Monday, April 28, 2008

Hopelessly Optimistic After This Year's Lion's Draft

"So that happened."

You think this is what Matt Millen says after every draft, curious and confused as to why he has not been fired yet.

Remember Daryl Rogers begging and pleading "What does a guy have to do to get fired around here?" For Matt Millen, there appears to be no answer to this question. He keeps on losing, keeps on wasting money on first round draft picks that bust, keeps making him and the Lions the biggest embarrassments in the league. Anytime the sport's punditry needs to fill in some air time, they can always hop on the meme of the Detroit Lions woeful draft record, their 31-81 record the last six years, the unexplainable fetish a hall-of-fame middle linebacker has for diva wide receivers.

So it was not a large surprise when this year's draft was in the books the majority feeling that the Lions did not do well. Of course, this could because the Lions never do well. Never even come close to doing well.

But despite the fact everybody seems to think they have a pretty good opinion, nobody really knows.

The good news is the Lions actually drafted for positions where they need players. And these players appear to actually enjoy playing football.

They needed a right tackle. And they got one in the first round. (Some said it was a reach but if you are drafting top five offensive tackle or defensive end in the first round, i think you are pretty much on target.)

In the second round, they got that middle linebacker they've needed forever, who seems quite a bit like one they cut recently but maybe this guy will work out. Because he has to work out.

Then in the third round they got a running back and two defensive linemen.

All needs. So whether they are good or not they should get a chance to make the team and play.

So would everybody shut up about how the Lions messed up this year's draft. Again. Because we don't know that yet. That is why we play the games.

Trust me, this is a lot easier to take if you drink the kool aid and eat the corn bread.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scotty Sez Red Wings a Go Go for the Cup

Yeah kid's it's spring and you know what that means...NHL playoff hockey. Here is hoping that we'll be sun bathing by the time the Red Wings stop playing. And though he is not the most objective source, Scotty Bowman likes the Red Wings to be doing triumphant laps around the rink come the middle of June.

These choice cuts from his Q&A with the New York Times:

"As for who will win the Cup, I might be prejudiced in this, but I’m a big supporter of the Red Wings. I think they’re poised to have a good run and I think they have the best chance to win the Cup."

Okay, but give me reasons to believe Scotty.

"I think one of the main reasons the Wings are well poised for the Cup this year is because, in February, some of their veterans — Lidstrom, Rafalski and Hasek — suffered injuries which forced them to rest. That wouldn’t have happened otherwise. So the veteran players are rested and the best offensive players, Datsyuk and Zetterberg, are not that old."


"The team this year had some adversity toward the end of the season to win the Presidents’ Trophy, with some injuries and big lead. I think the adversity in this case is a good thing for them rather than bad."

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Nav Bar Don't Lie

More proof that the NHL is slipping in its status as one of the top four sports. Yahoo Sports has refreshed their navigation bar and moved the NHL a few places to the right. It now lives "below" NASCAR and just left of Mixed Martial Arts. I have to assume that Yahoo did this based on the amount of visitors to these sections. Ironically, maybe hockey could have maintained its popularity by adopting some of the moves of MMA fighting, instead of catering to the 'no fighting and every player wear a visor' crowd.

The evidence:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"We've Looked Like a Dead Club"

Some people say that the Red Wings are the New York Yankees of hockey. But after being the the only MLB team swept in this season's opening salvos, could the Tigers be the update to the overpaid under achieving team? As it now stands, the Tigers have the second highest payroll in baseball (more than the Red Sox and the Mets!) along with bullpen problems, injuries and, so far, a winless season.

And losing and lack of excitement could be bad for business, as points out.

At an average ticket price in the mid $20 range in Detroit and an anticipated attendance of around 3 million for the season, the Tigers can’t make payroll on ticket prices alone. Luxury boxes, concessions and local broadcast rights fees figure into the mix but it still hard to fathom that those other revenue streams can completely make up the difference.

Of course, basically, we have all of the season left, so no panic here. But the cinderella Tigers of two years ago have been transformed into a team loaded with superstars and expectations. Is the joy gone?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NFL Mock Drafts

The prognosticaters have the Lions putting the proverbial cart before the horse, choosing Running Back over Offensive Line. Maybe Millen figures the wide receivers can do the blocking.

CBS, ESPN & NFL Draftcountdown : Rashard Mendenhall (RB) Illinois
Sports Illustrated: Chris Williams (OT) Vanderbilt Derrick Harvey (DE) Florida

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Matt Millen's April Fools Day Interview

Maybe this is not an April Fool's article, but the the "Freep" quotes Matt Millen in today's edition as saying, "I don't think we have painted ourselves into a hole. We have options draft wise."

Perhaps he is referring to the fact that so many former draft picks have been released and/or not re-signed. ("That's what we in the business call roster space.") They have unburdened themselves from former first round pick (Kevin Jones) and four second round picks (Shaun Rogers, Boss Bailey, Ted Lehman and Kalimba Edwards) in just the past month. And that doesn't take into account their trifecta of big-time busts of years past: Joey, Chuck and Mikey.

Also, they have an interview with Boy Wonder Ford and you have to love this vote of confidence for Millen:

It’s no secret you were high on Millen in the beginning. Do you have the same feeling now?

“Matt doesn’t report to me, and as a result, it’s probably not right that I comment on it.

It's not right that I comment that Millen sucks. 31-81. If he was a vehicle in our Ford lineup, he would be the Ford Expedition. Grotesquely big, lumbering and slow; a gas guzzling, bullshit spewing vessel from another era.

One commenter said that Ford could have mentioned he was a good broadcaster. But I always thought he sucked at that too. He talked in cliches and said the most obvious things and reveled in his buffoon persona. The guy could play football. He needed to keep it there.

Matt Millen. Here's to you keeping it April Fool's Day all year long.

(And I know this has been mentioned before, but the NFL must have put him on the competition committee as an April Fool's joke and forget to take him off.)

Tigers Lose Opener in Extra Innings Classic

"Oh my goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall."

Okay maybe not, even after the Tiger lose their opener to their lowly division rivals, the Kansas City Royals. For me anyway, this makes sense because I met some Royals fans traveling through Costa Rica in December, and they were the first to inform me of that big Cabrera/Willis trade. They were concerned that this move was not a win/win, that it seriously impacted the Royals chances of winning the pennant, But I assured them "don't worry, it doesn't matter how good the Tigers will be because the Royal's suck!" Sorry Tiger fans, I jinxed it for everybody,

But i digress. People (and I mean the media and sports radio) take it easy on the bullpen. These guys are pretty sensitive and will need some confidence for the next 161 games (and hopefully more.) I think we left like 10 guys on base, so that can't happen. They're talking the Tigers possibly scoring a 1000 runs this season, which averages more than 7 runs a game. So if that was the case, we would have won this thing. And I think the Royals might actually be a good, scrappy young team. And don't the Royals seem to always beat us. They kept us being from central division champs in the last weekend of the 2006 team and now they have spoiled our undefeated season.

Keep the faith. This kind of stuff would not shake Uncle Donny.

"You go to war with the bullpen you have..not the bullpen you wish you had."