The 2012 NFL Draft: Your Team Could Get the Next Hero (or Zero)

POSTING BY JB MADDAWG

Tomorrow night at 8pm Eastern time, the NFL will begin its annual ritual of picking some of the best college football players the sport has to offer.  The reason I use the word some is that nothing, save for a massive lottery style payday, is guaranteed.  Having watched football for the better part of 30 years now, I take for granted that most folks understand how exactly this is all going to pan out, past the hoopla of the actual draft itself.  After bouncing around on the internet, I see that just isn’t true.  In fact, most of the draft stuff I’ve read is damn right delusional.  Thus, I’ve decided to throw out this post to casual football fans everywhere…that seriously need to get a grip.

Obviously, the most alarming statements are coming from people concerned with the quarterback position.  Since the Indianapolis Colts had the worst record in pro football last year, they get the first overall pick in the NFL draft.  The Colts will announce Stanford QB Andrew Luck as their choice, which will be followed by the Washington Redskins selecting Baylor QB Robert Griffith III in the second spot.  This really is no secret and both teams have been fairly vocal about their upcoming selections.  Both of these young men will go on to sign massive contracts with their respective teams, and will win football’s version of the lottery.  Never having thrown one pass, or ran for one yard in the National Football League.  If it were up to the crackpots in the NFLPA, they’d have everyone believe these picks deserve the massive windfall for their potential.  Yet, not one of those players ever have to give that money back, if they fail miserably, which the odds have shown is more likely to happen.

Now, I’m sure my co blogger Big Angry and his fellow Indiana residents will be filled with hope in securing Luck, as will plenty of people in Washington, D.C.  with RG 3 as he is known.  That’s part of the excitement of the draft, and it’s well warranted.  I, of course will be hoping for a tasty pick made by my nearby Chicago Bears.  The key will be separating emotion from reality.  And reality is something that younger fans and newer football fans alike don’t seem to have a grip on, just by what I’ve read recently.  So, let’s review something that every fan should know, before you go out and  buy a draft pick’s jersey.

EVERY SINGLE PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT IS A GAMBLE.

This is the point where all the little numbskulls can retort with the highly intelligent “Nuh Uh” or accuse me of trolling them, but honestly, those people are just being naive. And I can prove it, with facts.  Lemme show you… do you recognize this guy?

No, of course you don’t.  That’s because it’s the chosen one, QB Jesus Todd Marinovich from USC.  The second QB taken in the 1991 NFL draft. Drafted ahead of some other QB that went on to win a SuperBowl and is a guaranteed first round Hall of Fame selection named Favre.  Marinovich, who was scouted as having “tons of pro talent” went on to flake out, fail miserably for the Raiders and took to jamming LSD into his body any way he could before he was silently ushered out of pro football.

How about this guy?

Doesn’t look like much of a pro football player, does he?  That’s what most of the tired old dopes that steal a paycheck as pro football scouts thought, at least.  This measly little guy lucked out and got selected waaaaay back in round six, the 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft.  Maybe you’d recognize him more easily with the three SuperBowl rings he won before age 28. It’s Tom Brady.

When the draft is broadcast tomorrow night, there will be large amounts of time between picks, and at some point the Mel Kiper Jr’s and Brian Billicks of the sport will make ridiculous commentaries on how a young prospect is a good pick/bad pick, but they don’t have a clue.  The NFL teams have workout days, combines, interviews, and even one of the strangest written tests to help them gauge a future prospect.  They’ve been using this format for decades, and still aren’t certain about their prospects.  Major League Baseball finally started to fess up and admit scouts were using outdated techniques as was the main topic in last year’s hit film, Moneyball.  If even one of these pro scouts had a lead pipe lock format for selecting picks, they wouldn’t have enough fingers to put all the world championship rings on.

So just remember, when you see people jumping up and down on television and a physically perfect looking young gentleman holding up his new team’s jersey tomorrow, it could be a future Hall of Famer.

But the odds have it he may just be the next guy that curls up in the fetal position in the locker room while his agent calmly tells the press, “he’s just not used to the pressures that having 50 million dollars comes with”.  So try to keep it in perspective, and save your money for a brand new jersey until after the new guy actually steps into a pro football stadium, at the very least.

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