"Have you heard about 'Wrong Man in Dallas?'"

“Have you heard about ‘Wrong Man in Dallas?'”

I’ll have to keep it short this week, but I’d like to briefly discuss Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay athlete to compete in one of the big four men’s sports here in ‘murica.  First of all, good for Jason Collins and the NBA.  As I discussed previously, it was about time something like this happened.  Second, does anyone else find it suspicious that the Nets were so hot to trot to sign a 35 year old with a lifetime average of 3 points and 3 boards to a contract just a week after the Michael Sam announcement?  And just a month into the Adam Silver’s reign replacing Emperor Palpatine?

What does this particular conspiracy theory teach us?  (FN 1) Let’s just say this dear Draft Party Patriots – in a matter of a few years we may have moved from (A) a country where we were concerned about a secret conspiracy amongst homosexuals to brainwash our children and make them gay marry each other to the point where our population dwindles and then the combined ChinoRussian army conquers us after a series of homo-induced natural catastrophes to (b) a country where men waste their precious free time drafting conspiracy theories about how our sports leagues fight with each other to see who can out gay the other (in a good way).  Progress?  I’d like to think so.

Anyone else miss David Stern?

Anyone else miss David Stern?

FN 1 – Jesus – enough with the questions.

Now that El Chapo is caught I have a suggestion for the new Public Enemy Number One

Now that El Chapo is caught I have a suggestion for the new Public Enemy Number One

You know who I used to like?  The Dutch.  You know who I hate now?  The Dutch.  In particular, I hate their braggin’ ass speed skating coach.  In case you missed it during the quadrennial NFL Draft diversion we call the Winter Olympics, the Netherlands won 21 of 22 medals in speed skating.  Normally I’d wish the freak-deaky Dutch well on that accomplishment.  That is what I would have done until I heard the comments of their coach, Jillert Anema:

“You have a lot of attention on a foolish sport like American football and you waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. … You’re so narrow-minded, and then you want to compete against the world [in other sports] when you waste a lot of time, good talent on a sport that sucks.”

First, it’s “football” and not “American football” jack-off.  Second, we’re narrow minded?  You won 21 medals in speed skating this Olympics and 24 overall.  That’s 87.5% of your total medal count from one sport.  The US of mother-fuckin’ A won 28 medals across 9 sports.  Our most successful sport? We won 7 medals in freestyle skiing – a mere 25% of our total medal count.  Aside from not being narrow minded it also means we beat your dumb ass in the overall medal count.  Fuck you dude.

Third, and finally, your basic argument appears to be that the only reason you were able to beat the US in a sport is because we don’t give a shit about it.  I guess I’ll concede that his argument is accurate.  Mr. (Mrs.?) Anema’s comments don’t really mean shit because we, as Americans, don’t give a flying fuck about speed skating.  Ass, you’re calling out the best athlete in school who gets laid constantly because he didn’t also win the spelling bee.  You know why that guy didn’t win the fucking spelling bee?  Because despite what you think, that guy knew it was better to devote all his time to being elbow deep in pussy and playing football instead of spending 10 minutes to divert himself from those activities to also whip your ass at the spelling bee.

Just to be clear, Jillert, if that is your real name, let me list out for you in order the sports Americans care about: football, the NFL draft, basketball, baseball, any sport that involves shooting, NASCAR, golf, UFC, hockey, made-up extreme sports in warm weather, professional wrestling, tennis, Olympic running sports, shopping, boxing, bowling, starting unnecessary wars, swimming, the Jamaican bobsled team, Indy car racing, horse racing, competitive fishing, gymnastics, figure skating, made-up extreme sports in cold weather, lacrosse, bicycling, all other Olympic field sports, poker, competitive eating, testing out stand your ground laws, arena football, surfing, the skeleton, whatever the fuck Meryl Davis and Charlie White do, curling, the Putt-Putt Golf Courses Championship, volleyball, diving, softball, billiards, the luge, strong man competitions, dog shows, the lumberjack games, suicide competitions, eating glass, horseshoes, dodge ball, bingo, looking at naked pictures of our grandmothers, dressage, cricket, every other sport, speed skating and soccer.

Congratulations Jillert.  You beat us at our, like, 400th favorite sport.  Trust me, if you think that football is stupid then you should know that your sport is way the fuck less popular than competitive fishing in this country.  Now go skate in a circle for a few hours and stick your dick in some Calve you dumb shit.

This is how excited we get about fishing.  We have never been this excited about speed skating.

This is how excited we get about fishing. We have never been this excited about speed skating.

This is a satellite picture of hurricane Michael Sam heading to the city of the team that drafts him.

This is a satellite picture of hurricane Michael Sam heading to the city of the team that drafts him.

I’ve been asked zero numerous (tries to think of a number that sounds realistic for this situation) blerpzillions of times over the last couple of weeks, “Draft Party Host, what do you think of this Michael Sam situation?”  My usual response has been, “which of them makes more money?” or “yeah, two first names is totally gay” but then I cracked open the Internet today and found out much to my surprise that All-American defensive end from Missouri Michael Sam is gay.

I know gallons of digital ink has been spilled on this topic so far, but in order to satisfy all plerbzillion of you at once (wording?), here were, honestly, my first two thoughts when I heard the news about Michael Sam:

1. Why is he going first?  I don’t mean this as a slight against Michael Sam.  He seems like someone who can handle the scrutiny and harassment that will come from having the gall to admit he is gay while wanting to be employed in America.  I’m glad he’s done this.  My issue is that this is way, way, way overdue and it kind of sucks for him that he is the one having be the first to sack up and admit he is a gay football player.  (FN 1)

I am certain there is an All-Pro caliber player in the NFL today that is gay.  There is no doubt in my mind.  And where the fuck is this guy?  Is he worried that coming out of the closet could have a negative affect on his earning potential?  As has been pointed out ad nauseum over the last few weeks, the NFL is happy to back dump trucks full of money up to people who may be murderers, who are probably rapists, and are definitely dog killers/torturers. I guess it’s like that old front office adage – a confirmed homosexual in the hand is a bigger PR nightmare than a murderer and rapist in the bush.

Rumors have persisted for years that Aaron Rodgers is gay.  This is exactly the type of guy that, if he is in fact gay, should be coming out of the closet and paving the way for a guy like Michael Sam.  What could anyone possibly say to a guy like Aaron Rodgers if he came out?  Maybe something like, “hey fag, if you weren’t so super gay maybe you’d have two NFL MVPs, a second Super Bowl MVP and more than 3 Pro Bowl appearances!”  That is what we call in the legal profession “not a good argument.”

Maybe a player of that caliber is worried about losing the respect of his teammates, thereby affecting his ability to lead.  Let’s take Aaron Rodgers as an example again.  His very reasoned response to a team uprising could be: “Hey, maybe if more of you were gay our defense wouldn’t be so fucking awful and our offensive line could block for someone.  Anyone.  You dipshits were 2-5-1 this year without me and you only got to 2 because (a) the Falcons, and (b) the Cowboys have a talent for making back-up quarterbacks look like Joe Fucking Montana.  And you won both those games by a single point!  Good luck going 3-13 without me.  Assholes.”  (FN 2)

Be careful America!  Michael Sam is looking a little Jesus-y in this picture.  He's probably paving the way for the Antichrist of something.

