Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1 comments Ian O'Connor Spills Some Nonsense about Brock Osweiler

Of all the things to bring me back to post something, it's an article by Ian O'Connor about Brock Osweiler. I don't have a strong opinion on O'Connor and really have no strong opinion on Osweiler either. Yet, here I am. Ian O'Connor thinks Osweiler made a mistake by leaving the Broncos. I think this is a ridiculous opinion knowing the facts as they happened.

1. Gary Kubiak only played Osweiler during the 2015 season when the Broncos' original starting quarterback, Peyton Manning, could not play due to injury.

2. As soon as Manning could play and Osweiler struggled, and remember Manning was a 39 year old noodle-armed quarterback at the time, Kubiak played Manning over Osweiler.

3. The Broncos didn't give Osweiler much consideration when he was a free agent, until the rumors he might leave started up and then they offered him $45 million over 3 years or 4 years at $64 million, depending on what you believe.

4. All indications are that Osweiler was "wanted" by the Broncos, but not really wanted. NFL teams are desperate for quarterbacks and so a young quarterback isn't treated like this if the organization REALLY thinks he's the long-term guy.

5. So Osweiler got $8 to $27 million and one more year (depending on what you believe) in a contract from the Texans, while the Broncos got to start Trevor Siemian over the guy they drafted in the first round, Paxton Lynch.

6. Indications {based on (a) how the Broncos kept Siemian around last year when they already had Manning and Osweiler and (b) this year started Siemian based solely on performance} are that if Osweiler came back to Denver, there is a chance he may not have even started. Clearly, Gary Kubiak likes Trevor Siemian.

But anyway, dumb move by Osweiler to get paid a lot of money and become a starter...or so says O'Connor. It's not like NFL players want to make as much money as possible and get playing time or anything. It's not like the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts either.

If success is determined only by the size of your bank account, then Brock Osweiler is your man. 

Success for an NFL quarterback is determined (partially) by three things:

1. Size of your bank account.

2. How many Super Bowl trophies you have.

3. Individual awards you have received.

Though it's fun to ignore, Osweiler now has success with two of these three things. I would bet Ian O'Connor might get pissed off if ESPN decides they want to cut his pay. Or would he? Because he wouldn't want to be one of those people who thinks success is determined by the size of his bank account. We know O'Connor would never leave ESPN if another company offered him more money. He's too principled for that.

He was offered an $18 million wage to work for the Houston Texans and a $16 million wage to work for the Denver Broncos, and he took the extra loot.

What O'Connor neglects is Osweiler was offered $2 million less (I thought it was $3 million less) over a period of several years to work for the Broncos. Also, the guarantees in the Broncos contract could have been different because NFL contracts aren't 100% guaranteed. But let's pretend O'Connor is simply ignoring this in a desperate attempt to help prove his point and not because he doesn't understand how NFL contracts work. He works for ESPN, so there is no way he is simplifying a complex issue. 

But we all know that happiness and prosperity in life, even in pro football, are often defined by things that have nothing to do with dollars and cents. Take championship rings, for instance. How much money do you think Dan Marino would give back if it meant adding a Super Bowl title to his otherwise staggering legacy?

Honestly, I think Dan Marino is perfectly fine with his legacy that doesn't include a Super Bowl ring. More importantly, Brock Osweiler HAS a Super Bowl ring. He won a Super Bowl ring last year, so it's staggering to me that Ian O'Connor ignores Osweiler has a Super Bowl ring and doesn't have to go chase one. He's won his Super Bowl and now wants to be a starter. Comparing Brock Osweiler to Dan Marino is stupid anyway.

More importantly, I think the issue is being confused here. The issue, as I see it and how everyone else should see it, isn't that Osweiler chose to be the starter in Houston over being the starter in Denver. Osweiler chose to take more money to be the starter in Houston as opposed to taking less money in Denver and compete for the starting job. What, O'Connor really thinks the Broncos and Kubiak had no clue what they had in Trevor Siemian? They just kept him as a 7th round pick on the roster when there were other more experienced quarterbacks out there and got lucky he has ended up being a capable starter (so far)? There is a reason, and Osweiler also knew the reason, the Broncos weren't tripping over themselves to outbid other teams for Osweiler. It's because they liked Siemian and they thought he could be the starter for them this year or in the future.

So Osweiler took more money to be a guaranteed starter after sitting behind another quarterback for four seasons. O'Connor wants the reader to believe the Broncos saw Osweiler as a starter, yet immediately benched him when a slightly better, older, less permanent quarterback option was presented? The Broncos then waited around to see if the better, older, less permanent quarterback would retire or not, while knowing it could affect their ability to re-sign Osweiler. Then when that better, older, less permanent option retired they saw Osweiler as a starter so much that they didn't really exert themselves to re-sign him. Don't be thick for the purpose of a column. Osweiler isn't very good, but he's not very good while being the starter for the Texans and making more money. The Broncos just didn't value Osweiler as much as he thought they should.

Osweiler sure had to be thinking that way Monday night, when the Broncos made the NBA-sized quarterback look smaller than the fine ink in his $72 million deal. ''

Maybe he was. Maybe he was upset that he didn't get to play with such a great defense. Maybe he was mad at himself for blowing a chance to be a starter on a playoff team. Or maybe he was mad he didn't play well, but understood that he probably wasn't going to be the starter in Denver long-term anyway so he's glad he got paid.

Osweiler was all over the place with his passes, and the Broncos hit him hard on or after delivery every chance they got. Osweiler yelled at wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, a much better football player than the quarterback, after one throw to nowhere.

The fact Hopkins is a better football player than Osweiler is very irrelevant. It's not a criticism of Osweiler necessarily. The list of players on the Broncos roster who are better than Trevor Siemian goes at least 10 players deep. If Siemian yells at one of them, then it doesn't mean much. Osweiler was awful against the Broncos, but pointing out a hierarchy of vocal criticism is silly. 

Talib was asked at his locker if the Broncos were motivated not only to end their surprising, two-game losing streak but also by a desire to prove to Osweiler that he shouldn't have left.

"Definitely, definitely," the cornerback said. "We know he looked up at those passing yards in the fourth quarter. And maybe it wouldn't have looked like that if he had stayed."

I mean, it wouldn't have happened if he had stayed because he wouldn't have had to play such a great defense. Unless the Broncos defense started playing defense for the Texans the lack of passing yards by Osweiler against the Broncos definitely would not have happened if he played for the Broncos. There is a chance Osweiler would be on the bench and have less money if he had stayed with the Broncos too. Let's just keep ignoring that though. 

"We knew that he struggles with disguises," Ward said. "We'd seen that from playing here and the film, so we tried to do that. We started kind of slow in the beginning, but we got better as the game went on, and it affected him."

And if Osweiler played for any other NFL team, outside of the Broncos, opposing defenses would never have studied film and seen he struggles with disguises. The Broncos have the only competent defense and defensive coordinator in the NFL and Osweiler would have thrived if he played for the Broncos. I guess this is the assumption to be made. 

Not much didn't affect Osweiler in this game, and that might've had the Broncos wondering if they should've tried to re-sign him after all. But Elway did want him, and he drafted him in the second round to someday lead the franchise the same year he signed Peyton Manning.

Elway wanted Osweiler, but it's almost like the Broncos didn't want Osweiler as much as O'Connor portrays here. 

Osweiler slammed that door in his former boss' famous face, and that was a worse decision than any he made Monday.

This is overstating what Osweiler did by choosing to sign with a different team after the Broncos didn't offer him a contract he felt reflected his talent. Osweiler sat behind Peyton Manning for 3.5 years and then was pulled in the third quarter of a Week 17 game once Manning was healthy, after having gone 6-2 as the starter. The writing was on the wall, especially combined with the fact the Broncos didn't rush to lock Osweiler up when he could be a free agent, that the Broncos were pretty "blah" on him. The Broncos correctly evaluated Osweiler, that he wasn't going to be a quality NFL starter. But yeah, Osweiler "slammed that door" in Elway's face, right? How dare he attempt to improve his career and bank account.

O'Brien and Smith definitely know what they are doing, and they definitely understood that they were taking a big, fat gamble on an athletic, 6-foot-8 kid with seven career starts to his name.

Actually, if O'Connor did any research at all before regurgitating this column then he would know O'Brien didn't even meet Osweiler prior to the Texans signing him. So they "definitely knew what they are doing" and "they definitely understood" the "big, fat gamble" they were taking? I'm not entirely convinced. 

But what in the world was Osweiler thinking when he left this near-perfect situation in Denver? For that matter, what in the world was his super-agent, Jimmy Sexton, thinking?

"I want to earn a large commission and get my client set for life." --- exactly what Jimmy Sexton was thinking.

"Denver may not want me as their starter judging by their actions since Week 17 and I can be the starter in Houston." --- exactly what Brock Osweiler was thinking.

Osweiler walked out on that program because he said he fit better in O'Brien's system.

How did that fit work out Monday?

Two issues I see here:

1. It can't be ignored that the Broncos have a really, really good defense. They make good quarterbacks look not-so-good. Osweiler isn't a good quarterback, but when seeing how the "fit" of the Texans offense worked out on Monday, the quality of the Broncos' defense must be acknowledged as well.

2. Osweiler said he fit O'Brien's system because he isn't going to say, "Man, I don't think this system is going to work for me" after getting paid $72 million to run the offensive system.

This may come as a shock to Ian O'Connor, but athletes (falls into his fainting chair) don't always tell the truth and/or their deepest thoughts to the media.

Even so, Osweiler should still be the Broncos' starter -- not the less talented Trevor Siemian --

You can tell I take exception to this contention. Isn't it possible Osweiler wouldn't be successful in Denver and eventually be replaced by Trevor Siemian? It's not like Gary Kubiak didn't see both quarterbacks in practice every day or anything. So if/when Osweiler struggles, O'Connor doesn't think Osweiler would be benched (again, by the way) and replaced by Siemian? At that point, Osweiler certainly isn't getting a good deal on the free agent market IF the Broncos even decided to release him. He was the backup for 3.5 years in Denver. That's a long time for a competitive athlete to sit.

Osweiler isn't Derek Anderson, Matt Moore, Mark Sanchez or any of the other backup quarterbacks who got a chance to start and realize that's not where their value to an NFL team may lie. Osweiler hasn't gotten a chance to start and he wanted that I presume. I can't figure out why it's assumed Osweiler would (a) not be a bad starter in Denver and (b) would be the starter in Denver no matter what.

and the quarterback's representative, Sexton, has to take a hit for that. Too often, agents confuse the richest deal with the best deal.

I can't imagine a scenario where Osweiler getting the most money and being the definitive starter wasn't the best deal for Osweiler. I also can't imagine a scenario where Osweiler would play worlds better for the Broncos than he has with the Texans. 

If Sexton's client is telling the truth when he says his benching late last season for a returning Manning didn't drive him out, then what was the deal?

Again, this may come as a shock to Ian O'Connor, but athletes (falls into his fainting chair yet again) don't always tell the truth and/or their deepest thoughts to the media. So Osweiler is being diplomatic and not burning bridges by stating it wasn't the late season benching that drove him away. In truth, it doesn't matter. The deal probably was that he wanted to be a starter. Now he is.

This isn't to say Osweiler won't develop into a pretty good player in this league. He beat the unbeaten Patriots last season, and he delivered a thrilling comeback against the Colts last week, and he made a sweet, third-and-8 run against Denver in the third quarter.

He's been a backup for 3.5 years. If he's going to develop into a pretty good player, then it has to start happening fairly soon. Osweiler understands this, which is why he went out and got paid when he had the chance to go out and get paid. This is as opposed to being a member of the Broncos, a successful team, yes, but also a team that committed to him in the same way I commit to writing regularly on this blog. Sure, that is what they would like to have happen in theory...unless something else comes along of course.

As he headed for his car after this sweetest of October victories, a smiling Elway stopped near a stadium barrier to mingle with players' family members and others looking for photos. He always walks -- or hobbles -- with his shoulders pinned back and his barrel chest puffed out. It seemed on this night that his chest was puffed out an extra inch or two.

It feels good to win a game and show a decision Elway made was the right decision. Couldn't Elway feel good that he chose to not fully commit to Osweiler and instead give Trevor Siemian a shot? Isn't it possible Elway's chest-puffing is not from getting back at a quarterback who spurned him, but showing his evaluation of that quarterback as not being the future starter of the Broncos was the correct evaluation? In this scenario, isn't it possible Osweiler would have ruined his chance to be a starter had he re-signed with the Broncos? 

