Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This Youtubage is courtesy of Matt Ufford's With Leather, a sports blog that is more straightforward than his spoofery at Kissing Suzy Kolber.
But here it is, Peyton Manning, top-flight quarterback and corporate shill, in the heat of the moment.
I don't really blame the guy, I've said far worse with the stakes simply being a shot at bragging rights. It's just good to know that more than Phillip "Marmalard" Rivers isn't the only obnoxious one on the sidelines. Also, Jim Sorgi trying to pretend like he can help. Oh, Jim.
Basically, Bruce Arians (who I'm NOT a fan of) is considering putting BOTH Fast Willie Parker and Rumblin' Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield at the same time for plays. He tried this sort of thing when he coached in Cleveland and it failed, but he didn't have one of the best new running back combos in the league there.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Don't get me wrong - I'll take any Weezer I can get. When you rule out classic rock, I listen to no other band more than the Weez. The Killers are up there too, but I think I killed their last album after listening to it too frequently (not unlike what I've habitutally done to every produced by Timbaland right after it come out).
At first glance, it seems like they're getting back to their roots - another self titled album, Rivers' bizarre self-deprication in dressing up like a cowboy - but it's kind of a 'fool me twice, shame on me' thing with those of us who long for the Pinkerton days.
Make Believe, their last album, is not as bad as many make it out to be - yeah, a lot of the songs were borderline forgettable, and Beverly Hills is the lowest music-quality single they've released. The first single from what fans are already calling 'The Red Album' is Pork and Beans, a tune that kind of reminds me of Beverly Hills in that it's catchy and the lyrics are pretty transparent, but it still has that signature Weezer quirk. You can take a listen for yourself. I just think that Rivers' ballad against record execs begging for more pop-y radio-tailored songs is exactly what they're looking for.
The core of this inner debate is to dread or be excited about the new direction that the band is taking - in a Pitchfork interview with Rivers, he revealed that fans should expect "Longer songs, non-traditional song forms, different people writing and singing, instrument switching, TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint-- for starters." Cuomo also 'fessed up that he would be the one rapping - something that I'm trying to imagine, but can't seem to wrap my mind around. On one hand, they seem to get the picture that loyal fans haven't been happy with the turn the band took with Make Believe (though 'Perfect Situation' and 'This is Such a Pity' are solid tracks), but instead of going back to basics that won our hearts with hits like 'Say it Ain't So' and 'El Scorcho', Weezer is getting experimental on us.
Of course, much of this is a moot argument - I'm no music snob. The aforementioned Pitchfork Media gave Make Believe an 0.4 out of 10, and I still bought it the first day it came out. No matter which way they go with their music (within reason), I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Weezer.
While I traditionally enjoy Sexman's work reviewing movies (and occasionally his own pieces of cinematic achievements), he now forays into the political arena - and takes no prisoners. Here's his frank take on Hillary Clinton, factual information not included.
Sadly, this might be an appropriate barometer for a good 30% of the country's knowledge of the issues. Oh well, at least he's an Obama supporter.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
That's what I'm like with the NFL right now. I'm downright obsessed. I just hope I don't vomit.
Day 1, Team by Team thoughts:
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins look like a team run by Bill Parcells - nothing too flashy, good appraisal of value. Every winning team has a decent left tackle, and Jake Long is considered better than decent. Phillip Merling, their first second round pick, was projected at 17th overall and was a steal at 32. Chad Henne joins his teammate Jake in south Florida - not a bad pick. Considering that you really need two startable quarterbacks in the league, even if John Beck pans out for the Dolphins, Henne could be a need.
St. Louis Rams: The Rams started out well - taking Chris Long, who I felt was the best pick of the draft when considering talent versus risk - but completely threw me by taking Donnie Avery out of Houston with their second round pick. Avery was the first wide receiver taken overall. Does that make sense to you? Maybe St. Louis knows something we all don't. In the bigger scheme of things, they didn't screw up the number 2 overall pick - Long will be great pairing with Adam Carriker, the Ram's 2007 first round pick.
Atlanta Falcons: I really thought that the Falcons would pass up on Matt Ryan. From a PR perspective, Ryan was the guy, as they needed to change the face of the franchise as quickly as possible (sorry Joey Harrington, it's not your face they want), but quarterback is a risky pick unless you're sure the talent translates to the Pro Level. The Falcons made protecting their future a priority in trading up for USC's Sam Baker, and took Curtis Lofton, an Inside Linebacker from Oklahoma. Penn State homerism makes me frown on any linebacker taken before Dan Connor.
Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden. Everybody called it. Character issues aside, the guy is the best pure athlete in the draft, playing the position with the least steep learning curve. I can't fault Al Davis for that. The Raiders don't pick again until the fourth round, so I hope the Arkansas back gets a lot of opportunities to score points and compensate.
Kansas City Chiefs: The winner of the first day of the draft. They got the player that was ranked #1 on many team's draft boards (Glenn Dorsey), the top Guard in the draft, who could also play tackle if needed (Brandon Albert), and a top 5 corner (Brandon Flowers). All three of these prospects were considered first round commodities going into the draft. An aging and hapless team suddenly looks like it's got a shot at the playoffs.
New York Jets: The Jets took the player that they should have, making Vernon Gholston Tom Brady's new enemy. New York had a tough time getting in the backfield last year and had a no-brainer selection here. Unfortunately for gang green, the competency ended here, as they traded up into the first round to select TE Dustin Keller from Purdue - not only not the consensus top tight end, but widely considered to be second or third round talent. Color me flabbergasted.