Be careful America! Michael Sam is looking a little Jesus-y in this picture. He’s probably paving the way for the Antichrist or something.

I’m just sayin’ (FN 3), there is a guy out there who has credentials that can’t be questioned who should have been the first to step up and extend his middle finger to the bigots in this country.  We needed a hero that wasn’t forced out of the closet.  We needed an unassailable figure who we could point to and say, “Hey anit-gay assholes, any argument you have against gays playing football is invalid.”  We needed a guy who could make entering the NFL easier for a guy like Michael Sam.  Instead, the poor bastard who already had questions surrounding his ability to compete effectively in the NFL and who had this to say in his ESPN interview:

“I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her.  My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him … my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail”

…has to be the first one to come out because he wants to live honestly and no one else could do that before.  Jesus.  Can’t someone cut this kid a fucking break?  Reading Sam’s story just makes me think there is a total badass dude in the NFL right now who is also kind of a pussy.  I’m glad Sam’s here, but someone should have already been making things easier for him.

2.  I can’t wait for the reaction of the Westboro Baptist Church and (fingers crossed) Pat Robertson.  The only thing more American than football is hearing fringe lunatic assholes saying insane things about gay people.  God bless America.  Even the gays.




FN 1 – I am not giving credit to those players who came out after they played, although they should be commended. I never noticed how close “commended” and “condemned” are when you have bad typing skills.  That would have really confused the issue in this article.  Also, am I the only one who is constantly typing “retards” at the end of an email on accident when I am trying to say “regards”?  I’m waiting for that to blow up in my face one day.  (Again with the wording)

FN 2 – I’ll also hear arguments that Rodgers doesn’t want to lose that sweet discount double-check cash that is currently raining in, but that is probably for another article.

FN 3 – In the legal profession we call “I’m just sayin'” a good argument and “I’m just sayin’ is all” the best argument in the business.

This really says it all, doesn't it?

This really says it all, doesn’t it?

The long slog of Draft season just started and I already want to present to you, dear reader and lost Draft Party patriot, with the dumbest fucking thing I’ll read about the draft this year.  In an article on Yahoo! Sports (FN 1), what I assume to be a professional writer named Michael Taglienti, hints that the Dallas Cowboys may be interested in trading up in the Draft for quarterback and budding alcoholic Johnny Manziel.

Fair enough.  I’m up for reading any article where the thesis is “Jerry Jones = moron.”  But what would be Jerry’s motivation for making this trade?  Is it a belief that long-term success can only be sustained with a more equitable distribution of precious cap space?  That by trading up for Manziel and his capped contract for the next several years that Jerry can cut Romo and utilize that extra money to build a more dominant defense?  And that by building a dominant defense you just need a quarterback that can manage the offense and then make two to three crucial plays a game with both his arm and his feet?

This has the makings of a very reasoned and thoughtful analysis of the problems facing the Cowboys and how they can fix them.  Unfortunately the analysis comes up a bit “short.”  (Please keep reading – you’ll get the quotation marks in a minute)  Mr. Taglienti’s reasoning appears to be that Russell Wilson is short and the Seahawks just won a Super Bowl with a short quarterback and, you know, Jerry likes to copy what’s popular at the moment so, you see…short quarterback?

(gun cocks and is placed in mouth, protagonist decides to go back to writing his non-professional blog for an audience of 8)

This creepy ass picture will make more sense in a minute

This creepy ass picture will make more sense in a minute

Fucking shit man!  I don’t see any logical strain tying this article together.  It’s like a goddamn George Will piece for Newsweek that meanders in and out of a fucking point without really committing to one.  Apparently Jerry will draft a short, play-making quarterback because that’s all it took to win the Super Bowl.  Taglienti has a chance to get the wheels back on the wagon when he goes into a long explanation of why the Cowboys need to focus on their defense this year, but he makes no attempt to tie the development of a defense to the Manziel/Wilson story!  There is also no discussion of how the Cowboys draft a quarterback that is being consistently mocked at first overall (FN 2) while dealing with their train wreck salary cap situation.  Oh, and the fact they have a $100 million quarterback already on their roster!!!!

Sorry for all the exclamation points, but reading something that stupid really makes me want to punch someone who will fall down when I punch them and not get back up and fight me.  You know, like a kid.  Michael Taglienti makes me want to punch an average sized 10 year old boy.

His shortness really seems to help things

His shortness really seems to help things


FN 1 – I don’t want this to be read as bagging on all of Yahoo! Sports.  I actually find most of what they write to be amongst the best stuff on the Internet.

FN 2 – This is a discussion for another time, but holy fucking shit I can’t believe people think this drunk lunatic should go first overall.  He is Brett Favre minus the accuracy, insane arm strength and dick pics (for now).  Also world, fuck you for having me list things that Brett Favre is good at.

“What, are we letting this guy make NFL predictions now?”

You can look at this article one of two ways.  One would be to review my well informed (but brief) analysis and then say, “hey, too late you lazy fuck – you have to get your predictions in before the regular season starts.”  But isn’t that shortsighted?  Isn’t the more intellectually honest way to view this post as a brave man making his choices with little information and without a net?

Let’s face it, those guys making predictions before the season are pussies.  They can say whatever they want and if they are way off they can say things like, “you really can’t tell anything from the preseason” or “who would have expected Brian Urlacher to get hurt?” It’s also easy to do the ever-popular bit of revising your predictions after 8 games once you have a better feel for how each team is performing.  I’m doing neither here loyal Draft Party patriots.  I’m going to make season predictions that I will stand behind 100% with a 12.5% game sample size.  Yes, you are reading history and I’m glad you’re here for it.  (FN 1)

Since the season has already started, I feel it is in the best interests of everyone if I keep my analysis as brief as possible.  Therefore, please find below my predicted order of finish for each of the divisions followed by my playoff prognostications.  Your commentary, as always, is welcome and encouraged.

I’m a lot like this guy, but I probably have more at stake.

NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles – Mega-team experiments tend to do better in year 2 than in year 1.  They dominated the draft and if the offensive line can do anything they should be explosive.  Should.

2. New York Giants – They have a dominant passing game and defensive line.  That’s probably enough to overcome the shit pile that is their back 7 and running game.

3. Dallas Cowboys – If I had a time machine I’d go back and tell my mother to abort me so I didn’t have to watch the Seahawks game.  Any team that has that type of give-up in them doesn’t have the stomach to make the playoffs in this league.

4. Washington Redskins – Beating the Saints and then losing to the Rams.  That is probably a fair summary of how this season will go for the ‘Skins.  After losing two of their best defenders I would just enjoy RGIII and wait for reinforcements next year if I were a Washington fan.

“Look lady, if he is born he will watch that game. If you truly loved him you’d do the right thing and end his future suffering.”

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers – The offense will get on track.  The defense can’t get any more disorganized.  This is a good organization that will right the ship.

2. Detroit Lions – Assuming Matthew Stafford stays upright the entire season, I can’t see them regressing out of the playoffs.

