With the First Pick……

The Oakland Raiders select Quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, Louisiana State. No Mario Williams over Reggie Bush this year, the Raiders get the player they covet and a player to build franchise around, the right pick. But what makes this the right pick? Is it the fact that he is an ideal 6′5“, 256? Or is it the fact that he is ridiculously over hyped by this years draft craze? This happens every year, in every draft no matter what talent level the draft is at or how weak, the players are always made to seem as if they will start right away and they will become the next Donovan McNabb or Randy Moss.

This is why the draft is so great, each year you watch the draft and see the player your team selects and you see the future best player, who plays that position. But the problem is that is exactly why Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have jobs for a month out of the year and pray that no-one notices that basically any fan who follows college football could be doing what their doing. They sell us and future and we bite, hard. That is why these college athletes go through the combine and take tests and are judged to the smallest imperfection, because no one wants their future spoiled, no one wants Ryan Leaf or Courtney Brown, or Ted Ginn Jr. ……. Oh Wait.

The fact is with all of these tests and drills that these kids are going through the scouts are missing out on the most important thing to judge by, production. I mean all of these numbers along with time, and hype have screwed with our mind and made us reevaluate who the best players are.

There were reasons why Mel Kiper Jr. had Brady Quinn ahead of JaMarcus Russel 2 days after any of these players would play another down of college football, and not 21 picks behind him. There were also reasons why Dwayne Jarrett was the second ranked wide receiver in all of college football and not the 45 player taken. There also might have been reasons why Levi Brown was the 3rd ranked Tackle coming out of the draft and not the 5th overall pick.Take a look at it, there were 15 players that were taken in the first round of yesterdays draft who were not on Mel Kiper’s Big Board of 25, 2 days after the national championship.

I’m sure Brady Quinn doesn’t appreciate the 4 months of time between Mel Kipers first draft projections and the moment when he put on a Cleveland Browns hat 20 picks later than he could have and $20 million poorer. This could have been the worst draft scenario of all time, a possible number one pick who falls through teams who need a quarterback, like Cleveland, Minnesota, and Miami(more on that in a minute) and thereby losing top 10 money. So he tries to console himself by saying “Hey, at-least i’ll go to a good team”, Nope. So teams like the Jets, Giants, Jacksonville, and Carolina all pass on him. Until lucky number 22 comes along and Brady sees the browns have traded for the pick. God only knows what he is thinking at this point, probably somewhere along the lines of “Cleveland’s a Nice Place to Kill Myself.”

But nonetheless the Browns take him and Brady takes his long walk from the green room to the center stage holding a browns hat, knowing that every one in radio city music hall is now taking pity on a millionaire. Through all this heartbreak, nothing could have been worse than when the Miami Dolphins passed on Quinn with the 9th pick. A good team in a great city, with great weather, and most of all a quarterback situation that could only be described as an inappropriate joke thatd ends, “Everyone gets a turn.”

While Quinn is half standing up to meet Roger Goodell, and all the experts are talking about what a great pick this is for the Dolphins, 2 words come out of the commissioners mouth, “Ted Ginn.” A quick pan to Brady Quinn, who because he knows cameras are on him and needs to say something turns to his girlfriend and says “Thats Impressive.” While proof that no one is happy with this pick, the TV then goes live to Miami where head coach Cam Cameron is being booed while he tells the fans about Ted Ginn Jr. and what he brings to the Dolphins, Return Specialist. Hmmmmmm…….. He did not use the word receiver once during the conference and trust me the Dolphin fans noticed. But don’t worry Ted Ginn has GREAT potential.

Welcome to the 2008 NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders are now on the clock.