New England Patriots: The rich get richer. The Saints trade spots in the first round with the Pats, and the evil empire picks up more selections. The Patriots, as usual, did a solid job drafting, taking Jerod Mayo (the top inside linebacker of the draft) and Terrence Wheatley, a project to replace Asante Samuel at corner. Nothing that would blow anyone away, but keep in mind that these guys can find talent in any round.
Baltimore Ravens: Traded around on a hyperactive level. At the end of their wheeling and dealing, they ended up only losing a sixth round pick and gaining a second and third, but the more important thing is a commitment made to the offense. Joe Flacco may be the future of the Ravens, handing off to Ray Rice. Could there be a Ravens team where the defense doesn't carry everyone else? Maybe...
Cincinnati Bengals: Keith Rivers is a needed addition and character guy, so you wonder why the Bengal fans weren't happier when his name was called. Jerome Simpson of Costal Carolina was another head-scratcher pick for wide receiver, as many more well known names, such as Limas Sweed and DeSean Jackson were still on the board at the time. The Bengals did OK, but not well.
New Orleans Saints: Traded up to get Sedrick Ellis, and rightly so. The Bengals would have loved to have had the punishing DT, and the Saints need a defense to go with their flashy offense. Tracy Porter from Indiana was a need pick in the second round, as Mike McKenzie and Jason David are embarrassing excuses at corner. The Saints are marching in on the right path.
Buffalo Bills: I thought the Bills had an excellent first day. They waited on wide receiver, taking top corner and kick returner Leodis McKelvin out of Troy, and were in turn rewarded with James Hardy, a monstrous 6'5" physical specimen at receiver. They now have a big man to complement Lee Evans, and someone who could potentially slow down Randy Moss.
Denver Broncos: Adequate Draft, taking need picks and not over-reaching. Ryan Clady was a good value at 12 and will be destroying defensive linemen's knees in no time, and Eddie Royal was another wide receiver surprise whose kick returning skills would be welcome in Colorado.
Carolina Panthers: Balls out approach, snatching two prospects that I thought may fall to the Steelers. Both Jonathan Stewart and Jeff Otah were taken higher than expected, but I considered both to be value picks at their projected destination. Carolina may get back to pounding the football with a massive new tackle and perhaps the best interior runner in this draft. Well done, but at a steep price to trade up into the first round to snag Otah.
Chicago Bears: Who's running the show in the windy city? The selection of Chris Williams isn't bad, as the offensive line in Chicago is getting up in age, but who takes Tulane's Matt Forte when you have a shot at replacing Rex Grossman? The Bear's backfield is garbage and their the only ones who don't seem to know it.
Detroit Lions: Continuing the tradition of crappy personnel decisions, they take Godser Cherilus far too early. Pittsburgh fans were pissed at the thought of him being taken at 23. Maybe Jordon Dizon is a great find at linebacker, but why not take the guy out of Linebacker U?
Arizona Cardinals: 'Zona was going through the bargain bin - in a good way. Both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Calais Campbell were slightly risky picks (as Rodgers-Cromartie has one kidney and Campbell's 6'8" frame makes him one slow DE), but thats what it takes to revamp a historically bad franchise. I like the looks of their first day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib was a terrible pick at 20. Mike Jenkins is arguably a better corner and didn't fail drug tests and was still on the board, not to mention that all receivers were still on the board. Dexter Jackson could be a project that pays dividends, but I didn't understand the Tampa mindset today.
Dallas Cowboys: Dallas did a good job of taking appropriate talent while filling needs, but that's significantly easier when you have Cleveland's first round pick. Mike Jenkins shouldn't have lasted till 25, and while I wondered why they took Felix Jones over Rashard Mendenhall, he was their new 'back from day one of the offseason. Martellus Bennett is a hometown hero from A&M, but with Witten in town, is another playmaking TE needed?
Pittsburgh Steelers: I didn't recognize my team anymore. TWO of the top playmaking names fell to the less than glitzy Steelers, and they took them both! Rashard Mendenhall will be a great compliment to Willie Parker, and if Limas Sweed can come back from his wrist injury, the Steelers will score 35 points per game. Offensive Line is still a worry, but as far as best player available goes, the steelers did well.
Tennessee Titans: Worst drafting team for the day. Chris Johnson is an incredibly fast running back, but was not a good pick in the first round when Vince Young has no receivers. To add insult to injury, DE was favored in the second round over WR once again.
Jacksonville Jaguars: They overpaid for Derrick Harvey and overpaid for Quinten Groves. They aren't a team with a lot of holes, so this shouldn't set them back. Not a bad job, but you have to wonder what they were thinking.
Houston Texans: The Texans did the responsible thing, addressing offensive line with Virginia Tech's Duane Brown. Unfortunately, given the run on linemen earlier in the round, it wasn't the best value. This was a need pick.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers know how to draft, filling one of their few holes in getting a third corner. Antoine Cason was drafted where he was appropriately projected, and will help the Chargers pick off quarterbacks more often than any other defense in the league.
Seattle Seahwaks: Puzzling to see a team take DE Lawrence Jackson when they could have easily had their pick of Wide Recievers or Tight Ends - two areas of need. John Carlson from Notre Dame was taken in the second round, but the Seahawks could have probably traded down and netted the same two players with a late 2nd round reciever.
