Sunday, April 27, 2008

52 52 52 Week #10: Delaware

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

I think it's fair to say that Delaware has a reputation for being a bit, you know, boring. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that reputation is pretty much completely deserved. I mean, I live pretty near the state, and damned if I could ever work out anything fun to do there. Of course, I'm not a beach person, and I guess Delaware has beaches. I guess.

Of course, there's always the chance Delaware's highpoint will redeem the boring lower elevations of the state. It's all up to you and your 448 feet, Ebright Azimuth. Hey, that sounds like a pretty interesting name, right? Kinda mystical and otherworldly, I'd say. I think we're onto something here. Let's check the fast facts:

1. It's the second lowest highpoint of any state. Huh. Second lowest isn't really that interesting, is it? Maybe if it were the lowest, but, well, it isn't. Let's try again.

2. The exact elevation is 447.35 feet. There's actually a trailer park a couple miles away that is about 450 feet, but those extra couple of feet are the result of man-made construction, so surveyors don't count them. No, that's way too pedantic to be interesting. Look, what about the thing's name? That has got to be interesting.

3. The "Ebright" is actually named after the road that the highpoint is near, which in turn is named after a local family. "Azimuth" is actually just the horizontal component of direction. Damn it, Delaware, "Azimuth" should have been a demon or some shit. Or maybe a slurred mispronunciation of my favorite science fiction author. You know what, Delaware? I'm just going to assume that is where the name came from. So you're off the hook as far as my fevered imagination goes.

This week's entry comes from The Wilmington News Journal, which is pretty much the only newspaper in Delaware that actually has a sports section. So yeah, it's got that going for it. The writer in question is one Joe Levine, who has some thoughts on the NFL Draft, which as you may or may not have heard went down this weekend. You might think Joe would be pretty pumped, considering Delaware's stud quarterback Joe Flacco got taken in the first round by a reasonably local team. Of course, if you do think that, you don't know Joe Levine. Shame on you, reader, for not knowing that. Shame on you.

That sonic boom you felt Saturday afternoon was the first round of the NFL draft flying by. In case you missed it, literally, teams in the first round this year had a mere 10 minutes, instead of the usual 15, to make their individual selections.

Ha ha! Sonic boom! That's ridiculously fast, which means Joe is mocking the NFL draft for barely improving the speed of the draft! Brilliant!

Of course, the NFL couldn't be totally sensible. The draft didn't start until 3 p.m. There is nothing more peaceful than going to sleep to the sounds of Mel Kiper Jr.

Of course, it did end by like 9:30. Unless you live in Suriname (UTC-3 peeps represent!), that really shouldn't be late enough to put you to sleep, especially when it's your, you know, job to stay awake and cover this thing. Or can we take it from this that you, Joe Levine, are hideously, hideously old? We better be able to, because that's what I'm doing.

If I was commissioner for a day -- scratch that; I need just 10 minutes --

It'd take you only ten minutes to suspend all the black players? That's pretty fast. No, wait, sorry, you're not Roger Goodell. My mistake. Carry on.

here's how I'd make the draft more fun:

Please say bikini cheerleaders, please say bikini cheerleaders, please say bikini cheerleaders...

(By the way, you're welcome. Consider that my apology for not posting lately.)

1. Two minutes per pick for every round, with three five-minute "timeouts" per team for trade talk. Simply put, if you're a general manager you have three choices -- trade your pick, fill a need or take the best talent on the board. There is no Plan D.

Look, I'm all for speeding things up a bit, I guess, but let's not trivialize this. I mean, this is the future of the franchise (and, by extension, the jobs of the people who make the draft decisions) we're talking about here. Not really sure you should be rushing things.

Yes, the draft is a pile of dominoes, but if Yahoo can figure out how to automate a fantasy baseball draft for hacks like me, you can figure what to do when the guy you wanted as your backup weakside linebacker goes to Detroit instead.

