Well kids, the NFL combine is underway. It's the annual ritual reminiscent of our good friend from Welcome Back, Kotter. (episode 1 on hulu)
"Ooh-ooh-ooooh!" PICK ME! PICK ME!!
I've decided that the obsessive media coverage of this four-day non-event rivals the ridiculous attention to high schoolers prior to any sports' official "signing day". Could you imagine if your job interview was covered by a multitude of national media outlets on television and in print, including live bloggage on the internets????? "Whooa".
That realization, however, will not stop me from posting about it--because what the hell else do we have to talk about right now?????
Plus, all of this hulabaloo can directly affect one's career aspirations. Take for example the cost to Marlin Jackson back in 2005. A Michigan student, Shahin Farokhrany, claimed that Marlin assaulted him with a bottle in 2003--causing permanent injury to his eye. Marlin Jackson pled to guilty to misdemeanor aggravated assault (since he did clock the guy but not with a bottle....) and he was sentenced to probation. Oh, and he sat out the first game of the 2003 season.
Farokharany sued the then Indianapolis Colts' 2005 first round draft pick (in the 29th slot) for $10 million. So, of course, Marlin counter-sued for defamation of character, since the misdemeanor assault charge directly affected Marlin's evaluation at the combine. Well, on Friday, Mr. Jackson was vindicated, as a jury found that Mr. Farokhrany did defame Mr. Jackson. AND the jury awarded Jackson $225,000 in damages---presumably the cost of a slot in the NFL draft.
The combine can also raise one's stock. Witness this year's invitation to long snapper Sean Griffin. Here's what the Bleacher Report has to say. Sean is the number 1 specialist at the combine, and barring some calamity he should get drafted. He walked on to the team after a year at Schoolcraft Community College. A Livonia native and graduate of Catholic Central High, the kid has started 25 consecutive games and earned a scholarship. And, he's never been injured. (I hope I didn't just jinx him.....) Here's what the NFLDraftScout.com has to say about him:
"Positives: Consistent. NFL-caliber snap speed and accuracy. Two-year starter at Michigan with no bad snaps on punts or kicks over his career. Typically timed between .65 and .72 seconds for snap-speed as a senior. Has the bulk to hold up at the pro level. Experienced in high-pressure situations.
Negatives: Lacks the bulk and overall athleticism teams are hoping for out of the position. Doesn't provide much downfield in terms of tackling ability. Lacks straight-line speed."
And, finally, the quote of the week courtesy of Terrence "Michigan Man" Taylor.
When asked, how hard was it to lose Justin Boren this season?
From the freep:
“Justin Boren?” Taylor said. “It was easy if he wanted to go to Ohio State.”
The reporter rephrased the question, asking about losing a teammate, “your brother,” to a rival.
“He ain’t my brother if he transfers to Ohio State,” Taylor said. “I’m a Michigan man. Nah. He made his choice. He’s a good player. He’s my friend. But brother? No.
“Tim Jamison’s my brother, guys who stayed. Those who stay will be champions. He didn’t stay. I’m a Michigan man. He’s a Buckeye.”
And that says it all..... other Michigan Men at the combine are Tim Jamison and Morgan Trent.