San Francisco 49ers: The kind of draft you'd expect for a rebuilding team. They injected their O-line with another shot of youth in Chilo Rachal after drafting Joe Staley last year, but not before taking Kentwan Balmer, a slightly risky candidate, at DT. Winning less than six games makes you want to roll the dice a little now and then.
New York Giants: The Giants dedicated the first day's picks to their secondary, a conceived point of weakness during their super bowl run. Kenny Phillips is a start-right-away player and was a good call, and Terrell Thomas has the chance to grow into a starting cornerback. Good haul.
Green Bay Packers: Really solid draft for a team who didn't use a first round pick. Jordy Nelson is a beast at reciever and Brian Brohm should light a fire under Aaron Rodgers if Brett Farve's legacy isn't doing that already.
Philadelphia Eagles: Another year, another D-lineman taken. Trevor Laws was an OK pick, only because DeSean Jackson was available two picks later. Finally, a playmaker at receiver - not to mention his return skills. Also, Philly traded their first rounder to Carolina, so 2009 should be a bonanza for the Eagles.
And yes, I did have fun watching today's draft. It's like Christmas in April.
After Mortensen compared the DE from Ohio State to Tarzan:
With the sixth overall pick the Jets take Tarz...Vernon Gholston
When the idea of the Patriots adopting an evil galactic empire theme and it's asked if Randy Moss would be the 'lame robot guy.':
Sadly, General Grievous has no ass to moon people with.
After the Bengals take Keith Rivers:
Best fan reaction yet.
After the Arizona Cardinals take Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:
Their second round pick will be a kidney.
During the Buccaneer's time on the clock:
Jon Gruden is trying to figure out how to take both Chad Henne and Brian Brohm here.
During Dallas' time on the clock:
If Mendenhall gets snatched up right before the Steelers can take him, I will burn down an orphanage.
After the Titans pass up on EVERY wide receiver available:
Vince Young is now mixing antidepressants with Wild Turkey.
After wide receivers of the 2008 draft class remain completely undrafted:
This is great for the steelers - with wide receivers falling at this rate, they may take one in the fifth round!
Still contemplating the Titan's decision to take Chris Johnson with their first pick:
I'd suggest a 'Worst Pick of the draft' poll, but I think the answer is too obvious.
3+ Hours and still no receivers taken:
The wide receivers of the NCAA are having a fire sale!
After the NY Jets inexplicably trade up to take Dustin Keller:
More like Pur-DON'T!
After the Chiefs draft Brandon Flowers out of Virginia Tech:
The Chiefs actually thought they were drafting the lead singer of the Killers.
After both Dustin Keller and John Carlson are taken:
Fred Davis is now the DeSean Jackson of Tight Ends.
After the Eagles trade down twice, only to take DT Trevor Laws as their first selection:
The Eagles' brass meets McNabb's request for playmakers with a subtle "fuck you."
I am not responsible for "you had to be there" jokes. I fully realize that to many people, these are all "you had to be there" jokes.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I thought I had this year figured out - posting my predictions for the first 16 overall picks of the 2008 NFL draft. Then Jake Long gets signed by the Dolphins yesterday. Here's my second shot at forecasting the draft - the changes may surprise you.
Well, I had absolutely convinced myself that Long’s contract negotiations were simply bait to lure other teams into trading for the number one pick – but it seems that the behemoth out of the Big Ten was Bill Parcells’ guy. He should be a cornerstone of the team for a decade.
There have been rumblings about
I’ve always had the Falcons going with their choice between the two top tackles on the board, but with the Dolphins taking Jake Long overall, there’s no choice left to make – Glenn Dorsey will be the first step to a rebuilding Falcons squad. Matt Ryan has been mentioned here, but given the depreciation of Quarterbacks on draft day (see: Brady Quinn), I expect
Al Davis loves physical specimens – he’s a freak enthusiast. That has led me to conclude that this pick is up to Darren McFadden and Vernon Gholston – the two best pure athletes for each side of the ball. Given the needs between the two teams – whoever the Raiders don’t pick will fall to the Jets. Despite the Justin Fargas contract suggestion, I think the Raiders load up on offense and select Run DMC – he has Adrian Peterson potential.
7. New England Patriots - Leodis McKelvin - CB,
This is the ideal situation for the rebuilding Ravens – both the top quarterback in the draft and one of the top cornerbacks are available. Though their secondary showed it was vulnerable to depth issues last season, they won’t pass up on the opportunity to get the new face of their franchise at a bargain price. Steve McNair is retired, Kyle Boller never panned out, and Troy Smith is still a huge question mark – Ryan finds himself in a great situation to make an impact.
9. Cincinatti Bengals - Sedrick Ellis - DT, USC
The Bengals have never figured out that defense wins championships – either that, or they have done a bad job evaluating talent for their team. Though linebacker is also a need area, I predict that
The Saints’ mediocre defense finally caught up to them. That, combined with the sudden suckitude of the offensive line and loss of Deuce McAllister, left them to struggle to a 7-9 record last year after nearly making it to the Super Bowl in the 06-07 season. Rivers is the consensus top linebacker in the 2008 class and could bolster a less than intimidating unit. A member of the secondary could also be selected here.
