From the "Talks too much" Studios, here we go (and buckle up gang, this one gets long):
Possible question for tomorrow...what are your thoughts on the new Falcons' stadium plans? Good idea? Bad idea?
If Arthur Blank can convince the city to do it, then good for him. We personally feel that no city should be in the stadium BID-ness, especially if you already have a team in town. And doubly especially if it's an NFL team, which is making money hand-over fist from the league's TV deal.
If you're the point man in L.A. trying to bring an NFL team to town, then you have to have a stadium on the front end.
We're not impressed with owners who try to hijack a city with the threat of moving for a new city. Dude, times are tough. The city of Atlanta's education system is in the toilet and the Falcons want 3/4 of a billion dollars for a new stadium?
Hey, Jerry Jones built his palace with his own check book. And the city can bend over backward with tax-breaks to help Blank and Co. out. Because let's be really honest - a new stadium in Atlanta right now with talks of BCS semifinals at neutral sites and Super Bowls and the events a new state-of-the-art dome could bring would be a tourism ATM for the city.
But Blank has little leverage right now because there is no way the NFL would let him move out of a top-10 TV market.
Stew, great question, and we should discuss the BID-ness of sports more. It's truly fascinating. We charge you Good Stew with bringing up at least one Sports BID-ness question each month. What say you sir, are you up to the task?
Hey Jay. I understand you might love the draft. If so, who are the top 3 Brady Quinn candidates that may sit for an embarrassingly extended period during the draft this year?
Thanks for the question, and while we discussed it some this week in the comments, we thought it would be fair to look at the names of the players that were reportedly attending the draft that were not first-round picks:
Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford - Not overly surprising since most projections had him at the very end of round one.
Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia - Big surprise.
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - Big surprise.
Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - Not overly surprising since most projections had him at the very end of round one.
Devon Still, DT, Penn State - Big surprise that he decided to attend; in fact the only time we saw Still's name linked to the first round was when we referenced players invited that had no chance of being first-round picks.
Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama - Huge surprise. Behind the Seattle Seahawks drafting Bruce Irvin - a guy that they could have drafted in Round 2 - and the obscene number of trades in the first 10 picks and how crazy small Dont'a Hightower's head is compared to his hulking build, the fact that Upshaw still is on the board may be the next biggest surprise.
Which leads us to....
We hear you are fond of the draft? Do tell? With round one in the books, what's your take? Winners and losers and all that instant grading stuff that Al Gore created the internet for?
PS - Did you get my picks? War Eagle Kendall Wright.
You're in, and yes you and Weena each had Kendall Wright going to the Titans, no matter how bad that turns out for the Titans.
Here's a We Love the Draft pick contest update:
• First SEC player picked - Trent Richardson
• First Titans pick - Kendall Wright
• First Steelers pick - David DeCastro
• First Falcons pick - (23rd pick of the second round right now)
• What team picks B.J. Coleman?
• Mr. Irrelevant?
Here are the standings (and if you see a discrepancy or don's see your picks, give us a shout):
Jeffe - 2 points - Allen/Packers/Walsh
Weena - 2 points - Massie/Chicago/B. Brown
5-at-10 - 1 point - Jeff Allen/Pittsburgh/Drew Butler
McPell - 1 point - Mitchell Schwartz/Denver/Jake Gdowski
LaughingBoy - 1 point - Bobbie Massie/Arizona/Randy Bullock
Deboman - 1 point - K. Zeitler/Packers/Emil Igwenagu
Mrs. 5-at-10 - 1 point - Osemele/Buffalo/Vontaze Burfict
scole023 - 1 point - Massie/Green Bay/Lennon Creer
OTWatcher - 1 point - Tennessee/Kellen Moore
SportTalk's Quake (who demanded that we include is "Defending Champ") - 1 point - Vinny Curry/Pittsburgh Steelers (heart pick)/Dale Moss
WarEagle - 1 point - Zeitler/Seattle/Neiko Thorpe
Believer - 1 point - TE from Clemson/St. Louis/Tim Benford
StuckinKent - 1 point - Dwayne Allen/Packers/Bryce Brown
Cobrakid8 - 1 point - Kelechi Osemele/Jacksonville Jaguars/Blair Walsh
Chas9 - 1 point - Kelechi Osemele/Green Bay/Blair Walsh.
BlueOval - 1 point - Osemele/Pittsburgh/Creer
33wannabe - 1 point - Martin/Cardinals/Vlachos
Fred - 0 points - Kelechi Osemele/Denver/Blair Walsh
ThatIDoKnow - 0 points - Joe Looney/Chicago/Brandon Moseley
CelticVol - 0 points - Harrison Smith/Tampa Bay Bucs/Janzen Jackson
TFP's golf ace David Uchiyama - 0 points - Devon Still/Buffalo/Blair Walsh
Norman - 0 points - Massie/Chicago/Kellen Moore
PDavi - 0 points - Jeff Allen/Pittsburgh/Drew Butler
As for the draft, well, here are the three biggest winners:
- New England added a top-flight pass-rusher in Chandler Jones and a stud-duck middle linebacker in Dont'a Hightower. (Hightower and Jarod Mayo instantly make the league's second best 3-4 middle linebacker duo behind Willis-Bowman in San Fran.) Plus the Pats have multiple picks in the second and third rounds.
- Have to love the value/need ratio San Diego, Detroit and Pittsburgh got. The Chargers needed a pass rusher and sprinted to the podium when DE Melvin Ingram, who was pegged as high as No. 7 overall 48 hours ago, fell to them at No. 18. Detroit needed a tackle to protect Matt Stafford, and Riley Reiff, the second-best tackle in the draft fell to No. 23. The Steelers needed an interior lineman and David DeCastro, the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, fell to No. 24. (Although we'd like to hear SteelerFan's view of his team's draft, and would have loved, Loved, LOVED to have been a fly on the wall inside the Steelers' War Room as the debate between DeCastro and Hightower was going on.)
