NFL DRAFT ADDICTION, CRAB LEGS, STERLING, FALLON, & MY SPRING HERO

May 6, 2014

Reality TV is the ultimate contradiction where reality is rarely present.

American Idol has been the exception to the rule where I wonder where Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson would be without it.

I actually liked Big Brother when it debuted but it quickly grew stale and then….. we created a monster.

Survivor?? Sorry just couldn’t get into it—seems like a broken record.

Dancing with the Stars?? Not interested.

The Bachelor?! Heaven help us….

For me, the best reality TV is the NFL Draft which isn’t a sporting event but a simply made for TV drama which boasts loads of the REAL stuff—suspense, second guessing, stress aplenty, not to mention Mel Kiper’s hair—and yes I like Mel Kiper!

mel kiper pic

Breaking down REAL reality TV— our first stop in this week’s scouting of the Naborhood–as always thanks for stopping by.

DRAFT ADDICTION: Jeff Foxworthy had the ole “You might be a redneck if…..” comedy bit. Well the same applies with the NFL Draft.

You might be a Draft addict if…..you still buy draft magazines (check)…you crave the latest Mock Drafts (check) and you drop the remote at the slight mention of smoke screens, risers, fallers or sleepers—I can’t get enough of this stuff.

Yeah the prospects (with good reason) hate the fact that this Draft has been pushed to May—the draft geek in me loves it though–I soak it all in.

Remember the name Eric Fisher?? You’re not alone—the lowly touted left tackle out of Central Michigan was the Number one overall pick in last year’s draft which showed how bad the 2013 crop was—a year later, its a whole different ballgame.

This year’s draft may be the deepest of all time. Its a draft which is loaded at most positions especially at Wide Receiver and armed with star power and controversy galore—its gonna be fun to watch. With that said, I’m not crazy enough to have my own Mock Draft as I expect some early trades and lots of maneuvering —so let’s break this hyped up Draft into Overrated/Underrated categories:

OVERRATED:

BEST AVAILABLE PLAYER: I think this is the stupidest cliche and mindset. The best teams go after the Best Available Need. For example the Dallas Cowboys and Jimmy Johnson back in the nineties rebuilt American’s Team by drafting for need. The best teams usually do. Why on earth would you draft the best QB available when you have a Tom Brady or a Drew Brees–doesn’t make sense?

manziel football pic

CLASS OF 2014 QB’s: I am a HUGE Johnny Manziel fan and feel he is the best of the bunch. Its funny to me that many like him– but seem scared to commit to him just because he’s different than anything we’ve ever seen. Not me, I think he’ll be a star in the NFL. That said, I’m not sure about any of the QB’s after Johnny Football.

Its a position that comes with so many question marks. Blake Bortles has put great tape together but is he worth a first round pick? Zach Mettenberger has a big arm but does he have the mental makeup for the next level? AJ McCarron was a winner at Bama but how will he play with lackluster talent and constant pressure. Then you have Aaron Murray bouncing back from an injury and Jimmy Garoppolo making the move from a small school. No Andrew Luck’s for RG3’s in this bunch—just a bunch of question marks.

PRO DAYS: I have covered several of these and find them all rather ridiculous. They remind me of taking a test when you know all of the answers beforehand. The QB’s prepare a scripted workout without pads and with all of their receivers—what is the challenge in that? Often the 40 times are better because you are in more comfortable surroundings—-if I’m scouting players I give the game tape 80% of the grade and treat these Pro Days like extra credit—useless fluff stuff.

UNDERRATED

KHALIL MACK: Granted its hard to be unsung when you are a consensus top five pick but let’s face it–this guy has been underrated his whole life. After an injury in high school, the recruiters ignored him and he had to shuffle off to Buffalo University. After a standout college career and a dominating combine–Mack to me is the safest bet on Draft Day. If I’m Houston–I pick Manziel but if they want to wait on a QB, I would take Mack over Jadeveon Clowney—just think he still has a chip on his shoulder and would like drafting those type of guys. I also feel Clowney with some money in his pocket may not be as driven—-I have no doubts that Mack will be.

khaill mack pic

ODELL BECKHAM JR: I love Clemson’s Sammy Watkins but then again who doesn’t. He is the easy pick for the best WR in the draft but once he’s gone I love LSU’s speedy receiver. The NFL rewards offenses with speed on the outside and Beckham Jr gives it to you along with great athletic ability and a clean off the field resume. Throw in his potential on special teams and the former Tiger is my dark horse pick for Rookie of the Year if he gets with the right team.

TEDDY BRIDGEWATER: No doubt the best name in this year’s draft has been the Tom Petty of the drafting process. The Louisville QB has free falled from the Number One overall pick to possibly sliding out of the first round? He was a victim of a bad Pro Day—that may be an NFL first. Please–watching this guy in college he’s a playmaker and I’m not buying the knocks on his slight frame. He still stands 6’3 will bulk up. He has a great arm and is mobile—I think he will fit right in with today’s offenses.

CRAB LEGS CRAZINESS: Next year —FSU’s Jameis Winston could be this year’s Johnny Football—draft day fodder for months and weeks. No question both QB’s have lots in common on and OFF the field.

Johnny had his Autographs—Jameis upped the ante with his Crab Legs.