The Panthers got off to the right start in drafting center Ryan Kalil out of USC last year – their offensive line has failed to protect the quarterback, whether it’s Delhomme or Matt Moore, and done a miserable job of opening holes for running backs. Clady is not quite the talent that Jake Long is, but had a great showing in bowl games in college and can be a fixture for the panthers.
I really thought that Lito Sheppard would join Rod Hood as former members of the Eagles secondary building a respectable Cardinals defense. Regrettably, the team decided to re-negotiate Larry Fitzgerald’s contract and refuse to hear offers on Anquan Boldin, and will therefore not make a trade with the Eagles for the Pro-Bowl corner.
17. Kansas City Chiefs (Received from
The Texans savvy in bringing new personnel has paid off – though he was injured for half the season, Matt Schaub took Andre Johnson to new levels, and DE Mario Williams is finally looking ‘Super’. But for the Texans to challenge their rivals in the toughest division in football, they’ll need a strong rushing attack. Unfortunately, they will not draft a running back here because of all the money tied up in Ahman Green – instead they will open up lanes for the overpaid back by selecting the 300-plus pound Otah.
I loved the idea of Calvin Johnson in burgundy and pewter last year – but he was taken by the Lions before Jon Gruden could get his newest offensive toy. Devin Thomas is no ‘Megatron’, but he does have the potential to be an elite NFL receiver. Despite his mere one year of Division 1 experience, he has the physical tools and instinct to succeed Joey Galloway in
Safety, in light of the tragic death of Sean Taylor, is a glaring need for the Redskins, but Kenny Phillips is the only player worth taking in round one. The defensive line also lacks playmakers, but the top two tackles are off the board.
The Titans need to get Vince Young someone to throw to. Name one
The Seahawks already have an unsung defense with underrated performers like Lofa Tatupu, but Balmer has tremendous upside and could make the unit more widely respected. Despite the singings of TJ Duckett and Julius Jones, I have no doubt Jonathan Stewart will be taken to replaced recently cut Shaun Alexander if he somehow falls to #25.
This would be a deal for the Jags –
The Chargers don’t have a lot of needs – they are the most restrained team in free agency, and as a result, always have young guys ready to step in for those who leave for the market or get injured. Cherilus, a second-tier talent at tackle, is a great fit for
Jerry Jones isn’t going to sell the farm to get Darren McFadden – it just doesn’t make sense. What he does get is the guy who rushed very well in Run DMC’s shadow. Jones will not only replace but make fans forget completely about Julius Jones, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason.
At 6’8”, Calias Campbell is a physical monster. His stock has fallen recently, but a team that began a commitment to forge a defense last year could be desperate to roll the dice on a guy who could come out of nowhere and be a stud.
The Pack has two great corners in Al Harris and Charles Woodson, but they are both over thirty and the suddenly de-valued Talib would be a great insurance policy. Because of his admitted marijuana exploits, the
Dan Connor shouldn’t fall this far, but I’m biased. Even if he does near getting passed over by every team in the first round, he is a great fit for the Super Bowl Champions. Linebacker is a need and, like Paul Posluzny, Connor can start in game one for
Saturday, April 19, 2008
After some scant discussion regarding what may or may not have been the point of the movie, (I myself choose not to subscribe to one decisive end of the story), Brian and I departed from Tyler's residence in Park Place and began to walk down E Beaver Ave.
After a particularly painstaking stretch of sidewalk where Brian and I found ourselves nearly flat-tiring a trio of drunk-as-a-skunk co-eds who felt that the best way to traverse downtown was arm in arm while laughing hysterically (something about a tea kettle?), I heard someone say "That's a great jersey."
Now of course, I had warn my Penn State home jersey, #34, because the Blue-White game was today and, lets face it, even the glorified practice of a contest was too much of a little piece of heaven after months of gray skies and depressing Nittany Basketball for me to not coordinate as many parts of my day with.
I must be honest, after living on Beaver avenue for several months, I have treated many of its occupants on weekend nights like wild raccoons - amusing and endearing at times, but likely to turn on me at any moments. As a result, as soon as I step off campus during the wee weekend hours, I become one of the most non-confrontational people in the world. Don't make eye contact, that's a sign of aggression, laugh when someone makes a joke about your stupid haircut, etc.
My plan, not knowing who was forcing me into interaction on what has become dreaded territory, was to put on my best "Who me?" face, and turn to nonchalantly reply, "Oh, mine? Thanks."
The guy was an imposing figure. About two inches taller than me, and definitely more built. He wore a tight black t-shirt that displayed the simple fact that he could break me in half if deemed appropriate and walked with authority.
"Who wears that number?" He asked.
I was suddenly Micheal Cera's character in Superbad when the cocaine enthusiasts notice him in the bedroom. Just act naturally, I reassured myself. Maybe you won't give him a reason to kill you.
"Matt Hahn, and Franco Harris." I said nervously, head cranked backwards while still keeping pace with Brian's stride.
And then the words that I never expected to hear in this situation were uttered.
"I'm Matt Hahn."
"No way!" I blurted. This guy had to be kidding. But there he is.
"I'm glad to see my number out there. I don't ever see any #34 Jerseys."
"I'm just glad I said your name first," I replied, not knowing what else to say.
"You're one of the first people I've seen wearing my jersey. This is so cool."
"Man, every time you made a play, I was holding the three and the four up."
