Skull Session: Harry Miller is a Hero, Ryan Day Talks Mental Health, and Jayden Baller Draws Devin Smith Comparisons

Well, look on the bright side – your Friday night is now completely free!

Word of the Day: Despondent.

HARRY THE HERO. Nothing I write today (or any other time, for that matter) will be anywhere near as beautiful, honest, courageous, haunting, profound, or impactful as the letter Harry Miller shared with us yesterday.

So, for this first section, I’m going to defeat him. If you missed reading his letter yesterday, please read it now. If you did read it yesterday, read it again.

I am medically retiring.

I would not usually share such information. However, because I have played football,
am no longer afforded the privilege of privacy, so I will share my story briefly before
more articles continue to ask, “What is wrong with Harry Miller?” That is a good
question. It is a good enough question for me not to know the answer, though I have
asked it often.

Prior to the season last year, I told Coach Day of my intention to kill myself. Hey
immediately had me in touch with Dr. Candice and Dr. Norman, and I received the
support I needed. After a few weeks, I tried my luck at football once again, with scars
on my wrists and throat. Maybe the scars were hard to see with my wrists taped up.
Maybe it was hard to see the scars through the bright colors of the television. Maybe
the scars were hard to hear through all the talk shows and interviews. They are are
hard to see, and they are easy to hide, but they sure do hurt. There was a dead man
on the television set, but nobody knew it.

At the time, I would rather be dead than a coward. I’d rather be nothing at all, than
have to explain everything that was wrong. I was planning on being reduced to my
initials on a sticker on a back of a helmet. I had seen people seek help before. I had
seen the age-old adage of how our generation was softening by the second, but I can
tell you my skin was tough. It had to be. But it was not tougher than the sharp metal of
my box cutter. And I saw how easy it was for people to dismiss others by talking
about how they were just a dumb, college kid who didn’t know anything. But luckily, I
am a student in the College of Engineering, and I have a 4.0 and whatever braces
you might require, so maybe if somebody’s hurt can be taken seriously for once, it can
be mine. And maybe I can vouch for all the other people who hurt but are not taken
seriously because, for some reason, pain must have pre-requisites

A person like me, who supposedly has the entire world in front of them, can be fully
prepared to give up the entire world. This is not an issue reserved for the far and
away. It is in our homes. It is in our conversations. It is in the people we love.

I am not angry. I had to lose my anger because I did not know if God would forgive me if I went to him if in anger. I did not know how the Host of Hosts would respond to my
unexpectedly arrived, and I did not want to tempt him. So in my sadness, I lost my anger
and learned many things. I learned what color blood is through the tears in my eyes.
learned that the human ear can not distinguish between the two when their drops hit
a tiled floor. But above all, I learned love, the type of love that can only be pieced
together by the mechanism of brutal sadness.

And so I will love more than I can be hated or laughed at, for I know the people who
are sneering need most the love that I was looking for. The cost of apathy is life, but
the price of life is as small as an act of kindness. I am a life preserved by the kindness
that was offered to me by others when I could not produce kindness for myself.

We ask “How could this have happened?” but that single question can not solve us
of all the questions we might have asked while it was happening.

I am grateful for the infrastructure Coach Day has put in place at Ohio State, and I am
grateful that he is letting me find a new way to help others in the program. I hope
athletic departments around the country do the same. If not for him and the staff, my
words would not be a reflection. They would be evidence in a post-mortem.

God bless those who love. God bless those who weep. And God hurt those who hurt
and only know how to share their hurt by anger, for they are learning to love with me.

I am okay.

There is help, always.


Dum Spiro Spero

While I Breathe, I Hope

I do not know Harry personally, and maybe I never will. But with his letter and how many lives I’m sure he’s already reached, it’s very clear to that his pain had a purpose, and there is hope found in his hurting.

I am proud of him. And he is dearly, dearly loved by more people than he will ever know.

He will never play another snap for Ohio State, but I sincerely believe he will go down as one of the single most impactful human beings ever to wear a Buckeye uniform.

DAY LEADING THE WAY. I obviously do not know exactly what happened and I don’t want to speak on Harry’s behalf, but from the outside looking in, I’m not sure there is a better head coach in the country for him to go to with his mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide than Ryan Day.

Day gets it – he lost his father to suicide when he was young. And because of that, he’s placed an enormous value on mental health as a coach.

And I don’t think it was a coincidence that the evening before Miller officially announced his retirement from football, Day was out preaching the importance of mental health, and sharing a little bit of his own story.

There are a lot of things that make me proud of my alma mater and the team I root for and professionally write words about, and Day and Miller just keep giving me more.

DEVIN SMITH JR. I normally try not to compare new or upcoming players to other Buckeyes from the past, because it doesn’t really feel fair to either player and usually sets up the young guy for failure.

But when you come from Massillon, change your number to Devin Smith’s No. 9, and openly mention his name several times during your brief interview, I’m not really left with any choice.

The only thing that would make this better is if you told me that Ballard hasn’t lost a game in his career when scoring a touchdown.

SIGN HIM. Liam McCullough hasn’t played in a competitive football game since his time at Ohio State, but he’s out here proving he’s ready at a moment’s notice.

I admittedly know very little about long snapping, but it’s pretty damn clear to me that he’s the best available snapper in the country and might be better than some current pros.

If he doesn’t at least get an invite to someone’s camp this year, I’m going to be furious on his behalf.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Turn My Swag On” by Soulja Boy.

NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Wrongfully convicted of terrorism in the fearful years after 9/11, Hamid Hayat lost everything… The wild world of invertebrate butts… A woman fights to keep her ‘FART’ license plate… The last party on Lombard Street. .. This man has lived on a cruise ship for 20 years… Fabric softener doesn’t actually make clothes softer…

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