pretty solid source; but it makes you wonder why some sites continue to get press access while the rest of us merely toil from our basement.
  • Some Things, You Just Can’t Run From- Amazing article today about Eddie George’s struggle with depression following his football career, and what he’s done to address it.  If it encourages people to get help, then that’s one more amazing score that number 27 can be credited with.
  • Another Former Buckeye Struggles With Past Issues- Linebacker Jamal Muhammed (who left OSU to play at Bethune Cookman) is a part of a class action suit against the NCAA regarding head injuries/concussions.
  • Taking Her Talents Closer To South Beach- Our BFF Janelle had some amazing news this week… hope she doesn’t forget us little people when she’s getting her mojito on in Florida.
  • Archie Griffin Is Awesome. In case you forgot… I’ve personally declared tomorrow Archie Griffin day.
  • RE:Crootin’- When you want the best, you send the best… and Ohio State’s top 3 national class was shaped by amazing coaches, including Scout.com’s top recruiter in the conference, Zach Smith. Smith, who was instrumental in Jalyn Holmes, Noah Brown, Johnnie Dixon, and Terry McLaurin’s joining the Buckeyes talked this week about his relationships with high school coaches in Florida.  The other top guns in the conference are indicative of the power programs, with Michigan’s Greg Mattison and Penn State’s James Franklin also being acknowledged by Scout. You read that correctly- most of the conference was out recruited by a guy who spent three weeks bringing in players that were previously going to Vanderbilt.  Proud.
  • Also? Flags Planted- Visualized by Sammy Silverman: Read More

The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

ku-xlarge

We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

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Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

RICE1

The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

The Week That Were: 10.26.13

Written October 28th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

It’s a week of ghastly costumes and other ghoulish accoutrements… so of course, we’ve got a great soundtrack for all of our friends.

Well, the powers that be didn’t decide to market this weekend’s games as a “Separation Saturday”, but it ended up looking that way at the end of the day. Two more undefeateds fell, two others were challenged, while the top four continued to extend their apparition of domination.

mizzzzzeryLet’s start with the “Columbia Cup” between the Ol’ Ball Coach and this year’s “SEC Surprise”, the Missouri Tigers. I’ve been pulling for the Tigers all season for several reasons: It has been rumored to be a landing spot for Coach Herman if Pinkel was dismissed, and I love the fact that two “middle of the pack” B12 teams join the mighty SEC and play at the top almost immediately.

The Tigers didn’t disappoint early on, jumping out to a huge lead in their spiffy “blackout” gear. However, once Gamecock QB Connor Shaw came off the bench (recovering from a knee issue from last week) the tide turned and the game ended up heading to overtime.

And there, well… let’s just say that Pinkle is Einhorn. The doink heard ’round the conference. 

While there’s still a huge chance that the Tigers can play a role in the BCS, it may only be limited to being a spoiler at this point… but they’ve got some games to play yet, including mathups with Old Miss and aTm before they might face Alabama in the conference championship game.

The second “thanks for playing” award this week goes to a young Texas Tech team, which lost their first contest of the season at Oklahoma. After a lengthy weather delay that resulted in the game being shifted over to Fox News in lieu of World Series coverage, the Fighting Stoops figured out how to get out of their own way and managed to corral the Raiders’ high flying offense… although, it should be noted that Cliff Kingsbury’s team is very young, and will be a contender at the conference level sooner than some would like to admit. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.19.13

Written October 21st, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Happy Monday- if you’re not suspended from work for doing your job the way it’s supposed to be done, then you’ll probably enjoy today’s soundtrack.

Breakfast Of Champions

Who Needs Logic?

You’ve got two choices for this week’s narrative as you talk college sports around the old coffeemaker at the office this morning.

Option one: “Wow, 5 top 25 SEC teams were beaten on Saturday… four in upsets! Is that conference over-rated or what?”

Option two: “Wow, four SEC team upset top 25 teams this weekend!!! What an incredibly deep league… let’s just crown their champion now!”

I’ll let you guess which one will be the talking points of most people… This is, as you may know, the phenomenon of “circular logic“, and when you play games on the field but championships in the polls, it’s something will make a difference for some team.

But, as we said, the games were played on the field, and this week saw 6 of the top 11 upset and two other undefeated teams threatened. We started with a come from behind loss by Team Papa John against UCF on Friday Night. If you’re Louisville, playing anytime anywhere means both that you can build your program AND that you’ve got a national audience when you fall apart late in the game.

Previously, undefeated Miami needed a late score to hold off North Carolina. ACC, y’all.

Saturday’s surprises didn’t include UCLA getting its first loss at Stanford… only because many folks still feel that Stanford is one of the top two teams in the PAC12, and would serve as UCLA’s first test.  Their next text? Oregon.  Have fun, Bruin-bros.  The Stanford Game also brought us what may be the reception of the year… it’s certainly the best catch we saw all week: Read More

The Week That Were: 8.31.13

Written September 2nd, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

For those unfamiliar with this feature, consider it your cheat sheet for the conversations around the grill on Labor Day. As always, these come with a melodic interlude to play gently in the background during your perusal… because you’re that important to me.