Why not? It was painfully clear that Brock Osweiler, former Bronco, had put his money on the wrong horse.

Ignoring this painfully bad last sentence, this is also a horribly confused sentence. Osweiler didn't put any money on the wrong horse because he received the money. If anything, the Texans put money on the wrong horse, though their alternative may not have been any better. So it's clear the Broncos put money on the correct horse, at least in the short-term. See, the Texans HAVE the money to put on a quarterback, while Osweiler is the guy who received the money from the Texans.

The correct sentence here should be written as, "Why not? It was painfully clear the Broncos put their money on the correct horse."

Osweiler has a Super Bowl ring and wanted to be a starter. It's not a mistake that he made, but an attempt to be a definite NFL starter and make the most money possible. End of story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 comments MMQB Review: It's Passe Edition

What do you know? I read MMQB again, so here I am writing. Funny how that works. Peter was up to Peter King-esque types of things the last time I covered MMQB. You can probably guess what those sorts of things were. He lost his phone after putting it down in a crowded airport bathroom, wrote a haiku, and congratulated a horse on his accomplishments. This week Peter reveals Mr. Ed's real name was not Mr. Ed. And yeah, there is still an awful haiku.

So the news of the NFL week starts in Charlotte, where owners begin gathering tonight for the annual quickie spring meeting

For God's sake, use the correct gender-assigned bathroom. We don't need no trouble these days.

(24 hours for these impatient billionaires), and by sundown Tuesday we’ll have three new Super Bowl cities. 

The owners are building three new cities to host the Super Bowl? Who the hell says "Rome wasn't built in a day," because the NFL owners are building three cities in one day.

Super Bowl 54, February 2020: South Florida over Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. The truth is the NFL would love to give the Super Bowl capping the league’s first century to the city where the first Super Bowl was played, Los Angeles. It could happen. But the Rams would really prefer to not be preparing for a Super Bowl in the first season the new stadium in Inglewood is operational.

This is Peter's prediction of who gets the Super Bowl. The Rams agreed to do "Hard Knocks" and kept who the #1 overall pick was under wraps to keep the drama going, so of course it makes sense for them to be able to dictate WHEN they host the Super Bowl over the other cities that just want to host the Super Bowl at any point it is convenient for the NFL to allow that city to do so.

Rules the owners will consider in Charlotte

Video study on sidelines during games. Currently, teams can look at still images on their Microsoft Surfaces on sidelines during games, or on images faxed from the press box the old-fashioned way. Last year, during a few preseason games and the Pro Bowls, coaches and quarterbacks could watch video on the Surfaces, and the players and coaches loved it.

Sam Bradford LOVED being able to watch "Dexter" on the sidelines while the Eagles defense was on the field. He just wished the defense could have done more to stay on the field longer so he wouldn't have gotten constantly interrupted and ended up having to go back on the field. But hey, he's a competitor, so he cherished the chance to be paid. Plus, play quarterback. That was important too.

One hour has been set aside at the meetings so the league can discuss the next wave of research and funding for player health and safety …

One whole hour! These owners have employees who are suffering from early dementia and dying from playing football, but they are kind enough to dedicate an hour to seeing if any of this stuff can be further prevented. I imagine this hour is really like the last session prior to lunch at most conferences. The presenter flies through the slides and gets the attendees out to lunch early, so most of the time dedicated to discussing player health is spent eating cubes of cheese and bitching about there being too much sugar in the tea.

Now this is downright strange. The NFL is investigating the by-the-book Ravens for violating one of the simplest and clearest rules in the collective bargaining agreement: practicing in pads during their rookie minicamp.

It's so strange the public perception of an NFL team doesn't quite match reality 100% of the time. HOW COULD THIS BE?

I would be surprised if the Ravens get docked one of their precious mid-round draft picks; the team has had the most compensatory picks in the league since the system was instituted in 1994. Usually the punishment for such violations is a diminution of spring practice time and a fine for the offending parties—either the team or the coach or both.

Now if the NFL had heard the Ravens were using slightly deflated footballs AND practicing with pads on? That's a heavy fine and loss of a first round draft pick. Or possibly Joe Flacco would be executed in the town square. It's totally up to the Ravens. The NFL doesn't want to appear heavy-handed.

The Washington Post last week published results of a poll of 504 of the country’s 5.4 million Native Americans—in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—that found:

Ninety percent of those polled said the nickname of Washington’s NFL franchise does not bother them. Only 9 percent said the nickname bothered them, with 1 percent undecided or with no opinion.

Seventy-three percent said the word Redskin is not disrespectful.

Okay … but what of the 21 percent, the 106 (approximately) of the 504 Native Americans polled who do find the name disrespectful?

These 21% of people are in what's known as "the minority," which means "not the majority" and we live in a country where, in general, "majority rules." You can always find something that a few people consider disrespectful, which doesn't mean their feelings should be ignored, but it also doesn't mean this minority should be catered to. If the Redskins changed their name, what about the 79% who don't find the name disrespectful. They no longer count? 

I personally don't give a crap if the Redskins change their name or not. I'm not Native American and have no real feelings one way or another. I try not to tell others how they should/should not feel. I'm offended by things people say or do, but it doesn't mean my minority opinion should be the majority or catered to. More importantly, and I think this is important, many of the same people writing about the Redskins team name change are more prone to favoring the name change given their political affiliation.

The media is more liberal, so it makes sense that a more liberal point of view (changing the Redskins name) would be over-represented when talking about the potential name change. But I can't emphasize enough how little of an opinion I have about this issue. If Native Americans really find it offensive, change it. If Native Americans don't care and the Washington Redskins organization doesn't want to change it, leave it as it is.

The NFL’s Incredible Shrinking Stat: touchdown numbers for running backs.

Adrian Peterson has 97, and there’s little doubt he’ll become the 10th back in history to rush for at least 100 touchdowns; in fact, this year, he could catch Jim Brown, number five on the list with 105.

But after that, there’s a long fall to the number two active touchdown runner: The Colts’ Frank Gore, 33 years old, enters the season with 70 career rushing touchdowns. Number three on the active list is DeAngelo Williams, with 57.

Hmmmm...I am proposing there is a causation issue here.

The decline in emphasis on the running game is making the touchdown run passé. Find an offensive category in NFL history with only two of the top 50 players of all-time being active today.

I won't argue the emphasis on the running game has declined, but couldn't this statistic be the result of teams going away from a one running back system, more quarterbacks being considered "running" quarterbacks and the evolution of players who are considered goal line backs?

Here is an example and it may be a bad one. You can judge. Jonathan Stewart has 36 career rushing touchdowns. Cam Newton has 43 career rushing touchdowns. Mike Tolbert has 33 career rushing touchdowns. Maybe this is a special case, but does Stewart's 36 career touchdowns mean the touchdown run is becoming passe or when it gets to "1st/2nd/3rd-and-goal" short situations there are a variety of players in the Carolina offense that could get the carry? There isn't just one running back that gets the ball on the goal line. This is true for several NFL teams that don't have Adrian Peterson or another stud running back.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 42 career rushing touchdowns. That's more than Brian Westbrook, Christian Okoye,and Gale Sayers. He has often been used as the goal line back for the Patriots/Bengals. Brandon Jacobs is 47th all-time on the rushing touchdown list with 60 rushing touchdowns. Mike Alstott is 50th with 58 career rushing touchdowns, while Warrick Dunn is 73rd with 49 career rushing touchdowns. It's possible use of the running game is declining, but rushing touchdowns are often shared by multiple running backs. So I don't think a decline in the emphasis on the running game can be the only cause here.

Jon Runyan, appointed the NFL’s vice president of policy and rules administration (head of on-field discipline) last week, has had an interesting life. Fourth-round pick of the Houston Oilers, 1996. Many battles royale with Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan. Voted the No. 2 dirtiest player in the NFL by Sports Illustrated, 2006. Voted to two terms in U.S. Congress out of south Jersey starting in 2011.

My favorite factoid about him: During one phase of his career, Runyan would stop at a Starbucks drive-through on the way to games and order nine shots of espresso in a venti cup. And, of course, he’d sip it in the hours before a game. I bet he was a rip-snorter in first halfs.

Yes, Runyan probably did fart really loud all through the first half.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Two notes about air travel:

• Been stuck in a couple of long TSA lines (58 minutes at LaGuardia in April, but nothing approaching two hours) at American airports this spring, and I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the complaints about the inconvenience. That’s modern travel today. We live in a dangerous world, and you’re just going to have to accept getting to the airport two hours before your flight as a rule now. The alternative to significant inconvenience, I’m afraid, is much worse.

Given the fact Peter has a weekly section of MMQB dedicated to complaining about travel inconveniences, his condescension towards those who complain about waiting in line to get through security at an airport probably says more about him than any comment I could make would. It's nice how Peter understands know that even small inconveniences at the airport are worth the trade-off of ensuring each person flying through that airport stays safe. I wonder how long this message sticks with Peter?

• I was on an American Airlines flight from Kansas City to O’Hare the other day. A man walked down the aisle and into the row of his seat, and he bumped his head hard on the area right below the overhead bin, causing the underside of the bin to fly open. The guy was okay, looked at the yawning under-bin with wires hanging out, and figured he should probably just leave it alone. The flight attendant came by and said she’d alert maintenance. I’m thinking, Why don’t they just try to close the hatch themselves, before calling maintenance? But, you know, everything in the world can’t be left up to me. So we waited, and all the passengers boarded, and it was maybe 15 minutes before a maintenance fellow showed up. He took one look at it, carefully moved the under-bin piece back into place, made sure none of the wires would be pinched, and then closed it with a click. Took him seven seconds, max. But then, of course, “the proper paperwork” had to be filled out and signed off. Yes, the paperwork. The captain came on and said we’d be underway as soon as “the paperwork” was complete. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fourteen minutes. “We’re just getting the paperwork completed, and we’ll be underway.” All in all, it was a 31-minute delay, to snap a bin shut and dutifully record it in some logbook.

One paragraph. It took one paragraph for Peter to go from "A little inconvenience is worth knowing you are a safe" to "I have no patience for any type of the delay that prevents me from getting to where I want to go in the fastest manner possible." I know Peter is railing against the paperwork involved, but just like TSA agents being present at security, this is about addressing and documenting a potential threat to the plane's security. It took one paragraph for Peter to turn away from his thought that the alternative to a significant inconvenience is much worse than that inconvenience.

It does sound ridiculous to have such a delay for a small issue. Peter misses the key issue here. The issue isn't whether the flight attendant can close the bin or not. Of course she could. Does Peter know where these wires attached to? Perhaps these were wires for the air that passengers can turn on during a flight, were part of the plane's lighting system or even were just wires that are required for some of the emergency buttons to light up. That's the point, that Peter has no clue what these wires do. One minute he's preaching patience through security, the next he just assumes wires hanging down from the under-bin can just be fixed by a flight attendant. It's just another day in the life of Peter King. He doesn't need to follow his own rules.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think the four strangest things about the Bovada.com win-total over-unders for the 2016 season are:

c. Only five teams with a double-digit projection: Pats, Pack, Panthers, Steelers, Seahawks, all at 10.5.

Gregg Easterbrook would be PISSED if he saw these projections. I'm sure he would write, "How can a team win 0.5 of a game?" and then continue his ridiculous criticisms of these over-unders for the next two years until he mysteriously stops mentioning them like he never even brought it up after a reader points out why these over-unders do in fact make sense. 

d. Bovada likes Jameis and the Bucs, and the re-made Jags: 7.5 wins each … which is more than the over/under for the Eagles, Saints, Dolphins and Lions (7 apiece).


5. I think I did note that Brock Osweiler told our Jenny Vrentas he holds “no grudge” with the Denver Broncos, and while I’m not accusing him of not telling the truth, I retain the same feeling I’ve had since he left the Super Bowl champs for a lesser team: Something happened in Denver that Osweiler didn’t like and that led him to leave—the late-season benching perhaps. But something.