"Can I get a picture?" Hahn said, taking out his cell phone. "I never get any credit."
"Sure, sure!" I gasped, holding up the screen-printed numerals.
"Whats your name?" He said, extending his hand for a cool-guy handshake, the kind I always mess up in attempting to walk the thin line between wall-street hand lock and full-on Bro-hug.
"Mark, It's Mark."
"My parents almost named me Mark!"
"Cosmic connection right here," I choked out while gesturing my index finger between our torsos.
We walked with Hahn down Beaver all the way from Pugh to Locust Lane. He asked us what we'd been doing for the night, where we were going, if we went here, if we were twenty one. Turned out we were both beat and heading for bed. Another thing in common! Brian introduced himself when not receiving my looks of "SERIOUSLY?" with his trademark Brian expression. Even the awkward silences were awesome. I'm having an awkward silence with Matt Hahn!
Mr. Hahn was even courteous enough to exclaim "Lesbo Alert!" and direct our view to two young women tenderly embracing each other on a parallel sidewalk. "Good call," I said. And it totally was.
Right about when we hit Canyon Pizza, Matt said his goodbyes, gave me a friendly pat on the back and thanked me for my support. I thanked him for supporting me in supporting him in naturally maladroit fashion.
By now, I've realized that what I should have said was "Thank You for going out and playing so hard for my school" or "Thanks for being such a cool, down to earth guy who would yell 'Lesbo Alert' to two dudes you just met." On top of that, I should have got him to sign my Jersey. Hell, if I had had my camera on me, I would have gotten a picture of him rather than him taking a picture of me.
As I now recount this experience, having since run to one of the deserted 24-hour computer labs on campus to do what every other cool college kid does on a Saturday night, blog, I realize two lessons:
1. Not everyone partying downtown wants to kill me, rape me, or kill me while raping me. While it is prudent for me to swerve away from people uncontrollably swerving while walking, there is the off chance I can have a short conversation with someone pretty cool. This doesn't mean I'll take Tyler's approach, offering people my half-eaten Rita's Water Ice in an attempt to be the pivotal figure in some buzzed dude's lamest anecdote of the night, but it does mean i'll be less of a paranoid refugee.
2. Don't buy the quarterback's jersey. EVERYBODY DOES THAT. It makes me want to vomit whenever I see someone wearing Anthony Morelli's #14 - you know thats only one of three players they can name (fakers, you're on notice.) Go for a number that few people have - you just may run into a very appreciative alumnus who will thank you over and over for simply wearing a number.
I've had classes with a number of football players - starting tackle Ollie Ogbu (#85) was in my acting class with last year's defector Antonio Logan-El, and currently suspended tight end Andrew Quarless (#10). I tend to joke that I am part of Quarless' receptions because I held his hand in a group exercise. But Matt Hahn was so freakin' cool. This guy was genuinely excited that I had chosen to wear his jersey. And now I am even more so than I was before.
Friday, April 18, 2008
1. Miami Dolphins - Chris Long - DE, Virginia
I have suspected that Miami will take Howie Long's phenom son for a long time - it just makes sense. The Dolphins' defense is aging, with linebacker Zach Thomas being cut and Defensive End Jason Taylor being the subject of trade rumors because of his age, a defensive leader and perennial pro-bowler is the ideal fit. Yes - Miami's offense was pathetic after Ronnie Brown got injured, but the line did decent run blocking all year. Jake Long is also a good fit, but I believe Chris Long is the better choice.
There have been open talks with Jake Long about being the number 1 overall pick. This seems like a pointed signal that the Dolphins will take the Michigan standout with their first selection, as they don't have anyone picking ahead of them and potentially have no reason to smokescreen. However, word on the street is that Long is being low-balled by Parcells and being offered less guaranteed money than last year's first pick, JaMarcus Russell. In addition to this, new GM Jeff Ireland made what he called a "Freudian slip" at a press conference recently and said that the player should be a pillar of one's defense. When questioned he said he meant to offense or defense.
My Theory - The Dolphins know they have to go defensive. That leaves the top three candidates for defense - Chris Long, Ohio State's Vernon Gholston, and LSU's Glenn Dorsey. Glenn Dorsey is an injury risk - something the Dolphins can't gamble on - and has seen his stock fall in the past few weeks. Gholston is a workout warrior that rose to top three status after his Pro Day numbers were made public - a trait that has a reputation with bust players. So, the Dolphins, who have been looking to trade the first overall pick since day one of the offseason, feign interest in the player who won't make it past #2. They really want Chris Long, but will light a fire under teams who are reluctant to trade up by threatening to take Jake Long.
2. St. Louis Rams - Vernon Gholston - DE, Ohio State
There's a good chance that the two Longs would be taken back to back in this year's draft, but St. Louis looks to be committed to improving its defense. Orlando Pace is returning from his second consecutive season-ending injury, but is returning nonetheless and will (at least) slightly shore up The Rams' dreadful offensive line.
In addition to the return of former Pro-Bowler Pace, this draft is deep in Offensive Tackles. The Rams will have the opportunity to take a defensive stud in the first round, and have a shot at a second-tier offensive tackle in round two like Godser Cherilus. If they take Gholston, they will have back-to back selections for their defensive line (or an incredibly athletic linebacker). Because the Rams have more room to gamble, they'll take the physical specimen from Ohio State over the proven offensive tackle.
3. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Long - OT, Michigan
The Falcons find themselves in a fortunate position - a pick between the top-rated tackles for both the offensive and defensive lines. Glenn Dorsey has been projected in the top 3 since his killer season and will definitely translate to the NFL if he can avoid injuries, but offensive tackles are now a more valued commodity than ever.
Joe Thomas- another Big Ten tackle - was taken at #3 last year and instantly became a Pro-Bowler and Iron Man starter for the Cleveland browns. The Falcons had numerous offensive line problems last year and need to protect their quarterback of the future. Jake Long is not as good of a player as Thomas, but does warrant a top-3 selection.
4. Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden - RB, Arkansas
Whether you think McFadden is an every-down back or not, you have to admit he is the best athletic talent of this draft. His game breaking ability is comparable to Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, and Adrian Peterson - three offensive players taken by teams forgoing need picks. Combine Run DMC's freakish talent with Al Davis' pension for taking flash over production, and you have JaMarcus Russell handing off to Darren McFadden.
My one concern with projecting the Radiers taken the Arkansas standout is Michael Bush. Bush - who fell to the fourth round last year because of a broken leg, has been forgotten. If he is the great secret that Radiers players have made him out to be, it will be him paired with Justin Fargas as a two-headed rushing attack. If Bush is healthy and has returned to form, look for the Raiders to try and trade this pick, or use it on Glenn Dorsey.
5. Kansas City Chiefs - Matt Ryan - QB, Boston College
The Chiefs are a tough team to predict this year - Jared Allen is the subject of trade rumors, given his standoff with Kansas City Brass over a long-term contract. The reigning NFL sack-leader could be traded to Minnesota for first and third round picks, giving the Chiefs more flexibility in who to take at 5. There are no DEs other than Gholston and Long worth taking at 5, so I think the Chiefs will look to take the popular pick for top quarterback this year.
Brodie Croyle hasn't developed into the player the team needs him to be, and the Chiefs are looking for a leader in the rebuilding process. Drafting Ryan, who could possibly get taken at 6 by the Jets or definitely taken by the Ravens at 8, would push Croyle to work harder for the starting job. Given the value of a decent starting quarterback, the addition of Ryan would not be overkill - Think of it as a Trent Edwards - J.P. Losman situation.
6. New York Jets - Branden Albert - OG, Virginia
This is this big "Ooh Ahh" surprise pick of the draft. Albert has been rising up draft boards the last two weeks at an alarming rate (I originally thought he would go at 23 to the Steelers). The Jets recently traded the disgruntled Pete Kendall to Washington, leaving a void at guard. Albert is the top guard at the draft and could play immediately. Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and Branden Albert would be an interior line that Kellen Clemens and Thomas Jones could conceivably thrive behind.
On top of this, Albert has been projected as the Patriot's selection at 7. Given the bad blood between the two teams and the fact that they both have similar needs (Leodis McKelvin is also a likely pick for the Jets, given that they attempted to sign Asante Samuel earlier this offseason), the possibility of seeking to put a dent in the Patriots' roster is motivation enough to take Albert this high.
7. New England Patriots - Leodis McKelvin - CB, Troy
Asante Samuel is now an Eagle - even without the free agent departure of Randall Gay, the Patriots had a void in the secondary the moment the lockdown corner made a deal with Philadelphia. Leodis McKelvin has been considered the best corner in the 2008 draft for several weeks and could start right away despite the fact he played for a small school.
The Patriots are known as wheelers and dealers and without doubt attempt to trade this pick, but will come away happy if they have the chance to draft the top cornerback in the draft.
8. Baltimore Ravens - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - CB, TSU
In this scenario, the Ravens find themselves in a bind. Matt Ryan, their possible quarterback of the future was taken by the Chiefs, the top tackle and guard were taken in the first six picks, and the top corner taken right out from under them.
Given that taking Brian Brohm with the eighth overall pick, I'm projecting that the Ravens wait until the second round to select Chad Henne or Joe Flacco as their signal caller and focus on what has been their longstanding trademark - a strong defense. Last year, the Baltimore secondary was exposed as thin and aging. Cornerback is a need in this draft and they will settle for reaching for the cousin of San Diego's Antonio Cromartie.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Glenn Dorsey - DT, LSU
The idea of Glenn Dorsey falling to the 9th pick during the college football season would be labeled as ludicrous - but concerns of the top defensive tackle being injury prone and the eye-popping numbers of other defensive prospects have him falling to the Bengals.
Dorsey is a force when healthy and could be the first step in alleviating an embarrassing Cincinnati defense. If the LSU standout is taken before this pick, look for the Bengals to take the second best tackle, Sedrick Ellis of USC.
10. New Orleans Saints - Keith Rivers - LB, USC
To say that New Orleans' defense is underwhelming would be kind - the squad that went to the NFC championship in 2006 was consistently torched the following season. Keith Rivers is the top pure line backing prospect available and could join recently traded Jonathan Vilma as part of a remodeled Saints line backing corps.
11. Buffalo Bills - Derrick Harvey - DE, Florida
The rush on defensive ends is Derrick Harvey's gain - the Bills don't have a corner back or wide receiver that's worth taking at pick 11, so they shore up their defense with a quarterback's nightmare. Harvey can play either side of the line and will put pressure on division rival signal caller Tom Brady.
