Monthly Archives: April 2012

Analyzing the NFL Draft is Stupid

This will be a quick post on why analyzing the NFL  Draft is stupid. Based on the headline/title of this post, I’ve decided that sentence was entirely unnecessary.

Anyway, the NFL Draft Thursday night probably generates more buzz than the conference championship weekend. Think about that.

Super Bowl is #1. Draft is #2. It’s a 3-day, prime time event. Analysis will run rampant this weekend.

Everybody has something to say about every pick in every NFL draft. Thing is, nobody, anywhere knows who made the right moves this weekend.

And nobody knows a damn thing.

Thursday night on ESPN every pick will be scrutinized by experts everywhere. Mel Kiper and his hair (what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t say something about his hair?) will give a team an “A” grade and Todd McShay will give them a “B.” Then Kiper will give some team an “F” and McShay will give them a “C.”

Blah blah blah.

In three years nobody will remember or care what kind of analysis is said about pick 8 or pick 14 or pick 25. We’ll say, “Damn we nailed that one” or “That guy is a huge bust.” But nobody, anywhere knows any of that this weekend.

Calling the sports talk shows this week and saying, “Gee what do you guys think of taking Whitney Mercilus at #25 instead of Jerel Worthy?” just so the host can say, “Uhhh… Yeah that Mercilus kid is a beast” is silly and pointless.

(And yes, I realize in the grand scheme of things all sports talk radio is silly and pointless but with other topics people can at least engage in interesting and relatively substantial debate).

The best analogy I can come up with is the weather.

Arguing over draft picks is like arguing over what you think the weather will be like next summer. “No way bro, it’s gonna be cooler than usual with more rain than we’re used to!” “Yeah right dude I bet we set record highs like each week!”

Can you imagine getting really pissed off or really pumped because you see a weather report for like 12 days from now? People have a general idea of the way things may pan out, but a lot can happen and a lot can change. And sometimes meteorologists are just flat-out wrong.

I can’t predict the future, you can’t predict the future and Merril Hoge can’t predict the future.

The draft is important. When building an organization in any sport, the draft is the single most important tool to success. The instant judgment and analysis, however; is just dumb, regardless of what ESPN tells you.

We all need to get over it.

There’s Just Something About Opening Day

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field. This game. It’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”

There’s just something about Opening Day. For one day each year, the game of baseball provides us all with reprieve from our daily lives. Opening Day is magic.

The pageantry of Opening Day is is hard to top.

Say what you will about baseball and professional sports, but on Opening Day stories like Ryan Braun’s testosterone level, Joey Votto’s outrageous contract, A-Rod’s purple lips and Ubaldo’s beef with Tulo take a back seat to the crunching of peanut shells, the encouraging tempo of the organ, the pop of the catcher’s mitt and the warmth of sunshine on faces. Opening Day is simple. Opening Day is pure. On Opening Day, if only for a moment, everything makes sense.

The inner-child in all of us comes out on Opening Day. It should at least. We should all remember getting yanked out of school at 11 in the morning in our favorite team’s gear, slapping on a ball glove and taking in the pageantry of Opening Day with wide eyes and full hearts. Across America little hands will be raised with pride and excitement when teachers ask which students won’t be at school on the day of the ballgame.

The grown-up equivalent of this takes place when bosses question fake coughs and roll their eyes at hoarse voices as adults play hookey from the office to imbibe a couple beers and hope that this is their team’s year.

Hope. If there’s one theme of Opening Day it’s hope. Eternal optimism. For one day (in theory anyway) every team is in first place. And not in some kind of lame everyone-gets-a-ribbon-on-field-day sort of way. No, on opening Day everyone is in first place because, on that day, everyone deserves it. This could be their year. Our year. On Opening Day, every fan of every team has a right to dream.

Those dreams are welcomed with pomp and circumstance. Flyovers, fireworks, all-out national anthems and bunting all are on display on Opening Day. (Bunting, the red, white and blue decorative semicircles displayed in stadiums across the country, not the physical act of tapping the ball softly with the bat. You know what I’m talking about).

Put away the hoodies and gloves and boots. Get out your sandals and shades. Baseball is back.

Few things can cause me to write and speak in such romanticized terms and I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly brings it out of me.

There’s just something about Opening Day.

**And here’s the video of the quote used in my intro. If baseball has ever been a part of your life in any capacity, this is automatic goosebumps.

I’m no Roger Ebert, but I’m pretty sure that ginger beard represents our daily lives. Commitments, deadlines, bosses, etc., tugging at us in various directions. James Earl Jones is that voice inside of us saying, “Not today. Not on Opening Day.”

Happy Opening Day to all.