Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It came to me as an epiphany. The reason T.O. is such a selfish, pain in the ass player is because he is truly a basketball player who happens to be playing the ultimate team sport (football). Let me explain you my hypothesis.

According to T.O., his first love is basketball; football he just plays. On the basketball field, one super star can win the game single handedly e.g Jordan, Lebron, Kobe to name few of the greatest one man show on this planet. T.O. is a super star on football field and he thinks he can win it all by himself. Therefore, all this cry about "give me ball, give me ball".

Till T.O. is with cowboys, they are not winning anything. He is Kobe on football field, and there is no Shaq to tell him "hey Kobe, How my ass tastes?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Draft

In my two recent posts, I talked about how to build a successful by drafting players. I think it's time now to explain what a draft is, how it works and even though lot of resources are dedicated to get great players in the draft, most of them disappoint the teams and the fans. If a player drafted high in the first round of the draft is a bust, it kills the team, the best example I can think of is San Diego Chargers drafting Ryan Leaf as QB with their 2nd pick in the first round of 1998 draft. He is considered one of the biggest bust in NFL history. On the other hand, Indianapolis Colts drafted Peyton Manning as the overall no. 1 pick in the same draft and he has turned around the franchise. Just imagine what could have happened if the the teams would have picked the players in reverse order.

Let's start with how the draft works. Every year, during the last weekend of April, all 32 teams in NFL gather in NY radio city hall to select players who have been projected to be starters in NFL. NFL draft has 7 rounds. Two rounds on Saturday and remaining five rounds on Sunday. The team with the weakest record gets to select first and the team with the best record picks last. This goes on for seven rounds. Each team is given 15 minutes in first rounds, 10 in second and 5 for the remaining five rounds to select a players. The players who are projected to be selected as top 10 picks are invited to NY. The Commissioner starts the proceedings by announcing that the team is on clock, the front office-head coach, call the perspective player and invite him to come and play for him. The players accepts the offer, grab the cap and jersey and accepts the congratulations from commissioner on the stage. This honor is only given to top ten picks. Tons of sports fan are there to cheer or jeer the picks made by their teams.

The first round is considered the round of the stars. Players selected in first round are thought to be the next superstars in the NFL. Teams select players in first round with extra caution, there has lot of history of most first round picks being busts or nothing special. Teams employ background checks, interviews, IQ tests in addition to the scouting of physical skills of the players. Still there are certain positions in NFL which have high risk of failure, the biggest risk a team can take is to invest big money in their first round pick and see the money and pick go to utter waste. QB happens to be the position which has the highest failure rate among the first round picks. For every Manning and Elway there are Leafs, Couches and many more junk QBs.

Each teams assigns a value to the player they like. If the player is no longer available, they go to the next player in their list. There is lot of "moneyball" knowledge behind assigning the value on the player. Lately, teams that have won big have shown that they have used all their picks in the draft wisely. It would be interesting to see how they use the statistics in college plus the combine* numbers to select players.

* Combine is an annual event where players are invited to do workouts for the teams head coaches and GMs.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Season of change

The 2008-09 season is about to end very soon. We will have a Superbowl winner within next 3 weeks. After every season, the teams that have failed to reach postseason try to make some changes. Players get cut, coaches get booted, GMs get fired. The firing of coaches and GMs of the losing team has happened this season just like any other season with one major difference.

The major difference is the firing of Superbowl winning coaches. Who would have thought that Mike Shanhan would get the boot from Denver Broncos. After Elway, he was the face of franchise, the QB guru. It shook the NFL world by surprise. Second firing that rocked the NFL was of John Gruden. He brought the Vince Lombardi trophy to Bucs in 02' but that seemed so far away, Bucs' owners paid a hefty sum in draft picks and cash to get Gruden from the raiders (2 1st round and 2nd round picks in the draft and 8 million dollars in cash). He took them to the promise land instantly but seems like in this crazy world, it does not buy you job security for long.

Along with these two really surprising firings, we had the normal firing scene too. Mike Nolan got the boot from 49rs in mid season, Rams got rid of Soctt Linehan earlier in the season. Rod Merinilli was let go after Lions had the worst season of any team in the NFL history (0-16) and how can we forget the man who brought the Lions to a new low, Matt Millen, probably the worst executive in NFL history. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edward might be a dead man walking as they have a new GM. Jets are still looking for a head coaching after cutting Eric Mangini. How can one forget the Browns saga, the season went down the drains and so did GM Phil Savage and coach Romeo Carnell. Hall of famers Mike Holmgren and Tongy Dungy left the sidelines to pursue other interests. This is an end of era, four Superbowl winning coaches are not part of the NFL.

The next season would be very interesting. I think, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren will make a comeback, Shanahan might coach again with Cowboys and Holmgren might be given the keys of a franchise just like Dolphins gave all the control of football operations to Bill Parcells. Coach Cowher might move from his comfortable chair in CBS studios to the gridiron

Friday, January 2, 2009


Peyton Manning has won the MVP award for the 3rd time, thus tying with Brett Favre. Manning won this time with a landslide as he took his team to a a 12-4 record and hopefully to another Vince Lombardi trophy.