Thursday, January 3, 2013

Should Clowney Play Next Season?

So you saw it right? That hit that Jadeveon Clowney put on that poor Michigan running back? Clowney took that poor kids pride. For the rest of his life, he will be that guy that got hit by Clowney. "Clowneyed" if you will.  That hit is what every defensive player dreams of. Clowney is by far the best defensive prospect in college football and surely would be the very first selection in the upcoming NFL draft.

I say would be because Clowney is not yet eligible for the draft. While I am not one to argue about the rule that forbids players not three years removed from high school from entering the NFL draft, in this instance, the rule seems misplaced.  However, the NFL and NFL Players Association agree that this should be the rule so that's all I really care about. In the end, what's bad for Clowney, is great for the League. All I really care about is a quality NFL product. It sucks for players that are clearly ready - as is definitely the case in this instance - but in reality this rule effects only two to three players a decade.

What is really interesting to me is should Clowney play next year? He has produced enough in college. He has answered any questions as to whether he would live up to his billing as the number one prospect out of high school.  If I were him, I would seriously consider sitting out next season.  It would be controversial but it would probably be the most prudent thing to do.  Clowney has absolutely nothing to gain from another year of college football and an enormous amount to lose.  All established agents would front him all the cash he wanted.  Banks would him a million bucks on his signature alone. He could easily spend the next year working out at any number of agent run training facilities and remain in top condition.  So really, why should Clowney play? Why risk a devastating knee injury like his teammate and friend Marcus Lattimore suffered? If I were Clowney, I would have played my last game as a Gamecock.

In case you missed the Clowney massacre, see below.....

So Long Ray

By now, I am sure everyone has heard that Ray Lewis is retiring. Yes, Ray Lewis will no longer play football. It is hard to imagine a league without Ray.  There has never been a better team leader in the NFL. EVER! Not Singletary, Not McNair, Not Manning, Not Irvin. Ray Lewis is among the greatest leaders in team sports history.  He is right there with Bill Russell, Derick Jeter & Mark Messier.  The true testament to Lewis's leadership abilities is that under Brian Billick, the Ravens let players sleep at home during training camp. The players were allowed this luxury on the condition that no one be late to team meetings or practices each day. If anyone was late, then the team would spend the rest of camp in dorm rooms. Billick's reasoning was if anyone was late, they had to face Lewis.  No one was ever late! That's leadership.

Watching a Ravens game will not be the same anymore. I will miss the shear passion Lewis brought to every single game - to each and every play. Good luck in retirement Mr. Lewis. You had a helluva run....

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Bad Guy makes the news again

So Ndamukong Suh is again in trouble for rage related issues. By now its clear that Suh has anger management issues. He may need a bit of help (yes that's sarcasm). What's interesting to me is that when interviewed, Suh is the most soft spoken and sincere sounding player in the league. He reminds me a lot of Bill Romanoski. He was also soft spoken, intelligent and always sounded like a good guy but always played and lived on the edge. If you listen to Courtland Finnegan, he also has the same characteristics. So how can three intelligent soft spoken guys be considered some of the dirtiest players ever? My theory is that the game is so violent that if you are generally nice, you have to psyche yourself up and get in a different mental state just to compete. I think Suh is taking the kill or be killed mentality off the field and this is what is causing these problems. Either way, he needs to gain better control over his emotions both on and off the field. But of course, I do love a great bad guy so I will still cheer for the crazy kid!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

Week 4 Rankings

1. Houston Texans - The Texans are an example of what happens when and organization is patient and sticks to a plan. The stayed true to their plan and have developed a complete team. They have depth at WR and RB and star players at every level of the defense. Brian Cushing's injury will hurt, but this team is built to survive it. The key concern will be keeping Matt Schabb healthy.
2. Baltimore Ravens - I have really been impressed with Joe Flacco's progress.  Their defense is no longer the 3 and stalwart its been for so long. The are more of a bend but don't break unit without T-Sizzle (Terrell Suggs) rushing the passer. He is expected back soon and that will change everything for this defense.

3. San Fransico 49ers - Despite the hic-up against, this is still the toughest, most physical team in the league. They will most likely lose more games this year because their division is improved. Alex Smith's hand injury is a concern.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan has played great but their team still doesn't impress me. The Panthers should have beat them but as Bill Parcells famously stated, "you are what your record says you are." The Falcons are undefeated and that's all that really matters.

5. New England - Even though this team has two losses, the are still a Super Bowl favorite from the AFC. Stevan Ridley has really balanced the offense. They are score at will.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Star Driven Day in Sports

Some sports day we had yesterday. It was a day of comebacks so its only fitting that I "comeback" to blogging. First Tiger Woods has a tremendous day and wins an event to tie The Golden Bear for second place on the al1-time wins list. To do it in Jack's on tournament is special. To accomplish this a full 10 years younger is elite. Tiger has that unquantifiable "it" factor that makes people "stars".  I don't watch golf but I pay attention when Tiger is in the hunt. No other golfer has that factor.

This second comeback did not quite make it. The Heat had a ferocious 2nd half to make it interesting down the stretch. They just couldn't seal the deal. I am rooting for the Heat to make the finals and face OKC. Why? The same reason I watch Tiger play golf. I want to see stars in the finals. While the Spurs and Celtics both have all-time great players, they don't have stars in my opinion. The Spurs do not have a single player that I have to watch. For all the great play that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have produced their careers, you can take your eyes off them. True star players grab your attention and force you to watch them regardless if you like the player or not. The closest thing to a star on Celtics is Rando. If he can fix that broken jumper of his he may become a superstar. Let's pray for a Heat vs Thunder Finals so the true stars can shine.