Mitchell- The Extra Point is Good!
The Clippers have made it 7-0 over the last week of games and the football analogy is apt because the NFL draft begins tonight. Even though I’m in full baseball mode, I’m just like much of America which is fascinated by the prospect of seeing which unknown commodity your favorite NFL team will get in the first few rounds of the cattle call.
I have 3 NFL teams I pull for. As a kid growing up in Northwest Ohio, I saw Browns and Lions games every week. For some reason, the New York Giants were on almost as much. I really liked Phil Simms as a QB and Lawrence Taylor was impossible to ignore (we later found out why). As a result, the Giants were my first “favorite team” as a youngster in the very early 80′s. The fact that they were pretty good helped too.
As I got older and started reading news paper and magazines, I paid more attention to the local teams. The Browns were easy to love. The uniforms always looked dirty, Bernie Kosar flinging it to Webster Slaughter, Kevin Mack knocking people over and later Eric Metcalf skittering all over the field before anyone ever heard of Devin Hester, it makes a body feel warm to think about. I got on board as a Browns fan when I was about 10, the age when you really form an attachment to a team. It was the best stretch of success for the Browns in the Super Bowl era, but I got in the pool just in time to have my heart broken by John friggin Elway 3 times in 4 years. I think my little brother started cheering for Denver just to make me angry.
I had always watched Lions games, but never really formed a connection, maybe it was the fact that they were terrible or that I already liked 2 other teams. Whatever the case. It all changed in 1989. I had watched Mack and Joe Morris bang in between the tackles for years, but all of a sudden a 5’8 ball of electricity with video game-like body control burst through the tv screen and grabbed my full attention. Barry Sanders was IT. Even though the Lions were never an elite team, I watched every week to see what Barry would do and grew into a fan. When he walked away before the 1999 season, he put a serious damper on my honeymoon, my new bride did not understand (this is something I first fully grasped when 2 years earlier, she asked if I’d like it if she bought me a Scott Mitchell Lions jersey for a birthday present- yet I still married her).
This year with the labor turmoil souring everybody on the off-season, people are still excited about the draft. Cam Newton looks poised to earn his first legal paycheck as a football player as the top overall pick, but my guys all have options and questions. Should be a fun night and I’ll be paying attention even while calling the action as the Clippers take on the Gwinnett Braves.
I’d love for the Browns (6) to trade down and get Julio Jones, who seems to fit better in their offense than A.J Green They could surely use a monster on the D-line and another top corner could make the current front 7 better by giving them more time to get to the opponent’s QB.
Green is the popular prediction for the Bengals at #4 but if they blink in the starring contest with Carson Palmer, they might have to go with a QB for the future because Jordan Palmer is not going to win you any games.
The Lions (13) need an upgrade at OT and DB. If Matt Stafford is healthy, he looks like he has the “it” factor that can raise up a whole team. The Giants (19) just seem to fill in positions every year, always picking in the lower parts of the 1st round.
Who’s your team? What do you think they’ll do? What do you HOPE they do? Enjoy this day, as it’s all about potential and upside. It’s like Christmas in April, I hope you all get what you wish for, because there is no return on busted picks.