Terrelle Farewell?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Terrelle Pryor — who was already suspended from the first five games due to an NCAA violation — has decided to forego his senior season at Ohio State.

The story is based on an interview with Pryor’s attorney, who read a statement from the Ohio State quarterback.  The attorney quoted the statement as saying:  “In the best interest of my teammates, I have decided to forego my senior year of football at the Ohio State University.”  It is not clear at this point whether the University has confirmed Pryor’s decision.

If Pryor does in fact leave the Ohio State program, it will simply be the latest domino to topple in the memorabilia sales/tattoo scandal that has brought down Coach Jim Tressel and given the University a tremendous black eye.  Pryor would leave with a checkered career that began with his status as a much-heralded recruit, saw him lead Ohio State to victory over Michigan and to some other big wins, but also saw him unable to deliver the National Championship that some Ohio State fans thought might be won with Pryor under center.  His on-field successes, of course, will be forever tarred by his role in the ongoing scandal.

How the wheel of fate has turned since Ohio State fans celebrated Pryor’s decision to commit to Ohio State!


Eurotrip 2011: Bruges and Amsterdam

My voyage from Porto to Bruges on the 28th was a big turning point in my trip: I was leaving Latin Europe for Germanic Europe. For the first time, I would be outside the borders of the former Roman empire.

I experienced some culture shock after arriving in Bruges – surprising, considering that I didn’t experience any when I arrived in Istanbul from the U.S.A. The chilly, windy, cloudy weather made me homesick for the Mediterranean clime. The people seemed more reserved. The prices were higher. I understood less of the language (my Latin and tiny bit of Italian help me with the Romance languages). However, I quickly acclimated myself, thanks in large part to the coziness that even the buildings in Bruges seem to radiate.

In Bruges, in case you haven’t seen it, is a movie about two hit men hired to kill someone in Bruges, who develop spiritual qualms when they see what a nice city Bruges is. I think that the director got his idea for the movie from walking around the city and taking in the atmosphere. It’s a pretty, peaceful, unpretentious town unsuited for murdering.

I was only in Bruges for two nights, and I spent much of my time planning the rest of my trip, so I didn’t have as much time for sightseeing as I’d have liked. I took a walk recommended by an employee at my hostel, which took me past some beautiful canals, windmills and Flemish architecture into a part of town that was empty due to lack of tourists. According to a brochure I read while in Bruges, the city has more tourists than local residents in the summer.

My hostel, the Snuffel Backpacker Hostel, had a bar for a common area – a quality I usually hate in a hostel. But, they served a great local beer called Brugse Zot.

On my last night in Bruges I spent 7 euros to see Tree of Life at a local theater. They showed it in English with Flemish subtitles. I thought it was great, but many of the other people in the theater didn’t have much patience for its slow pacing and lack of dialogue. They cheered when the movie ended, not in a complimentary way.

The next day I took a train to Amsterdam. Frankly, I didn’t like Amsterdam much. My hostel was in the middle of the red light district, somewhere you don’t want to take a walk through at night. Just down the block from my hostel, there were prostitutes behind glass doors with red lights on top.

The city is rather pretty outside the red light district, however. It reminded me of a blown-up Bruges, with wider canals and bigger buildings.

On my first afternoon in Amsterdam I went to the Van Gogh Museum. I was expecting a mixed experience after Roland told me that he was kicked out for making a sketch there. An art museum that doesn’t allow artists to make sketches doesn’t have its priorities straight. Yet, I enjoyed my time there, thanks to the large variety of Van Gogh’s work.

The next morning I went to the Anne Frank house. It was fascinating to see the small, winding rooms I remember imagining when I read Anne Frank’s diary in 8th grade English class. I can’t imagine living in such close quarters with so many other people. I suppose that being in such a tense setting provided the creative fuel for Frank’s diary, which is so insightful for a 13-year-old.

Amsterdam has more cyclists than any other city I’ve been to. There are extra lanes for bikes between the roads and the sidewalks that you quickly learn not to walk across carelessly. Sometimes the cyclists make it hard to navigate the streets as a pedestrian, but thanks to them there are very few cars on the road.

I spent four and a half days in Amsterdam – three nights, plus a fourth day before boarding an overnight train to Copenhagen. I later wished I could have added one of the days to Bruges or Copenhagen. I spent most of my time in Amsterdam wandering around the canals or chilling out at my hostel.

Eurotrip 2011: Lisbon and Porto

Eurotrip 2011: Madrid

Eurotrip 2011: Barcelona

Eurotrip 2011: Rouen, Le Havre and Paris

Eurotrip 2011: Paris

Eurotrip 2011: Nice and Marseille

Eurotrip 2011: Venice and Milan

Eurotrip 2011: Interlaken

Eurotrip 2011: Florence and Pisa

Eurotrip 2011: Rome pt. 2

Eurotrip 2011: Rome pt. 1

Eurotrip 2011: Palermo

Eurotrip 2011: The Journey To Palermo

Eurotrip 2011: Santorini and Athens

Eurotrip 2011: Athens

Eurotrip 2011: Istanbul

Dorothy Fuldheim

As great as Ghoulardi and Barnaby and Captain Penny were, no recollection of Cleveland TV personalities of the ’60s would be complete without some comment about Dorothy Fuldheim.

Dorothy Fuldheim was a legend of Cleveland television.  By the late 1960s, she had already been the undisputed leader of Cleveland TV newscasting and commentary for 20 years.  She had interviewed major historical and cultural figures, from Adolf Hitler to John Kennedy to Muhammad Ali, and even though she was well into her 70s she gave a nightly commentary on what was going on in the world. And she continued to do so long after our family moved from Akron to Columbus and left the Cleveland broadcast area.  Fuldheim did not retire until 1984, at age 91.  She died five years later.

As a kid watching those broadcasts, I never gave a thought to the fact that Dorothy Fuldheim was female and a true trailblazer for women broadcasters.  She was just Dorothy Fuldheim, on the air as she always was, giving her opinions with an absolute, unquestioned air of conviction and authenticity.  It was obvious that she meant everything she said; she was Dorothy Fuldheim and didn’t need to cowtow to anyone.  And her voice!  There was a depth and genuineness to it.  It was like the voice of the whole Midwest, coming from this one red-haired woman sitting behind the desk.  It is no wonder that her career lasted as long as it did.

The YouTube clip below, in which Dorothy Fuldheim commemorates her 86th birthday, is a good example of her unique talents.