Thursday, August 30, 2007

Do the Raiders wish they did not draft Jamarcus Russell?

Jamarcus Russell's holdout is now the longest for a number 1 pick since Bo Jackson held out the entire 1984 season so that he did not have to play for the Bucs (by the way: Super Bowl titles for Bo = 0, for the Bucs = 1, suck it Bo). It has been reported on that Jamarcus is in no hurry to get a deal done since he does not really want to play for the Raiders anyways. It is beginning to look like Russell may hold out well into the season. Even if he does report soon, he will have virtually no chance of starting this year -- the season is lost for Jamarcus and the Raiders. Seeing what has transpired do the Raiders wish they had picked someone else? Here are two interesting candidates.

Brady Quinn:

Quinn held out for a bit with the Browns so there is no guarantee he would have signed with the Raiders by now, but it certainly seems likely. The Raiders, particularly Al Davis, were higher on Russell because he had a big arm and Davis loves to throw the ball downfield. But if Lane Kiffin is installing a similar offense to the one he co-ran at USC it would seem like Brady Quinn would be a better fit. He is much more in the mold of Leinhart, who obviously excelled in this offense, than Russell is. Not only that but Quinn has looked very impressive in his first two preseason games for the Browns. If I were a Raiders exec I would definitely be wishing I took Quinn at this point.

Adrian Peterson

Culpepper has looked very good running the Raiders offense in the preseason. He does not appear to have all his pre-shredded knee mobility back, but even 75% of what he was would be pretty good. Let's not forget that just three years ago he had one of the greatest season's for a quarterback ever with Nate Burelson as his primary target. If the Raiders had Adrian Perterson in the backfield with Culpepper (as opposed to the perennially under achieving Lamont Jordan) they would be looking half-way dangerous at this point. This possibly explosive offense paired with their young talented defense would really have made them a pretty decent team. If they had drafted Peterson, they could have worked out a trade earlier for Culpepper and he would have been around for the entirety of training camp and would be running the offense much more proficiently at this point. I think this would have been the ideal (and cheaper) situation for the Raiders and they must really regret having taken the no-show Russell.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Unnamed Victims of Michael Vick

the other day i saw a teenage kid walking down the street wearing a michael vick jersey. he was probably just being a smartass, but this got me to thinking - there are people out there who own a jersey that is totally worthless. over the years i have owned hardy nickerson, warrick dunn and john lynch jerseys, and it was always a sad day when those players left the bucs. but i could always wear the jersey without being a total jackass, a luxury once proud owners of vick's jersey do not have.

but the people who are REALLY screwed are the people who have michael vick tattoos. i actually know a lot about this, despite the fact that i myself have no tattoos. why, you ask?

because, when i was twelve, i was dead set on getting a shawn kemp tattoo.

shawn kemp was a fantastic basketball player at the time, a ferocious dunker, seemingly with room to develop, paired with gary payton in his prime. i probably played with that sonics team 3/4 of the time on NBA Live '95 (a game so great it deserves its own post) and i pulled hard for them in the '96 Finals. so, because all people from the age of eleven to sixteen are pretty much total idiots, i decided i needed to have this man inked on my right arm. i never really planned it out in detail, but i imagine it would have looked like this:

actually, maybe the basketball should be a flaming skull.

point is, after the lockout, the reign man gained almost 150 pounds, the label of malcontent, and roughly 14-58 illegitimate children. he was never again even marginally relevant as a basketball player. AND I ALMOST HAD HIS FACE PERMANENTLY PLACED ON MY ARM.

that's the position anyone with a vick tattoo is essentially in now, and there's no going back. the safest course of action is clearly to never get any person tattooed on you, be it mother teresa or tony dungy or even, god bless his salty self, ole ball coach. say jarvis moss never finds the strength of thor and doesn't block that kick in the south carolina game - wouldn't you feel a little shitty taking a shower the next day and looking down at the visored one tatted on your left pec?

i thought so.

(but grant should still get the box scores of every florida-georgia game inked on his back if he ever wants to be respected as a true gator fan.)



Friday, August 17, 2007

So You Own A Personalized Jersey....

First things first, I'm deeply sorry. Second things second, I don't know if we can be friends anymore. Why, you ask? Because jokers who put their own name on the jersey of their favorite team bother me. A lot. They bother me more than bandwagon fans, more than fans who boo their own team (much more on this in an upcoming post), more than unknowledgable fans who don't know that they don't know anything; even more than fans of miami-area teams (essentially the first 3 types of terrible fans all rolled up into one loud-mouthed package, but I'm not gonna let myself go off on a tangent here).

What iritates me so much is that no self-respecting, normal male sports fan would ever, ever, EVER buy one for himself. These things are almost always forced on to people; whether it be by family members, significant others, or insanity. Think about your most common personalized jersey-wearer:

1) The 1o-and-under crowd who doesn't really have a choice in the matter and doesn't want to throw a temper tantrum and risk not getting to go (for the record, this will be the last time I mention this group; Sports Indeed doesn't take cheap shots at the kids),

2) The fanatical, borderline nutjob who'd probably run over an opposing team's player with their car if given the chance, and

3) The guy who got it from his girlfriend/wife and only wears it when she decides to come to a game with him.

Side note about #3: Ladies, if you're thinking about buying that special guy in your life a jersey with his name on the back, please ask his friends first, for his sake. If they say no, don't get it. If they say yes, and start laughing or look like they're trying not to laugh (be very aware of this response, it's the most likely), don't get it. If they say yes, ask your boyfriend/husband, screw the surprise, some things are more important, like his pride. If they say yes, and he says yes, break up with him.

Now if you are stuck with a personalized jersey, all hope is not lost, there are levels of acceptablitity, meaning that unless you fall into the last category, there are still some poor saps out there that even you can chew on. In order from most acceptable to least:

1. Your name matches the name of an actual player on the team. This makes for an easy explanation: "We were good friends as kids, we have the same last name, and now he plays for my favorite team. It was too crazy not to do." This is, of course, a lie, but when it comes to personalized jerseys, all bets are off. The only pitfall is that the number probably won't match; but this can be explained away by saying your "friend" was one of the last guys to make the team and thus has had his number switched multiple times. No one's going to do near the research necessary to find out if that's a lie, so you should be in the clear.

2. Your name, random number that has no connection to you at all. As you can see, there's really only one option that can have a positive spin. This is the first, and least severe, of the terrible ones.

3. Your name, number that you wore in your high school "playing days." Dear this person, you weren't good then, and you're worse now. Please stop doing this to yourself.

4. Your name, number of the team's star. Unequivocally, undeniably, irrefutably the worst of all the personalized jerseys. This is the turkey wearing the Pats #13 jersey with the name Garcia on the back. You know who you are buddy, although you probably aren't reading this.

That's all I've got for now. Make sure to check for my next opinions column in a week or so or month or year or.......