I would think the Brinks truck of money that the Texans backed up to Osweiler's door would make him feel better, but I guess not. Perhaps Osweiler is upset he spent four seasons on the bench, played fairly well when he got a chance, and then got benched for a noodle-armed quarterback who managed to throw for 539 yards over three full playoff games, while riding his defense to a Super Bowl victory and leading his offense to the worst performance by a winning team ever? Nope, I'm really not bitter, these are just the facts. I guess the fact the Broncos were historically bad offensively in the Super Bowl, then the team waited around for the well-past-his-prime quarterback who led the team to that historically bad performance to make a decision about retirement rather than give a "fair" contract offer to his backup who had waited four years for the opportunity and feels like he had proven he could do the job had something to do with the decision by Osweiler.

Maybe. That could be it. 

9. I think this will show my age. But no matter how quiet the Giants are about what Janoris Jenkins said to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post last week, about having five children with four women, none of whom is his wife, they cannot be happy with it. Said Jenkins: “When they were going with me, they understand, ‘OK, he’s a football player. He’s gonna have multiple women.’ That just comes with dating a football player.”

The Giants knew about Jenkins' children long before they signed him to a free agent contract this offseason. Isn't it weird how the Rams drafted Jenkins and Peter didn't really have much to say about the Rams drafting him when he has five children with four women? So the Rams, a team which Peter has significant ties, draft Jenkins and Peter goes out of his way to show the support system the Rams have in place for Jenkins to meet his parental obligations. The Giants sign Jenkins as a free agent and now all of a sudden Peter "shows his age" and thinks the Giants can't be happy about all these children he has. The Rams draft Jenkins, Peter shows how they have the support system for him, the Giants sign Jenkins and now all these kids are an issue. Weird how that works isn't it?

So, monogamy is either highly unusual or just wrong for a football player? 

Come on Peter. Jenkins' comments are dumb, but we all know how much ass professional athletes get. They travel all the time, they have money...it's not the high point of morality, but after covering sports for this long you have to ask this question?

The establishment Giants owners, the Maras and Tisches, have to be gagging at the thought that for their football-playing employees, it’s expected that traditional families are passe.

I'm sure Steve Tisch, a man who has been married then divorced twice and has children with both of his ex-wives, is really up in arms about how traditional families are now passe. And who can forget this little fucking nugget from THIS VERY MMQB?:

u. To Laura King and Kim Zylker King: Happy First Anniversary! I hope the next 74 years together are as great as the first was.


Whatever will Peter's overlords at NBC think about him showing off how a traditional family is now passe? I'm sure whoever employs Peter's daughter is gagging at the thought of their employee giving the middle finger to the idea of a traditional family. Peter is just a clusterfuck of contradictions and lack of thought sometimes.

And what the hell is up with Peter using "passe" several times in this MMQB? Is this his word of the day or something?

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

c. Chris Sale is 9-0, and he’ll have two more starts before June 1. Imagine being 11-0 through a third of the season. Dare we mention Denny McLain?

You just did. Also, Peter will write "dare we mention Denny McLain" and then point out exactly why his own thought about mentioning Denny McLain in relation to Sale winning 30 games is probably not necessary. 

d. Denny McLain’s the last pitcher to win 30 games in a year (31-6, in 1968), and he won his 11th game on June 16, 1968. So there’s that. Not saying it’s anything but a remote possibility for Sale, because McLain started every fourth day. Generally, Sale starts every fifth or sixth day.

Also, the most games Sale has started in a season is 31. So he would have to essentially win every start while also getting a decision in every start he makes to win 30 games. It's hard enough to get a decision in every start, much less win every start. So yeah, 30 games isn't happening. Dare you mention Denny McLain though? 

j. Mr. Ed died in 1970. I have a quiz for you: Do you know Mr. Ed’s real name? I mean, it wasn’t “Mr. Ed.” Mr. Ed was Mr. Ed’s stage name.

Plus, and this is a very important point, it's a horse. So the horse didn't even know it had a stage name. Why would anyone assume "Mr. Ed" was the horse's name simply because it appeared on a show called "Mr. Ed"? I don't assume Hugh Laurie's name is "Gregory House" because he appears on a show called "House."

(Peter King) "Here is a nugget of trivia for you: The direwolf on 'Game of Thrones' is not named 'Ghost.' In fact, that direwolf's name is 'I'm a Special Effect.' I bet you didn't know that."

k. Real name:

“Bamboo Harvester.”

Though a horse named "Mr. Ed" did publicity shots after Bamboo Harvester's death in 1970. So Mr. Ed's real name actually was "Mr. Ed" for a period of time. 

l. Not much of an NBA guy, as you all know.

And, as you all know, this means an observation about the NBA will immediately follow this comment. Peter can't not make an observation about the NBA without first distancing himself from the sport completely so his readers know just how stupid his following observation truly will be. 

But has any team ever been set up for a draft the way the Celtics are? They pick 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. There are 60 picks in the draft.

The odds of the Celtics ever using all of those picks is very, very, very low. Not to mention, the best two players in the draft also happen to be positions of need for the Celtics, so they are stuck with a perceived fall-off in talent after the first two picks, as well as a group of guards to choose from that doesn't appear to be an immediate need for them. Plus, the Celtics don't have depth issues. They have a very deep team, but they need a player they can build the team around and don't necessarily need more players. 

n. The Knicks once owned the seventh, ninth and 37th overall picks in the draft. Traded them all away.

Eh, not really. The Knicks never owned these specific picks in the 2016 draft. They owned two first round picks and a second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but it's not like they traded away the 7th, 9th, and 37th pick in the draft knowing those were the picks they had. The Knicks traded the 7th pick in 2011 in the Carmelo Anthony trade by allowing the Nuggets the option to switch 2016 first round picks. The Knicks traded the 9th pick in 2013 to the Raptors and the 37th pick has been through three teams and now I have a headache. My point is the Knicks didn't think they would be picking so high (low?) in the draft, so they didn't exactly trade these picks knowing where they would be picking in the 2016 NBA Draft. Still, it's awful team planning. No doubt. 

The Adieu Haiku

Ed, Wilbur: both dead.
Werder, don’t you dare change that
Twitter avatar

King, please for all that is wonderful and great in this life, in the name of the traditional family that you believe others want so badly even though they don't live the life of a traditional family and neither do you, stop writing haikus.

Dare to change that haiku.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

9 comments MMQB Review: Just a Mini-Review Edition

I truly have not read a full MMQB in a few months until I read the one for this week. If I read MMQB then I make time to write about it and that leaves less time for other shit. Besides, this is more of a mini-review really. It's probably for the best because it cuts out all the boring commentary I tend to add. See? I'm not gone. I'm still here. Now if I can just remember how I do the whole fisking thing...

Peter starts off with a story about Adrian Peterson helping Palenstine, Texas. They have been hit with severe flooding and so Peter asks about that, and of course he asks about football too. Despite the fact Peterson just wants to win a championship, (It's what he thinks of everyday!)

Everything in me is championship, championship and then breaking records. It’s a part of me. I am pushing myself to the max to win a Super Bowl, and then to break Emmitt’s record and Eric Dickerson’s [single-season rushing] record. It is my everyday life, what I think of every day. Mostly it’s that Super Bowl. Then the whole world will remember you.”

It seems Peterson likes to talk and think of person records every day as well, just more than he thinks about winning the Super Bowl. I give you these quotes.

At 31, he’s trying to stave off what time does to all running backs. Peterson said: “I honestly think I can do this, and do it at a high level, until I’m 40.”

They ask how he got into football, and my name came up. I watched Adrian Peterson, and I was a Vikings fan. The things I’ve been through and what I’ve overcome, it’s good to know I can inspire people and change people’s lives. Here I am, a kid who grew up in Palestine, Texas, and now lives in Minnesota, and there’s a guy in Germany who flips on YouTube one day and gets inspired by me, and now he gets to play alongside the individual that inspired him to get into football.

Peterson: “Not to be cocky or anything, but I know, at 31, my end is going to be better than my beginning. One thing I know, and will remain true: These young guys will never outwork me. I put my body through the grind. Just knowing how my body remains healthy, age is not really affecting me. It’s my mindset. I don’t get into the 30-year-old running-back thing, that you’re done at 30. I am getting stronger with age.

Peterson: “I can, but will I? Honestly, I don’t think I will. Mentally, I don’t know. Once I get to 38, I don’t think I’ll have the same love of the game. Sometimes I get tired of training camp. I think I can endure five more [camps], but after that, I don’t know.”

But really, he's focused on the Super Bowl right now. And no, he isn't helping Palenstine, Texas through the flooding because they supported him through his legal troubles over the past few years. It doesn't work that way. Peterson says it was "a given" that Palenstine would support him through his legal troubles. He doesn't need to pay the city back because their support for him was a given. I mean, they better support him after all he's done for them. Wait, that came out wrong.

Hey look, a Sam Bradford picture where it seems like he's not looking at where he's throwing the football while making a ridiculous face!

Sam Bradford has been locked in a dispute with the Eagles since the team traded up to draft a quarterback with the No. 2 pick.

(Sam Bradford): "No-look pass! Did you see that coach?"

(Doug Pederson) "You are benched Sam. There wasn't even a receiver on that side of the field."

(Sam Bradford pulls a money roll out of his uniform sleeve) "That's bullshit. When am I going to get a chance to prove what I can do? I'm holding out and not playing anymore until you make me the starter."

(Doug Pederson) "Okay, that's fine. You have been benched, so I don't care if you play during the games. Actually, I do not want you to play. That is why I just benched you. You will get fined for not showing up to pract---"

(Sam Bradford pulls a money roll out of his cleats and looks up in disbelief as Pederson talks to him) "Why would I not show up to practice? I love this team and I am dedicated to helping this team win games. I just want a chance for you to pay me a lot of money and then I get to show what I can do. If you don't pay me, how can I be expected to show you what I can do?"

(Doug Pederson) "You are still benched though."

(Sam Bradford) "But...I do still get all of my money, right? Plus, I mean, eventually...like at some point...I get a shot to show what I can do, but my money will be there no matter what, right? I'm a competitor. I need my money."

“Riders up!”

—Saints coach Sean Payton, giving the traditional instructions to jockeys before Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Then Sean Payton pulled out a baseball bat and bashed in the leg of every horse except the one he bet on, while Drew Brees claimed to know absolutely nothing about this. It's a shock to him!

In his hometown of Palestine, Texas, Adrian Peterson sponsors and funds three select youth football teams. The youngest, the bantam team, wears uniforms with the maroon and white of Palestine High. The next, the junior team, wears the red and white of Peterson’s Oklahoma Sooners. The oldest team, the senior squad, wears the purple and white of his Minnesota Vikings.

Maybe if there ends up being a fourth team that Peterson sponsors then that team could wear black and blue uniforms, the same color that Peterson's children end up being when they misbehave.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Notes of the Week

So I was in Portland, Ore., for a couple of days last week. On my way out of town Thursday night, at the Portland airport (a fantastic, clean place with good food and drink),

I'm glad that's cleared up. I thought the Portland airport was a filthy, whorish place where there is a trough of human waste for passengers at the airport to drink from while they eat the remains of the dead birds found on planes that have landed. It's important when telling the story about losing a cell phone that Peter is clear he doesn't hate the airport. This isn't a "Marriott doesn't serve coffee until 6am" situation, but a "Peter is an idiot and set his phone down" situation. So there is no culpability on the part of the Portland airport. He won't call out the airport in his MMQB like he did to the Marriott. I'm not sure the Marriott has fully recovered from the vengeance Peter exacted upon it. 

I lost my cell phone. I was in a men’s room and put my phone down while washing my hands (it was sort of crowded in there),

So, because it was crowded in the restroom, Peter put his cell phone down. Is this what he means? If it weren't busy, he just would have held on to the phone?

"Boy, it's really busy in this airport. Maybe I'll set down my incredibly valuable list of contacts and phone numbers on this counter near water. That'll be real safe-like."

and I then used the air dryer on my hands for 15 to 20 seconds, and turned around and the phone was gone. Stupid me.

Okay, now I have several questions.

1. Why was the phone not in Peter's pocket?

2. If the phone was not in Peter's pocket, does this mean he was using the phone while taking a piss/shit? If so, whoever stole Peter's cell phone better sanitize the shit out of that thing.

3. Again, he put his phone down in a crowded bathroom and then TURNED HIS BACK TO THE PHONE? This was an intentional decision and not a desperate ploy to get his phone stolen?

4. I like how Peter clarified he was in "a" men's room, not "the" men's room. I enjoyed this. Don't ask why. As if maybe this wasn't a bathroom at all, but just a room for only men.

