Some draft day movers and shakers

April 23, 2009

I thought I would give everyone some draft nuggets to think about as well as who I thought some of the movers and shakers of the draft are.

-LOOMING STORY Lines-

Detroit Lions-Who will they take and will they be a bust? Georgia’s Matthew Stafford has always been one of my favorites.  You have to feel pretty strongly about guy who plays almost 40 games in probably the toughest football conference in the SEC.  He’s polished, poised, and can make all of the throws.  He’s a new face for a franchise that desperately needs some relief. They have TONS of other needs, such as offensive line and secondary, but moving some of those back ups out for some lower picks, cash and free agents might help in the long run. I suppose they could always trade it, but it doesn’t sound like a lot of people want it these days.

Cleveland Browns-There are a lot of arrows pointing towards Cleveland dealing on draft day.  Brady Quinn seems to be the central name in the trade rumors, but most sources are saying they are just that, rumors. It sounds like the Browns are listening to offers, but haven’t officially put him on the market.  You could argue they were just feeling around to test the market value for a future date, or even to see what Derek Anderson might warrant.  Don’t be surprised if Mangini deals Braylon Edwards.  I don’t think that one tough year is enough to move a guy after he went to the Pro-Bowl, but if you see Michael Crabtree come of the board to Cleveland, that might be curtains for Edwards.

Movers-Marc Sanchez seems to be rising exponentially these days.  Some experts have him going as high as 4th overall to Seattle, others have him down near 12.  Sanchez is fairly polished, but I wonder about his experience.  He played in only 16 games at USC, and NFL defenses will be a lot different then he’s used to.  No matter where he ends up, he’ll bring great energy.

Shakers-Percy Harvin, recently made headlines for his positive drug test at the combine.  He’ll pay for that.  However, it sounds like a lot of teams are struggling to decide what they would do with him after he got there.  Is he an RB, WR, Slot guy, Return man.  I think the answer is a resounding YES.  At the end of the day, I think Harvin is a lot like Reggie Bush. Line him up where ever you want, just get him touches.  He’ll definitely be a return man, its just where else can he be, and hold up doing it.  It will be interesting to see how far he’ll drop as teams look to get away from questionable off the field attitudes.

Aaron Maybin-Pass rushers are at a premium these days.  Maybin looks like he’d be a nice 34 outside LB, or a pass rushing specialist.  I think he probably came out a year early, but he’s tested well so far.  Stay tuned on that one, he could be a bust.

Sure bets-Aaron Curry can flat out play. His 101 tackles last year tells you so.  He’ll have to get a little better in pass coverage, but just stick this kid on the field and he’ll stop offenses.  Its just what he does.

Michael Crabtree-He reminds me of Andre Johnson.  Big, strong, fast, and always makes the play you need(Insert catch vs. Texas here).  Crabtee is gonna be good in the NFL for a long time.

On the BUST radar-Josh Freeman of KSU.  He’s big and strong.  Played in a pretty deep QB conference, but he’s so raw he could go either way.  He’s got a huge arm, is somewhat inaccurate.  He could have Ryan Leaf syndrome.  His athleticism allows him to do a lot of different things though, just as it did for the Wildcats.

Draft day is always great because you get to see the future of your team take shape right in front of you. Coaches actually make comments on where, when and why guys got picked when they did.  GM’s talk contracts and you get more highlights then you can handle.  So call your boys over, get some pizza and wings on order, stock the fridge full of beer, and send your lady out shopping, its Draft day baby!


Quickie about the Indians

April 20, 2009

I never thought I’d be so content with the Cleveland Indians splitting a series with the Yankees, but the 20+ runs in the Yankees home opener, in their new park, really did the trick!


Barack on campus

April 17, 2009

Last month it was well documented that the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to speak at their graduation commencement ceremony on May 17th. Presidential commencement speeches happen every year, but this year it was a little different.  This year, President Obama said yes, and religion that the University rests its laurels on spoke up, and spoke up indeed.

Several prominent Catholic spokespeople have cried out against the invite of the president.  Most speaking to the fact that Mr. Obama’s political platform doesn’t correlate with that of the conservative view of the Catholic religion and Notre Dame.  That his views on abortion and stem cell research set the wrong example for the graduating students.  Some are even asking that the Domers recognition as a Catholic university get revoked.