3. Chicago Bears – No way Cutler makes it the entire season with that pile of dicks on the offensive line.  Without him they are completely fucked.

4. Minnesota Vikings – There is nothing about this team that gives me any reason to hope for their future.

He may be good, but he has the most punchable face in football.

NFC South:

1. Atlanta Falcons – They’ll either finally put together a full season or we can write them off as pussies.  I think they may have the sack for the fight.

2. Carolina Panthers – I don’t know if more than two games will separate the Panthers and the next two teams.  They play hard and seem to want it, and that counts for something in this league.  They also have a force of nature at quarterback who will probably be the best player on the field in several games this year.

3. New Orleans Saints – Sean Payton is the best play caller in the league and they have dealt with too much shit to keep it together an entire year.  They missed their window last year when Alex Smith screwed them with the best game of his life.

4. Tampa Bay Buccanners – They will win a few they’re not supposed to and will punch people in the dick, but they still have a year to go.

“I like to punch dicks. So what?”

NFC West:

1. Seattle Seahawks – I swear to God I was going to pick this before the season and this is not just a reaction to the Cowboys game.  They are decent on both sides of the ball and play really well at home.

2. San Francisco 49ers – I was more sure about this before the season started.  I’ve been waiting for Alex Smith to turn into a pumpkin with a dick in its mouth but it hasn’t happened yet.  I assume this will begin in week 3.  I mean, seriously, Trent Dilfer likes the guy so how good can he be?

3. Arizona Cardinals – Eehh.

4. St. Louis Rams – Uuuffff.

Much more interesting than the NFC West

AFC East:

1. New England Patriots – I see no compelling reason why they won’t eventually walk away with the division and then be a serious playoff threat except that the offensive line that has kept Mr. Handsome clean for so many years is starting to show some cracks.  (FN 2)

2. Buffalo Bills – They really turned the momentum of last year’s great start into a wet fart.  If C.J. Spiller can stay anywhere close to keeping up his current pace this team should get to at least 9 wins.

3. New York Jets – Replacing Mark Sanchez with Tim Tebow would be like curing your AIDS with cancer.  And the defense is starting to fall apart.

4. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill is your Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  He may seem like your average, harmless idiot sheep-fucker, but he will be your destroyer Dolphins fans.

AIDS-curing Cancer

AFC North:

1. Baltimore Ravens – Is it weird to say things like, “can you just get out of Flacco’s way and let him run the offense”?  This is one of the few teams in the league that has an offense and defense that can win them a game when they need it.  (FN 3)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers – I hate this fucking collection of rapists and assholes, but goddamnit they always hold it together and play well.  I largely credit Mike Tomlin who I really like despite my best instincts.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Name the last time Cincinnati had good back-to-back seasons.  And do you think Andy Dalton is really going to be the one to reverse that?

4. Cleveland Browns –  I think this blog sums it up nicely.

Now this is a dude that could permanently turn around the Bengals.

AFC South:

1. Houston Texans – This division is God-awful, their offense is potent and their defense is quietly one of the best in the league.  This is not rocket surgery.

2. Tennessee Titans – This team seems to float eternally around the .500 mark.  More of that this year.

3. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts will lose a lot this year, but they are not the Jags.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert.

The mustache will not put up with you for long.

AFC West:

1. San Diego Chargers – I am going to pick these fucks to wind until they actually do.  Since they usually spend the first half of the year farting all over the field, I think it is may be a harbinger that they finally started 2-0 in the year everyone seems to have given them up for dead.

2. Denver Broncos – I don’t know if Peyton has all the magic back this season.  Give it a year.

3. Kansas City Chiefs – I guess they’ll run the ball and stuff.  Let’s be honest – as long as Matt Cassell is the captain of the ship it is going to regularly hit an iceberg.

4. Oakland Raiders – Dead owner and the same shitty results.

Maybe a Tebow-like deal with Satan would speed your ascension back to the top of the QB heap.

Playoff Predictions:

NFC playoff participants in seed order – Falcons, Eagles, Packers, Seahawks, Lions and Giants.

AFC playoff participants in seed order – Texans, Patriots, Ravens, Chargers, Steelers and Bills.

NFC Championship – Eagles defeat Lions.

AFC Championship – Texans defeat Ravens.

Super Bowl – Texans defeat Eagles.  Wade Phillips wins a Super Bowl ring as a coordinator.  Dr. Manhattan appears at the end of the game and, uncertain as to how this could happen, decides to blow up this irrational and often cruel world.

Well I hope you enjoyed that quick review of the upcoming season.  If you liked it I’ll be sure to get my 2011 predictions posted soon.

Don’t worry. He’ll make everything ok.

FN 1 – So I did want to do this before the season but was too consumed with stuff and/or things.  If this works ok I may turn it into a regular deal.  Also, in full disclosure, I’ve tried as best I could to not alter my pre-season thoughts.  I don’t think I have too many opinions that have changed after the first two weeks.

FN 2 – This probably merits more detailed discussion at some point in the future, but I think we are seeing that Tom Terrific had a pretty damn good offensive line all these years and I don’t know if Peyton’s was ever that good in Indy.  At the end of this season we may have one more mark in the column of Manning in the pretty face versus dumb face quarterback battle of our era.

FN 3 – I think there are only four teams in the league that can win a game relying on just their offense or defense (i.e., each of those units can win them a game if the other unit sucks) – the Ravens, Texans, Giants and until further notice the 49ers.  The rest of the teams either need one side of the ball to play well to win (e.g., the Saints offense) of they need something from both sides of the ball.

Let’s Grow a Beard!!!

Posted: 3rd July 2012 by The Draft Party Host in Other Entertainment
Tags: , ,

Only two more and you’ll get to five big guy

Dear Draft Party Patriots,

For once I wanted to do something that was semi-timely and interactive (unlike my aborted but maybe to return question of the week/quarter).  As you may have heard, Katie Holmes was rescued from her prison not by true love’s kiss, but by waking up and realizing she traded her “career” to a fucking whack-job just so he could have a baby that was his and she could be on some magazine covers.  Now she has served her 5 years and is able to leave with an even smaller version of Tom Cruise and a wheelbarrow 18 wheeler full of money, it is time for Tom to trade in for a younger model.  So, here is the game, name Tom Cruise’s next beard!

Long-term dating does not count.  Please reply to this article with your selection for Tom Cruise’s next wife.  Remember, he likes them young and without a discernible career of their own at the time of marriage, even if they had some earlier success.  You’ll probably also want to pick someone who would be star-struck enough by Tom Cruise to be willing to become a Scientologist.  And no, you can’t pick John Travolta.  Since I write the article, I’ll pick first: Dakota Fanning.

Look at this new award I’m going to start handing out!