12. Denver Broncos - Sedrick Ellis - DT, USC
The Broncos - with the exception of corner back - have needs all over the defense. Jarvis Moss didn't pan out as a quality addition to the defensive line and Denver's rush defense was one of the league's worst last season. Ellis is a proven commodity and can make an immediate impact.
13. Carolina Panthers - Ryan Clady - OT, Boise State
Jake Delhomme's future is up in the air, but took the Panthers to a Super Bowl behind a productive line. Carolina took a step in the right direction in drafting USC Center Ryan Kalil last year and is likely to invest in young talent to kickstart their offense.
Other possibilities include a large receiver, which would be a surprising reach, or a power running back to complement speedy DeAngelo Williams.
14. Chicago Bears - Chris Williams - OT, Vanderbilt
The Bears' fantastic offensive line of yesteryear that got Rex Grossman to a Super Bowl is getting to old to maul opposing defenses like they used to. The banged up unit could be rejuvenated with the addition of the tackle that brought Denver's Jay Cutler to fame during his college years - Chris Williams of Vanderbilt.
The Bears' brass inexplicably see no problem with their stable of signal callers (or are doing a good job hiding it), and are unlikely to take a quarterback in the first half of the second round. If they do take a QB on the first day, I anticipate it being the quarterback that Atlanta and Baltimore don't take in the second round.
15. Detroit Lions - Rashard Mendenhall - RB, Illinois
Matt Millen wants to draft talented skill players and make them suffer. The Lions once again forgo the chance to draft an offensive lineman and replace oft-injured Kevin Jones with the best back this side of Darren McFadden.
Defensive end is another possibility, but given the run on the position early, I project that the Lions will go with the best player available despite needing help in several other areas. If they don't take Mendenhall here, he'll be snatched up by Arizona or Houston.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Mike Jenkins - CB, South Florida
Arizona is a step further in it's rebuilding process and looks to improve to a winning record during Ken Wisenhunt's second year. The Offensive line is still subpar, but Russ Grim has improved what used to be the joke of the NFC. Edgerrin James is aging and will need to be replaced, but Rashard Mendenhall is off the board.
The Cards chose not to trade Larry Fitzgerald to the Eagles for corner Lito Sheppard, so they will respond to the run on corners and take Mike Jenkins, who, earlier in the offseason, had been ranked as high as 7th overall. Jenkins will help Arizona rebuff teams trying to keep up with their high-powered offensive attack.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
This particular story regards Pringle's response to the allegations. An excerpt:
"Pringle told police he has "a bad habit of putting his hand down his pants," and demonstrated for the officer by placing his hand down the front of his sweatpants, according to the complaint.
"Why would I need to masturbate?" he told police. "This is how I chill, ma'am."I enjoyed Jim Tuttle's take on the circus surrounding the incident. He made some good points - a junior in college should know it's not OK to have your hands down your pants in a public place.
Somehow I don't think that "This is how I chill, ma'am" will go down in history as an infamously successful defense strategy, a la the glove not fitting OJ's hand or the good old fashioned insanity plea.
This leaves us with two options. The first is that Pringle was legitimately relaxing, hand wrapped around his little point guard, just chattin' up a fellow denizen of the Stacks. I have, in fact, experienced this happening with a certain person who sat next to me in Western Civ. freshman year. Strangely enough, he was a basketball player too. I have and will recount this story to anyone who brings him up in conversation. So let it be said that the explanation of his "bad habit" could be valid.
The second is that he simply could not think of a better excuse. "This is how I chill, ma'am" could have been replaced with any of the following:
1. I have contracted a venereal disease. I hope that you do not know first hand, ma'am, but it causes one's genitals to be quite itchy to the point where you don't even notice when you're scratching it instinctively. (You lose some dignity in exchange for sympathy here)
2. In the land of my father, clutching one's penis is a sign of heartfelt respect.
3. Has it ever occurred to the victim that this might be one crazy dream? Are we in a dream right now? (He would then go "bloobiddy-bloo, bloobiddy-bloo" and wave his arms like they do at the end of Wayne's World)
4. Yes, I did have my hand on my genitals. I had had it there since the previous Tuesday - I am raising money for Lance Armstrong's testicular cancer fund. It is much like the Relay for Life or THON - no breaks. It has made offseason workouts particularly inconvenient.
5. I was looking for my cell phone and something went horribly, horribly wrong.
Ok, so they're not much better, but I can't picture a crotchety (pun intended) old judge slamming his gavel to say "Case closed. It's just how he chills." I UNDERSTAND the whole junk-grabbing phenomenon (though I am not a subscriber), but most over 30 won't.
And for anyone hoping for this to go away (Pringle included) - it's not going to anytime soon. Why? Because Masturbation, like Laser Tag and Bubble Gum Cigars, is both awesome and hilarious. The whole concept of making love to oneself, alleged or not, is too entertaining not to milk (pun intended) for at LEAST five cover stories.
98% of all thoughts regarding Masturbation, at least in my case, are humorous. One masturbates because A) he is lonely, or B) he's lonely at the moment. It involves some of the same ingredients as sex, but is completely different. You can't equate two coworkers amorously making love in a forbidden area of the office in a fit off passion to any sort of situation for masturbation - if you do, you have a guy in a janitorial closet who loves himself a little too much. Sex doesn't even have a place in history - Sure, Adam and Eve had to bang senseless to populate the earth, but nobody ever stops to think if Eve was just "tired" some nights and Adam had to get down to funky town on his own. Even if you're not a religious person - which was first, caveman's first self-incited ejaculation, or the discovery of fire? I bet you a hundred dollars our earliest ancestors were whacking off in dark caves.
