An Exhaustively Researched Hypothesis
The NFL just concluded the 2017 draft. As usual, it was three days full of excitement, drama, and way too many opinions. It also helped confirm in my mind a little hypothesis I have been developing for some time: The NFL is the girl in high school that is socially oblivious, dumb as a box of rocks, kind of a jerk, but is pretty hot. Allow me to elaborate. That girl from high school had no problem getting dates. All the dumb, hormone driven, high school boys could easily overlook her lack of intelligence, her meanness, or her propensity to say or do publicly embarrassing things because…hotness. All those other negative qualities did nothing to lessen her popularity with the guys. That’s the NFL. The NFL draft is three days of the NFL showing off, patting themselves on the back, and doing it all in the most bombastic and cringe-worthy manner possible. And we still watch. Because hotness. The NFL is hot, has been hot for a long time, and will be hot for many more years to come. It will be hot until all the negatives about the sport finally surpass how attractive it is to fans. And believe me, that time is coming.
The NFL is socially oblivious because teams continue to draft players with awful character simply because they are good at football. Of course the Bengals drafted Joe Mixon. Because Mixon is really good at football. Nothing else matters to the league or to many of the teams. They will take any little PR hit in the hopes that players like Mixon can help them win. I’m all for second chances. I really am. As a Christian, second chances are pretty much built into the DNA of my faith, but giving someone like Mixon a “second chance” doesn’t have to mean drafting him and paying him million of dollars. It could mean something entirely unrelated to football. Something that might actually help him become a solid, productive member of society.
The NFL is dumber than a box of rocks because it keeps letting Roger Goodell announce the name of each drafted player in the first round. Goodell doesn’t do many things well, besides being the owner’s dancing monkey, and his inability to correctly pronounce the names of the draft picks is the cherry on top of his curdled sundae. Beyond the fact that he struggles with pronunciation, he has no stage presence, makes the whole thing very awkward, and he gets booed vociferously every time he walks up to the podium. It’s bad television and it’s a bad look for the NFL. But we still watch. Because hotness.
And for the love, stop with the weird hugging!
Even with all this, and so much more, ratings were up from last year. That’s because we are all a bunch of hormone riddled boys and the NFL looks good in a short skirt. I fear I may have taken this analogy to a very uncomfortable place. Moving on!
Draft Winners and Losers
I think we can all safely say that Chicago giving up what they did to move up one spot to draft a completely unproven QB was a strange decision. I’ll go one step further: It was a bad move. I officially declare the Bears as the biggest losers of the 2017 NFL Draft.
From my vantage point, I don’t believe there was any one team that clearly won the draft – a lot of teams had solid drafts. If I were a draft expert (I’m not) I would hand out quite a few “A” grades this year. Many teams seemed to be working with actual plans to make their teams better. Novel approach for sure, but it looks like planning and strategy were more popular than usual. A few teams that got better this weekend: San Francisco, Houston, Arizona, and Philadelphia.
I’m sure you heard the story about the Florida State wide receiver, Travis Rudolph, that went to a local school and sat down with a boy who was eating alone. The boy was Bo Paske, who has autism. The story went viral and Bo was able to go to many FSU games and events after that, due to his new friendship with Travis. Look, I don’t know Travis but from all appearances, he seems like a great guy. Sitting down and eating with Bo was such a small gesture, but something that clearly spoke to so many people across the country. If a little act of kindness can have that kind of an impact on people, imagine how much we can do by just being decent and kind.
I’ve since read that Travis’ father was killed in an accident at work – the weekend before the draft. Rudolph did not get selected by any team in the draft this year, but has signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. I am rooting for him and praying for his family during this time of mourning. I’m sure this has been an incredibly confusing emotional rollercoaster for them.
If he can put up moves like this in the pros, he might just make it.
I can honestly say that my initial reaction to the Titans taking Corey Davis with the 5th pick of the draft was confusion and a little bit of frustration. I thought it was a reach. I liked Davis, and have been reading up on his career at Western Michigan for the past few months. I even liked the idea of the Titans drafting him, but 5th overall just seemed way too high. Then, the other two wide receivers with first round talent were taken before the 10th pick and I realized that Jon Robinson knew what he was doing. Perhaps picking Davis caused the run on wide receivers. Perhaps he knew that other teams were going to take a wide receiver early. Whatever the answer, Robinson bet that none of the best receivers were going to be available at 18 (the other first round pick for the Titans) so he had to get his guy at 5. I’ll take that. It was definitely a “need” pick, but if Davis is as good as expected, he will help the offense tremendously.
I “bet” last week that Robinson was going to trade at least one of his first round picks. I was wrong. He kept both picks and added a lot of speed and explosiveness to the team. He did trade a lot after that though, which sort of made me right. No? Okay. That doesn’t make me right at all. I did say he would take a receiver and a corner back though, so I should get some credit.
After watching and listening to the Nashville Predators in the playoffs, I can’t agree more with this take. The Titans desperately need to develop more traditions at Nissan Stadium. This team is about to be one of the best in the AFC, and it’s time the fans took their fanaticism to the next level. There are actually some great ideas listed in the comment section of the linked article on Music City Miracles, ranging from borrowing/stealing a few ideas from the Predators or using the pre-game warm-up chant from the movie, Remember the Titans. (Disclaimer: I don’t condone all the comments or language used in the above comment section.) The Titans fan-base needs to get serious about this and make Nissan Stadium a place opponents fear and the Titans love. Just imagine 69,143 fans doing this chant in unison on a Sunday afternoon!
That’s it for this week. From this point on, until closer to the start of Training Camp, this “column” will be sporadic. There is just not enough NFL news each week during the offseason to justify a weekly article. Things will start to ramp up the closer we get to the season starting. And once the season does start, this will be at minimum a once a week endeavor. I hope you guys enjoy it and will stick around for the ride. Thanks for reading.