There has been a lot of hard ANALysis (giggle) in my last few posts, so I thought I would return to the fluff pieces that really separate my sparsely read blog from all of the other NFL Draft comedy blogs out there.  And what better fluffer (FN 1) than an article about the best tings on TV.  To celebrate what is currently the best popular art medium (FN 2), I have assembled a list of what I think are the five best people or things on television right now.  I didn’t want to do best shows because I wanted this list to be very specific and everyone can find one thing that hate about every show.  These people/characters, however, are above reproach.  Also this is clearly based on shows I watch.  I watch a fair amount of TV, but the list will obviously be lacking to some of you because I don’t watch the shitty show you watch.  You will also note that the list includes 8 spots because I was too big of a P to cut it down to five.  Anyhoot, the best 5 things on television are:

8. The Heels of the WWE, Raw and SmackDown (principally Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, The Prime Time Players, and wrestling Godsend Damien Sandow) – Those of you that know me understand that wrestling is my personal heroin.  I was hooked very young and have never been able to fully get it out of my blood.  For about the last four years I would tune in for Wrestlemania season, see what was going on, and tune back out in April.  But last year something clicked.  Yes, that something was the rise of CM Punk (who is a genius), but as Punk has gone from quick-witted outsider to partially hamstrung face of the company (FN 3) I have found myself making wrestling appointment viewing again because of the work of their heels.  They’re fairly young, good in the ring, and if you enjoy wrestling in the slightest bit, each one will leave you with a smile on your face at the end of the show.

Yes, we are all welcome.

7.  The Shay Family, Suburgatory (Allie Grant, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell, Parker Young) – The “nutty neighbor” is a sitcom trope that is generally not relevant anymore because, like in our real lives, we don’t pay attention to our neighbors and get most of our crazy from our family, co-workers and the mirror.  But much like you thought that the “family sitcom” was as funny as “swallowing razorblades” until it was rescued by Modern Family, the Shay family is restoring the image of the nosy, insane neighbor as a piece of Americana we can’t do without.  Ana Gasteyer is a consistently funny, professional comedic actress.  I would watch Chris Parnell shop for sweaters and laugh my ass off.  Parker Young pulled off a rare double this television season by being insanely funny in limited action as the moron, jock son that is worshiped by his parents on Suburgatory and finger-banging dickhole Pete Campbell’s pervy teen crush in driver’s ed class on Mad Men.  The real standout, however, is protagonist Tess’ best friend and neighbor Lisa, played by Allie Grant.  Her mix of uptight teen awkward and maniacal intensity make for some of the best delivered lines on television.  If you are not watching Suburgatory, spend the summer catching up.

Hopefully you like your neighbors extra whacky

6. Schmidt, New Girl (Max Greenfield) – Much like the show he stars on, it took some time for me to realize the gift of Schmidt.  I suppose most good sitcoms take some time to work out the kinks, and once the show figured out how to use Greenfield as Schmidt, the show took off.  Schmidt is like a great closer for a bullpen.  Once a team knows it has that anchor, everyone else in the bullpen can fall into line and start to shine in their given role.  Schmidt produced at least one “pause the TV until I stop laughing because I’ll miss the next three lines of dialogue” moment a week.  That’s one of the best averages on television.

It didn’t hurt that Schmidt dated Cece for most of the season.

5. Allison Brie, Community and Mad Men (as Annie Edison and Trudy Campbell) – Charming as hell, talent falling out of her ass, and scorching hotness.  That about sums up Allison Brie.  Her ability to inhabit fully both a 20 year old, insecure grade grubber and 30 year old supportive to a fault wife who you would in no way fuck with is also pretty astounding.  (FN 4)  So are her boobs.  Anyways, watch her shows and enjoy.

…and…uh…she make act words good too (wipes drool from mouth)

4. Ron Fucking Swanson, Parks and Recreation (Nick Offerman) – Sometimes there is a character who is not so much the accurate portrayal of someone who you relate to or know, but the embodiment of an idea or a philosophy that you aspire to.  Besides saying at least one thing each week that simultaneously causes me to laugh and be inspired, I can tell you that Ron Swanson is the only fictional hero I have ever had.

If this were in the Bible, I’d read it every day

And, because you need to know it…

3.  Rafi, The League (Jason Mantzoukas) – The only other character I know of in television history that has provided as many, or more, laughs per minute of screen time is Ralph Wiggum.  Everything he says kills.  For me, it has been love since his first show when he said the following:

Embedly Powered

He taught me about murder boners and how to crap the booze out.  For that, I am forever in his debt.

2.  Roger Sterling, Mad Men (John Slattery) – We all know that Don Draper is the coolest guy on TV.  He got even cooler this year when he was comped drinks in a whorehouse when not partaking.  Don’s icy coolness and prick comments drive the show, but what makes the show truly great is the levity brought to the serious situations by Roger Sterling.  On the surface, Roger Sterling is the type of person I feel duty-bound to hate – born rich, asshole, endless string of hot ladies to nail, and wasting away most of the gifts he was given by breezing through life.  But you can make up for a lot in my eyes by being really fucking funny.  And given the dose of awfulness we were dealt by Matthew Weiner this season, we needed Roger’s zingers more than ever.  Thankfully Roger crushed it this year and kept Mad Men as the best (and not most depressing) show on television.

You see Joan and Roger had a thing, and a baby, and so totally relevant picture.

1.  Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report (Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.) –  To put it simply, Stephen Colbert is the single best fucking thing on television and it is not even close.  He does 160 times a year what most people hope to do 22 (or 13) times a year.  He’s insightful, a brilliant writer, a genius on his feet, and, unlike Stewart’s (albeit hilarious) preachy dickitude, he makes important points in the silliest way possible and doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been beaten over the head.  If I were to make a list of my heroes from the world of arts and entertainment, the list would contain two people: Willie Nelson and Stephen Colbert.  God bless you sir.  The world need more people like you.

Look who’s honoring you now Stephen

FN 1 – That’s a term for a fluff piece in a written publication, right?

FN 2 – We can discuss this separately if you want, but, as of this moment, movies are kind of in the crapper and I’m not that excited by anything going on in music.  TV, on the other hand, is really in the middle of a golden age that I am sure will be crushed soon enough, but let’s enjoy it for now.

FN 3 – I still really like Punk, but he has pulled the wrestling equivalent of a Kings of Leon.  He had a great shtick that he had to modify and genericize for the masses.  I think this has taken away from his character somewhat, in the way that almost any “face” is at a disadvantage character-wise against a heel, but he is still really great in the ring and I think he set off a change in wrestling that will be difficult to reverse (i.e., seeing guys who actually know how to perform the art of wrestling, including in and out of ring work, being pushed).  I also think that once he gets out of his current role of carrying the anti-hero flag for the company his flower will fully blossom again.

FN 4 – Seriously, Trudy Campbell is the only person I can remember whipping Don Draper’s ass into submission about something (coming over for a dinner party) and he actually smiled about it.

Maybe I should have led with something sexier

I know you think I’m being lazy.  I haven’t posted in about three weeks and there is all sorts of post-draft analysis/looking forward to the next draft analysis that I have failed to provide.  Well I haven’t been lazy, dick.  I actually had to do a lot of “research” for this post, and by the time the lab coat and goggles actually get delivered and then I spin this drafty/comedic gold you’ve lost three weeks of your life.  But the wait was worth it.  There’s nothing that makes the NFL Draft any sexier than the application of the scientific method.

