Saturday, February 22, 2014

Football's asinine meat market

We all now know that former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny (football) Manziel has a 9 and seven eighths inch measurement when fully outstretched. Just for grins, yours truly measured his own such appendage, but it was only a measly 8 and a half.

Hang on a sec.... incoming...... (What's that? They were talking about his HAND? Well, that's no fun, but OK.) Sorry, my mistake. Ahem.

At any rate, this whole meat market thing with NFL teams regarding their potential draft picks is not only getting out of control, but has become asinine.

Why should it be a concern how far it is from Manziel's wrist to the tip of his middle finger? As a QB, either he can throw the football quite well, or he can't, and I dare say he's already proven the former. It's not like the balls are going to get any bigger in the NFL than they were in college. Just a different logo.

Whether Manziel is a huge success for an NFL team or turns out to be a bust remains to be seen. He could be the next Tom Brady, the next Ryan Leaf, or anything in between. Only time will tell. Manziel may or may not be the first overall draft pick but, rest assured, with Houston and Cleveland both in the market for a starting QB, he will definitely go in the top 5.

Yet to make such a big deal out of how big his hands are is not only irrelevant, but will quickly be forgotten. It's like the height thing. Russell Wilson of the Seahawks was deemed too short by many "experts". He's currently a Super Bowl champion. Conversely, back in the day, a guy named Ed Jones was thought "too tall" to be an effective defensive lineman. He seemed to work out OK for the Cowboys for 15 years.

And some of this stuff is just ridiculous. What's the point in how fast a behemoth offensive lineman runs the 40 yard dash? Hey, even if one was a regular Usain Bolt, but couldn't block, what good is he? And who cares how much a player can bench press? That requires lying on one's back pushing weight straight up. Even if they could do 50 reps with Chris Christie -- when's the last time that came in handy during an NFL game? And what might be next? The standing vertical leap for place kickers? Please.

None of this junk matters. The pro teams have certainly seen enough film of their potential draft picks in college to know what a guy is capable of. Given he's talented enough -- perhaps that player will mesh into their particular system, and perhaps he won't. That's all that's really relevant. Even the 40 yard dash times at the "speed" positions, like running back, receiver, and cornerback are pointless when you think about it. It's extremely rare for any NFL player to run 40 yards in a straight line.

But a hand measurement counts nowadays? Gimme a break. That's like saying Barry Bonds couldn't hit a baseball because his hat size was too small. Hey, he grew into it -- but maybe that's a bad example.

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