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From the Press Box—Babies Ruin the NFL & NFL Drafts Fix Everything

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From the Press Box—Babies Ruin the NFL & NFL Drafts Fix Everything

It's another week in the bag and it's amazing how quickly it has gone. It feels like there is so much time to go (and there is) but at the same point what has gone by has moved so rapidly that it feels like we just got started.

WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN

Of course, Pro Football Talks' Mike Florio is in mid-season form, railing this week about how players taking off a game for the birth of a child is cause for concern.

He basically spent part of the week backpedaling but you know what? In the immortal words of a mythical Jay Cutler story:
DOOOOOOOOOOOON'T CAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRE

I went off on this earlier in the week at Bleacher Report, but in case you are morally opposed to clicking the link, here's the gist:

The fact that anyone has an issue with this is inane. The very same site which mocks players like Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie for their daddy missteps wants to rip on a guy for being a good dad?

(Mind you, I am not saying if you cannot attend your child's birth or chose not to, you are automatically a bad dad. Just that attending your child's birth is a positive thing.)

Why is this an issue? Well, it's not, unless you are Florio who—and perhaps this is harsh—is looking for some clicks.

It's not that the discussion of what impact Tillman's absence might have, or the thorny issue of trying to balance fatherhood and the NFL or how you might avoid having this collision of issues can't be had.

Just that to start criticizing someone for their choices—indeed to point out that 'they chose this life' and have then sacrificed that choice is ludicrous. It's stupid. It's foolish.

These guys do not owe us a damned thing. And while they owe their teams and teammates effort and focus, they do not owe them their humanity.

Life doesn't stop because you make a million bucks. And live doesn't stop laughing at your so-called plans and sometimes does what you don't want even when you plan it out.

And by the way, in case you didn't know, Charles Tillman has a damned good reason for wanting to be there.

BOOM.

The NFL Draft: Easy Fixes and Losing Out

When I lived in Los Angeles, I basically hated sports talk radio. Maybe it was podcast snobbery, but really my choices were screaming idiots who didn't know the sport they were talking about outside of Lakers basketball (and only Lakers basketball—Clippers don't count) or guys who spent 75% of the show talking Hollywood gossip. Oh, and there was ever-present ESPN which was really hit or miss.

Moving to NYC, I thought I would be moving to a place with some good sports talk. I had fond remembrances of WFAN from my childhood and recalled there being intelligent discussion!

I was clearly remembering it the way I remember some awful movies I watched on Saturday afternoon from the 50's.

There is a reason ESPN is ESPN and that's because even when inane and stupid, they don't sound like 12 year olds and their dad's digital recorder.

Well, until last night.

I don't know if you are aware but there's a bit of a crisis in New Jersey—not the Hurricane Sandy kind, but the 'wow the Jets suck' kind.

Last night it reached a crescendo pitch when ESPN radio talking head Dave Rothenberg said that he thought the smart move for the Jets would be to lose out and get a franchise player with a top three pick.

He had former player Ray Lucas in the studio and I think Lucas might have choked a bit when he said it.

I honestly hope Jets fans did as well. It's an idiotic statement, and one parroted every season right about now when it's clear teams aren't making the playoffs and some are really, really bad.

This tells me Rothenberg doesn't know the NFL Draft, because in the Draft—the real one, not Madden or Fantasy Football—even the top picks can be a crapshoot.

Just ask the Chargers who drafted Ryan Leaf. Or the Raiders who were involved in Jamarcus Russell. Or any of the myriad of bad top picks made throughout the history of the NFL.

And you might say 'AG, those were organizational errors'. And you would be right. Which brings me to this:

WHAT ABOUT THE NEW YORK JETS FILLS YOU WITH CONFIDENCE THAT THEY CAN DRAFT?

Vernon Gholston? Quinton Coples? Shonn Greene, Vlad Ducasse, Patrick Turner? Mark Sanchez?

Name another player they have drafted in recent memory beyond Dustin Keller and Darrelle Revis who was what they thought he was. Mo Wilkerson. I think that's it.

Plenty of teams are always in the top ten of the draft and still suck. Jacksonville. St Louis. Carolina. Oakland. Cleveland.

It's idiocy (and in some ways, stirring crap up for ratings, which seems to be a theme today) to assume that because the Jets tank a season and get a high draft pick that they'll be the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jets are bad. I mean, BAD bad. One big draft pick won't change that because the issues go deeper in the organization than even the players on the field.

I'm not even going to talk about how insulting even saying that is to players and coaching staffs. That they would LOSE a game because they MIGHT get a higher draft pick. I don't know anybody OK with that, player or fan. At least not a real fan.

The Jets may be screwed this season. As a fan, that sucks to write.

It would suck more if I had to write 'and they lost on purpose'.

Here endeth the lesson.

Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (6) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tommyboy's picture

I understand Rothenberg is suggesting that higher picks are better, so my following point isn't exactly aligning with what he's saying, but I'd still like to point this out.

Packers recent 1st round picks

2012 - Nick Perry - on IR

2011 - Derrick Sherrod - Off PUP, questionable return this season.

2010 - Bryan Bulaga - Injured; potential IR or worse.

2009 - B.J. Raji - Just coming off injury
- Clay Matthews - Injured (approx. 2 weeks)

2008 - Jordy Nelson (2nd round, 1st overall pick) - Injured

2007 - Justin Harrell - I'll just go ahead and assume he shattered his femur within the last week.

Anyone noticing a pattern? If A.J. Hawk goes down, who's next on the list? Who did we draft in 2005? Who knows. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Relying on the draft in the NFL to exclusively fix your problems seems like a great idea. Rothenberg = dork.

Evan's picture

Interesting coincidence, but basically meaningless.

Tommyboy's picture

My point is that relying on a draft pick to overturn your franchise is flawed because injuries run rampant in the NFL. The current situation is a coincidence, no doubt, but not exactly meaningless to the point.

Evan's picture

The other point missing about Rothenberg's "strategy" is most experts agree that there isn't a sure fire #1 pick this year along the lines of RGIII or Luck.

Mike's picture

Definitely not. It's all going to depend on the needs of whichever team ends up with the #1 pick or if a trade occurs. The rookie wage scale has done some work to help incite high round trades, as the financial constraints of performing such a trade for a potential boom/bust prospect hurt a team's wallet much less than in the years past - see JaMarcus Russell, Vernon Gholston, Sanchez, etc

cgbfan's picture

Look at what number AROD was picked, first is not the best if you can't pick.

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