OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ! The Honorable, the Right Reverend Electric Mayhem. All persons having business before this poorly-written, barely coherent pseudo-tabloid-news-show internet column are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Chief Asshat is now sitting. God save the Commentariat and this Sport we love and revile.
We have fresh-squeezed JUSTICE to serve out by the ladlefull! BRING FORTH THE ACCUSED!
THE NFL DRAFT
CHARGE: Undue delay, intentional infliction of emotional ennui
It’s about 10 days until the first day of three days of the NFL Draft. Which is still fucking stupid. I want to know, at the end of the first day, who my team’s first three picks are, because those are the ones that I can feel kid-at-Hanukkah excited about for the coming year. The more they are spaced out, the less enthusiasm I can carry through the weekend to tide me over until I see them get horrifically injured in training camp.
I get the desire for ratings. I get wanting the “exposure” of having two prime time slots. Because that’s what the NFL is lacking: exposure. It’s like when I drive across the barren and tractless voids of southern Illinois or Kentucky or Mizzourah (not the same as Missouri- trust me), and I see a giant billboard that just says “JESUS” in big letters.
And I think “I’m pretty sure name-recognition isn’t the thing holding you back, big guy.” Or maybe the billboard is just really, really shocked. I dunno.
Either way, I’m having a little trouble getting as excited for this draft as I normally would. It may be that real life has been so nuts that I can’t spare the emotional energy for it. It may be that there are not a lot of anticipated franchise-changing talents likely to go in the first round, like the 2013 “You get an offensive lineman! And YOU get an offensive lineman! EVERYBODY GETS OFFENSIVE LINEMEN!” Draft. Or it may be that I have no faith that my Bills will be able to do anything other than tread water at 9-7 or 8-8 with no playoff appearance.
But the reality I keep coming back to is this: the NFL and its trained mediahounds really only have one setting when it comes to the draft, and it’s JON-GRUDEN-ON-SPEED-AND-MOLLY STOKED! Every uncertainty is a HUGE QUESTION, every smokescreen statement by a general manager is a BIG HINT, and every prospect MIGHT BE A GAME-CHANGER FOR THE RIGHT SCHEME!!!!!!! Plenty of Deep Thinkpieces have been written over the last 10/15 years about the rise of the “draft expert” and what a big thing the draft has become. But not content to simply maintain the “I have inside info, I am brilliant, listen to me” authoritative tone previously established, the mainstream media appears to have collectively decided that they are going to make up for the relative lack of compelling story lines by SHOUTING EVERYTHING UP UNTIL WE THINK IT’S A HUMONGOUS BIG THING YOU GUYS! It’s the same approach TMZ uses when it doesn’t have exclusive tape of Urkel fucking a wombat or whatever. OMG YOU GUYS! TWO REAL HOUSEWIVES ARE HAVING A “BEEF” OVER WHO STOLE WHOSE BIKINI WAXER!!!!
And I may eat these words in few years, but I can’t help but feel that Goff and Wentz are just two more housewives. They are the story of the draft (other than Robert Nkemdiche, who shall heretofore be referred to as The Defenestrator). And they’re not worth it. If the analysts would just say “it’s a deep but unflashy class where a third-rounder could emerge as the best player,” I think I would be more engaged than I am in the face of the Shouty Digital Media Marketing Blitz. Plenty of others have said it before, but it always bears repeating at this time of year: pour one out for the too-long absence of Paul Zimmerman’s voice and measured, analytical approach to the sport.
CHARGE: Desertion, Conduct Unbecoming, Impersonating an NFL Franchise
Despite the fact that they are an urban legend, therefore making it a bit like charging the Giant Sewer Gators with disorderly conduct, the Houston Texans have still managed to make this week’s list for allegedly cutting Brian Hoyer. Brian Hoyer, who has gone from undrafted free agent to playoff quarterback. Brian Hoyer, the chrome-domed embodiment of the concept that, with a little luck and a lot of determination, anyone can become their own Country.
Despite posting his best season last year (19 TD, 7 Int), the former Michigan State product (where he earned Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week honors twice) was callously and thoughtlessly cast aside by Bob McNair and his shadowy, power-mad advisor Rick Smith. Just because the team went out and spent $75 million dollars on a younger, less provenly-mediocre quarterback doesn’t mean that this poor, bedraggled, unwanted child of a lesser of God should be thrown out into the cold world, waiting for his inevitable and tragic end.
Seriously though- mostly I’m upset because it allegedlly puts another quasi-competent starting quarterback on the market for the Jets to pick up. I’ve given up on the concept that my Bills will challenge the Patriots for the division while Darth Hoodie’s credit remains good with Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. But a close second, and maybe a Wild Card berth? These are achievable goals IF the Dolphins remain the Dolphins and the Jets continue to Jets themselves. By sticking with Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins have done their part. But for my peace of mind– indeed, for the good of Football Humor Blogs as a whole– I need to see “NYJ NAME GENO SMITH STARTING QUARTERBACK” scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen.
So please, Brian Hoyer- take this opportunity to re-evaluate your career plans. Realize that you’ve made $10 million by the time you’re 30. Realize that your brain is probably still mostly intact, despite playing behind both the Browns’ and the Texans’ offensive lines. And realize that, when push came to shove, a professional football team chose to keep Brandon Frickin’ Weeden instead of you. It’s time to hang up the cleats and the scalp-razor. The cosmos is talking to you, Brian- heed its call and help doom the Jets.
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