Crap ! Say It Ain’t So …… ?
Well while the men’s NCAA basketball tournament has us all in awe and the suspense builds as the ‘Final Four’ is upon us. Life still goes on in the NFL and unfortunately the idiocy that is the Brett Favre spectacle still remains as the Minnesota Vikings awaits the player’s decision as to whether or not he’ll be making an imminent return to the game. Like we really care ?
While much of this is now happening we’re close to pro days where several players will be exhibiting their skills for the general managers and coaches that’ll be in attendance. Also a number of teams will be bringing in a number of draftees personally for interviews . Amongst the players participating in this will be Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford . The Sooners’ quarterback is thought to be the desired choice of the St Louis Rams . The franchise will have the number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft . And with Ndamokung Suh , Eric Berry , Russell Okung , Gerald McCoy and quite possibly Jimmy Claussen may well be amongst be the ‘first six picks’ taken in the draft, to commence on the 22nd April . It begs the question , will the teams, their coaching staff and general managers have done their jobs prudently ?
Personally , I don’t place a great deal in the draft geek’s in depth analysis of the players. Either these college players can take their game to the next level or they can’t . Now the situation as it arises , is one of making money in term of their draft position for the players in the first round. A drop off from being the first pick to midway in the first round can mean anywhere between $25-$30 million. The number one draft pick could be the recipient of as much as $30-million , as a signing bonus. But when one bears in mind this upcoming season in the NFL will be one that will not have a salary cap for the teams, since the NFL first adopted the salary cap in the early nineties.
The draft itself will take place from the 22nd April through to the 24th over the course of seven rounds , three odious and grueling days. Now call it what you will but I for one won’t be spending a great deal of time assessing the draft and what takes place. As I alluded to earlier my own thoughts are, can they play ? Because in this league if you’re found wanting , then it will be magnified greatly and there’s nowhere to hide if the talent isn’t there to begin with.
There are now widely conflicting reports that the Oakland Raiders are the prohibitive favorites to land unsettled Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb . The veteran Pro Bowl quarterback has been a fixture as the franchise’s signal caller for a decade. The possibility of him now moving to play for the Raiders can only mean that incumbent starter JaMarcus Russell’s days in Oakland as a starter have got to be numbered. Either that or the implicit faith that Al Davis has in the player is either waning or still there. The former LSU Tiger has been an immense disappointment to the coaching staff , the front office and in particular their long suffering fans who’ve had to witness the complete ineptitude shown by the led by Tom Cable and his staff. And to think that Raiders’ owner Al Davis is still revered within the NFL. ? I’ve got to wonder the irony of it all concerning the embarrassment to be found amongst the hapless Raiders !
Back again to the upcoming draft for one final time and the feeling is that Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow may well see his draft stock rise . Not just because of the apparent retooled delivery of his passing action but more so how the player has been conducting himself during the interview process with a number of NFL teams thus far. Now while the view is it has to be about the players’ performances during the drills and practices. Obviously how a player also performs during the interview process means a great deal and it bodes well for Tebow in showing his intelligence on and off the field of play. Do you think that former NFL player Ryan Leaf may have initially had that problem but it was overlooked firstly by the San Diego Chargers ? How fortuitous was it that the Indianapolis Colts didn’t take Leaf in the 1988 NFL Draft ?
The NFL makes sure that its season is now an all round one that is a constant reminder that to its fans as to how important the game really is. Business is business,as they say but more and more that business is all about making money . Everything else is just considered to be an afterthought .
I don’t know that I may have missed anything but how is it that the NFL still believes that it’s possible to still continue with the belief that playing a regular season game in the United Kingdom adds to the excitement of the game ? Never mind the fact that the league’s hierarchy envisages having a franchise at some time in the future placed in the city of London. Never mind the asinine notion that the city of Los Angeles still yearns for the return of the NFL. In what universe, given the fact that in order to facilitate that prospect any proposed relocation to the city would be at a cost to the taxpayers in the city ? And fans there are said to be yearning this all ? Now unless I’m mistaken I was under the impression that the residents in the greater Los Angeles area were bright and highly intelligent ? I guess I was wrong but then again look at the financial mess that the California State Legislature has placed itself in ? Could it be anymore asinine than it is at present ,given the nature of the state legislature and the apparent idiocy of the state’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger ?
Goodell speaks on the Vick incident. But need I remind you there’s a conduct policy that the commissioner can use to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the game as agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL (league) and the NFLPA (union). Someone should broach Goodell on the reasons why he’s yet to act concerning Roethlisberger given that the player’s conduct has also been detrimental to the sport . It’s taken him this long to meet with the player much less make a statement on the matter. But yet he has always stated he’s concerned with the image of the players and their behavior ? Unfortunately Goodell and DeMaurice Smith just keep on blowing hot smoke up everyone’s ass on the matter ! But that’s to be expected as they couldn’t give a sh_t to begin with !
The NFL for all of its proclivities it tends to forget about the fans and what they mean to the game as a whole . But it’s becoming even more apparent the fans are not thought of as an integral part of the game by the heirarchy , players and the union itself. Doubt that ? Ask yourself this what has either the NFLPA (union) or the NFL for that matter done to rein in the behavior of its members when they’ve ran amok and broken the law . It’s not as if they’ve proceeded to be proactive at a given time. Image to the NFL has been merely about looking good from one moment to the next and never about doing what’s right at the appropriate time. Somehow I think that present NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , his predecessor Paul Tagliabue and Goodell’s union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith simply don’t give a damn ! If they did, then it’d be more apparent in their actions whereby they would either be dealing with many of the problems that have arisen. I’d like to think that there would be a concerted effort by both parties either jointly or singularly to deal with many of the problems concerning the off the field behavior of the players !
Common sense within the game at present isn’t at a premium and unfortunately it just seems to be an ongoing thing across the landscape of sports in general. Crap , just say it ain’t so ?
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….
Nappy Roots …………. “Po’ Folks”