I looked in my backpack,

Fanny pack. Don't lie, Peter.

thinking maybe I’d put it there before going through security, though I was a pretty sure I hadn’t. Nothing. I looked on the floor and the counters and the tops of the air dryers. Nothing. If someone walked off with it, they were gone; the option was to either go out and yell in the terminal, “HEY! WHO STOLE MY PHONE?,” or to ask the nearest official-looking person about it. 

For someone who laid his phone down in a crowded bathroom and then turned his back on the phone, Peter recovered well.

"I know my options. Yell loudly at an airport terminal, which would gain the attention of passengers, employees and possibly the TSA agents or I can just ask someone if someone turned in a phone less than 30 seconds ago. You know what I'm going to do? I'll just follow this woman around the terminal and record her personal phone conversation in my notebook."

I said my cell phone had disappeared in the men’s room, and if someone turned it in, where would they turn it in? (Fruitless. Totally fruitless. But you want to try something, anything, when 1,433 phone numbers, luckily password-protected and saved in the cloud, get picked up by a stranger.)

I thought lost my phone in Vegas during a convention, so I can sympathize with Peter here. I was in a panic. Still, you can't just put your phone down in a bathroom.

LaGuardia to Minneapolis. Deep in coach.

Machine-gun laugher across the aisle, in the aisle seat.

Window-seat guy shows up. “Excuse me. I got the window seat.”

Machine-gun laugher: "Sure!”

Window-seat guy: “Thanks, buddy.”

 Machine-gun laugher: “Okay, bahahahahahahahahaha.”

Later, flight attendant comes by and asks choice of drink. He says seltzer. She asks if club soda is okay. He says, “Perfect.” With a soft, “Bahahahahahahaha!”

Machine-gun laugher: comfortable in his own laughter.

Peter King: comfortable in his own haughtiness.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think the NFL-as-family thing, which has gotten badly beaten up in recent years, needs some resuscitation. So Roger Goodell sending brownies to Eli Apple’s mother and then the league leaking it and Tweeting about it … smart move. A bit over the top, but not bad.

I didn't hear about this story until now. So...this means to me Peter King is the leaker who is helping the NFL get good publicity. 

2. I think that’s a good extension by the Dolphins, signing pass-rusher Cam Wake through the end of the 2017 season. This is a player who’s overachieved for much of his career, averaging 10.8 sacks a year over the past six seasons—while missing 10 games over that period due to injury.

Has Wake overachieved if he has consistently played well over a six season period? Is that overachieving or simply just being a good football player?

This is why I can't read MMQB anymore. I semantics-to-death what Peter writes because sometimes he gets lazy mid-sentence.

3. I think Sam Bradford did the smart thing by reporting to the Eagles on Monday. He had zero support in any corner, and he was going to take a pasting for as long as he stayed away. Good move.

Great move by Bradford to stop being a baby and report to camp.

This is the life of Sam Bradford. He's made short of $90 million in his career while really not achieving too much, then he threatens to hold out of training camp and he gets complimented for not making a bad decision. It's like he can't go wrong.

Bradford could take hostages after he's robbed a bank. If he eventually let the hostages go without hurting them, he would be praised for the care he shows for his fellow man and allowed to keep the money he stole.

4. I think if I may leave a postscript on the inner workings of the Dallas draft room last week … So there’s been some stuff out there in the past few days that really doesn’t represent what happened in the draft room accurately.

Meaning: Jerry Jones called/emailed me and bitched about this, so I need to clear it up on his behalf.

6. I think grading a draft a day or two after it ends is asinine.

But making a power ranking of the best teams in the NFL during the upcoming season on June 1 is a stroke of writing genius. 

The two teams in the Super Bowl were #9 and #20 on the list.

7. I think I categorically agree with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk: Any legitimacy of the NFL Network’s top 100 players is tarnished badly when Andrew Luck is “voted” number 92. How is Luck seven in 2015 and 92 in 2016? Because he got hurt last year? I pay scant attention to this thing anyway, but the Luck thing makes it certain I will pay it zero attention this year.

Yes, this completely and utterly opinion-based ranking that is made purely to get television ratings and to get people talking doesn't have legitimacy. Who would have thought it?

I'm glad Peter is standing up so strongly to the opinion-based sports industry. I presume this means he will be taking on the often-wrong opinion of Rodney Harrison while they work together on the NBC Sunday night football set? Or is that totally different?

8. I think this is one reason why Neil Hornsby and Pro Football Focus are pretty darned good: Last September, this is what Hornsby wrote about Jordan Reed, the up-and-coming tight end for Washington, for The MMQB: “It always surprises me no one seems to talk about Washington’s Jordan Reed. Drafted 22 places after [Kansas City’s Travis] Kelce, it often feels like Reed is an afterthought … Keep an eye on him because once Washington realizes what it has, he may not stay hidden much longer.”

Considering Jordan Reed has consistently been considered an outstanding talent that just can't seem to stay healthy, it's odd to me that Peter gives PFF credit for being all over Jordan Reed as a stroke of brilliance. Reed was not an afterthought, he was just injured a lot. His talent wasn't an issue ever. His health was always the question.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

h. Seriously? May 9 and the Phillies four games over .500? How’d that happen?

They won enough games to where they were four games over .500.

The only thing predictable about sports is the expectation from sportswriters that sports will be predictable, followed by their disbelief when unpredictability ensues.

n. Beernerdness: In Oregon, tried the Crux Saison (Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, Ore.) on tap and wasn’t blown away, but liked it. The best thing was how incredibly fresh it tasted. Lighter than most Saisons I’ve had.

It was so incredibly fresh and lighter than most other Saisons that Peter put his phone on top of bar to run to the restroom, then he went across the street for a sandwich, and came back to find his phone gone.

p. Saw “Trainwreck.” I guess I’m about two years too late, or whatever. First reaction: LeBron James was really good, really natural, really clever.

LeBron was so clever it was almost like he didn't come up with the words he was saying during the movie. LeBron was so clever it almost seemed like there was a person who specifically told him what words to say and when to say them. Almost.

v. Congrats to Nyquist.

Yes, congratulations...horse that cannot read nor has a clue it is being congratulated because it's an animal.

The Adieu Haiku

Justin Tuck is done.
Top player. Champ. Better guy.
Hire the man, Rog.

This was supposed to be a direct message to Roger Goodell on Twitter. Peter did the Commish a favor by not spoiling that the Rams were taking Jared Goff, so Goodell needs to hire Justin Tuck as a favor to Peter.

I wish this haiku was done. I think Peter only keeps them in MMQB out of spite at this point.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

9 comments Hindsight is a Cold, Cold Bitch to Bill Simmons

What can bring me back? Bill Simmons. That's what. I haven't addressed this but I'm not "gone" and plan on writing here still. I just have to find time. Things get busy, it takes a while to write, so I have taken a forced sabbatical. I loved writing here and it literally took a change in life to where I had zero free time to rip me away from it. So I've moved back into my mom's basement, fired up the computer, and put up my Sabermetrics posters for today.

Scott on Twitter sent me this article and I couldn't not write about it. It's by Bill Simmons and it's from March 2012. It's about how terrible the Golden State Warriors are. It's not true anymore, but hindsight is a cold, cold bitch. As Scott told me, the self-appointed guru of the NBA doesn't look so great on this one. I tend to be long-winded (I know! Me?) so I'm going to only get to the pertinent parts of the column. It's a typical Simmons column. It's too long and he mistakes having a lot of content for quality content.

You might not know this, you might not believe it … but once upon a time, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship. 

Last year. 2015. Three years after this column was written the Warriors won a title.

I know some SimmonsClone is going to read this and bitch I'm being unfair to Bill by using hindsight. Get out of here. He uses hindsight all the time to tell us what "we" thought when he was wrong, and since Bill has enough of a ego to appoint himself as an NBA expert (and really believe he can be an NBA GM), it's not unfair at all to pick at him for writing a column about how terrible the Warriors were when this was no longer true less than a year after Bill wrote this column. The Warriors made the Western Conference Semifinals a year after this was written. Bill has to do better. And of course, Bill will NEVER remember he wrote this column or acknowledge it. He's too busy building a media empire.

And so it began. Three and a half decades later, the Golden State Warriors have morphed into the most tortured franchise in professional basketball. 

Professional franchises and fans bitching about how tortured they are? This is all Bill's fault. His whining about the Red Sox in the early 2000's made it okay to wallow in how tortured a team is.

the Warriors lack an identity beyond the whole “they suck every year, they always screw up, but at least they have great fans” tag.

Again, a whole three years later they won a title. I'll let this statement just sit here and let's think about how the Warriors lack an identity for a minute.





Okay, let's get back to it. I'm not ignoring the Warriors got booed in their own building. That is true. Bill is correct. What he isn't correct about is his criticism of the 2012 Warriors and the direction the team was taking. Bill starts documenting the terrible moves beginning with the 1976-1977 season in this column. The Warriors made the playoffs six times from the 1976-1977 season until the 2011-2012 season (when this column was written).

Bill counts down 60 reasons the Warriors annoyed their fan base. He, of course, essentially repeats many of the same points along the way. He just re-phrases how he writes, "The Warriors traded for Joe Barry Carroll and had a lot of drug users on their team in the 1980's" a few times.

15. Naturally, the Warriors blew things up again, flipping Richmond to Sacramento for the rights to Billy Owens, a talented but sluggish forward who (you’re not going to believe this) never reached his potential for Golden State.

Oh no! Facts are getting in the way of Bill's argument. This is where Bill hopes no one goes to look up whether this statement about Owens never reaching his potential is accurate or not. Spoiler alert: It's a lie. Owens had his best seasons in the NBA while playing for the Warriors. Yes, Richmond was still great after being traded by the Warriors, but Owens never reached his full potential. He came the closest playing for the Warriors early in his career.

Bill also conveniently skips over smart moves like drafting Latrell Sprewell with the #24 pick in the 1992 draft. This is a footnote to the column so as not to distract from Bill's point the Warriors couldn't ever do anything right.

17. The following year, Mullin, Hardaway and Owens missed a combined 107 games for the 34-win Warriors,

Yeah, but Owens never reached his full potential anyway, right?

This is typical Bill Simmons. He writes that trading for the rights to Owens was a mistake because he never reached his full potential with the Warriors and then uses the absence of Owens as a reason the Warriors stunk during the 1993-1994 season. He wants it both ways.

27. Coming off another lottery season (30 wins), the ’97 Warriors fired Adelman, hired college coach P.J. Carlesimo

Again, Bill only pays attention to facts to the extent they support his argument. "College coach" Carlesimo had a 137-109 record over three seasons with the Trail Blazers as their head coach. But yeah, he was a "college coach" and wasn't qualified for an NBA head coaching job. Sure.

Then Bill continues to show what the Warriors "missed" out on if they had drafted perfectly every single year even though this would never happen for any professional team no matter how smart their front office is.

a Hall of Fame Absolutely-Coulda-Drafted-Him Starting Five (Bird, Garnett, Kobe, T-Mac and Payton, with McHale coming off the bench). 

By the time McGrady and Garnett were any good Bird and McHale would have been retired/too old to contribute. But again, let's ignore facts and the passage of time relative to each player's ability level to focus on the point Bill wants to prove. Bill lives in a fantasy world where he is an NBA guru anyway, so may as well just drag ourselves into this fantasy where Larry Bird and Tracy McGrady would be playing meaningful minutes together.

39. The 2001 Warriors had more players (22) than wins (17). The league’s second-worst record earned them the fifth pick (Jason Richardson); they also drafted Troy Murphy (with the pick from the Blaylock/Terry trade) and stole Gilbert Arenas in the second round. Naturally, they celebrated that draft haul by egregiously overpaying Jamison (six years, $85 million). 

A 24 year old in the prime of his career who averaged 24.9 points per game? Was it really an overpay?

47. The ’08 Warriors won 48 games — their highest win total since 1994 — but somehow made history by winning the most games by any team that didn’t make the playoffs. Only the Warriors. 

Or only any other NBA team like the Sonics, Clippers, Cavs, etc that Bill feels like writing a "woe is them" column about. "Only the Warriors," unless this column is about another NBA team. In that case, just exchange "Warriors" for that team name.

53. In July of 2010, former Celtics minority owner Joe Lacob purchased the Warriors from Cohan, said all the right things, seemed intelligent/confident/competent and promised to turn things around.