Haircolor Brought To You By Home Depot

It was the best of times, it was the… well… best of times. Football was played, plays were made, and the long summer doldrums finally came to an end.

Sawkaralyna got us started off in style, scoring on the third play of their first possession and kicking off the annual “Hey, we’re pretty good! Oh, that’s right… we have to play  in the same conference as Alabama/Georgia/Florida/LSU… nevermind.” The only significant storyline to come out of this game, other than the fact that sometimes “new school clothes” aren’t always fashionable, is the fact that ESPN’s love-fest for all things Clowney turned into the predictable hate-fest for the sophomore after he didn’t balance the budget/solve global warming/play like a Heisman candidate. Whatever helps them get their ratings points, right?

Speaking of firsts, the news this offseason was about the new “targeting” rule and it’s potential impact on the game.  Your future trivia answer to “who was the first college player to be ejected under this rule?’ is none other than Tulane’s Lorenzo Doss. Small Ohio State related fact that’s stuck in my brain for some reason- In 1995, the NCAA decided to crack down on “showboating” and OSU’s Terry Glenn was the first person flagged after signaling “First Down” following a catch against Boston College in the Kickoff Classic.  What a cute rule that was…

At any rate, the impact (see what I did there?) of the new rule was certainly felt across the first weekend; Northwestern had a game-winning drive extended after Cal’s best pass rusher was flagged for “targeting” on a tackle in the end zone, Texas A&M lost a player for a similar infraction (although, to be honest, it was a really bad call), and Oregon had to go and “one up them” (as always) with this potentially crippling hit against Nicholls State. To be fair to the defender, though, everyone in the stadium was yelling “Duck!” to the Nicholls QB. At least that’s what I think they meant…

Another major story this weekend was the debilitating sanctions that hit Heisman winner Johnny Manziel following the “autograph” scandal. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to sit there on the sidelines for that time, missing the change to be with his teammates and… yeah, in the time it took you to read this sentence, his “suspension” was over. I wish my car had a suspension that cushy…. Read More

Silver Bullet Points To Gold

Written August 7th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

While camp is in session over at the WHAC, it’s important to remember that in 1936 another Buckeye was rocking the world this week. By this time that year, Jesse Owens had already won three of his four gold medals in the 100 and 200m, as well as the long jump; the fourth would come on August 8th. So, as excited as we are for the speed that OSU has gained on it’s football team, it’s important to also remember someone who was so talented that he broke another barrier. Today’s soundtrack is a song that was at the top of the charts in both Europe and the United State in 1936 as well… pretty appropriate for August.

Buckeye Bullet: Ohio State Speed

Buckeye 411

  • We’re Talking Practice! Day three in the books, and based on comments from Coach Meyer, it was a pretty good one. He was impressed by the strides that Braxton has taken and where he is with his leadership/communication. He also talked frankly about freshman Dontre Wilson, that he had electric speed and brought something they didn’t have in the past.
  • Line? Up- Taylor Decker seems to be leading the battle for the starting right tackle slot, while Marcus Hall has trimmed down significantly in a move that has helped his mobility/agility- Coach Warriner commented that he needed a belt now.  Corey Linsley is still recovering from off season foot surgery, but there’s no concern regarding his being ready to play in a few weeks.
  • That Being Said- Coach Meyer singled out the line and the linebackers as still being areas of concern, particularly in terms of depth.  When asked what would help get these positions to look more “Ohio State-ish”, he replied “another recruiting class”.
  • Good News! No one was in trouble with the law this week! W00t!
  • In Fact- Carlos Hyde, Marcus Baugh, and Bradly Roby were all part of practice on Tuesday.  No decisions have been made re: Roby, as Meyer stated that he was “still getting information” on the situation.
  • For Kicks- Cameron Johnston is the starting punter, according to Meyer, and has athletic ability to the point where they are able to do some “different things” with the punting game this year.
  • The Downside- As powerful as the offense is expected to be, we might not get to see Johnston or the amazing Bryce Haynes work their magic much this season. Alas.
  • Triumph From Tragedy- News broke on Monday that B1G programs would be recieving “refunds” of sorts, as the Penn State bowl allocation would be split among the rest of the conference due to their sanctions. Ohio State announced that they were donating the amount to child advocacy groups, which is pretty cool, given the circumstances. No word on how other programs are planning on using their allocation.
  • Buckeye Pron- Looking for a schedule wallpaper for the old laptop? Well, this one from Sammy Silverman will do nicely, I think: Read More