And those automated drafts pretty consistently generate shitty teams. That's especially true in the draft, where you need to draft for specific needs while not reaching too badly if there isn't a clear answer at the position you want. Also, I like how "weakside linebacker" is being used with the same old school derision for technicalities usually reserved for the likes of "VORP." You know what a weakside linebacker is? Fucking egghead!

(Good tip -- if Detroit takes him, you may have been wrong about the guy, anyway.)

That's a fucking burn right there. But at least no one can take Matt Millen's amazing rapping prowess away from him:

That's the real legacy Chris Long has inherited: the coveted title of Whitest Rapper Ever.

2. No draft signings before draft day. The suspense of the first pick is fun, but even more fun is when the team you hate has the first pick but can't sign him.

And wanted the draft to go quicker? Because theoretically you could require teams that have already signed their players to immediately announce their pick. Question of priorities, I guess. Let me see if I've got these straight:

Joe Levine's Official Draft Priorities
1. Schadenfreude
2. Keeping it short
3. Keeping it real

Not a bad board. But where oh where are the bikini cheerleaders?

3. At this point, there is no college football player at any level in any hemisphere that Kiper hasn't heard of. Let's put Kiper on the clock. From now on, he gets two months to do his scouting. We'll send him to a Caribbean island for the other 10 months, but it won't have Internet, cell phone or cable TV service. Just once, I want to hear Kiper react to a selection by saying, "I have no idea who this guy is."

At first, I thought he wanted Kiper to draft all the players for all the teams, which I'm pretty sure a quick analysis of Kiper's mock draft history would reveal to be a laughably bad idea (maybe not any more laughably bad than letting the likes of Matt Millen pick, but still). But instead he's just proposing Mel Kiper disappear for most of the year. Which is actually a kind of novel way of restating the hacky "You think they just freeze Mel Kiper until the draft?" joke that always gets, well, unfrozen right before the draft. You know, to keep it fresh.

4. Retire Chris Berman, hire a wardrobe consultant for Keyshawn Johnson and let Dick Vitale participate.

Let's diagram this plan...

1. Get rid of an incredibly insufferable idiot who kind of knows the NFL
2. Work on Keyshawn Johnson's aesthetics while ignoring the shit spewing out of his mouth
3. Hire the most incredibly insufferable idiot imaginable who barely knows anything about his chosen sport of college basketball, let alone the NFL

Strategic brilliance, yes sir. If they were doing it today, I'm guessing they'd call the Marshall Plan the Joe Levine Plan. It would involve dropping Mel Kiper over East Berlin. I would approve.

5. Require any prospective picks who are present at the draft to let TV viewers listen in on their cell phone conversations.

Don't you think the FCC has enough to worry about already? You never know when Bono might go back to the Golden Globes, after all...

6. The team with the first pick hosts the draft each year. Combined with suggestion No. 2, this is sure to produce a ton of boos, no matter whom the team picks.

I'll one-up you, Mr. Joe Levine. Let's just give all the first round picks to the New York Jets. Somehow, they will manage to screw up every single pick, and a great city will burn before the night is out. Colt Brennan with the second pick? Kevin Smith at number five? Adrian Arrington at thirteen? Don't mind if I do!


Djmmm said...

Congratulations, Arch. You've managed to find the most dated video on YouTube. Let me count the ways...

1. Matt Millen and Howie Long as players instead of as an incompetent team executive and Radio Shack pitchman respectively.

2. The cheesy 80s Rap that may or may not have been "hardcore" back then.

3. A bunch of players rocking the Ray Ban Wayfarers.

4. And of course the Raiders being good enough to merit an almost seven minute long rap video about how awesome they are. The ways I see it, these things should have started and finished with the Super Bowl Shuffle...

Archie Micklewhite said...

The ways I see it, these things should have started and finished with the Super Bowl Shuffle...

And yet, some asshole is about to do a three-hour radio show devoted to them...