- Minnesota. Got three extra picks to move back one spot and get the guy they were going to take anyway in Matt Kalil. Plus, the Vikings sent some of those extra picks to Baltimore to get back into the late part of the first round and take Harrison Smith, the second-best safety in the draft.
Here are our three biggest head-scratchers:
- Seattle used the 15th pick on Bruce Irvin, a guy that could have been had with the 15th pick of the second round. Maybe they should close down the open bar in the Seahawks' War Room.
- The Dolphins and Chiefs seemed to reach by taking Ryan Tannehill at No. 8 and defensive tackle Dontari Poe at No. 11. Hey, we get the draft has an element of the unknown and you have to try to gauge a player's potential, but wow. As we discussed last night during the draft - and thanks to those of you that participated in the 5-at-10 draft chat, we may have to try that again sometime - there comes a time when actual facts have to come into play. And neither Tannehill or Poe passed the appositive phrase test. Look at it this way, as all of the other players were being picked in the top 13, they came up on the screen like this:
Fact about the player
So in the top 13 players were walking to put on the hat have a photo with the commissioner - who Mr. 962 said last night looks like the love child of Owen Wilson and Conan O'Brien; well-played indeed - here's some of what we had:
Led the country in tackles the last two years
All of those are pretty boss, right?
Well here's the appositive phrases for Tannehill and Poe
three-time all-Big 12 all-academic first-team
second-team Conference USA selection
Not exactly ringing endorsements for the No. 8 and No. 11 overall picks.
- We're all for moving down and stock-piling picks, but St. Louis now has formally passed on every player in this draft not named Andrew Luck, considering they moved down from No. 2 (getting three No. 1s from Washington) and No. 6 (getting a No. 1 and a No. 2 from Dallas). And yes, the Rams have a ton of needs, but they were not able to get either of the top two receivers and settled for Michael Brockers at 14. This leads us to...
The Rams have the first pick in the second round and there are some great storylines today. St. Louis has to take a receiver - be it Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle or even a Brian Quick - with that pick. That means the Colts, who have the second pick of round two, could reunite Andrew Luck and tight end Coby Fleener, and that's a great start to replacing the passing game voids left by Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark.
Plus, there has to be a number of teams looking longingly at some of the names still on the board. We're betting the Rams are fielding calls from teams looking to move up to take Courtney Upshaw or Janoris Jenkins or Bobbie Massie or Cordy Glenn or even a Jerel Worthy, each of whom was a first-rounder on most predraft lists.
Whatever about the draft. It's kind of boring, especially with the announcers.
Remember when you said LeBron was having a historical season? Well, does that history mean finishing second in the East behind a Bulls team that did not have their best player for half of the season?
I'm sure you're going to make some smart-a comment about it but whatever. LeBron is the most overrated player ever.
Thanks for bringing up the draft announcers. Chris Berman was better than normal and Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper Jr. were great. Although how about the hair disparity between Kiper and Gruden? Wow, total mismatch and it was impossible not to notice. Kiper had his perfect weather-man hair that never moved and Gruden had his "I don't give a darn" down the middle bullet cut that makes him look part like Chucky and part like the devilish kid that got you in trouble in Vacation Bible School when you were 11.
As for LeBron, well, we'll try like the Dickens not to be a smart a, but can we be a smart c-minus? How about a smart-T-pants, which is not be confused with a Buford-T-Justice? How about a Smarty, Smarty we like to party, we don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody? OK, no?
Anyhoo, LeBron James should walk with the MVP award after a year in which he was off the charts in every category. In fact, even though Kevin Durant won his third-consecutive scoring title, the only reason James won't be a unanimous pick is because some yahoo sports writer is looking for someone other than James to vote for. (Something that happened to MJ at least twice in his career.)
And since we're already approaching something like 10,000 words, we'll just leave it at that. But we will agree that this is a huge postseason for LeBron and the Heatles. H-U-G-E. (And there's no 'A' in there what so ever.)
Side note: If we had to come up with an all-time Rushmore of Overrated, it would be New Year's Eve, Madonna, Joe Namath and the Mona Lisa. Feel free to share yours.
You are always talking about a Mount Rushmore for sports greats. What about a Mount Rushmore for evil sports figures? Please tell me that Ron Artest AKA Metta World Peace is on there.
OK, we thought about this and decided that there had to be two lists.
The first one is Jerry Sandusky, Rae Carruth, O.J. Simpson and Mike Danton. Call this Felony Peak of the Mount Rushmore of Evil. (The first three are obvious. Danton was a rising star in the NHL who is serving time for a murder-for-hire plan to try to kill his agent.)
Now we get into where we think your question was pointed. Evil in the game. Evil in terms of fan villains. Evil as viewed as thugs or jerks. And, whether we want to admit it or not, evil that brings us at least a small measure of pleasure because the games would not be nearly as fun without these villains.
We'll call this Thrill Hill of the Mount Rushmore of sports evil. Metta World Peace is there. Barry Bonds is there. We'll take Scott Boras third. And we'll use a wildcard pick on Art Modell.
Side category: In the visitor's center of the Mount Rushmore of sports evil, there's a special tribute to the evil figures of sports movies. That Rushmore is Clubber Lang, Corba Kai leader John Kreese, Rachel Phelps, Warden Hazen (from the Longest Yard, and let's face it, if you're the villain in a sports movie about convicted felons, then you have accomplished something).