The orgy of words known as the NFL Draft is over. The bad news is that this entire event is a television creation and has taken on a life far beyond
anything that it deserves. The good news is that ESPN took pity on its viewers and had Joe Theisman out of the picture.
Here are a few observations from the weekend:
Five teams used their first and second picks in the draft to take players from the same college team. Did someone declare last week as National
Detroit took six players and four of them were from the PAC-10. Didn't any of their other regional scouts file their player reports on time?
KC's third pick is named Craphonso; their fourth pick is named Boomer. I don't think they should have those guys room together.
KC's last pick was an OT named Jeremy Parquet. I'll bet they're counting on him to floor people.
St Louis took Oshiomogho Atogwe with their third pick and Richie Incognito with their fourth pick. If I were trying to go somewhere incognito, I would
not choose the name Oshiomogho Atogwe.
I don't believe that a single player from Penn State was drafted. That hasn't happened for a long time.
Tommy Chang (Hawaii) is the all-time NCAA leader in passing yards. He played in June Jones' quirky offense and was undrafted.
After all the hootin' and hollerin' this weekend about the draft, I got to thinking about why the baseball draft never "caught on". The NBA draft used
to be a pretty big deal until a large fraction of the players drafted started coming from obscure Balkan regions of Europe, but the baseball draft
just never "happened". Maybe the problem is that you can't trade picks in the baseball draft and so there is no way to try to attach a tangible to
picks in terms of what they might bring in a trade for a real player or what a couple of them packaged together might yield in terms of a pick right
now. If three draft picks brought Joe Flabeetz to your team, you might track the players taken with those picks to see what they turn out to be. Maybe
some changes in the rules about the baseball draft would be useful? On the other hand, do we really need another weekend of draft geeks?
It was a week ago when George Steinbrenner sent out his fiery fax to the press saying that it was outrageous how the Yankees had been playing and that
he expected the players and coaches to get it in gear. Then the Yankees exploded for 19 runs on the Devil Rays and some people were actually keeping a
straight face while they said that George had sent a message of accountability to the team and everyone got the message. Really? Unless there is
misprint in my morning paper, the Yankees remain tied for last place in the AL East with those Devil Rays. The team with the $205M payroll remains
tied with the moral equivalent of a AAA team.
Are the Yankees going to remain next to the Devil Rays in the standings for long? Of course not. But the people who praised Steinbrenner for his tough
statement and threat of accountability ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Just to put the Yankees and Devil Rays into perspective for you, consider that the Yankees will pay $30.6M to the other baseball teams as their luxury
tax for spending so much money on their payroll. The Devil Rays total team payroll is $29.8M.
In other news, we learned last week that Lance Armstrong would be retiring after this year's Tour de France. That means that cycling will be recycled
as a sport back to the bottom of the food chain along with water polo; with Armstrong as a focal point for attention, cycling had ascended to the
level of dog racing and jai alai; those days are gone. Armstrong said that the reason he was retiring was that he wanted to spend more time with his
kids. Slow down there, hoss; give me a minute to process that novel dimension in thinking. Here's an idea:
You would certainly spend more time with your kids - cycling or not - if you retired from Sheryl Crow and saw your ex-wife more often.
I read somewhere about a golf course in Kissimmee Florida that is a nudist golf course. The average age of the members there is 55 years old. I think
I understand why the paparazzi aren't staking this place out on a regular basis.
Talking about cycling and nude golf got me thinking of the fringe sports and that reminded me of a story that came from South Carolina. Cockfighting
is currently a minor misdemeanor in South Carolina but there is a move afoot to upgrade it to a felony and increase the penalties for people who
engage in it. Let me be clear about this, I have no interest in cockfighting and have no reason to support it or oppose it on a legal basis.
Obviously, other people feel strongly about this on both sides of the issue and in the South Carolina State Legislature the bill to make this activity
a felony is progressing through the legislative process. In South Carolina, domestic violence is the same kind of misdemeanor as cockfighting. There
is a parallel bill there trying to upgrade spousal abuse to the same level of felony as cockfighting would attain. The domestic violence bill was
tabled in committee. Therefore, it is possible that beating a spouse in South Carolina would become a less odious offense in the penal code than
having a couple of roosters try to peck each other to death. That can't make any sense.
Let's imagine for a moment that cockfighting has already been declared felonious behavior in South Carolina. What's the over/under on how long it will
be until someone begins a campaign to change the nickname of the University of South Carolina from the Gamecocks or Coastal Carolina from the
Chanticleers? After all, we can't have these institutions glorifying felonious activities can we? We wouldn't think of calling them the Crack Pipes,
would we? My guess is that the PCMNM - the Politically Correct Mascot Naming Mafia - is already gearing up for this campaign and for their turn in
front of the TV news cameras. Remember folks, May is sweeps month and that's the time for these kinds of stories to get a run in the news.
Finally, staying with the "rooster theme" for a moment longer, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
"Dennis Rodman played an exhibition game in Puerto Rico for the Isabela Roosters. It's a shame when the once-mighty are humbled and must resort to
that, but enough about the Roosters."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 4/25/05 by SportzWriter]