55. The facts heading into this season: The Warriors missed the playoffs 29 times in 35 years … the Warriors won four playoff series total in 34 years … the Warriors haven’t made the playoffs for two straight seasons since 1977 … the Warriors haven’t made the Conference Finals since 1976 … the Warriors haven’t had an All-Star since 1997 … the Warriors have earned spots at 16 of the last 17 lotteries (impossible but true) … the Warriors have made 22 top-14 picks since 1985 (including 11 in the top eight and five in the top three) … and the Warriors made so many bad first-round picks and overpaid so many guys over the past 35 years that I don’t even have time to type all their names again.

It's almost like what a team has done in the past doesn't necessarily matter as it pertains to moves they would make in the future. After "this season" the Warriors made the playoffs three straight years and won an NBA title. Bill Simmons thinks it's crazy that a team's past can't dictate their future. It's crazy because Bill prefers talking about non-sports related reasons why a team can/can't win games.

"This team gives a lot of high-fives! This has directly led to their success!"

"This team has more than one knucklehead on the roster! That means they can't win games!"

"This team has a curse on them!"

"This team isn't fun to watch, which happens to coincide with the team not winning games!"

56. For some reason, despite everything you just read for more than 4,000 words, Lacob decided to guarantee these tortured fans that their Warriors would make the playoffs this season. 

And then the Warriors made the playoffs the next season, made the playoffs again the season after that, won the NBA title that next season, and now are making a run at being one of the best NBA teams in history. Lacob missed by one season. Bill missed by a lot more in writing this column.

57. He hired Mark Jackson as his new coach (someone with no coaching experience whatsoever)

The Warriors then fired Mark Jackson after a 51-31 season and hired another coach WITH NO COACHING EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER! Again? Why?

This other head coach the Warriors hired with no head coaching experience then immediately led the Warriors to an NBA title. So the Warriors went 188-124 when hiring coaches with no prior coaching experience whatsoever. What dumbasses the Warriors are.

and signed off when Jackson vowed to turn Golden State into an elite defensive team despite the fact that, you know, its best three players couldn’t defend anyone.

How silly of Jackson to vow that he would turn the Warriors into a great defensive team. It would have been better if he had just not tried to teach the Warriors defense at all. That's a much better method of coaching.

Using Bill Simmons' logic, it's ridiculous for a head coach to vow that he will fix his team's biggest deficiency. Remember, Bill considers himself to be brilliant.

58. His team used its amnesty on Charlie Bell (one year, $4 million) instead of Andris Biedrins (three years, $27 million) so the Warriors could overpay DeAndre Jordan (four years, $43 million) … only the Clippers matched their Jordan offer, leaving Golden State without any outs with Biedrins (who’s been in a funk for four solid years, but hey, who’s counting?).

The Warriors later cleared Biedrins' contract by trading him to the Jazz  in order to gain salary cap space that led to them signing Andre Iguodala. Iguodala was a key to the Warriors' championship run and is an integral part of the current Warriors historically great team. But hey, who's counting?

59. His team waived Jeremy Lin to sign second-rounder Charles Jenkins, then claimed after Linsanity took off in New York that they loved Lin and never wanted to lose him.

Jeremy Lin then came back to Earth, was overpaid by the Rockets and now plays in the desolate NBA wasteland known as "Charlotte" for a team run by an owner who also seems to have no clue how to build an NBA team.

60. When his team struggled to compete in a brutally tough Western conference, Lacob’s staff promptly reversed course and made two of the weirdest trades in a while: sending Ellis and Udoh7 to Milwaukee for the defensive center/rebounder they’d been recklessly pursuing for months (settling on Andrew Bogut, who’s injured until April and missed a whopping 108 games these past three-plus years)

This trade added another piece to the current Warriors team that is winning games at a historical pace. Bogut is a great defensive center (which of course, who cares if the Warriors are trying to have a good defensive team, that's ridiculous) who has helped the Warriors in ways Udoh and Ellis could not.

and Stephen Jackson’s Non-Expiring Contract (two years, $19.3 million remaining), then flipped Jackson’s Non-Expiring Contract for Richard Jefferson’s Apocalypse of a Contract (three years, $30.5 million remaining) and a late first-round pick

The Warriors later flipped Jefferson to the Jazz, thereby clearing more room for Iguodala's signing, and the late first round pick turned into Festus Ezeli who is another good defensive player that has continued to improve through his career with the Warriors.

AND THEN tried to spin the deal as “We can’t make the playoffs, we need to bottom out this season so we finish in the top seven of the lottery and don’t lose our first-round pick to Utah.”

The Warriors then bottomed out and finished at #7 in the lottery, drafting Harrison Barnes, who has (you guessed it!) been an important part of the 2014-2015 NBA title team and has continued to improve throughout his NBA career. So as dumb as these trades seemed at the time, these two trades ended up netting the Warriors four players that contributed to an NBA title. When writing a column about how dumb these trades were and how the Warriors continue to screw their fan base over, it's probably best Bill just forgets he wrote all this. He hopes we forget too.

Imagine you’re a Warriors fan. Imagine you just endured everything just laid out these past 35 years. Imagine you didn’t trust your owners, your front office, anybody. Imagine they just traded your most entertaining player for an injury-prone center who can’t play,

Yes, imagine the Warriors are building a historically great team that can play and Bill totally went all-in on how bad the franchise was. Imagine that. Imagine how embarrassing that would be in hindsight that Bill wrote this column.

and imagine knowing that you can’t sign anyone else for two more summers because Biedrins and Jefferson

Imagine Bill's assumption are incorrect and they signed Andre Iguodala because they were able to clear Biedrins and Jefferson off the cap.

Imagine you have some of the best fellow fans in the league, only you rarely if ever have a chance to cheer anything

Imagine this isn't true anymore. Imagine this stopped being true less than a year after this column was written.

Imagine hearing that, after months and months of Chris Paul rumors and Dwight Howard rumors

Imagine that Bill Simmons dangles Dwight Howard here as a great free agent signing/trade target and then a year later Bill writes off Howard as a franchise player. Imagine it. You don't have to. It happened.


Imagine if this happened a year later. We can only imagine...

your team just abruptly told you, “Oh, by the way, we’re going to tank the rest of this season because we don’t want to be haunted by a stupid trade from four years ago, but seriously, thanks for paying for season tickets this year.”

Imagine the Warriors were literally building the skeletal core of their championship basketball team as Bill wrote this column criticizing these moves. Imagine...

Imagine you were a paying customer and Chris Mullin Night doubled as the last bankably fun night of the season. Imagine the emotion inside the building with those Warriors legends on hand. Imagine everything cresting with Mully’s humble speech. Imagine the arrogance of Lacob grabbing that microphone — somehow deciding that he should be the last speaker of the ceremony, not Chris Mullin — and imagine your resentment over the past 35 years suddenly swelling as you realized, “Here’s my one chance to be heard.” 

I ask you … would you boo?

Yeah, I might boo. Imagine you were a huge NBA fan who prided yourself on your knowledge about whether a team was making smart moves or not. This is your identity in many ways. Imagine you were a huge NBA fan and you were also a (part time) writer and struggled when not using hindsight to show how "we" were wrong about something. Imagine you wrote this column about how the Warriors were on the wrong path...again. Imagine you were not correct about this. Imagine you suggested the Warriors fans should have been excited about the prospect of signing/trading a player you would write off a year later.

I ask you .... would you be worried people who read your columns notice you aren't as much of a guru when you can't use hindsight to defend your opinions that are passed off as fact?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

7 comments Writer For Fansided Has the Hottest of Hot Michael Jordan Takes

Bleacher Report has sort of cleaned up it's act and gotten away from the amateur writers who provided the really shitty content on the site and hired real sportswriters for the site. It's sad, but happy. Sad, because I need those shitty writers for this site, but happy because that means there is less bad journalism in the world. Well, that's bad for this site too. Dammit! Fortunately, there are still sites like Fansided with micro-sites run by morons. I shouldn't be mean, but fuck it, many of these micro-sites do seem like they are run by morons.

Hat tip to the emailer who sent this article to me. It is truly one of the hottest of hot takes about what an asshole Michael Jordan is. This micro-site is called Sir Charles in Charge, while the author's name is Mark. Okay. What's nice is Mark has a warning up on the micro-site so that anyone who reads his columns isn't in shock from what he/she/it is reading:

Mark is not your typical NBA fan or writer. While some may look the other way when their favorite team or player has a bad game Mark will usually attack that story and go against the grain. 

Because NOBODY gives hot takes and reactionary points of view about a player's bad game. If I had to make a list of those who have the guts to do this then the list would only include Mark, most of the ESPN staff paid to give a opinion, everyone on talk radio whether it is a host or caller, anyone in the comment section on a sports article, and professional sportswriters. It's some elite company Mark finds himself in. LeBron didn't have a good few games in a row? Mark is going to attack the fuck out of that story and point out that LeBron is a piece of shit. Can't handle it? Mark (or Charles) is in charge, so get the hell out of here.

This is what he finds fun about writing, giving fans the honest truth even if they wish not to hear it.

He gives the very truth AT THAT VERY MINUTE to fans, even if they don't like it. "Like it" being defined as "Aren't partial to hot takes based on a player having one bad game and these hot takes only serve the sole purpose of helping the person giving the hot take to gain attention."

Speaking of attention, here is his article about how Michael Jordan is the most disrespectful and overrated man in NBA history. That doesn't seem like an extreme or non-factual statement at all. Is it possible this conclusion is not based on facts and instead is simply a reflection of the author's biased opinion? The answer, is that it could not be possible. Try to disprove how disrespectful and overrated Michael Jordan is. You can't, because Mark is spitting the truth and you just don't want to hear it. It's not that he's wrong, you just can't handle the truth.

Just because Michael Jordan is viewed as the Greatest of All Time doesn’t mean he deserves the respect of everyone — certainly not mine

Well then. I wish I didn't hear this, but someone had to tell me.  

Michael Jordan may be the greatest in many eyes, “The GOAT,  Money,  ICON” or whatever other name he is called these days, but I never saw him as much more than a product of great marketing. 

This could be because you are stupid and confuse "Michael Jordan the basketball player" with "Michael Jordan the business man." There are a lot of athletes who receive chances to market products and they receive these opportunities because they are good at a sports. The fact an athlete has a lot of endorsements and is well-marketed doesn't mean that athlete is a product of marketing. It's especially hilarious that Michael Jordan is being criticized as a product of great marketing, especially considering those six NBA titles and all of the NBA records he holds speak for themselves with zero marketing required. 

Could he play the game? 

Uh-oh. I hope the answer to this isn't another thing I don't want to hear. 

Yes, he was a bad dude on the court and accomplished many wonderful things

Product of marketing. That's all.  

but the majority of those plays were being done by half of the league back then, he was just the one they decided to immortalize in commercials.

Wow, I seem to only recall one NBA player switching hands on a layup during the 1991 NBA Finals, but I'm sure I missed it. The NBA probably erased my memory and removed all evidence of other players doing this. I also don't remember too many players starting from the foul line and dunking the basketball, but I'm sure Jon Koncak and Cliff Livington were doing this type of thing all the time while Uwe Blab waited his turn to show off his dunking skills. I must have missed Alvin Robertson putting on a dunk clinic from the foul line or winning a dunk contest. I blame the vast conspiracy to prop up Michael Jordan that makes me forget that Jordan was just one of hundreds of players doing the things he did. I didn't realize half the league was scoring 30 points per game either. I wonder if these players noticed when they scored a basket their team didn't get credit for the points? What a conspiracy to market a single individual.

Have you ever seen Clyde “The Glide” Drexler play? 

No, only you have seen Clyde Drexler play because he has been edited out of NBA history forever in order to further the myth of Michael Jordan. 

If you have, then you would know of the great plays he made throughout his career as well, but rarely do you see him in any NBA spots for advertising.

Part of the reason is he wasn't exactly a natural in front of a camera in local ads.

Not to mention, you don't see Drexler in any NBA spots for advertising because he's been retired for almost two decades now. You don't see Michael Jordan in any NBA advertisements anymore either. The only reason Jordan is still relevant in the NBA is because he owns an NBA team. Like he owns the team and so that sort of still gives him some connection to the NBA today. It's hilarious this writer (and I'm being kind in calling him that) is using Clyde Drexler has a comparison to Jordan, because Drexler has been recognized for his talents. He was on the Dream Team and he is in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. It's not like he's getting the short end of the stick when comparing his achievements to Michael Jordan's achievements. Drexler has one NBA title. Jordan has six NBA titles. Who cares which player was in the NBA ads? Jordan was a better player than Drexler and probably had a better agent (David Falk) than Clyde Drexler. But if you insist on pushing the point, here is Drexler in the signature NBA ads of the 80's. This is awkward now. 