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Sunday Stories

  • The Magic were finished off yesterday in Orlando by the Pistons. Not much of a series, kind of like the rest of the Eastern Conference series. The Cavs took a commanding 3-0 lead over the depleted Wizards squad. The Wiz have hung in there in the last two games, but haven’t had the scoring down the stretch to beat the Cavs.
  • In the West the Spurs took one from the Nuggets in Dever 96-91. The Spurs trio of stars got it done again last night. While Iverson had a bad shooting night, and Melo’ couldn’t hit from the free throw line (6-11). In the nightcap the Jazz looked strong at home vs. a homesick Rockets team. I thought this was the year that T-Mac was going to get out of the first round? Look for the Rockets to bring their A game in game 5 in Houston. I see this series going all 7 games.
  • The Yanks ended their seven game skid yesterday. With a solid pitching performance by some unknown Igawa guy. Who pitched six scoreless innings. Then Rivera was able to come in and get the save with some nice defensive help from A-Rod. The Cubs took another from the rival Cardinals by a score of 8-1. The man that I say will hit .400 this season, Derek Lee was 2-4 and is now about .390. Ok maybe I am going out on a little bit of a limb here!
  • Michael Jordan’s son Jeffrey is planning on going to the University of Illinois, and becoming a walk-on player. We’ll see how this one plays out, he should receive plenty of media coverage. I don’t think he will do much there, but he will definitely see time because of the name on the back of his jersey.
  • I guess I should mention the NFL draft. Detroit took another WR high in the first round. I’m still not sold on Calvin Johnson. When is the last time a WR single handily won a game. Sure he can be a game changer, but he really isn’t going to turn your franchise around. Russell was the correct pick for Oakland to make at 1. Cleveland redeemed themselves by going out and getting Brady Quinn after passing up on him the first time around. He may be a bust, but when you are in Cleveland’s spot and he is available then you have to take a shot.
  • Some great NBA games lined up for Sunday. Kobe will try to beat the Suns again, but don’t count on that happening. Miami looks to at least save a little bit of its pride vs. Chicago. The least that they could do is win a couple of games like they are capable of. I will be surprised if Riley lets those guys throw in the towel. Jason Kidd will try to become the second player ever to post back to back triple-doubles in the playoffs (Baron Davis being the other). While the Raps need this win or else their season is just about over. Saving the best for last…..the Mavs look to get back on the winning track that they are accustomed too. The Warriors are just the Mavs kryptonite. This will be a great game to watch, because you can guarantee that the Warriors fans will be as loud as ever and they will push this Warriors team to do great things. I just can’t wait for this game. If GS is able to take another one then you have to believe that the Mavs just can’t beat this team, and GS is just a hot team right now that anyone else would lose too. Just a tough break for the Mavs to play them in the first round when GS is pretty much the only team in the league that has their number. Enjoy folks!

The NFL Draft

Besides maybe the Masters, LLWS, Womens Half Pipe at the Winter X games, the NFL draft is my favorite thing to watch on TV. The drama, the huge crying men, and watching Mel Kiper try and tread water as he explains why he is currently 0-6 on his predictions are a few of my favorite storylines.

However there are a couple things that just drive me insane about the draft. The first thing being the amount of time each team gets on the clock. 15 minutes is absolutley absurd. I could draft an entire Madden fantasy team, simulate the easy games and find a way to get Vick throwing to T.O. and have the first overall pick in 15 minutes. The Oakland Raiders will be on the clock starting 12:00 on April 28th. They have unoffically been on the clock since May 11 1982 ( Andrew Walters birth) However, they still get 15 minutes. I can’t leave and comeback and miss the awkward handshake and interview between Jemarcus Russel and Stuart Scott so I have to wait, and wait, and wait….and you realize and hour into it the Tampa Bay Bucs are on the clock for the 4th pick.

The second thing I would do about the NFL draft is if you have one of the top 5 picks ( so if your the Raiders, Lions, Browns, Bucs, or Cardinals) you have a 1 page essay contest from the fans to see who gets to make that pick. There are three main reasons why this would work.

1) ABSOLUTELY HUMILIATING TO THE GM. This will send an incredible message that you need to step it up because we are letting a stranger almost decide our next 5 year fate. This is compareable to the high school prom queen dumping her boyfriend and being set up on a blind date with her cousin. If that boy doesn’t get the message that he was not doing his job, he never will. If that GM doesnt put in Bill Bellicek like hours in the office after this, then he doesnt deserve the job.

2) THE FAN WILL BE SCARED SHITLESS. Imagine if Steve Bartmen was told a week before that a fly ball was coming his way do you think he still would of reached up. He has the chance to be a town hero, or Steve Bartman times 10. Imagine if a fan drafted Robert Gallery #2 or let Steven Jackson go to late first round. They will do their homework and they will draft well and #3 …

THEY WONT OVERTHINK. Under no circumstances do you draft a lineman #2( Robert Galley to the offensive jugernauts in Oakland) They will use their minds like a fan. If your an NFL fan your probably a college fan so you see the best prediction of an NFL player, COLLEGE. The fan won’t get to see the combine so he will draft on who plays football the best.

I can see a scout drafting Adrian Peterson for the Arizona Cardinals and a girl in Arizona going ” dont we have a good back.” YES you do. A fan would NEVER draft him or someone like Robert Gallery ( I really liked the pick)

Being from New England having God give Bill, I will never be able to enter this contest. But lets say I won here is how it would go. Jamarcus 1…CJ 2…..AP…3 and BQ….8904590432908 Can someone tell me one game Quinn played in against a good team and you thought ” God I wish he was taking our snaps.” But Peterson’s freshmen year and Calvin Johnson’s career made you pray he would be taking handoffs or catching passes. But what do I know? I’m just a fan.