Something has been bothering me since the first night of the draft.  Leading up to the draft I heard all sorts of chatter about how the imposition of the rookie wage scale would have several effects on the draft.  One – it was expected to cause an increase in trading activity.  Two – the (low) cost certainty associated with high first round picks meant that the trade value chart was obsolete.  Third – as really a follow-up to point two, the wage scale would make high first round picks more valuable.

Well I can’t argue with point one.  The first round featured 11 trades which was a substantial increase from the last few years.  In fact, some people at venerable sporting publications looked at the increased trading and concluded it was due to the rookie wage scale.  But was the increased trading volume really caused by the rookie wage scale?  Did all of this wheeling and dealing, which made for great television, really happen because, as most sports pundits posited, the rookie wage scale made first round draft picks more valuable?  Does anyone really give a shit about these questions?  (Takes a huff from gasoline rag, plays a game of Freecell, feels better)

If the rookie wage scale made early draft picks more valuable, then it would stand to reason that teams trading up for said first round picks would be willing to give up (i.e., pay) more to get these picks.  But how does one measure the value a team traded away to move up or into the first round?  If only we had some arbitrary metric that all NFL teams used as a proxy for value and currency when trading draft picks.  Wait a minute…(digs in side pocket of cargo shorts, wonders why he has anything in this pocket, pulls out crumpled piece of paper)…ah yes, our old friend the draft value chart.

So no, I haven’t been sitting around tugging it for three weeks (FN 1).  I decided to investigate this question by evaluating each trade in the first round of the 2012 draft to determine how many trade value points a team either gained (or lost) by trading up.  I then compared those results to the last five years of first round trades to see if teams were “paying” more for first round picks in 2012 than they did in the previous five years (i.e., had first round picks become more valuable because people were paying more for them).  (FN 2)

You know...Science

Before we get to the results (SPOILER ALERT: I usually don’t write an article like this if the results turn out how you expect them to), let’s have a look at each of the first round trades in 2012 and see what the gain (or loss) in trade value points was for the team moving up:

Washington gave up the 6th and 39th (second round) picks in the 2012 draft, a 2013 first round pick and a 2014 first round pick for the 2nd pick this year from St. Loius.  The Redskins got RG III (QB, Baylor).  Rams traded down again and got Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) and then did some more dicking around (outlined below).  As discussed in my previous ground-breaking article, I calculated that the Redskins had a 115 point deficit for trading up. (FN 3)

Cleveland gave up the 4th, 118th (4th round), 139th (5th round), and 211th (7th round) picks in the 2012 draft for the 3rd pick this year from Minnesota.  Cleveland got Trent Richardson (RB from Alabama).  Minnesota got Matt Kalil (OT from USC), Jarius Wright (WR, Arkansas), Robert Blanton (S from Notre Dame), and traded the 211th pick for a 6th round pick in 2013.  The Browns had a 298.5 point surplus for trading up.  I know.  I don’t know how it happened either.

Jacksonville gave up the 7th and 101st (4th round) picks in the 2012 draft for the 5th selection in this year’s draft from Tampa Bay.  Jacksonville got Justin Blackmon (WR from Oklahoma State) a the team’s designated driver for the next year.  Tampa Bay got Mark Barron (S, Alabama) at the 7th pick and used the 101st pick (combined with their 36th this year) to trade up for Doug Martin (RB, Idaho) (that trade is analyzed below).  The Jag(off)s had a 104 point surplus for trading up.

$5 says that is vodka

Dallas gave up 14th and 45th (2nd round) selections in the 2012 draft for the 6th pick this year from St. Louis.  The Cowboys got Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU).  The Rams got Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) and flipped the 45th pick to Chicago for their 50th (second round) and 150th (5th round) who turned into Isaiah Pead (RB, Cincinnati) and Rokevious Watkins (OG, South Carolina).  The Cowboys had a 50 point surplus for trading up.

Philadelphia traded the 15th, 114th (fourth round) and 172nd (6th round) in the 2012 draft for 12th selection this year from Seattle.  The Eagles got Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State) and maybe an STD.  The Seahawks got Bruce Irvin (DE, West Virginia) and his drunk driving skills, Jaye Howard (DE, Florida) and Jeremy Lane (CD, Northwestern State).   The Eagles had a 61.4 point surplus for trading up.

Oakland traded the 17th selection in the 2012 draft and a conditional second round pick in 2013 (that becomes a 1st if the Raiders make the AFC Championship Game….fart noise) for Carson Palmer from Cincinnati.  Cincinnati got Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama).  Since I haven’t had time to figure out a wild ass theory on the trade chart value vis a vis current players, I didn’t do a point analysis for this trade.

New England gave up the 27th and 93rd (third round) picks in this year’s draft for the 21st pick this year from Cincinnati.  The Patriots got Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse).  The Bengals got Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin) and Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson).  New England had an 8 point deficit for trading up.

For this article, I’ve evaluated trades involving future picks in the year that the trade up occurred.  So we’ll evaluate the Atlanta and Cleveland trade that landed the Falcons Julio Jones later, but you should just know that the Browns ended up with Brandon Weeden and using one of the Jones picks to trade up for Phil Taylor.  I surprised the Browns still have any fans.

Just as sexy as Olivia Wilde

New England gave up the 31st and 126th (4th round) picks in 2012 for 25th pick this year from Denver.  The Patriots got Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama).  The Broncos traded down again (see below) because they’re just too goddamn talented to use a higher pick I suppose.  The Patriots had a 74 point surplus for trading up.

Minnesota gave up the 35th (2nd round) and 98th (4th round) picks in the 2012 draft for the 29th pick in this year’s draft from Baltimore.  Minnesota got Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame) and the Ravens got Courtney Upshaw (LB, Alabama) and Gino Gradkowski (G, Delaware).  The Vikings had an 18 point deficit for trading up and the Ravens got a better player than Smith at each pick.  (FN 4)

Finally, Tampa Bay gave up the 36th (2nd round) and 101st (4th round) picks in the 2012 draft for the 31st and 126th (4th round) picks this year from Denver.  Tampa Bay got Doug Martin (RB, Boise State) and then used the 126th for ammunition to trade up for Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska).  Denver got Derek Wolfe (DT, Cincinnati) and Omar Bolden (CB, Arizona State).  The Buccaneers had a 10 point surplus for trading up and got boner inducing hosses at each pick.  Denver flew the flag of its incompetence again this draft.  (FN 5)

So let’s see, if I break out my abacus (it is also in my cargo shorts), it tells me that there were 9 trades for which I assigned a surplus or deficit above, and the value of the nine trades for the team trading up were -115, +298.5, +104, +50, +61.4, -8, +74, -18, +10.  That means that the average team trading up in the first round of the 2012 draft got a 50.77 point surplus for trading up.  If you hold the draft value chart sacrosanct, and you should if you keep a copy in your cargo shorts, it means that teams trading down should have asked for, on average, another late 4th round pick to be included in their trades this year.

These numbers started to rattle my faith a bit.  Why the hell do we have the trade value chart if teams trading down regularly don’t get the full chart point value of the pick they are giving up?  Alright.  Don’t panic Draft Party Host.  Maybe this is the way business has always been done.  Maybe the chart is just a random set of numbers but are close enough that the teams use it to just get in the right ballpark.  Also, more relevant to this article, maybe the point surpluses were even higher in previous years, meaning that teams had started to “pay” more for the more valuable first round picks in 2012.

