Waving white flag: Draft e-mailers pummel narrator into submission
I am not going to give post-draft comments anymore, or evaluations or anything of a critical nature. It's a sucker's game. It leaves me wide open. Who knows, anyway, until three or four years down the road?
I've made some pretty good calls -- I mean, I knew Lofa Tatupu was the goods right away -- and some spectacular errors, one of which ESPN can't get its fill of re-running.
You know the one. "Dan Marino's mechanics are all wrong -- he pushes the ball." Some day, maybe around the time when global warming has the seas boiling over, ESPN will move to some other form of torment. Nope, I don't mind handicapping a game or two, but calling the shots on these bozos before they've even reported to an NFL training camp is the pits.
So take your shots now, folks, while you still can, because I promise you, in the future there will only be a vision of me as a fleeting creature of the night.
First up, Brendon of East Lyme, Conn. Loves my writing and all that, but can't see why I'm so critical of the Chiefs' mah-va-lous draft, just because it didn't contain a QB. All were taken, he says. Who would I have picked that's better than Brodie Croyle? And the rest of it.
OK, I don't know how much they liked Henne, Brohm and Flacco. Maybe not at all and therefore this is all academic. But with 12 draft choices, including three, count 'em, in the third round, they could have traded up for a young, strong arm, such as Henne, once again assuming they thought he had any kind of shot. Not Flacco, though. Ozzie Newsome had a bead on him. Check back with me in December. If Croyle has lit it up, then I'm just another dumb writer. If not, then I'm smart.
Brian of Goffstown, N.H., was unhappy that the Patriots did not take an offensive lineman higher than the fifth round. "The Patriots' O-line looked old and tired in the Super Bowl," he adds. Tired, maybe. Lots of teams look tired in January, and let's give the Giants credit for bringing serious pressure. But old? From left to right, their Super Bowl line read 29, 25, 28, 31, 28, and for that unit, it's young. The Patriots drove and took the lead at the end, New York came back and nipped 'em. I can't blame NE for thinking defense.
Chris of Houston begins his litany of my past failures with that deadly phrase, "Aren't you the same one who...?" OK, I'll be brief -- I gave them a pair of D's in '06 and '07 (but not this year because we've done away with the dreaded letter grades). Ripped them again, this time for their O-line choice, forgetting that Alex Gibbs thrives on coaching these lighter, athletic types. And his summation, which really must be considered: "Do you really know anything of which you speak? It's embarrassing."
I'll give you this -- I might have been too hasty in judging top draft pick, OT Duane Brown. The rest of the board doesn't thrill me. Do me a favor. Check back in December, and let's see how the year goes. If the record is about the same, or worse, you don't need to respond. If there's a real boost, and the rookie class has a big hand in it, remind me in an e-mail and I'll do the full mea culpa number for you, OK? Better take it, you're not gonna get a better deal anywhere.
Next ripper, step right up, don't be bashful. Preston of St. Louis, "Have you ever seen Derrick Harvey or Quentin Groves play football?" was the way he begins, and down near the end he says, "I repeat, have you ever seen these guys play ball?" Now why would I be doing a silly thing like watching football when there are so many more interesting things to do in the fall.
Sorry you don't like what I wrote. I'm quoting from my piece in Sports Illustrated now, under the heading of Drafting For Need, And What's Wrong With That? "To beat the Colts, you have to get at Peyton Manning. The first two picks went for edge rushers, Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, though trading up 18 spots to No. 8, for Harvey, was a bit of a reach." I wish to sincerely apologize, Preston, if this offended you. In the future, I will try to be more considerate of your feelings.
OK, have you finished? No? You over there, lounging in the doorway, let's hear what you have to say for yourself. "How can you, staunch defender of men in the trenches that you are," writes David of Denver, "rip the Broncos for Ryan Clady? How can you not root for little 5-foot-9 Eddie Royal?" There's more. I'm going the "T.O.-attitude" route by praising the Iggles for DeSean Jackson, and...
Again, I'll indulge in a practice that's always bothered me, quoting myself, and I swear, this is the last time I'll do it. My capsule on Denver on our Web site: "Mike Shanahan feels that establishing the run (tackle Ryan Clady drafted first) is more important than stopping it, which the Broncos couldn't do last year, and far be it from me to second guess him..." My goodness, I don't blame you for being upset. What venom, what poison I made all you good folk read. For shame...shame!
Yo Dave! The Olympic flame is on its way to China, and what will they call the guy who has to transport it down the Yangtsee River? The Chinese Water Torcher. I made that one up myself.
"It reads like it," says the Flaming Redhead. Now I'm in a bad mood again.
OK, bring on your worst, Dominic, I can take anything today. Oh oh, except for that pair I see heading this way. Fric and Frac. What'll it be, boys? "Dr. Z, I think you're just about the smartest guy there is writing about professional football," and the card he handed me had the four of hearts on one side, and his name, Win of Arlington, Va., on the other.
OK, so far so good. How about you, yeah you, with the porkpie hat and the toothpick between your teeth. Your name is what? Ryan of Chicago. OK, let's hear it.
"Why are you such an idiot?"
A fair question. You see, when my mother was eight months pregnant, there was this electrical storm, and...
"Oh, for God's sake, it's not a question to be answered," says the Flaming Redhead, rudely interrupting this elevating dialogue. "It's rhetorical, see, rhe-tor-i-cal."
Oh, an idiot, huh? Think that's funny, do you, Ryan? Who you calling an idiot? Do you know that in grade school I was so smart they called me Bright Paul? Huh? Do you? DO YOU?