So, yes, it is unfortunate if Pringle was cradling his Johnson casually, and we're all orchestrating this masturbatory drama with a moustache-twirling point guard cornering an unsuspecting coed. But it is too damn funny not to do so.
As a closing note:
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Because I'm too damn lazy to try and write anything funny myself.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
First, let me say, thank God they caught someone. If this masturbatory mystery had gone unsolved, it would be the lamest urban legend on campus within three years. "Some folks say it's a custodian who was never taught to read. After he was crushed to death in a landslide of reference books, his ghost began pleasuring himself at the end of every March," the upperclassmen would say. "Students have heard the moaning and heavy footsteps pacing back and forth for decades. He masturbates because there's nothing else for him in the library."
But now that it's Stanley Pringle - a public figure, no matter what your opinion of our basketball team is - It kind of pisses me off. We're getting a bad rap as it is with so many football players being caught on the wrong side of the law. It's national news. Andrew Quarless' DUI made the sports page on USA Today.
Now Pringle just HAD to stroke it - sullying the basketball team. I realize that one player's fondness for flogging the dolphin amongst aged copies of natural science encyclopedias doesn't represent the morality of the entire team, but given the trend of Penn States athletes in the news, he's given people the excuse to lump basketball players in with the story of the football team.
The first thing that comes to mind is how far this conversation went. According to the article, it said he "attempted to start a conversation with the woman". That's very vague. Was it a short exchange, then he whipped Stanley jr. out? Or was it attempting to start a conversation like I do?
Me (If I was a Penn State Basketball Player who was masturbating in public instead of PRACTICING so we can maybe get to the tournament once this century): Oh, hi.
[Girl Looks up, goes back to note taking]
Me (If I was a Penn State Basketball Player who was masturbating in public instead of PRACTICING so we can maybe get to the tournament once this century): Did you get that book in section 500?
[Girl keeps head down, pretends to be really interested in notes]
Me (If I was a Penn State Basketball Player who was masturbating in public instead of PRACTICING so we can maybe get to the tournament once this century): Did it ever annoy you when someone said "Li-bary?"
[Girl stops writing]
Me (If I was a Penn State Basketball Player who was masturbating in public instead of PRACTICING so we can maybe get to the tournament once this century): Oh ho ho! You WERE one of those people that said Li-bary! Oh man! We TOTALLY wouldn't have been friends in elementary school.
[Girl closes book, visibly annoyed]
Me (If I was a Penn State Basketball Player who was masturbating in public instead of PRACTICING so we can maybe get to the tournament once this century): Woah, woah, hey - it's ok. I'm sure you don't STILL say Li-bary. Hey, speaking of which, I never learned how to use the dewey decimal system - i just faked it until computers made everything easy. High five!
[Girl turns around to tell me off, sees one hand extended in the air and one hand....not]
Honestly, if I still worked at the Collegian, I'd ask everyone there if they knew what the attempted conversation was about. Was it a rehearsed topic, like a pick up line? Did he mention the weather? I like to think he just winged it.
I can't help but think of alternatives for Pringle. Hindsight is twenty twenty, and suggesting other courses of action won't un-whack him off, but here are three plans for any Penn Staters of prominence who can't seem to keep their hands off themselves:
1. It doesn't appeal to me personally, but the word on the street is people masturbate in public because they like the thought of someone getting blindsided by their self-lovin'. It's an adrenaline rush. Different strokes for different folks. (Pun Intended)
But why not hire a hooker? Find a lady of the evening, and have her sit in your living room. Whenever you're comfortable, knock yourself out as she flips through whatever magazines you may have lying around.
I know there are two obvious problems with this suggestion: hookers cost money, and if you ask a prostitute to do this, she won't be completely oblivious.
First off, you don't even need to spend that much. As long as you don't touch her, you don't have to worry about STDs. Instant discount. Secondly, you have to role play a little. Sure, the call girl isn't really the redhead from sociology, but with a little imagination, you're there right now! Everyone has to do it at some point.
2. Start a club. Send out a call for all public masturbators, and meet in the basement of Willard in a classroom at an obscure time of night. You guys can swap stories, share tips, and stroke it while you're there. You are in public - only those of us not into it are far, far away. Bonus - could be used to pad your resume.
3. Slam your genitals in a car door. You won't even want to lay a finger on them for weeks.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I tweaked the old facebook to mirror the throwback blog, BriWinslow. I have no idea how many people actually got the joke.
I was intending on writing a "I miss this too, let's see if I still have it" Briwinslow: the college years post here, but have decided against it. I'm not ruling the idea out for later.
Also, April Fool's Day is awesome because I get to pull silly shit like pretending to be Brian on facebook for a day and the Phollegian comes out, but damnit, it is the most annoying holiday ever. My friends think it's funny to yell "April Fools!" after EVERYTHING.
Some things to thing about:
April 1, the day before Marvin Gaye's 45th birthday, was when he was fatally shot by his father after an argument. I would make a "worst April Fools Joke ever" comment here, but it may be too soon.
There was the most glorious rainbow today - smack dab in the middle of pride week. Maybe the gays will use this "sign" as ammo in their Collegian debate with the bible thumpers.