Seriously, those pockets hold a lot

So I did what any responsible adult with a full time job, a wife, a couple of dogs and other adult obligations would do – I stopped writing a blog combining dick jokes with the NFL Draft I looked at all of the first round trades in the previous five NFL drafts and I did the same point analysis.  Much like my review of the 2012 draft, I only did the surplus/deficit analysis for trades involving just draft picks or predominantly draft picks.  If it involved several picks and a player, and that player wasn’t a big name talent like Brandon Marshall, I assigned a small value to the player, especially when you can get Brandon Marshall for two third round draft picks.  Let’s see what the numbers tell us:

2011 Draft – The Falcons big trade with the Browns was a +108 for the Falcons (that it not what we were led to believe by the pundits – it was painted as self-destructive by the Falcons), and the other three trades had total values for the team trading up of -110, -120, and -100.  This means that, based on the four trades in the 2011 draft, the team trading up ran an average 55.5 point deficit.  Huh?

2010 Draft – This was the last year before the rookie wage scale was implemented.  GM’s must have over-compensated in the 2011 draft because of the rookie wage scale.  That’s the only way to explain those deficits, right?  For this draft, I didn’t try to come up with a figure for the Cutler trade, but I’ve said before that I’m pretty sure the Bears won that round.  The other trades that year had total values for the team trading up of +32, +90.2 (FN 6), +15, +110, +122, -28, -24, -56, and -1.8.  So in 2010, before the revolution to first round drafting known as the rookie wage scale, teams trading up had an average 28.82 point surplus.

2009 Draft – The five first round trades in this draft had total values for the team trading up of +270, +60, +61.6 (FN 7), +33.4, and -91.  Teams trading up had an average 66.8 point surplus.

2008 Draft – The first round trades for this draft had total values for the team trading up of +166, -180, +14, +25.8, +173, +12, +32.8, -91, -68.2, +31.8 and +12.  Teams trading up had an average 11.65 point surplus.

2007 Draft: The first round trades for this draft had total values for the team trading up of +59.2, -22.2, -180, -22.8, and +166.  Teams trading up had an average .04 point surplus.

Einstein: "After reading this article, I realize I wasted my life. Imagine how many lives could have been saved if they had a draft value chart for me to analyze before 1945."

If you average out all of the first round trades from 2007 to 2011, and the point surplus/deficit for the team trading up, it means that the team trading up had a 19.51 point surplus.  Using the metric that almost all NFL teams use to place value on draft picks so that they can efficiently work out trades, teams trading up in the first round of the 2007 to 2011 drafts actually paid more to trade up than teams did in 2012.

So what do we take away from this, sweet and innocent Draft Party warriors?  First, as suspected, most people that write about sports probably don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.  I know that spending my time figuring out something like this will inevitably make some people think I am gay for robots, but Christalmighty, how hard is it to figure something like this out?  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see professional sports writers mind-numbingly write shit like “rookie wage scale make trade happen good for trade” and don’t bother to back it up with any type of rational analysis or thought.  I am a freshly minted Internet hundredaire, so maybe I’ll be able to ditch the day job soon and put together Pulitzer level work like this together every day, but until then most of you have to get your sports news from guys who just want a press pass to games, free nachos, no accountability and to be the next Stephen A. Smith.  God I hope the Mayans are right.

If it means no more Stephen A. then bring it on.

Second, I am starting to suspect that the trade value chart is worthless and that no GM really cares about “value.”  Let’s role play for a minute.  No I won’t put on the hockey mask and wrap myself in a garden hose you pervert, this is my fucking hypo.  What do you think the Steelers were thinking this year when they were able to get David DeCastro at the 24th pick?  Here are your choices: (A) “Wow, I guess we’ll take David DeCastro here because he represents a need we have and is an excellent pick, but only when taken here,” or (B) “Holy Fucking Cow Shit in Heaven!  We love this guy!  He’s a bad ass mother fucker and he is going to maul fat shits on defensive lines in this league for a decade!”

Next question.  What do you think Jerry Jones’ thought process was behind getting Morris Claiborne?  Think about it: (A) “I covet that fast little bastard more than my own children, but don’t you dare overpay for him!”, or (B) “Steven!  If you don’t come home tonight with Morris Claiborne I’m sending you to the fucking orphanage for real this time where you will get trucked until you get a new mommy and daddy!  GET HIM NOW!”

I suppose the point is that the trade value chart is a very rough guide (like your mom in a national park), but all draft trades really come down to what you are willing to pay when you covet a guy.  Teams are trading for players and not points.  But the really funny thing is that apparently teams don’t have to overpay for the guys they want.  In fact, they regularly get more “value”, if that means anything, by trading up.  Almost all the time.

That was fun wasn’t it?  I hope you learned something.  I hope you have a little bit better idea of what happens next time your team makes a draft day trade.  I hope you have a bit more skepticism the next time you read a sports journalist making an assertion that seems to have no basis.   Mostly I just hope you realize that you have something better to do with your time than me.  See you soon.

Saved from the orphanage for one more year

FN 1 – Don’t worry – I did plenty of tugging it the last two weeks.

FN 2 – I know the trade value chart is a flawed indicator of a draft pick’s value generally, however, it is the common currency used for draft picks in the last 20 years.  So suck it.

FN 3 – A note here about methodology.  I calculated in the RG III article that the trade chart value of a first round pick in the following season was maybe 455 trade value points.  I know that analysis was not the most scientific of all time, but I don’t think it’s far off.  I decided to go with a “conventional wisdom” valuation and assigned future first round picks used to trade up as a value of 420 points (the 16th pick in the second round) (e.g., trading away a 2013 first round pick this year would be valued at trading a middling 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft).

FN 4 – Is anyone else surprised that in this rash of team’s trading up and getting a surplus of trade value points, one of the few guys to trade down and get extra trade value points would be Ozzie Newsome?  That guy is Professor X in a league of Cletus Spuckler’s.

FN 5 – I know I stated previously that the Bucs had one of my three favorite drafts, but in writing this article I think I previously under-sold what they did.  I’m moving them up to the second best draft.  The Eagles still face fucked everyone else.

FN 6 – In fairness, you need to subtract the value of Tim Dobbins from this 90.2 point surplus, but I think we can all agree that we don’t assign much trade chart point value to Tim Dobbins.  For God’s sake, the Dolphins got him in a trade and released him one year later.  If you’re reading this Tim, and I know you are, sorry.

FN 7 – The first three trades in the 2009 draft were all the Browns trading down.  They passed on Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman and Jeremy Maclin.  In return for passing on each one of these guys they got Alex Mack, a second pick, a couple of sixths and some spare part players.  What the fuck is that all about?  I’m happy to make some cyanide fruit punch for any Browns fans who want forget the torture their team regularly puts them through.

Is that the Browns 2012 draft lying there?

