"Not suggesting it is a "cure-all" but Aldon Smith also did not attend an NFL Rookie Symposium as 2011 pick."
-- @rosstuckernfl, the former player and now media member, on the timely nature of the news that Aldon Smith was stabbed at a house party over the weekend. Tucker moderated talks during the 2012 Rookie Symposium.
1. A loud alarm clock. In addition to my cell phone alarm, I want to make sure that I set a backup to wake me up just in case.
2. A comfortable pillow. You never know what kind of sleeping situation you're going to walk into at the first day of camp.
3. A fan. Hopefully Anderson University has air-conditioned dorms. I'll plan for the worst case scenario.
4. My laptop. Who knows when you're going to get a call from one of the top sportswriters in the world asking you to write a piece for him (although I doubt Peter King will be taking any vacation days during football season in the near future).
5. My hair clippers. The best investment I've ever made. Now I just have to decide whether to grow out my hair again or not ... the awkward stage between a nice buzz cut and cool, flowing locks of hair is so long.
6. A backpack. Essentially, it becomes my Swiss Army knife/man-purse during camp. I carry everything from deodorant and nail clippers to my playbook.
7. My cell phone. How else am I going to be able to tweet? ...Or call my loved ones?
8. My toothbrush. Playing a sport in which people are constantly trying to knock my teeth out, I'll try to keep them as healthy as possible.
9. My playbook. They put them on iPads now. My back is rejoicing.
10. My camp outfit. Many players (at least at Stanford) wear the same outfit almost every day at camp. The more hygienic people alternate, as one outfit might need to be thrown in the wash every once in awhile.
1. I think I'm honored to be writing MMQB this week. For the fans that are reading this, thank you very much for not clicking the "X" in the corner of your screen. For Peter King, thank you for the opportunity.
2. I think the 2012 rookie class will have one of the best success rates the NFL has seen in recent years. While many think the new CBA made life harder for rookies, it also provided us with a unique opportunity to get more reps in practices before camp than any class ever has.
3. I think it was a good idea to send some guys from the 2011 class to the symposium. Last year's lockout cancelled theirs.
4. I think I am excited for training camp. It's not my favorite time of the year, but it's an opportunity to get back to playing the game I love.
5. I think it would be pretty cool if the United States liked soccer a little more. Don't get me wrong, I love football. I just think it's amazing how entire European nations rally behind a common cause in their soccer team more than once every four years.
6. I think I am impressed with R.A. Dickey. Not because of his stellar pitching. Not because of his courage in talking about the abuse he suffered as a child. Because he has shown that the knuckleball is still relevant, and that Tim Wakefield wasn't the only modern-day player who could be successful using it.
7. I think Stanford University is an amazing place. From the people that you meet on a daily basis to the weather to the success of the athletic programs (more than 100 NCAA Championships), I can't say enough about it. I hope that I can one day send my children there.
8. I think that the new playoff system in college football will settle everyone down for now ... until they select the four teams at the end of the year. Then, once again, the pundits will say, "It's an imperfect system, but it's what we have to work with."
9. I think the Rookie Symposium was better than I expected. I expected long speeches of "don't do this or that," and while there is a need for that, they did a good job of keeping it interesting for the players.
10. I think I'm a rookie, and I think I know nothing ... but I'm learning.