Posted on: June 4, 2008 7:28 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2008 7:33 pm

Blog Cabin: Who can't debate sports?

From my life...

For many fans, talking sports is almost as fun as watching them. And, what better way to talk sports than to get a nice debate going about the hot topics of the day, right?

Well, for the most part, that’s true. But, sometimes, you run across a person who, for whatever reason, has such a delusional perspective that it makes a normal dialog utterly impossible. Their points make little sense, and their logic seems as though it came from a completely different dimension.

It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating. It makes you want to grab that person and shake them until their brain starts to function again.

Enter, my friend Will.

I’ll preface this by saying that Will is, without a doubt, one of the most knowledgeable fans I know. He is well versed in many sports, and has a better than average understanding of sports history.

I’ve been friends with Will since college, and after having many time-consuming debates with him, I’ve come up with a small list of grievances.

Please tell me if you’ve experienced something similar, or if you think I’m the crazy one.

1. A general lack of perception when it comes to the realities of sports.

He believes that a team with “heart” can beat a team with talent. He thinks that professional players would rather sign with a winner than take a contract with the highest bidder... not ringless veterans, mind you, but guys at the beginning of their careers.

Basically, he prefers to ignore the monetary aspect of sports, and views things through the scope of a Disney movie. “Guys that try hard make the squad. The underdog team really can work together and win the championship.”

2. He has some kind of bizarre love affair with drafts, real and imaginary.

He loves to play video games on “manager mode”. He’ll simulate entire seasons of game play, only to focus on drafting and signing players.

Even when he does play a season of Madden, he’ll make due with a sub-par quarterback or running back, while hoarding picks for the draft. Doesn’t he realize he can trade his first-round pick and his mediocre quarterback for Tom Brady or LaDainian Tomlinson?

I know it wouldn’t work in reality, but it works in the game, so why not do it?

In real life, he’s quick to suggest trading proven players for picks in the draft. If he was an owner, every unhappy star would immediately be dealt for a 3rd and a 5th.

See ya, Ocho Cinco. See ya, Jason Taylor.

He honestly believes that picks are somehow equal to a Chad Johnson... even though history would show that those players have only a small chance to make a significant impact in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong, drafts are important... They’re just not as important as getting or keeping proven players.

*This trait isn’t all bad, it does help me beat him consistently at Madden.

3. He believes everything he hears.

Will heard an Atlanta Braves commentator say that John Smoltz studies hitters, so now he thinks Smoltz will be a MLB hitting coach when he retires.

He heard some crazy story about the Miami Heat trading Dwyane Wade for draft picks... so he told me about that “immanent” transaction.

When the guys on TV started to talk about the Triple Crown of horse racing, he immediately started thinking that winning one of those is just as hard as winning one in baseball. Never mind that most of baseball’s Triple Crowns came from an era of 16 teams... He didn’t want to hear it.

Doesn’t he understand that the TV media needs to come up with these things to generate interest, and that they’re not always factual or even possible? These guys say things like "LeBron is better than Jordan" or "Terrell Owens should be banned for celebrating." Why? Because it's inflammatory, or invokes a strong reaction... It's good television.

Nope... He doesn't get it.

From the Blogosphere...

Mock MLB drafts seem to be all the rage in the blogosphere lately, which is good, because most people pay little attention to baseball prospects. Today, it's time to take a look at a few our our member's picks.



Posted on: April 22, 2008 7:29 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2008 7:50 pm

Blog Cabin: Abolishing the NFL Draft?

In the news...

After the Dolphins signed Jake Long today, I started thinking about the NFL draft. No, I wasn’t contemplating Miami’s impact on my mock, I was actually wondering why we have a draft in the first place.

How much do any of us really know about the origins of the draft? Who benefits from the current system? Wouldn’t things work equally well without it?

Why don't we just have all the college players who wish to go pro declare themselves “rookie free agents” by a certain date each year? Teams would be able to make bids based on their need and budget, not on their draft position. Great players would still command top dollar, while marginal guys would get signed for a lot less.

Obviously, each team would only be able to sign the players who fit inside the salary cap, so no one team could sign all the top guys. This format would give teams that win games with less a slight on-field advantage the following season.

Why should a team that spends wisely and still manages a 9-7 record be penalized by not being able to chase a top-3 pick? I think that team should have a shot to get its man.

Come to think of it, the entire draft process is reminiscent of baseball’s reserve clause, because players have no choice in where they end up.

Imagine if you left college with a bachelor’s degree in business, only to be drafted to manage a fast food restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Granted, they’ve guaranteed to pay you well, but shouldn’t you be able to see what other job opportunities are out there? What if other of businesses want to hire you too?

The players should have some kind of choice. Just like in business, this new system would allow them to evaluate each situation based on all the variables.

So far, the best counterarguments I’ve heard are “I like the pageantry of the draft” and “Things would be chaotic without the structured draft process.”

Personally, I could care less about pageantry. I want to watch these guys play football, not stand around in suits. I do, however, agree that a rookie free agent system may be a little hectic in the beginning. Still, I think it could work.

One more thing... What happens if the Dolphins draft Vernon Gholston or Darren McFadden on Saturday? Jake is already signed, so what then?

If anybody has an answer, or a better pro-draft argument, I’d love to hear it.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com