Last week I told you about the drafts that I liked and now it is time to tell you about the drafts that I thought were giant piles of turd.  No, smarty, it didn’t take me an entire week to figure out all of the drafts I didn’t like.  That was easy.  I was busy last week preparing for a trip to New Orleans that soaked up most of my time.  On a completely unrelated note, if you ever wondered what I look like, apparently I look like a guy who should be approached by prostitutes on Bourbon Street.  Maybe I’ll tell you more about that later.  Let’s stay on topic.  Drafts I hated: (FN 1)

1. Seattle Seahawks – (Key Picks – Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia; Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State; Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin): Last year in my post-draft round-up I gave the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt because I thought they would be using one of their puzzling picks (probably James Carpenter) to trade for Kevin Kolb.  They didn’t and now that draft looks a lot crappier  because they reached for just about every guy (including Carpenter, who most people had listed as a second round pick) and didn’t use any of those picks for last year’s Matt Flynn.  So this year’s #1 spot on my shit list goes to the Seahawks as a continuation from last year’s terrible draft.

The Seahawks needed a defensive end, and Bruce Irvin is a physical marvel, but he is also a basket case.  Quinton Couples, Melvin Ingram, Shea McClellin and Chandler Jones were all sitting on the board, without arrests the day after their pro days, waiting to be dropped into the Great Northwest to just worry about rushing the quarterback.  I’m guessing that ultimate cheerleader Pete Carroll thinks he can take any troubled kid and make him productive on the football field.  The problem is that when he was at USC he had 20 scholarships a year.  He could afford to give 5 or 6 to troubled kids because only one or two of them had to be worth a damn to help him out.  Good luck Pete.  This is the type of pick that will have you working as a guest studio host on College Game Day in a couple of years.

Maybe Bobby Wagner will turn out to be ok.  Who cares?  What I do care about is wasting a third round pick on a 5’11” quarterback with durability issues and an average arm just a month after signing Matt Flynn to a sizable free agent contract.  This team made Tavaris Jackson into a not completely laughable quarterback.  You don’t need to turn water into wine every year Pete.  Wilson has lots of intangibles and is the rare African American lunchpail/gym rat/”leaves it all out on the field” guy.  (FN 2)  Wilson is also the type of guy that is everyone’s favorite backup quarterback because he has no discernible talent but supposedly has a lot of “leadership” traits.  Vomitfart.  It’s one thing to waste a third round pick, it is a completely different thing to use that third round pick to start what will probably be a multi-year quarterback controversy.  Peyton Manning was right to avoid this disaster.

Pete Carroll illustrating how far he needs to go before he is considered a competent coach.

2. Cleveland Browns (Key Picks – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama; Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State; Mitchell Schwartz, OT, Cal; John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati): On the one hand, the Browns need impact players on the offensive side of the ball, and outside of Luck and RGIII, Richardson is probably the best thing in this draft.  On the other hand, Jesus Christ what the fuck are these guys doing?  You don’t trade up one spot from 4th overall to 3rd to draft a running back.  Period.  You know, I know, everyone on the fucking planet knows you can find a running back later than the third pick in the draft.  Hell, even if the Browns thought that Richardson was going to be better than Adrian Peterson (FN 3), what do they plan on doing with him?  Outside of their left tackle, they don’t have a very good offensive line.  Their quarterback play last year probably made Chiefs fans happy to have Matt Cassell.  Their wide receivers will likely be working in the food service industry in the very near future.  This poor bastard has to move to Cleveland and run into a brick wall for the next year, probably two or three.  This is one of the few times I actually don’t envy a professional athlete.

The Browns followed this by drafting Brandon Weeden.  Note to Cleveland fans – Brandon Weeden minus three years of age and plus two years of NFL experience is already on your roster.  His name is Colt McCoy.  They both played in a spread system and put up “versus the computer” passing stats because they had talent all over the field and could make easy throws to open guys.  Weeden has a better arm, but Colt is more accurate.  In short, the Browns had the 22nd pick in the draft and did not use it to significantly better their team.  Nice.

I don’t need to evaluate Mitchell Schwartz (I hear his Schwartz is not as big as mine) and John Hughes (I thought he had died) to want to hate fuck this draft.  This team had to get some playmakers, but it also has more needs than a bulimic former child actor who was molested by a family member.  They had their chance to trade up for RGIII and they blew it.  You don’t make up for that letdown by using extra picks to get a running back and then drafting an older replica of your current quarterback.  Why not trade down?  Teams were able to trade out of the 5th and 6th picks.  Did no one really want the 4th pick?  This just sucked.  It really, really sucked.

Mike Holmgren discussing how he also wanted to draft LeBron, Craig Counsell and Art Modell.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (Key Picks – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State; Andre Branch, DE, Clemson; Bryan Anger, P, Cal): Trading up for Blackmon wasn’t the worst, and Andre Branch was a fine pick.  BUT, I don’t care if your first round pick is Lawrence Taylor and your second round pick is Joe Montana, if you draft a fucking punter in the first three rounds your draft is a failure.  End of Story.

“Draft Party Host…”, you may be asking, “are there other drafts that you thought sucked?”  Why yes my dear friend, there are.  These drafts receive an honorable mention for suckitude:

St. Louis Rams – I know you really wanted Justin Blackmon, but unlike the fucking Browns, the Rams have some pieces that work and they didn’t need to trade down a thousand times to stockpile picks.  They have lots of extra picks in upcoming years, so why not keep your high picks and take players that will make a bigger impact?  I found their work to be a bit too cute and Jeff Fisher’s first attempt to make himself look like a Draft guru by trading around a lot when he should just appreciate the dumb fucking luck the Redskins allowed him to walk into.  It is going to be fun watching him mismanage this.

Dallas Cowboys – I’ll probably discuss this in further detail later, but this was just another year that showed these guys don’t get it.

Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Martin was an excellent pick-up in the second round, but as I’m sure you know at this point, I think Ryan Tannehill sucks a ginormous dick and will put a whale sized hole in the hull of this franshise for years.

Oakland Raiders – In case you weren’t keeping score at home, if you account for their trades their first round pick was Carson Palmer, their second round picks were Joseph Barksdale (he did nothing last year) and Taiwan Jones (he ran for 73 yards last year), and they used their third round pick on Terelle Pryor.  Their draft sucked.

I can't believe the mustache let this happen on his watch.

FN 1 – Again, like the drafts I hated, I only judged teams on their high round draft choices as I don’t blame them for “reaching” in the 6th round.

FN 2 – By the way, Matt Flynn already is that type of guy.

FN 3 – First, he won’t be better than Peterson.  Second, Adrian Peterson is a Judas fuck.

I know this means a lot to everyone on this list

Sorry Draft Party Blog fans.  This article has been several days coming, but after I woke up from my three day beer and Popeye’s coma I actually had to work.  That was for sucks.  But the time off has allowed me to properly gather my thoughts and figure out whose drafts I really liked in what will likely be the final NFL Draft ever.  (FN 1)

It’s a good thing I took this week off to think about the draft, because while I was watching the first round I spent most of the time thinking, “What the fuck are those guys doing?  I’m glad I’m not a fan of team [________] because I would probably [_____] in an old lady’s [________] or stick a [_______] in my [_______].”  Then I would look around those gathered at the Draft Party and see the draft anguish they had been dealt and I felt much better.

