sports: April 2007 Archives

...since I was able to watch the Bulls win a playoff series. And if you don't think they've got a decent shot at making the Finals, you're mistaken, my friend.

Chicago Bulls

Is there a draft in here?

| | Comments (4)

Like Jeff, I don't have a great deal of patience for the hype machine that surrounds the NFL draft. I actually kind of like Mel Kiper, Jr., but too often, even he gets caught up in the nonsense, like the idea that one or two tenths of a second stretched over 40 yards makes all that much difference. I only watched the draft for a little while today, maybe an hour or so, and in that time, I think a whopping three teams made choices, one fifth of the number of those effing l1ght c00rs commercials that showed during that same span. It'd be a lot easier to take discussion of "number of reps" or "40 speed" if they weren't punctuated with that crap.

But I rantgress.

Two points, one ranty, one not. The first is that I was mightily impressed with the good sport that was Brady Quinn. I'm no ND fan, but I couldn't help but admire his composure and good nature as he endured what was an apocalyptically bad interview with him in the green room by Suzy Kolber, whose middle name may very well be Roget. Suzy managed to craft eight or nine questions, every single one of which asked the exact same thing:

  • So, Brady, how's it going?
  • Brady, what's next?
  • Brady, what's your game plan?
  • Brady, did you plan on waiting this long?
  • Brady, you still here?

Every single word out of her mouth could have been distilled down to "Sucks, huh?" There are a number of really good people at ESPN, both men and women, but Suzy Kolber is not one of them. The train wreck was such that the NFL eventually allowed Quinn to leave the groan room.

And they wonder why a top pick like Joe Thomas would choose to go fishing with his dad instead of sitting there?

Okay. Second point. And this goes back to Jeff's comparison of the NBA and NFL drafts. Given how much is invested in the NFL drafts, and the huge deal that is made about them, one thing I've never been able to figure out is why they haven't learned a really important lesson from the NBA about the draft. Every year, the salaries and signing bonuses get larger, and every year, every first-rounder holds out until and sometimes during camp. And every year, a bunch of serviceable players lose their jobs to salary cap math. Why in the world hasn't the NFL just followed the NBA and created a rookie scale for the draft? It's bad enough that players like Drew Brees and Thomas Jones are rewarded for their efforts by not letting the door hit them where the good lord split them, because they had the bad manners to outplay their overpaid backups. But you would think that the Players' Association would want to see the majority of the cap on each team reserved for those players who have, oh, actually played?

In the NBA, you're drafted, you sign, you get to camp, and that's a league where "team" is a lot less important than the system-heavy NFL. You play well, or optimize perceptions of your upside potential, and after three years, you get a big deal. I understand that contracts are different in the NBA, that they're, um, actual contracts, but surely the NFL could figure out some way to emulate their system? Surely having an entire round of holdouts every year doesn't do the league that much good.

Aw, that's all. At least the Bears got the tight end they desperately needed.



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This page is a archive of entries in the sports category from April 2007.

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