Ten quick thoughts and predictions in the midst of the lockout and the lead up to the NFL draft.
1. Sure, Cam Newton had a magnificent season at Auburn. But what did anyone see that would even suggest he will excel at the pro level? At best, Newton has a shot to be a Vince Young-type quarterback. And if you’re looking for a Vince Young-type quarterback, you can give the Titans a call (after the lockout) because they have one on the sale rack named Vince Young.
2. About that lockout, don’t worry. The league and the union... excuse me, I mean trade association... will work everything out this summer, with no games missed. In the meantime, a lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money fighting amongst themselves in federal court and before the National Labor Relations Board.
3. Randy Moss to the New York Jets? Really? The only time Moss has shined in the past decade was when he had Tom Brady delivering the ball to him. And Mark Sanchez is no Tom Brady.
4. Jake Locker = Alex Smith. I’m not saying they’re similar quarterbacks, but that their careers are going to be similar.
5. So, Tiki Barber wants to make a comeback in the NFL after badmouthing his former coach, leaving his pregnant wife for a young intern he met at his television gig, then losing that job because he is now only a slightly better role model than the creepy guy in the Saw movies? Good luck, buddy. Teams put up with players with bad character when those players are superstars. When they’re 35-year old running backs who haven’t taken a hit in three years, forget it.
6. The Chargers will be playing in Los Angeles within four years. And we should all have very mixed emotions about that. On the one hand, Los Angeles deserves a team. Heck, it deserves two. On the other hand, it’s always tough for a great city and great fans to lose a team. I was living in Baltimore when the Colts moved more than a quarter century ago, and you cannot imagine how hard it hit everyone. Everyone in Baltimore over the age of 35 can tell you exactly where they were when they first saw the images of the Mayflower vans driving through the snow, the same way everyone over age 50 can tell you where they were when they learned JFK had been shot. The same way Tiki Barber can tell you where he was whenever he met a cute intern.
7. The Cincinnati Bengals need new uniforms. I honestly believe that free agents refuse to sign with the team just because they don’t want to wear those uniforms, and they lose fans because no one wants to wear their merchandise.
8. Terry Bradshaw gets many points for being brave enough to come forward and discuss his memory loss issues.
9. Have they fixed the hole in the Metrodome yet? Thank God we’re not getting those breathless reports on the repairs that we were getting every five minutes last winter.
10. Have you ever noticed that whenever a sports magazine does one of those question-and-answer profiles of an NFL player, he always says The Replacements is one of his favorite movies? That’s the movie where the pro players are pampered, spoiled jerks who don’t love or respect the game, while the slobs off the street who replace them during a strike are funny, fun-loving and play the game for the right reasons. Shouldn’t pro players be insulted by this? And shouldn’t they be insulted by the very notion that Keanu Reeves could play professional football? Watching Reeves throwing a football is like watching an old man trying to swat a bee. And any league where Keanu Reeves can start at QB is a league where Cam Newton and Jake Locker would be gods.
Michael is a shareholder in the law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, PC, practicing in labor and employment law. In addition to being the co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia, he is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Locklear Letters and You Poor Monster.