A little time off has actually made me come around to see several teams do things I like.  Again, much like my analysis of last year’s draft, I’m not going to bother telling you that Marvin McNutt’s tricky route running and competitiveness could make him the next Victor Cruz, so he’s a steal for the Eagles in the 6th round because (1) I have no idea if that is true, and (2) no one else does either.  If any GM was certain that some dude was the next Victor Cruz he would have been taken in the first round.  As such, I treat any “stars” coming out of rounds 4 through 7 as either blind, stinking luck or an incredible mix of talent unseen by all 32 teams combined with a unique opportunity (e.g., Victor Cruz).

"You know, a couple of years ago I totally had Victor Cruz as one of those late round, could maybe one day set the Giants' single season receiving yards record type of guy. Nailed it!"

With that backdrop in mind, let’s have a look at the drafts that I really liked in 2012:

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Key Picks – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State; Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal; Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall): I received this text from devoted Draft Party Blog reader I’m an Asshole at 1:38 pm on Saturday, April 28th: “The Eagles are dominating this draft.”  Well said sir.  The Eagles top need was at linebacker where they got the speedy, intense tackling machine Mychal Kendricks.  Then they did what a team without a ton of needs can do – draft to a position of strength to create a dominant unit.

The Eagles had 50 sacks in 2011, with 29 coming from their starting defensive ends.  This is no longer the blitz crazy unit lead by Jim Johnson that relied on depth at the corner position and a series of balls out blitzes.  This is a team, much like the Giants, that has started building a remarkable line that was made even better by getting the best inside presence in the draft (Fletcher Cox) and a guy who is quick and tough on the outside (Vinny Curry).  Also note that a lot of people had Curry going early in the second round, but the Eagles were able to trade back, get an extra fourth round pick, and still get a potential difference maker.

If the Eagles can get even half their shit together on offense (where they have arguably the best set of skill position players in the game and a young-ish line that should improve) and this team will be very difficult to beat because they will put up points and then be able to effectively get to the quarterback with their four down lineman while dropping seven against teams that have to throw to catch up.  I hate the fucking Eagles.

This guy is totally going to stuff the gaping hole in the middle of the Eagles defense.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (Key Picks – David DeCastro, G, Stanford; Mike Adams, T, Ohio State; Sean Spence, LB, Miami; Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington):  For those of you who think the Steelers are all about pounding the ball and letting their defense kill the other quarterback, you have not been paying attention.  This team throws the ball.  In fact, they had a pass play percentage of 57.8% in 2011, 52.3% in 2010, 57.8% in 2009 and 54% in 2008.  (FN 2)  Combined with their porous offensive line this has led Ben Roethlisberger to be abused like some sort of, oh, I don’t know, small woman cornered in a bathroom against her will with a large professional athlete while a bunch of cops waited outside to keep her friends out.  I’m just sayin’ that their offensive line, and helmet-less riding of motorcycles, has led to Roethlisberger being hit a lot more than a star quarterback should be.

So what did those fucking guys do?  They stayed put and got, arguably, the most can’t miss guy in the draft to be their starting guard for the next decade.  David DeCastro is going to make a nice addition to help anchor the middle of the line with Maurkice Pouncey.  Then they got a guy with first round talent at the 56th pick in Mike Adams.  I know that Adams comes with some baggage, but this is a team that has a “family” reputation, all the while getting the best out of rapists, a gun brandishing idiot, and a domestic abuse loving pot head.  I think they’ll be able to work with a guy who has worlds of talent and just failed one piss test.

I know that the Steelers defense is aging rapidly and that side of the ball needed some help.  Well, Sean Spence seems like the type of guy that will get plugged in on that defense and become a stud.  He’s undersized and overlooked, but mean and instinctive.  Then in the fourth round the Steelers may have found undervalued talent matching a unique opportunity by drafting Alameda Ta’amu.  He may have trouble keeping his weight in check, but he has the chance to learn behind a Pro Bowler and if he is going to succeed anywhere, it will be in Shitsburgh.  The Steelers defense may still need work, but they made their biggest weakness much stronger in this draft and they still have a capable defense.  I hate the fucking Steelers.

"So Mike, do you think you could do something like this with a bathroom door behind you? Yes? You're going to be awesome at this job."

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Key Picks – Mark Barron, S, Alabama; Doug Martin, RB, Boise State; Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska):  In my incredibly accurate mock draft, I thought that the Bucs would trade up to get Trent Richardson, an impact player, to make a legitimate run at winning the NFC South this year.  That couldn’t have been far off, because someone had to have spooked the Browns into trading up one spot.  But even with that miss, Tampa Bay got better and probably landed three impact players.  They were able to trade down and get one of the other “can’t miss” guys in the draft in Mark Barron.  They then traded up into the end of the first round to get the consensus second best running back in the draft (who they’ll be able to pair with LeGarrette Blount, thus getting utility out of both guys instead of burying Blount by taking Richardson).  Then in the second round they may have finally filled the Derek Brooks sized hole in their defense with Lavonte David.  The Buccaneers came into the draft without a lot of needs, missed out on a potential home run pick, and they still managed to upgrade themselves considerably.  I have no strong feelings one way or the other about the Buccaneers, but I liked their draft.

I make it a habit to only list three teams in my “best of” list (FN 3), but there are some teams that I felt deserved some honorable mention:

New England Patriots – As I politely requested in my mock draft, Belicheck finally traded up!  But I wasn’t that thrilled about the picks.  I don’t believe that much in Chandler, but Hightower will be good for them.

Cincinnati Bengals – They needed a corner and an interior lineman and got both while pulling off the rare Cincinnati Draft-day trade back.  Well done.

Buffalo Bills – They hung in their spot, took the actual best player available and ended up with Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn, who may turn out to be two of the best fifteen players in this draft.  Remember a few years ago when it looked like the Bills couldn’t draft a winning fantasy team if it had the first six picks in a 16 team league?  Something good is coming together in Buffalo.

Baltimore Ravens – Ozzie traded back, got the extra picks he needed for the multiple holes on this roster and still got the dudes he wanted.  That guy is a fucking ninja.

Chicago Bears – I didn’t really love what they actually did on draft day, but did anyone else get a 28 year old three time Pro Bowl wide receiver in the third round?  No?  Well, the Bears did, so everyone else selecting in the third round can suck it.

"Thanks for being so crazy we could get you for a third round pick! Let's celebrate by touching butts!"

FN 1 – Seriously, I think the Mayans were on to something.  In 2012 we had my birthday on a Friday, St. Patrick’s Day on a Saturday and the first Saturday of May combined the Kentucky Derby (of course), Cinco de Mayo and the Supermoon.  In addition, December 21st, the last day of life as we know it, is on a Friday.  We all know that the best time to fire people is on a Friday, so what incredible luck is it that the entire world will be “fired” on a Friday.  It’s all coming together too well.

FN 2 – By way of comparison, a team like the Packers, who everyone considers pass happy, has pass play percentages of 60.6%, 57.6%, 58.7% and 56.8% in the same years.  Different, but not wildly different.

FN 3 – This is only the second year I’ve done this.