Jordan shoes were being sold to the public for $100+ and for the kids that couldn’t afford them they were out robbing the kids that could.

Okay, well then. Now that you bring it up, Michael Jordan probably is responsible for kids robbing kids so they could have his shoes. What's weird is I have heard this argument before. I just don't know where. 

At some point make a statement to the public to stop the nonsense, drop the prices of your shoes to make them affordable, the same way that Stephon Marbury and Chris Webber did.

Now I know where I heard this argument. From Stephon Marbury. So basically the author is stealing talking points from Stephon Marbury in an effort to show how overrated Michael Jordan is and how he is a jerk.

But again, the author is stealing talking points from Chris Webber. Webber wanted more reasonably priced shoes, so his Fila shoes sold for $85 to $90, which is more reasonable than how much Jordan's shoes costs, but also not exactly cheap. The only examples of cheap shoes the author could come up with were shoes from Chris Webber and Stephon Marbury. I had to double check to make sure this article wasn't written in 1999.
Through all the ball-hogging, push-offs and crying when someone dared to touch him, 

It's like this article was not just written in 1999, but written in 1989. These are many of the same criticisms people had of Jordan back then. By the way, Jordan is 42nd all-time in career assists and he averaged 5.3 assists per game during his career, while Clyde Drexler averaged 5.6 assists per game. Maybe Jordan ball-hogged in a way where he got his teammates involved nearly as much as Clyde Drexler did. 

I still admired his game until the NBA decided it was time to win the gold medal, that’s when my hate for Jordan really became apparent.

This is when the author's hate for Jordan became apparent...to himself? The 1992 Olympics is when the author became fully self-aware.

He was the face of the NBA 

But only because the other players were edited out of commercials and erased from the memory of those watching the games. 

but it wasn’t going to be a “Dream Team” without him and he used that power to his advantage. Before the team ever assembled there was a power struggle going on between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons, mainly between Jordan and Isiah Thomas.

The struggle on the court was mainly between Jordan and the entire Pistons team. The Pistons had the "Jordan Rules" where they essentially beat the shit out of him if he got near to the rim with the basketball. 

The Pistons treated the Bulls with as much respect that an alcoholic step-father treats his step-children.

The alcoholic step-father, who became an alcoholic from years spent trying to convince everyone of Clyde Drexler's greatness, treats his children terribly by robbing them and stealing their Air Jordan shoes. If they were Marbury or Webber shoes, it wouldn't come to this, but because Air Jordan shoes are so expensive, sometimes a child just has to get robbed. 

Jordan’s hate for Detroit was evident on the court, but behind closed doors he was plotting. When the call came to construct the Dream Team he saw his chance to put his power to use. He wasn’t going to play if a certain player was on the team.

Let's see, I hated the Pistons and I hated Michael Jordan. The Dream Team was winning the Gold medal no matter if Isiah Thomas or Marlo Thomas (just to stick with the 80's theme of this article) was the point guard. Yep, I don't really care what Jordan did or didn't do to keep Thomas off the team.

The author also conveniently leaves out that Isiah Thomas started the whole beef back in 1985 by freezing Michael Jordan out in the All-Star Game, but any evidence that may not make Jordan seem like the jerk the author believes him to be should be omitted. So the author complains the NBA made Michael Jordan into a product of marketing while claiming they were ignoring other NBA stars (which is absolutely false) in their marketing for the league, but in this column he only uses information that makes Jordan look bad in his treatment of Isiah Thomas while ignoring any culpability of Thomas in Jordan's behavior towards him.
At the time, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and John Stockton were the best PG’s in the NBA.

And two of them were on the Dream Team. Only 12 players could make the team. There are five positions on an NBA team and 12 spots on the Dream Team roster. There can't be three players at every position on the roster, so Thomas didn't make the team because Jordan (and a couple others) could play point guard if they absolutely needed him to. 

Even Jordan, with his childish ways, knew that, but because of the disrespect he felt the Pistons gave him over the years and with them walking off the court when they finally beat the “Bad Boys,” Jordan was going to make sure Thomas would never play for the gold.

So Jordan wouldn't play if Thomas was on the team because Thomas froze him out of an exhibition game and then Thomas acted like a fucking baby and wouldn't shake hands after the Bulls finally beat the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals? Jordan is the bad guy though? I don't like Michael Jordan, but it seems Thomas had some karma coming back to him for the bitch move of walking his team off the court in the Eastern Conference Finals. Maybe Thomas shouldn't piss off the best player in the NBA.

If Thomas played on the team, Jordan would not and the league was too busy making money off his brand that they could not afford to let that happen, so what did they do? The same thing they always done, they kissed his butt, gave him another pacifier and let him have his way.

So let me get this straight. The NBA was so busy making money off the 1992 Olympics they couldn't afford to have Michael Jordan not participate as part of the squad? It's hard to speculate accurately, but did the NBA have a reason to want Michael Jordan on the 1992 Dream Team instead of Isiah Thomas? I don't know, but I do know there were a lot of really good players left off the team. James Worthy didn't make the team either.

Despite this author's attempts to pin Thomas not being on the Dream Team solely on Michael Jordan, there were plenty of other players who may not have participated had Thomas joined the team. So losing Jordan probably wasn't ideal, but losing Barkley, Pippen, Bird and Jordan? That's enough to keep the third-best point guard in the NBA off the team. Tough choices had to be made anyway, so why choose a player who was on the border of not making the team AND there were plenty of guys on the team who didn't like him?

But in came Chuck Daly to head the Dream Team, one of the greatest coaches in history and also the coach of said Pistons and Thomas. That’s how you know this was all personal between Jordan and Thomas.

Why play for the coach and not with the player?

I don't think it's a question of whether Michael Jordan liked Isiah Thomas or not. He didn't. The fact Jordan didn't like Thomas doesn't mean that Jordan alone had Thomas kept off the Olympic team and that's why he's overrated and a jerk. 

Like I said, I respect what he accomplished on the court, but what he did to Thomas always rubbed me the wrong way. Imagine if LeBron did the same to Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant — he would get crucified, but since it was Jordan it’s like it gets swept under the rug.

Yes, it gets swept under the rug in that 23 years later it is still talked about. If anything, the idea Jordan kept Thomas off the Dream Team has been discussed too much over the past 23 years. It's part of the lore of Michael Jordan and how competitive he was. If the author thinks Jordan allegedly keeping Thomas off the Dream Team has been swept under the rug then he hasn't been paying attention. 

He took his position of power within the NBA and took away a once in a lifetime chance for one of the games greats.

The numbers situation took away a lifetime chance for one of the games greats. That's what happened. I would love to hear from the author on which player (outside of Laettner, because one college player was making the team) that he would have left off. Who would it have been? The 11th person to make the team after the first 10 players was named was...get ready for it...Clyde Drexler. So should the guy who the author thinks was just as good at basketball as Jordan have been removed from the Dream Team? If not, who should have not made the team? There were only two centers who made the team, so one of those can't be removed. Pippen or Chris Mullin? That leaves the team short in terms of small forwards, and especially since Pippen could also play point guard, he had added value. The bottom line is there wasn't room for Thomas even if players other than Jordan didn't like him. 

I have mixed feelings about Daly as well.

Well, that's good to know. 

Thomas was your player and you agreed to go on without him. Tell Jordan to suck it up and be a man about the situation.

This would have been awkward for Chuck Daly to say considering he didn't pick the players that made the Dream Team. I'm sure Daly could have worked hard to get Thomas on the team, but he probably knew that would make his job a lot harder than it needed to be. Why fight so hard to bring on a guy that many of the players don't like anyway, a guy who is the third-best point guard on the roster? 

What about his Hall Of Fame speech? To some it was funny and entertaining but the reality of it was he took another opportunity and the spotlight of many others to stand on his mighty soapbox and show his true colors.

That's Michael Jordan. It's who he is. 

Wow, talk about a guy with a serious hero complex. He was still taking shots at guys for no reason. Still taking shots at Magic Johnson and George Gervin for freezing him out in the 1985 NBA All Star game, he flew the player he was passed over for in high school simply to rub it in his face.

How can we forget the classic line the “organization didn’t play with the flu in Utah” — oh wow, some balls on this guy.

Yes, wow, some balls on this guy. Jordan almost as much balls as it takes to claim in an article that Jordan was just the product of great marketing. And that link about Johnson and Gervin freezing out Jordan in the 1985 All Star Game is actually an article about Isiah Thomas freezing Jordan out. The author clearly wants to mislead his readers and pretend it wasn't Thomas who was behind Jordan being frozen out. If anyone is trying to sweep the truth under the rug, it's the author trying to sweep the truth of Thomas and his involvement in the Jordan freeze out under the rug.

There is a reason why Charles Barkley and Jordan have remained so close throughout the years while he and Pippen have not. Pippen was the flunky, while Chuck would easily tell Jordan about himself.

A person like Jordan needs that one to put him in his place (Derek Fisher and Bryant) and he respects that about Barkley. When everyone is kissing your backside you need someone to slap you in the face every once in a while.

So because Jordan wants someone to slap him in the fact and stop kissing his ass, he tried hard to get a player who probably at some point actually slapped him in the face and wouldn't kiss his ass left off the 1992 Dream Team? If you don't use logic at all, then this might make sense. Unfortunately, the idea Jordan respects people who don't kiss his ass, but conspired to have an NBA player who didn't kiss his ass left off the Dream Team doesn't square.

Respect is earned and as fast as you get it, it can be taken away. To many, Michael Jordan is untouchable, they can’t see why someone could not like they guy.

This article isn't about liking or not liking Jordan. It says that Michael Jordan is the most overrated NBA player. Please argue the point you are trying make in an effort to prove your claim. Don't move the goalposts or try to make it seem like you didn't call Jordan overrated and that's the same thing as simply not liking Jordan.

You like who you like, simple as that.

I just didn’t — or don’t — respect Michael Jordan.

You don't have to respect Michael Jordan. Even a stupid person knows not respecting someone doesn't mean that player is the most overrated person in NBA history. Don't be stupid and stop with the hot takes. I'm going to write something that you may not want to hear. Your writing is not good at all. This is an embarrassment on so many levels.

Friday, December 25, 2015

7 comments Grading Mel Kiper's 2007 NFL Draft Grades

As you all know by now, I enjoy going back and re-grading the grades that Mel Kiper has given teams after each NFL Draft. It's a pastime I enjoy and I have regraded every draft grade column Mel has posted from 2001-2006. I have already re-graded Dr. Z's 2007 draft grades back when I didn't know this would be a thing I would do for Mel Kiper, but screw it, I'll do the 2007 draft grades for Mel too. I enjoy this stuff too much. So I found Mel's draft grades on this message board where a person posted ESPN Insider columns like this on the board. I'm sure the punishment for this is 3-5 years in jail, but he risked it anyway.

Mel is famous for not really taking risks with the grades he gives. He gave out B's and C's for this draft. No really, the only grades he handed out were some variation of a "B" or a "C." There is no draft grade that is an "A" or a "D." There are certainly no "F's." Zero NFL teams did very well or very poorly in the draft. This is what Mel seems to believe. Why the fuck would you even have draft grades if you are just going to say every team did slightly below average to slightly above average? It's a wasted effort, but Mel doesn't care. The best part is he wrote nothing that would come back to haunt him. That's all that matters, being right in retrospect by not outright bashing a player or team. What a farce.

Arizona Cardinals: GRADE: B-

Once Joe Thomas was gone, the Cardinals had to make a decision whether to take Adrian Peterson or Levi Brown.

Should I eat pizza or dog shit? Pizza has few nutrients in it and I already had pizza this week, so maybe I'll go with the dog shit because it has to have nutrients and I haven't had dog shit lately.

Peterson would have been a luxury pick, which they couldn't afford to do, and Brown fills a hole.

Because when you have J.J. Arrington and Edgerrin James, there's no need for a running back. The Cardinals did just sign James, but still, an offense with Kurt Warner, Adrian Peterson, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Steve Breaston. That's a pretty good offense.

