Friday, April 28, 2006
Page 2 Quickie: April 28, 2006
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Who? Where? When? The NFL draft is traditionally about (over)analyzing those big questions.
But the lack of clarity about any of those questions begs a larger one: Why?!
Why would the Texans even consider taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick? (Answer: If Bush's agent somehow conveys that he'll be impossible to sign.)
Why is the No. 2 pick the most pivotal of the draft? (Answer: Assuming Bush goes first, no one knows if the Saints will take Williams or OL "Brick" Ferguson -- or trade the pick to a team that wants a top QB.)
Why will Jets fans boo, even though the team has the 4th pick and a lock to take an impact player? (Answer: Because they'll likely leave a stud QB on the board and take either Williams or Ferguson.)
Why is Marcus Vick this year's Maurice Clarett? (Answer: Because he's the "character" enigma of the draft, plus the brother of the most popular player in the league. Unlike Clarett, he won't be a Day 1 pick.)
Why is this year's Top 10 as intriguing as it has been in years? (Answer: The top prospects are defined; it's the order that has everyone confused. And the teams picking after that? Total toss-up.)
Why is it totally inappropriate for me to go to childbirth class tonight and compare the 15 minutes between picks to the time between contractions? (Answer: Need I ask?)
Draft: Saturday, noon ET, ESPN
Expert Mock Draft
So what were the shockers of yesterday's action-packed, must-read ESPN.com expert mock draft between Clayton and Pasquarelli?
(1) Matt Leinart slipped all the way to No. 7, picked by the Raiders (and reluctantly, at that!)
(2) If Leinart went to Oakland, you can infer that Vince Young was the Titans' choice. Here's a handy formula to explain it:
Ownership > GM + Coaches
(3) My guy, Jay Cutler, slipped all the way to the Vikings at No. 17. But Clayton said: "This might be the best pick in the first round."
(4) Who did the champs take? Perhaps signaling the new model of the Bus, Clayton picked LenDale White for the Steelers.
(5) Here's a key bit of wisdom from Pasquarelli: "Do yourself a favor and put little stock in mock drafts. Yep, even this one!"
Quickie Draft Challenge! Last chance! Don't forget to sign up for the "Daily Quickie Readers" group of ESPN.com's "Draft Forecast" game. (Open to everyone; no password needed). Sign up here!
Reggie Bush Update
Extortion! Eviction! Excitement!
• Bush's would-be agent allegedly threatened Bush and his family with extortion for not signing with him! Aha: You could count on the NFL to reframe the debate more positively about their No. 1 draft choice.
• The agent reportedly threatened eviction, too. Although, based on other reports that Bush's mother and stepfather weren't paying rent, can you really call it eviction?
• And if that weren't enough excitement, talks between Bush's agent and the Texans have apparently stalled, though you know Houston would love to draft him Saturday with a deal in place. They'll still take him.
Shaq: Worst Game Ever?
If the common conventional wisdom holds that a playoff series doesn't start until a road team wins a game, the Bulls-Heat series still hasn't begun.
It certainly looked like Shaq didn't know there was a game last night. Saddled with foul trouble, he had 8 pts/4 reb (24.5 ppg/11.5 rpg in Games 1-2), along with 7 turnovers and 0-6 FT, in a 109-90 Bulls shellacking in their first game in Chicago.
No K-Mart, no problem: Back in Denver for the first time in their series with the Clippers, the Nuggets didn't need suspended Kenyon Martin to prove they will go down cranky. (If they win Saturday to even the series, would they even want K-Mart back for Game 5? I wouldn't.)
Best $15K ever spent: If Jermaine O'Neal's $15,000 fine for criticizing the refs after Game 2 inspired him to 37 and 15 and his team to a 12-point win over the Nets in the series' first game in Indiana.
Questions for this weekend:
Which LeBron will appear in the Cavs-Wiz series tonight and Sunday in D.C.? "Triple-double LeBron" of Game 1? Or "Bruised and bullied LeBron" of Game 2?
How many Lakers fans will be wearing bootleg "24" Kobe jerseys? Can Kobe possibly top his capital-D Dunk on Nash? Will the presumptive MVP allow himself to be caught under the basket like that again? (Doubt it.)
Will the Kings be able to make a series of it against the Spurs with the series moving back to the rabid atmosphere of Sacramento (and the Kings getting Ron Artest back)?
Bonds: No 715 Party
"We celebrate new records": That was Bud Selig's reasoning behind his news that MLB won't celebrate Bonds when/if he passes Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list.
Riiight: That's why MLB had a big, fat deal set up with a sponsor to celebrate it, right? "New records" was a pretty elastic concept back when a sponsor wanted to pay MLB to define it.
It doesn't matter: If Bonds breaks it at home in San Francisco, the team (and fans) will make a big deal about it. And if it happens on the road, they'll celebrate the first game he returns back to SF.
Delmon Young Update
Suspended indefinitely: For those of you who joined me in the office pool at "50 games" (for Young's reportedly tossing a bat at an umpire), you can take solace knowing you were only off by, umm, infinity. (full story)
MLB Wrap: Broussard
Who is Ben Broussard? He's so much more than the part-time Indians 1B who racked up an unexpected 8 RBI last night.
If you Google him, the first link is to his personal Web site touting his musical career. Sure, he's got 4 HR, 17 RBI and 24 H in only 59 AB, but he's also a human beat-box. Does your fantasy league score for that?
On his site, you can buy his self-titled CD, but there's this strange compilation "Oh Say Can You Sing," featuring covers of popular songs by MLB players, including Broussard's "With or Without You."
The playlist is, um, eclectic. But if you like the Stone Temple Pilots, I'm sure you'll love Jeff Conine's version of "Plush." And there's nothing to be feared by Omar Vizquel covering the Goo Goo Dolls' "Broadway," right?
Tribeca Film Festival
Continuing Quickie coverage of the sports (and "sports") films being screened in my hometown:
Today: "Freedom's Fury"
Yankees-Red Sox? Weak!
Michigan-Ohio State? Wusses!
Duke-UNC? Child's play!
No, for real rivalry, you need to go back to the 1956 Olympic Water Polo match between the USSR and Hungary, the bloodiest game in Olympic history, recounted in this new documentary.
Tobacco Road? Please.
Try the Iron Curtain.
Draft Games '06
Back by popular demand! What to do during that interminable 15-minute wait between picks? There will be a ton of TV analysis (ESPN, noon and umm ... all day). Try this game (soda for the kids, please):
Cliche (number of sips)
"The next..." (1)
"Best player available" (1)
"Value pick" (-1)
"Big Board" (2)
"Great hips" (-2)
"Character guy" (3)
Anything about Mel's hair (5)
"But what do I know?" (10)