The Michael Vick Dilemma

Let me start by saying that I believe that if Vick did commit the crimes that they say that he did then he should go to jail and not play football, and that those are horrible and inhuman things to do. Now let me get to the part about this situation that is killing me. I’m watching ESPN and they show all of the PETA protesters (over 100) holding up signs and calling for Vick to not be allowed to play football and be put in jail. Honestly I very much dislike these cranky middle-aged woman that hold up these signs like it will actually do anything. Especially because 95% of the these PETA people probably didn’t even know who Michael Vick was before this, and now he is there worst enemy. Let’s remember that as of now Vick is innocent. Just like every other American citizen is if they are alleged of a crime. We do not know what role Vick played in any of this or if he even really played a significant role at all. Yet all of these people are out on the streets calling for Vick to be put out of work. Let’s be honest they are just doing that because he is a star athlete and celebrity, and they don’t want to see him making millions of dollars for doing what he does, and playing in front of packed stadiums every Sunday. You know what I say to all those PETA people, I’m sorry you weren’t the one that was given this incredible ability that Vick was given. Don’t be bitter because he plays 16 football games, and gets paid millions of dollars for it. If this were some Joe Schmoe who was endicted for the same crimes then PETA wouldn’t be out in the streets protesting for him to be put out of work. What if one of those PETA protesters was alleged of a crime, and we stood out in the street with signs saying don’t let Sally be a secretary. Would that be fair to do. Try to put them out of a job even though at that moment they are completely innocent.

Please don’t get me wrong I am glad these PETA people have something that they stand for, and that they want to protect. But really can’t you find something better to do then stand out in the streets and get some guy put out of work over allegations. Let me stress again that these are terrible crimes that Vick is accused of, and if they are true then I too believe that he should be put in jail, but right now he is innocent as could be and we don’t know what is true and what isn’t.

Just look at the Kobe Bryant alleged rape charge a few years back in Colorado. What if Stern suspended Kobe, and took away his job and his livelyhood for a prime year in his career just over allegations. Also I know right now that if you are in PETA and you are reading this you are probably saying, “Who is Kobe Bryant.” Just don’t worry about it I understand, but for the rest of us we know that Kobe was charged, and the case never even made it to trial. Would you want your job and life taken away from you just because of some false charges? If Stern had suspended him it would have been the wrong thing to do, and I believe that the same rule applies for NFL commisioner Roger Goodell.

Another example is the Duke Lacrosse case. A defense attorney (Mike Nifong) completely overreacts to charges made towards 3 athletes and look at what happens. The charges end up being dropped, and the lives of 3 kids in the prime of their lives are completely changed. Wait not just those 3 kids are affected though it’s also the other 20+ players on the lacrosse team that have their season and everything that they worked for taken away from them now. All because of allegations that were made. Please Roger Goodell and PETA don’t try to do the same to Vick. Even if these allegations had a chance of being 99% true and 1% false I say don’t suspend him over allegations, because there is that chance that Vick is innocent and you would change his life and others lives completely.

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.

Vince Young Isn’t Scared

So I’m sure you’ve heard the news: Vince Young will be featured on the next Madden cover. Then comes the talk of everyone about the curse of the Madden cover. The “Madden Curse” as it is called has been hampering NFL stars for the past 9 seasons. With its victims including Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Dante Culpepper, Mike Vick, and most recently Shaun Alexander. For a complete Madden Curse history visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madden_curse. So this cover jinx has chosen a perfect target for the upcoming 2008 cover. Vince Young is a mobile young quarterback who loves to make plays with his legs. Also he is coming off a Rookie of the year campaign in which he almost lead the Titans to the AFC playoffs after a terrible start.

What do I make of the move by Young to agree to have his 6’6 frame on the cover? Well first off I don’t think that this was about money, but maybe about the celebrity a little bit. People who say that you shouldn’t put yourself on the cover obvious are just giving up, and have no faith in that player. That is really saying something that a person has more faith in a crazy cover jinx then in their favorite player who is a star in the league. Well I’ll tell you one thing Vince Young isn’t scared of this “curse.” Heck, why should he be? He is the closest thing that the NFL has to superman right now. Sure he doesn’t have that pretty throwing motion, and he has only been in the league for one year and started a limited number of games. But the guy is a winner. Every where that he has ever been he has won. Even last year coming into a terrible situation in Tennessee a third of the way into the year he turned it around, and was one half of a game vs. the patriots from putting them in the playoffs. Then who knows what happens from there. Young is the guy who can take the ball in his hands in any third down situation and find a way to get a first down. Remember that national championship game vs. one of the best college football teams ever. Well I do, in that game USC knew on the final 3 drives that Young was just going to pull it down and run it for everything he could. Guess what they couldn’t stop him. Young single handily took the biggest game of the year in his hands vs. the best team in the country and all he did was win it. He is the guy who when playing the team that should have drafted him #1 (Houston) ran for a game-winning 30+ yard touchdown in overtime. Really no big deal for Vince who just has the ability to do these amazing things. I’ll tell you right now if Young is healthy next year that the Titans will make the playoffs, and they will be a Super Bowl contending team. He is a player who can win a game all by himself. He’s like that former semi-pro basketball player that plays in your men’s league that you just can’t stop. When he wants to do it, and he gets it going there’s absolutely nothing that you can do.

If there is anyone that can break this Madden cover curse it is definitly VY. Everyone has been saying that he couldn’t do things ever since I’ve heard of the guy. All he has done is beat the odds each and every time. People said he wasn’t smart enough to be a great QB in the NFL after that stupid wonderlic test. Well guess what he did just fine in his rookie season last year. Then people questioned his throwing motion, and whether or not he could be accurate. Well in his rookie year he did pretty well with some very average wide receivers. Right now I am more intriguied by whether or not Vince will be on the 2009 Madden cover, and not by whether or not he will be another victim of the curse.

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.