There were quite a few teams that didn't think there was a lot that separated Brown from Thomas. Brown has a nasty streak and can play either tackle position.

But he can he play either tackle as well as Adrian Peterson can play running back? Brown was decent, but man, passing up Peterson...

Tight end Ben Patrick is a potential steal in the seventh round. He needs to work on his concentration and catching the ball, but Patrick could have gone in the third round and no one would have argued. 

Other than getting distracted while he's on the field and not being able to catch the ball, Ben Patrick would make an excellent tight end.

This is just the beginning of a lot of "B's" and "C's." What an embarrassment.

Atlanta Falcons: GRADE: B

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson was really the only option with Joe Thomas and Levi Brown gone.

(Bengoodfella coughs) Darrelle Revis, Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch.

I really liked what Atlanta did Sunday.

Okay, great. So when is a "B" grade, which is a grade that signifies the Falcons did "above average" mean that Mel Kiper really likes the draft? What is an "A" grade reserved for? Does there have to be another "really" thrown in there?

Baltimore Ravens: GRADE: B

Mel says literally nothing negative about the Ravens draft. Nothing negative. He loves it all. Every pick, yet the draft gets a "B."

Ben Grubbs:

Ben Grubbs is a great pick and pure guard.

Yamon Figurs:

Yamon Figurs has speed to burn and will be the returner the Ravens need with B.J. Sams coming off an injury and being a free agent after 2007.

Marshall Yanda:

Marshal Yanda possibly also could start at guard or right tackle.

Antwan Barnes:

Antwan Barnes is a typical hybrid combination between a defensive end and outside linebacker.

Le'Ron McClain:

Le'Ron McClain was the best pure fullback in the draft. Not only does he fill a need, but he could start since the Ravens lost Ovie Mughelli in free agency.

Troy Brown:

This was a good organization for Troy Smith to go to as a developmental quarterback. He also could push Kyle Boller, who will be a free agent after 2007.

Prescott Burgess:

Prescott Burgess had a nice career at Michigan, and getting him in the sixth round is a nice move because Burgess should have a solid NFL career. 

So how in the ever-living hell is this a "B" draft and not an "A" draft? Mel likes EVERY SINGLE PICK the Ravens made. What a joke. Why even have grades? Why even evaluate a team's draft if he is just handing out "B's" and "C's"?

Buffalo Bills: GRADE: B

Down the road, Trent Edwards could give J.P. Losman some competition.

To be fair, there are a lot of college quarterbacks who could have given J.P. Losman some competition.

And if Edwards develops in two or three years, the Bills could trade him, similar to what Atlanta did with Matt Schaub. 

Ah yes, 2007 when there was a possibility the Bills had such an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position that they could trade their backup quarterback.

Hey look, a "B" grade. Oh, look another "B" grade coming up! There are five outright "B" grades in a row, not counting the "B-" he gave the Cardinals. Such creativity from Mel.

Carolina Panthers: GRADE: B

I'm not enamored with linebacker Jon Beason, but he has the ability to be a team leader because he has a great attitude.

I love Jon Beason, but someone should create a Jon Beason Doll that signs a new contract and then immediately gets injured when you pull his string.

The Panthers did a good job in the second round, getting WR Dwayne Jarrett and center Ryan Kalil. I thought Georgia defensive end Charles Johnson was a steal in the third round.

I'm shuddering at the thought of Dwayne Jarrett. He was so horrible. Mel was correct about Charles Johnson though.

Dante Rosario is a backup tight end;

As are most tight ends drafted in the 5th round. Great analysis, Mel.

"This guy drafted in the 5th round, try to stay with me here, but I think he may end up being a backup. That's how I project him and feel free to argue with me if you would like. I would give your ability to make an argument a 'B' grade."

Chicago Bears: GRADE: B

The Bears didn't expect Greg Olsen to be available that late in the first round; he'll give Rex Grossman a solid pass-catching tight end.

Or he will be underused during his Bears career. You know, either way.

Defensive end Dan Bazuin is perfect for the Bears' scheme.

As a 2nd round pick, Bazuin never played a regular season snap for the Bears.

Corey Graham will fight for a roster spot at cornerback and on special teams.

Or he will still be in the NFL in 2015 and have played in 125 games while having returned one kick on special teams during his career so far.

Cincinnati Bengals: GRADE: C+

WHAT? A "C+" grade? You don't say?

Mel likes every pick the Bengals made, except for Jeff Rowe, because:

Jeff Rowe was a system quarterback at Nevada, and I didn't like this pick because there were better quarterbacks still on the board;

This is a good call by Mel, because Matt Moore, Tyler Thigpen, and Troy Smith were still out there. Still, it's a 5th round pick that Mel didn't like and also he knocked the Bengals' grade down because he didn't think they helped themselves enough on defense. This despite the fact Mel had nothing negative to say about the players the Bengals chose instead of focusing on defense.

Picking Michigan CB Leon Hall without having to trade up to get him turned out to be very good value for the Bengals. Running back Kenny Irons could have been a first-round pick but couldn't stay healthy his senior season at Auburn. Safety Marvin White was not a bad fourth-round pick;

The Bengals didn't have a 3rd round pick because they chose Ahmad Brooks in the 2006 supplemental draft. They used three of their first four picks on defense, but that wasn't enough for Mel. They got a "C+," or otherwise as it's known, they did just slightly worse than the Ravens did when Mel loved every pick the Ravens made.

Cleveland Browns: GRADE: B+

The Browns were going to use the third overall pick on Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas or Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. At the end of the day, the Browns came away with both players.

Again, pizza or dog shit for dinner?

The Browns did, however, give up a lot of picks in this draft. 

The Browns wanted Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn at #3. They traded picks to get Brady Quinn at #22 and Mel didn't like this strategy. Of course he didn't. Mel also didn't like how many picks the Browns gave up, but thought they did better than the Ravens in the draft. So there's that.

Dallas Cowboys: GRADE: B

I really liked the pick of tackle Doug Free in the fourth round because he has a lot of talent.

I'm not all negative. This was a good call by Mel.

Dallas took place-kicker Nick Folk when Mason Crosby was still on the board;

They are both kickers and it was the 6th round. Let's take it easy with this type of criticism.

Courtney Brown has the necessary skills to be a developmental cornerback. 

So Brown has the necessary skills like arms/legs/hands/a head, he played college football in college AND played college football at the position at which he was drafted by the Cowboys, so he may one day become a cornerback who can be developed into a backup or starter? Thanks Mel, that's really, really enlightening to know.

Denver Broncos: GRADE: B-

The Broncos tried to strengthen the defensive line, starting with Jarvis Moss in the first round. In the Broncos' system, he has a chance to get 10-12 sacks next season.

Or 6 sacks for his entire career. That too.

Offensive tackle Ryan Harris had a first-round grade in August, but his stock dropped and Denver grabbed him in the third round. 

What does this sentence even mean? It's interesting Harris had a first round grade in August, and yes, we know Ryan Harris was drafted in the third round. Is there a conclusion to be drawn based on these two bits of information? Mel is getting so lazy with his grades he's just going to allow his readers to guess his conclusions rather than spend the precious time he has actually writing one more sentence for the Broncos' draft grades.

Detroit Lions: GRADE: C

Drew Stanton will be measured against Brady Quinn because the Lions could have taken the Notre Dame QB.

Dog shit or meat that isn't quite spoiled yet, but getting there quickly? Which one for lunch?

A.J. Davis could be a good nickel or dime cornerback;

Davis could be or could not be a good nickel or dime cornerback. Maybe or maybe not. Stop asking Mel tough questions and just let him finish giving every team a "B" or "C" grade.

Manuel Ramirez was a nice fourth-round pick who will be a starting guard in the NFL;

Mel was correct about this.

Johnny Baldwin was a good small-school linebacker at Alabama A&M who will be a good backup and special-teams player. 

Mel was not correct about this. But hey, it's a draft where Mel didn't like one of the Lions 2nd round picks, thought another 2nd round pick had low upside, and stated the other 2nd round pick was too raw. Sounds like a "C" draft according to the dartboard that Mel has which determines his draft grades. By the way, this dartboard only has "B" and "C" on it and Mel determines if a "+" or "-" will be added by the color of the dart he throws.
Green Bay Packers: GRADE: C+

Defensive tackle Justin Harrell didn't fill need, but the Packers chose the best available player over need.

This was a tough pick for the Packers. Harrell had injuries, was overweight and only ended up with 28 tackles and 0 sacks over his career with Green Bay. The list of players taken within 30 picks of Harrell is depressing for Packers fans. It's probably easier to sleep knowing they have Aaron Rodgers and a Super Bowl ring since 2007.

James Jones was a decent third-round pick, a good wide receiver with natural receiving skills;

Great analysis here. The Packers drafted a wide receiver, who just happens to have natural receiving skills. I'm starting to wonder why a team would draft a wide receiver who doesn't have natural receiving skills by the time he reaches the NFL, but that's probably a question better not asked.

WR David Clowney has a lot of speed, and inside linebackers Korey Hall and Desmond Bishop should make it in the NFL as backups.

Bishop ended up being a starter in the NFL. You know Mel is starting to get bored when he just describes a guy as "having a lot of speed" and then noting that 6th round picks should be backups in the NFL. I would say he's mailing it in, but the variety of draft grades already shows that.

Houston Texans: GRADE: C-

A "C-" is an "F" based on Mel Kiper's grading curve.

The Texans took defensive tackle Travis Johnson in 2005, and he hasn't played up to his potential. They took DT Amobi Okoye

It seems the Texans wanted a pair of defensive tackles who didn't play to their potential.

when they should have been looking at a cornerback such as Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis.

Yeah, probably.

Wide receiver Jacoby Jones played at Lane College,

This is all Mel has to say about Jacoby Jones. Why even mention him if you are only going to mention what college Jones went to? This is hilarious to me. What is the reader supposed to ascertain from reciting Jones' college?

This turned out to be a typical Houston draft. The Texans didn't help David Carr when he was their QB, and they didn't do much to help Schaub. Cornerback Fred Bennett was a good pick in the fourth round, and I really like linebacker Zach Diles. He had two productive years at Kansas State and might have flown under some teams' radar. Getting Diles in the seventh round was a good move.

Diles was productive for a 7th round pick. It seems like Mel hated the Texans draft, but he just couldn't bring himself to actually grade the Texans on his feelings about their draft. And why would Mel give a draft grade based on how he felt the Texans did in the draft in acquiring talented players who fit the team's needs? That's not the purpose of draft grades apparently. 

Indianapolis Colts: GRADE: B-

The Texans should take a page from the Colts. They win the Super Bowl and what do they do in the first round? Give Peyton Manning another weapon on offense by taking WR Anthony Gonzalez. This was a great pick, replacing Brandon Stokley in the Colts' arsenal. 

Gonzalez really didn't do much to replace Brandon Stokley and was out of the NFL by 2012. If you ask me, while Mel likes the strategy of the Colts, I think they should have spent more time drafting for defense than giving Manning more weapons on offense. Manning has the ability to make decent receivers look greater than they are. He can't help the defense like that. That's just my opinion.

Tony Ugoh could be the heir apparent to Tarik Glenn at left tackle,

He was not.

and I really like wide receiver Roy Hall, Gonzalez's teammate at Ohio State.

He caught one pass in his NFL career.

fifth-round pick Michael Coe has the chance to be a good developmental cornerback. 

One day, MAYBE, Michael Coe could develop into a cornerback. He has a chance.
Jacksonville Jaguars: GRADE: C

The Jaguars needed a playmaking safety. They not only got Florida's Reggie Nelson

Eh, can't win them all.

Not only do I like punter Adam Podlesh's strong leg, but he runs a 4.45 40 time, which will force defenses to always be thinking about a fake punt.

I have never heard this type of evaluation about a punter. Credit to Mel for at least being creative about it. There could be a chance that Podlesh runs a fake punt, so that's important to know I guess.

Uche Nwaneri as a guard or center made sense in the fifth round.

Nwaneri (who turned out to be a good player) made sense as a guard or center, mostly because he played these positions in college. Mel likes to write, "Player X made sense in Y round" and then lists the player's position at some point in the sentence. Yes, it does make sense to draft a guy who played guard and/or center in college as a guard or center in the NFL. It does sound counter intuitive, but sense has been made. Probably more sense than liking a punter who was drafted because he's fast.  