Beat The Heat With Silver Bullet Points

Written July 17th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Now that the rain has subsided, maybe the Buckeye State can enjoy the summer sunshine and higher temperatures… or as we call it in Los Angeles, “Wednesday”. Today’s soundtrack hearkens back to the halcyon days of the 80′s, before I had to actually pay for air conditioning. Back then, I thought that a Power Station meant something completely different…

ice-bullet-1

Refreshing

Buckeye 411

  • Watching The Watched, Men- Following up from last week, we’ve got a few more Buckeyes on “watch lists” this week. Two thirds of the secondary is on the Thorpe Award list- Roby, Barnett, Bryant; while Corey Brown and Devin Smith were named to the counterpart Biletnikoff list. Ryan Shazier doubled dipped this week, being targeted for the Butkis and Lombardi lists; he joins Andrew Norwell on the latter.
  • Thoughts And Prayers- Go out to the family of Buckeye legend Jim Jackson, who lost his father this weekend.
  • “I ain’t drunk… I’m just drinkin’” I’m pretty sure that Marcus Baugh is not familiar with the work of Albert Collins; just as I’m sure that Mr. Baugh is going to be intimately familiar with the work of strength coach Mickey Mariotti following the news from this past weekend. If you hadn’t heard, Marcus was arrested for underaged consumption and use of another person’s identification- it sounds like a double dose of trouble, to be honest. If you believe message boards and whatnot, Baugh was brought back to his dorm when initially confronted by police; he chose to return to the party and use another student’s ID when confronted a second time. We’ll continue to monitor this as it develops.
  • Urban’s Fault? With everyone jumping on the bandwagon to blame Coach Meyer for global warming housing bubble crash assassination of Archduke Firdinand the Aaron Hernandez situation, it was interesting to read an account of the Meyer legacy from someone who was actually there. You know, in stead of someone who’s digging for pageviews and interviewing disgruntled former players.
  • Your Killing Me, Small(s)- MotSaG with the latest in this trainwreck.
  • The Game, Junior- Since Pennsylvania backed out of their annual High School All Star game against Ohio’s best (I guess they couldn’t handle the annual loss, in spite of the shady officiating), That State Up North has stepped up the the challenge. As the OZone’s Tony Gerdeman notes, this event will see the best from Michigan and the best from Ohio play for bragging rights, beginning next year. Several of our twitter friends pointed out that this matchup will feature TTUN and OSU players against MAC Conference players- unless, that is, Ohio’s roster gives players to Michigan to make the game interesting. You know, just like in November.
  • Buckeyes Grow On Money Trees- Kyle Rowland from 11Warriors with a great article Tuesday morning about the spending habits in college athletics.  Guess what? The teams that spend more are more successful.
  • Lineup- From Sammy Silverman, the front wall of the B1G’s best offense: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Makes Memories

Written May 29th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Hopefully you’re either recovering from the long weekend or making plans for the next one… as an educational moment, though, be sure to know what you’re doing. As for me, I had a great weekend up above the treeline and enjoying some music that made me remember my college days… so, it’s also your soundtrack.

Memorial Day for the Buckeyes

Buckeye 411

As I studied the statistics from year #1 to year #2 at Meyer’s three previous colleges, I noticed that the rushing offense and scoring offense improved at all three programs.  Outside of those statistics, it’s hard to recognize any trends.

Good news for OSU fans… bad news for the B1G.

  • Sadder News- Former Ohio and Ohio State coach Tom Lichtenberg passed away on Sunday after a fight with cancer. He was 72. A coach under Earl Bruce, one tie he has to the current team is that one of his former graduate assistants is now the head coach. Thoughts and prayers to the Lichtenberg family.
  • Uniformity? Since we didn’t have any major bombshells this Memorial Day Weekend (thank God), it was good to see that Buckeye Nation was all atwitter about the possibility of going full Oregon this fall in terms of costume selection. We know for a fact that there will be a change in the uniforms this year (it’s been a while, and it’s a good time to capitalize on what’s sure to be an epic season by making new jerseys that will sell and make money for everyone but the players have the new staff put their mark on the program), but I’m hoping that we’ll get a little more Eddie and Orlando rather than Phil Knight’s other monstrosities.
  • Some Recruiting News- The Nation’s top quarterback put out his list, and Ohio State is in the final five; Kyle Allen has plans to make it to Columbus this summer. Also, this weekend is the Nike Elite 11 and NFTC Camps, so there will be a number of top tier athletes on campus. They won’t be able to meet with coaches while they are at camp, however… unless they set up unofficial visits, which is what #1 overall 2014 player DaShawn Hand and top 2015 recruit Tim Settle have elected to do. Stay tuned.
  • Troll Tide- Today, the SEC discussed the move to 9 conference games, a decision that would take away some of the cherished home games that SEC fans are packing the stadium to see. Alabama coach Nick Saban seems to be behind the idea, although in his comments regarding SEC strength of schedule was this fantastic gem:

How many (of the SEC’s top 6 programs) would Ohio St have beaten? Would they have won 3? I don’t know.

It’s always nice to know that someone is thinking of you, right?  Anywho, as you can imagine, the response was pretty interesting: Spencer Hall brought his usual crack-analysis (why the UC photo at the top, though?), while other voices brought a bit more reason into the discussion. At any rate, with Coach Meyer talking openly about the Tide and Saban having his mind on the doin’s up in Columbus… this is going to be a hell of a season.

  • “I Wanna Go Back To Ohio State, To Old Columbus Town…” Silverman’s work this week reminds us of yet another reason why: Read More