Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the Weekend That Was (and Monday)

So I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I seem to be getting lazier and lazier (if that’s possible). Remember when I said I was going to crank out three updates a week? Well, how long did that last? A week? I’d go back and look, but again (pointing my finger at myself), lazy. In an effort to make up for my slacking, I give you an über-lengthy update from the weekend and Monday. And yes, this blog is free of charge to you…

Michael Oher and Peria Jerry about to get paid. Oher was drafted 23rd overall by the Ravens and Jerry went at number 24 to the Falcons, which means they’ll soon have more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. And I say good for them. They lived through three years of eating a giant, shit sandwich every single day while being “coached” by Ed Orgeron, survived with sanity intact, and became leaders and stars of one of my favorite Ole Miss teams ever (I feel bad for the guys who spent three years under the Shrimp Boat Captain and weren’t good enough to be drafted. Perhaps, Oher and Jerry can treat them to a steak dinner or something.).

I obviously enjoyed watching Michael Oher play (good college player, played hard, developed a nasty streak in the second half of last season, and I look forward to him reaching his full potential in the NFL), but I loved, LOVED watching Peria Jerry play. His last two years in the SEC, especially this past season, he was an absolute wrecking ball for opposing offenses. If teams tried to block him with one guy, that play wasn’t going to work. It just wasn’t. Even double teams had trouble slowing him down. I’m reminded of the quote from Rocky IV when the Russian general or scientist is talking about how strong and powerful Drago is and says, “Everything he hits, he destroys!” That’s the way I felt about Jerry’s play.

I think you’ll find about 10-12 NFL teams next year that, after watching Jerry play, will say, “Damnit. What the hell were we thinking? We immediately regret our decision.” Remember all the hype surrounding Glenn Dorsey? Jerry got none of that and to me was better than Dorsey. I’ll be sure to remind you of this in the fall. Now I need to take a short break so I can find the apartment Peria and I are going to get together.

Finally, proof that mock drafts are stupid. According to this article on the Wall Street Journal’s sports blog, NFL draft “experts” suck at their jobs. ESPN’s main guys, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, only selected eight of 32 first-round picks correctly. Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks and Peter King correctly named seven and six picks, respectively, and Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer got only five right. So next year, just remember that when one of these guys is hyping a move up the board, his chances of being right are about the same as Curtis Granderson getting a hit at the plate.

NFL executives never cease to amaze with their tomfoolery. A few highlights:

-Tyson Jackson goes at number three. Does anyone remember Tyson Jackson this year? Anyone? Obviously, he’s got some talent, but I can’t remember watching one LSU game and thinking, “Wow, Tyson Jackson is unbelievable.”

-The Raiders draft a guy about 45 picks before he should have been picked. Well, maybe not 45, but Darrius Heyward-Bey surely should not have gone before Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin. Al Davis, possibly the king of the undead, liked his speed and his poor route running so his stable of below average quarterbacks would have someone to over- and underthrow.

-Josh Freeman in the first round. A classic example of an NFL team drafting a guy based on his physical abilities and ignoring his results. Granted, I didn’t follow Freeman or Kansas State very closely while he was there, but the few games I did see were filled with dumb decision after dumb decision. If a guy spends three years of college wallowing in inconsistency, how do you think it’s going to work out when everything at the next level is harder than where he’s been?

Ole Miss baseball team takes a big step toward hosting a regional. The Rebels took two of three from top-ranked (depending on what poll you use) Georgia and find themselves sitting at 13-8 in the SEC (33-11 overall) with six winnable games against Auburn and Mississippi State coming up. If they run through those six games like Scott Biddle runs through opposing batters, put a regional in Oxford down on your calendar. And if they hold it together against Arkansas and win a few games in the SEC Tournament, we might be talking national seed. Of course, this team could just as easily go 2-4 in its next six conference games, then get swept by Arkansas and be done. It’s Ole Miss – where anything amazing can happen.

Potential Mississippi State basketball commitment will attempt to tap his inner Dontae’ Jones. Renardo Sidney, a high school senior, is reportedly wavering on his commitment to Southern Cal and is considering Mississippi State. There’s just one small problem. With just about a month left in the school year, Sidney still needs to pass 16 core classes to meet NCAA eligibility requirements (allegedly, his SAT score is passing and all he needs to do is pass the remaining classes).

HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU BE ONE MONTH FROM THE END OF HIGH SCHOOL AND STILL NEED TO PASS 16 CLASSES TO GRADUATE? IT’S LIKE YOU TRIED TO BE THAT DUMB. Seriously, this has to be some kind of record. At, let’s say, five classes a semester (if they use the semester system), he has the academic standing of a junior at Christmas break. Except he’s one month from the end of high school. I have a suspicion that Fairfax High School places the same amount of importance on academics as South Panola High School.

Normally, I’d say there’s not a chance in hell he makes it into school. But through the magic of online courses and a trail already blazed by Dontae’ Jones (36 hours of credit in one summer. ONE SUMMER!!!), I’d expect to see Sidney in college basketball next year. Absurd? Maybe. But if there’s anything we’ve learned over the years, it’s that education is just stupid when .07% of high school basketball players make it to the NBA.

The New Orleans Hornets are tired of the 2009 season. In last night’s game four of the Nuggets/Hornet series, the Nuggets got a stiff challenge from New Orleans and escaped with a 121-63 road win. That’s 121-63. The 58-point win tied the NBA record for largest margin of victory in playoff history and reminded the New Orleans’ fans what Saints game used to be like.

Is it even necessary to play game five? Can’t the Hornets just save the money for the travel and put it towards, say, keeping the franchise from bankruptcy? Plus, I’m sure most of the players have early flights out to the Bahamas the day after game five.

Damn you, Pete Prisco, damn you. Prisco wrote an article on Monday that said the top player in the 2010 NFL draft is none other than Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead. AAAUUUGHHHH!!! STOP BUILDING MY (AND EVERYONE ELSE’S) EXPECTATIONS. I CAN’T TAKE THIS MUCH LONGER. The more crap like this that gets written, the more painful the fall will be.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been more optimistic, yet so sure everything is going to fall apart before a football season begins. Ole Miss’ schedule is set up perfectly (toughest road game at South Carolina), the rest of the SEC West either stinks or has an unproven quarterback and 17 starters return. However, the best player on the team is gone (Peria Jerry), two offensive line spots have to be filled and people like Pete Prisco won’t stop hyping this team and its players.

One of the things Ole Miss does better than almost any team is crapping the bed when expectations are set. And no previous expectations have come close to those being set going into this season. They’re absolutely terrifying. Yes, there is some legitimacy to them (Shut up, Gray!), but all this hype could be disaster in the making. I would appreciate it if everyone just shut up and forgot about Ole Miss for the next five months because that’s the only way we’re not going to experience the faceplant of faceplants.

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