I could just imagine Jimbo Fisher finally reaching that moment where he can clear his head after spring ball and recruiting—getting that phone call??!

winston crab pic---new

Stealing Crab Legs from a local Publix–talk about serving one up on a tee to the media and Gator Fans—both of whom are already suspicious of a player who was found innocent of a sketchy sexual assault investigation from a Tallahassee Police Department who seem to be employing a pack of Barney Fifes.

Hey I know plenty of people who did silly things like stealing “No Shoplifting” signs in college—true story. I’m not excluding yours truly who never stole anything but did my fair share of stupid college pranks?!! The difference– I’m not the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. While that might not be fair—-it comes with the territory, something if Jameis didn’t know already–you hope he finds out soon.

While every road team on FSU’s schedule is getting its creative Crab Leg banners ready for Mr Heisman—you wonder if this will be it for Jameis? Maybe he stays clean and gets a deal at Red Lobster when he signs with the Jaguars next year? Morale to the story—its not a big deal to me—hopefully it will be a lesson learned for a guy with massive potential though.

On a side note–those FSU football players sure have been creative over the years— from Free Shoes University to former kicker Scott Bentley getting caught for recording “his private life” to Peter Warrick and Dillards to Dan Kendra nearing blowing up his off campus home to lord knows the things we didn’t know about Sebastian Janikowski’s night life….

While Gators fans can’t say anything with the likes of Aaron Hernandez and to a lesser degree Riley Cooper having their own set of issues— it remains impressive to me that in this day and age of social media and camera phones that Tim Tebow doesn’t have a scratch on his record.

STERLING PRECEDENT: Many recent signs pointed to a trend of  sweeping racism under our sporting carpet —how about  all the recent minority hires in college football and the fact that we don’t even talk about black quarterbacks anymore—then you have Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s setting us back a few decades……

sterling pic

A wise man once told me that just because you’re rich, it doesn’t make you smart—that surely applies to this guy. Donald Sterling’s recorded racist marks serve as a reminder that the good ole boy network is still alive and well. While his rep was hardly ever sterling—the Donald was always known as a cheapskate for keeping that Clipper franchise among the historically worst in sports—now we know his ignorance runs deeper than that.

While Sterling’s remarks deserved a lifetime ban and I applaud the NBA for acting swiftly—it serves as a slippery precedent. In the future how will the league handle racist remarks from a player or coach in a similar situation? I think Owners should be held to higher standard,but as bad as Sterling is the only thing that is worse is his girlfriend who records the conversation and now is profiting off of it —-this story is ugly from every angle.

FALLON’S FREELANCING: He’s past my bedtime but thorough the power of DVR and YouTube– Jimmy Fallon is becoming a big favorite in my household. The new king of Late Night is quickly taking over where every evening he comes up with something that makes me and my 12 year old daughter Morgan laugh—the guy is hitting all the demographics.

    Image:  Jimmy Fallon takes part in a panel discussion at the NBC portion of the 2014 Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena

I’ve always thought whether its sports or entertainment that athletes and/or actors hate answering the same questions and often enjoy doing different things. Fallon has taken advantage of that premise by having fun with his guests. I haven’t seen everything but love a lot of what I have. From NBC anchor Brian Williams’ music videos to the cameos with musicians its fresh and creative stuff. My favorite are the lip sync contests he has with actors like Paul Rudd–really good TV—keep it up Jimmy!

WHY I LOVE SPORTS: Recently had a great time doing sideline TV reports from the Arkansas Spring Game in Fayetteville. Arkansas’ Head Coach Bret Bielema likes to mix things up and warned us the night before that a surprise guest would take a snap. We thought it might be a former player or a famous alum but it was much better than that.

canaan sandy pic

Meet 31 year old Canaan Sandy who has loved Arkansas football since he was two months old—the same time he saw his first game. Sandy’s mom entered him in an ESPN Fan contest where he received over 100,000 votes and will now be inducted into their Fan Hall of Fame but this spring moment was bigger.  Sandy met Bielema at a booster function this offseason and he liked his enthusiasm so much he worked out a deal with his mom where he would let Canaan run a play in the spring game. He didn’t know he would do it until halftime where in the 3rd quarter he took a handoff and ran 51 yards for the TD.

Watching him smile the whole run and then celebrate in the endzone—its why sports are so great. Its a day Canaan will never forget and neither will I. Kudos to the players who treated him so well and Coach Bielema who did a good thing for a Hogs fan who now has a college touchdown on his resume. How many of you can say that????

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT….OK I’m late to the party but I’m a huge fan of XM radio. I have used it in rental cars for years but now we have it in our recently purchased car and its outstanding. From 80’s on 8 to 90’s on 9 to some great Howard Stern interviews—its makes driving in traffic a whole lot easier. Another great feature on XM is that they always are adding new features like the Billy Joel channel. which will run the next few months—-I still haven’t heard a bad song.

EXTRA POINT: Looking at the NFL Draft the past 10 years—LSU has had the most picks with 61 but when you look at current NFL rosters here are the top five schools represented:

(1) USC 40

(2) LSU 39

(3) Miami 38

(4) Georgia 36

(5) FSU 31

UNTIL NEXT BLOG,

Mike Nabors

@mikenabors

PHOTO CREDITS:yellowhammernews.com, nfl.si.com,lasportsanostra.com,theclassical.org,nbcnews.com & footballphds.com

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