While I can see the point that the good folks of the Catholic faith are trying to make, I think that perhaps they should take a step back on this one.  Yes, its true, the conservative views and President Obama’s do not match up. However, he’s still the President of the United States of America and you need to respect that.  I’m sure that he’s not going to stand up there and stump about the rights and wrongs of abortion, he could, but he won’t.  One would imagine that he’ll talk about being open to new ideas and breaking through barriers, just as he’s trying to do in politics, and has already done with race.  I think that this is much to do about nothing.

Some students have come out and said they are excited about Obama’s speech as its not everyday you get to see the President.  That they are more worried that the protesters will make a spectacle of the day, rather then have it be part of a showcase of their day, of their hard work, and tears for the extremely important accomplishment they have achieved.  In the student newspaper it was 70/30 for the President.  In letters from the alumni, it was about 50/50 some Notre Dame websites reported.

I think the bottom line is that this could end up to be a black spot on catholicism and its politics, rather then the University of Notre Dame.  Now, I’m catholic, and a huge Notre Dame fan, so I feel comfortable commenting on both.  Catholicism has always been under fire for sometimes being too old fashioned and not “catching up with the times.”  While some diocese are more progressive then others, it still causes people to be critical at some level.  As people are to all religions.  I can appreciate the fact that they are standing up for the basis of morals that Catholics believe in, I just think there might have been a more eloquent way of doing it.

Either way, Notre Dame has not desided to rescind the invite as of now, and it still seems to be business as usual for the commencement speech.  Maybe, those alumni dollars could be a little bit less for next year though.


A tradition unlike any other

April 16, 2009
    I love golf. I love playing it, I love watching it, I love talking about it.  The Masters is golf’s biggest stage.  Last week, it lived up to its billing and yes, I loved every minute of it. 

    Kenny Perry, who is close to a year from being on the Champions Tour took on his good friend Chad Campbell and put on a show.  Perry, who had never one a major, found himself catching up to Campbell, even after he shot an opening round 65.

    Campbell started off the round unlike any other with five straight birdies, then started off the back nine with four straight.  Yeah, uh, that’s really good.  Not to be outmatched, Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry shot the lowest 54 hole score in seven years.

    To watch these guys tear up arguably one of the toughest courses in the U.S., really put things in perspective for me.  First and foremost, I’ll never be that good.  Probably not even in my dreams.  Second, Augusta National is the best venue to showcase the sport of golf. Third, it even was tough enough to stop the charge of Tiger and Phil.  Golf is such a funny sport. I think what I’ll remember about this years Masters is the three player, sudden death that was played.

    Campbell, Cabrera and Perry marched back to the tee box at 18 all tied up.  Perry had just hooked a drive into a bunker and worked his way back.  So, how would he respond?  He stood up, and pulled drive again.  Campbell put a nice shot into the fairway down the left side.  Perry followed.  Cabrera took a page out of the Jon Frank school of driving and put it on the right side into the trees. Toast right, thanks for playing Angel.  Wrong.  The next series of events made me realize that its one shot that keeps you coming back, or in Cabrera’s case, started the comeback.  Campbell’s shot went right but landed on the fairway.  Perry’s in the green side bunker.  Then Cabrera lined up his shot in the trees.  There was a small opening of light that Cabrera was looking to punch it through.  It didn’t go as planned.  Like a hacker he pounded it through the woods and off a tree.  From there, it was just fate that took over.  The shot landed on the fairway, dead center, starring down the fairway.  It was then that I thought Cabrera might just need to call his tailor.

    Now, if it were me, I would have pounded it off the trees, under a beer tent, or most likely into a water hazard on a neighboring hole.  Not these guys.  They just casually got up and down, putted in and sent Campbell home wondering.  Perry and Angel kept on moving though, for more free golf.  It was there that Cabrera iced it with a great putt.  Hello, green jacket.

    It was Perry though who still managed to steal the show.  It was his classy comments to the media that might have even overshadowed Cabrera’s first jacket.   Perry did what every American wants athlete’s to do.  Admit that he blew it and got beat by a better player.  His sincerity put the events into perspective, its only a game, and Kenny was still happy with his performance.   It was refreshing, vulnerable, and without spin.  Thanks Kenny.  You made The Masters easy to watch, and you were easy to root for.

    You’ll get one, eventually.