"Ah, fuck it, here's a 'C' grade. You know what? Here's another one." 

Kansas City Chiefs: GRADE: C 

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is a good player, and he filled a need for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs first round pick is a good player AND he filled a need? Why did the Chiefs do that?

Justin Medlock is a good place-kicker, but I would have taken Mason Crosby. 

Yes, we know. Mel Kiper would have taken Mason Crosby #1 overall because it filled a need and Crosby can run fast in case there are any fake kicks the Raiders were looking to run. Actually, Crosby would have probably been a better #1 overall pick than JaMarcus Russell, but that's beside the point.

Mel liked most of the Chiefs picks and he gave them a "C." I have to wonder how they could have gotten a higher grade from Mel.

Miami Dolphins: GRADE: C

Passing on Brady Quinn was ridiculous.

It turns out drafting him in the first round was equally as ridiculous.  

The Dolphins were fortunate that QB John Beck was still available in the second round and they were able to salvage their quarterback situation.

Yep, consider the situation now salvaged. Wait, Mel wrote "salvaged"? I thought he meant the QB situation was "savaged." Nevermind.

Drew Mormino made sense as a backup center; Kelvin Smith has a chance to be a starting linebacker someday;

Ah yes, boring filler analysis. Mel's great at this type of thing.

and Brandon Fields has a strong leg but is inconsistent. 


Brandon Fields has made a Pro Bowl and is still the Dolphins kicker by the way.

Minnesota Vikings: GRADE: B+

Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman had an outstanding weekend.

But not outstanding enough to earn an "A" grade of course. That would be ridiculous to say the Vikings had an outstanding draft and then actually grade them based on this opinion.

Brian Robison is a pass-rushing defensive end and a very good Day 2 selection.

This was true. Robison has 43.5 sacks in his career.

and Tyler Thigpen is more of a developmental, third-string quarterback. 

What? You mean in the 7th round the Vikings didn't draft a capable backup or a sure-fire starter?

Outstanding job by Rick Spielman! Here's a grade that states you did above average, which in Mel's world is pretty much the same thing as doing outstanding.

New England Patriots: GRADE: B

Of the six picks the Pats had in the sixth and seventh rounds, they'll be fortunate if two of them pan out. The reason for giving the Patriots a B grade is they utilized the draft process by getting Randy Moss for a fourth-round pick as well as acquiring the 49ers' first-round pick in 2008. 

That's true, but I find it interesting that Mel grades the 2007 draft based on players the Patriots didn't select and them having the chance to select another player (a player who Mel had no idea whether he liked at this point or not) in the next year's draft. He grades this draft based on another draft basically. Just interesting. Brandon Meriweather was the only player the Patriots drafted who was on the team after the 2008 season.

New Orleans Saints: GRADE: B-

New Orleans went with Robert Meachem, the best available player on the board.

Other than Joe Staley, Ben Grubbs, Greg Olsen, Eric Weddle, and LaMar Woodley of course.

Antonio Pittman will give New Orleans more depth at running back;

Which basically means Mel thinks a fourth round pick who plays running back will make the 53-man roster. Thanks for the contribution, Mel.

Jermon Bushrod is a quality prospect at left tackle; and David Jones from Wingate was a good sleeper pick.

Bushrod was a good pick and Jones was a huge sleeper because he didn't even make the Saints roster during the 2007 season.

New York Giants: GRADE: C-

I would have gone differently with the Giants' draft.

Every single pick the Giants made was still on the roster until after at least the 2009 season. I'd be interested to know how the Giants could do better than that, in terms of depth of their draft, while having 8 picks.

Cornerback Aaron Ross has very good ball skills but not great catchup speed. I was surprised they didn't take left tackle Joe Staley because they need someone who can protect Eli Manning's blind side. The Giants took offensive tackle Adam Koets in the sixth round and even passed on left tackle Jermon Bushrod. If they had taken Staley, they could have drafted Eric Wright from UNLV instead of WR Steve Smith. I would rather have had Staley and Wright,

Yeah, maybe. It's not like the Giants made a huge mistake or anything drafting the way they did.

but Smith is a good receiver and will be someone who holds onto the ball.

That's always a nice quality for a receiver to have. Also, the Giants got Ahmad Bradshaw in the 7th round of this draft and Mel doesn't mention him at all. Definitely not a "C-" draft and this is why Mel doesn't like to take chances with his grades. There's a chance he could be wrong.

New York Jets: GRADE: B

it was quality over quantity for the Jets, who drafted only four players. They traded up to get their first two picks, CB Darrelle Revis and linebacker David Harris. I had Harris going in the first half of the first round, so this is a great pickup for the Jets.

And they were two good picks. Not good enough for an "A" grade of course.

Jacob Bender has a chance to be a nice developmental prospect at tackle. 

He has a chance to one day become a tackle. See? I told you Mel likes to write shit like this that may not mean too much.

Oakland Raiders: GRADE C+

JaMarcus Russell was a no-brainer because he has the chance to be a franchise quarterback.

"No-brainer" is how I would describe JaMarcus Russell too.

The Raiders have been trying for years to draft a tight end, and they took Zach Miller in the second round.

I'm confused by this. Who was stopping the Raiders from drafting a tight end? The team was handing in draft cards with a tight end's name on it and the NFL was changing the pick to another position that wasn't tight end? Was this all Todd Christensen's doing? Let's blame JaMarcus Russell for this too.

safety Eric Frampton was a solid fifth-round pick out of Washington State; and Orenthal O'Neal is a good lead blocker for a fullback. 

O'Neal is a good lead blocker for a fullback? That's nice to know considering a fullback's main role on the field is to be the lead blocker. I don't think Mel even knew where he was going with this sentence.

The Raiders did everything right except for one pick Mel didn't like, got a guy who had a chance to be a franchise quarterback and only got a "C" grade.

Philadelphia Eagles: GRADE: C-

It's the Mel Kiper version of an "F".

First, they made a trade with the Cowboys, who used the pick on defensive end Anthony Spencer. Then, the Eagles used the 36th overall pick (their first pick in the draft) on Houston QB Kevin Kolb when QBs Drew Stanton, John Beck and Trent Edwards were all still on the board.

Yeah, that was probably a smart move in retrospect.

C.J. Gaddis, I thought, would have been a priority free agent instead of a fifth-rounder; Brent Celek is an average tight end prospect;

Gaddis probably should have been a priority free agent, while Brent Celek is still being average on the Eagles roster and has 344 catches, 4300 plus yards, and 27 touchdowns on his NFL career so far.

Pittsburgh Steelers: GRADE: B

For the 3-4 defense, Lawrence Timmons was a good pick in the first round and using their second-round choice on LaMarr Woodley will give the Steelers some versatility in that Woodley could play as a defensive end in four-man fronts. I'm not sure how effective he can be as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme,

57 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, and 5 interceptions. He seems like he's been pretty effective as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

I liked the fourth-round pick on Daniel Sepulveda, a left-footed punter with a big leg;


Another boring "B" grade...

St. Louis Rams: GRADE: C+

I really like the pick of Brian Leonard in the second round because he gives St. Louis options on offense. He can spell Steven Jackson at running back, play fullback when necessary, and also be used as a move tight end or H-back. 

Unfortunately, Leonard seemed to do more of that type of thing with the Bengals than the Rams.

Former wide receiver Jonathan Wade is still raw as a cornerback but was a decent third-round pick; center Dustin Fry is an overachiever; and Cliff Ryan should be able to contribute along the defensive line. 

That's it. If the "C+" grade didn't tip you off, then the lack of interest shown by Mel in evaluating these picks is a tip off that he was bored at this point in this draft grades. Mel just hands out "C's" and "B+" from here on out. Which really isn't straying too far from the grades he handed over this entire column.

San Diego Chargers: GRADE: C

Wide receiver Craig Davis was a slight reach in the first round, but he does fill a major need.

The need to draft a guy nicknamed "Buster" who ends up being a little bit of a bust?

Tight end Scott Chandler is a good pass catcher but a marginal blocker, and WR Legedu Naanee has long-range potential.

I guess there's not much to say about Naanee other than "He may be pretty good one day."

San Francisco 49ers: GRADE: B+

The 49ers got Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Ray McDonald (for better or worse), Dashon Goldson, and Tarell Brown in this draft. It sounds like an "A" draft to me now.

After the 49ers took a tackling machine in linebacker Patrick Willis with the 11th pick, I liked seeing them move back into the first round (trading for New England's second first-round pick) and get Joe Staley, one of the best offensive tackles in the draft. QB Alex Smith needs someone who's going to protect his blind side, and Staley could do that for years to come.

And he did. He also protected Colin Kaepernick's blind side.

Dashon Goldson is more of a backup cornerback;

Or a starting safety. Either way.

Seattle Seahawks: GRADE: C

Mansfield Wrotto (4th round) went a little high for a player I think will be a backup;

A 4th round pick is too high for a player who will be a backup? Mel thinks NFL teams are expected to still find starters in the 4th round? I don't see how that's a reasonable expectation.

wide receiver Jordan Kent, son of Oregon basketball coach Ernie Kent, also has some ability. 

It's always nice that the Seahawks drafted a wide receiver with some ability. Mel's ability to give a fuck is growing weak right now.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: GRADE: C

This was a bad luck draft. Gaines Adams never really produced for the Buccaneers and never got a chance to redeem himself with the Bears before he passed away. The Bucs 2nd round pick, Arron Sears had to retire due to a neurological condition.

Tanard Jackson is an aggressive cornerback who could move inside to safety;

And he did.

linebacker Adam Hayward is a marginal prospect;

He's still in the NFL.

and offensive tackle Chris Denman is underrated and an overachiever and I like his chances of making the team. 

He did not. He was placed on injured reserve, then released prior to the 2008 season.

Tennessee Titans: GRADE: C-

Vince Young needed help at wide receiver, and the Titans had Robert Meachem staring right at them. Michael Griffin is a nice safety, but he was a luxury pick and the Titans couldn't afford to take a safety when they needed help at other positions.

What's the deal with Mel Kiper and luxury picks? The Titans needed to take the best football player that was available to them and not try to shoehorn a need into a player who plays that position, especially in the first round. Maybe later in the draft they should draft for need, but drafting for need and not finding the most talented player is a good way to miss on a first round pick. Michael Griffin is a two-time Pro Bowler, has made an All-Pro team and has had a nice career with the Titans.

The Titans also needed a running back, but Chris Henry wasn't productive in the Pac-10, so I'm not sold on taking him in the second round. Wide receivers Paul Williams, Chris Davis and Joel Filani are good but not great.

These statements all ended up being accurate. Though I have to question why Mel was so worked up over the Titans passing on getting Vince Young weapons at wide receiver when they drafted three receivers and a running back. They didn't draft the right wide receivers and running back of course, but at least they tried.

Tennessee could have done a better job of helping the offense around Young.

What's funny is Mel is so worried about the Titans offense he didn't talk about four players (Leroy Harris, Antonio Johnson, Jacob Ford, and Mike Otto) who were drafted by the Titans and had productive NFL careers. Instead, Mel gave the Titans a Kiper "F."

Washington Redskins: GRADE: C-

Washington had only one pick in the first four rounds and made the most of it, getting LaRon Landry. (You could argue Landry was the best defensive player in the draft). Drafting Landry will allow Sean Taylor to play center field and roam the middle of the field. Landry will be in the box, and that will negate his weakness, which is judging the deep ball.

Poor Sean Taylor. He was going to be considered such a great player by the time his career was over. 

linebacker HB Blades was a decent sixth-round pick although a bit undersized; and QB Jordan Palmer never really emerged as a potential starter. 

How does Mel know that Jordan Palmer never really emerged as a potential starter? It's true, but was Mel sent from the future to evaluate football players and tear down our very fabric of society by having the world laser-focused on the NFL draft so that the machines from the future can come and attack Earth while everyone is watching the draft? If so, he revealed himself here by using the future tense when discussing Jordan Palmer.

The least Mel could do if he really is from the future is be more risky with his draft grades (since he knows the outcome already) and not simply give every team some variation of a "B" or a "C." It's pointless to just say every NFL team did slightly above average or slightly below average when his only job at ESPN is to evaluate these players. He's supposed to have strong opinions based on watching tape over the year, not give out half-ass grades in order to avoid being seen as incorrect. I'm not asking for hot takes, just grades that seem to reflect his true attitude towards a team's draft.