Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If I make it rain, it rains Boone's Farm, not Don P

You could make the argument that Javon Walker received the richest contract ever given a wide receiver this offseason, as the Raiders gave him a more attractive package than the Patriots gave Randy Moss. You could have assumed that after teammate Darrent Williams died in Walker's arms after a drive by shooting about 18 months ago that he would avoid putting himself in that situation again. But here's Walker spraying champagne recently

despite the fact that champagne spraying directly led to the confrontation that ended in Williams' death.

Javon Walker was found robbed and unconscious with a fractured orbital bone in Las Vegas Monday morning. I imagine Al Davis will get his lawyers to try to find a way out of this contract, but I can't see that happening when essentially he was simply robbed. The Raiders could cut him, but he'd still pocket his $16 million guaranteed. I was critical of Major League Baseball running the Expos/Nationals for multiple seasons, but maybe it's time the NFL took over the Raiders, because these personnel moves have been so consistently ridiculous since they went to the Super Bowl a scant five years ago.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It don't stand for Hooked on Fonics

Michael Strahan (7 Pro Bowls) retired yesterday, augmenting a potential Hall of Fame class that includes locks Brett Favre (9), Warren Sapp (7), and Larry Allen (11). First ballot locks Junior Seau (12) and Jonathan Ogden (11) could both retire any day now. And borderline Hall of Famers Steve McNair (3), Priest Holmes (3), Bryant Young (4), and Rod Smith (3) have also retired this offseason.

Ogden will almost certainly retire before training camp, but Seau may stick around for another year. Let's say they both retire. Between four and seven people are inducted each year. Favre, Ogden, and Seau are first ballot locks. Favre is the only player to win three straight MVPs. Ogden is mentioned among the greatest as his position than anyone else I've mentioned except Allen. And Seau's 12 Pro Bowls should ensure first ballot status. Allen should be a lock, ESPN ranked him fourth among active players last year, ahead of Ray Lewis, in terms of Hall of Fame resume. And Strahan and Sapp are more likely than not first ballot HOFers, although Giants legend Harry Carson and media darling Michael Irvin having to wait around indicates it is possible they'll have to wait a few years. McNair, Holmes, Young, Smith have zero chance of getting in on the first ballot. So, if Ogden and Seau retire, I'm saying the class of 2013 has four locks and two likelies.

I looked at the all time Hall of Fame classes, and only two stand out above this potential class: the inaugural class of 1963, highlighted by Sammy Baugh, Red Grange, George Halas, Don Hutson, Curly Lambeau, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe, and the class of 1971, highlighted by Jim Brown, Vince Lombardi, Y.A. Tittle, and Norm Van Brocklin.

So who are the Hall of Famers that will still be playing next year?

QB: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson
WR: Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison
TE: Tony Gonzalez
LB: Ray Lewis, Derrick Brooks
CB: Champ Bailey

WR: Terrell Owens, Torry Holt
TE: Antonio Gates
OT: Orlando Pace, Walter Jones
DE: Richard Seymour, Jason Taylor
LB: Shawne Merriman
S: Ed Reed, John Lynch
K: Adam Vinatieri

Outside Looking in
RB: Fred Taylor, Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James
WR: Isaac Bruce, Hines Ward
DE: Simeon Rice
LB: Tedi Bruschi, Zach Thomas
CB: Ronde Barber, Ty Law, Charles Woodson
S: Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison

I'm counting 20 likely Hall of Famers remaining in the NFL, with Adrian Peterson and Ben Roethlisberger the most likely young players to be considered down the road. Since six out of a likely 26 Hall of Famers from this past season may be retired, that's 23% in one season. The NFL will need some guys to step up in the years to come.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Story of Bo Diddley

One of the true giants of American rock and roll passed away yesterday. Bo Diddley's iconic trademark baseline is featured in Not Fade Away by The Rolling Stones and Buddy Holly, Born to Hand Jive from the soundtrack of Grease, and I Want Candy by The Strangeloves and Bow Wow Wow. He also starred in the greatest commercial ever. The Tony Kornheiser Show played The Animals' The Story of Bo Diddley in its entirety, so I looked up the lyrics.

Now lets hear the story of Bo Diddley
And the Rock n Roll scene in general
Bo Diddley was born Ellas McDaniels
In a place called McComb, Mississippi about 1926
He moved to Chicago about 1938
Where his name was eventually changed to Bo Diddley
He practiced the guitar everyday and sometimes into the night
Till his papa's hair began to turn white
His Pa said "Son, listen hear, I know
You can stay but that guitar has just got to go"
So he pulled his hat down over his eyes
Headed on out for them Western Skies
I think Bob Dylan said that
He hit New York City
He began to play at the Apollo in Harlem
Good scene there everybody raving
One day, one night, came a Cadillac, four head lights
Came a man with a big, long, fat, cigar said,
"C'mere son, I'm gonna make you a star"
Bo Diddley said, "Uh..whats in it for me?"
Man said, "Shut your mouth son,
play your guitar and you just wait and see"
Well, that boy made it, he made it real big
And so did the rest of the rock n roll scene along with him
And a white guy named Johnny Otis took Bo Diddleys rhythm
He changed it into hand-jive and it went like this
In a little old country town one day
A little old country band began to play
Add two guitars and a beat up saxophone
When the drummer said, boy, those cats begin to roam
Oh baby oh we oh oh
Ooh la la that rock and roll
Ya hear me oh we oh oh
Ooh la la that rock and roll
Then in the U.S. music scene there was big changes made
Due to circumstances beyond our control such as payola
The rock n roll scene died after two years of solid rock
And you got discs like, ah...
Take good care of my baby
Please don't ever make her blue and so forth
About, ah, one year later in a place called Liverpool in England
Four young lads with mop haircuts began to sing stuff like, ah...
It's been a hard days night and I've been working like a dog and so on
In a place called Richmond in Surrey, way down in the deep south
They got guys with long hair down their back singing
I wanna be your lover baby I wanna be your man yeah and all that jazz
Now we been doing this number of Bo Diddley for quite some time now
Bo Diddley visited this country last year
We were playing at the Club A Gogo in Newcastle, our home town
And the doors opened one night and to our surprise
Walked in the man himself, Bo Diddley
Along with him was Jerome Green, his maraca man,
And the Duchess, his gorgeous sister
And a we were doing this number
Along with them came the Rolling Stones, the Mersey Beats,
They're all standing around diggin' it
And I overheard Bo Diddley talkin'
He turned around to Jerome Green
And he said, "Hey, Jerome? What do you think these guys
Doin' our..our material?"
Jerome said, "Uh, where's the bar, man? Please show me to the bar..."
He turned around the Duchess
And he said, "Hey Duch...what do you think of these young guys
Doin' our material?"
She said, "I don't know. I only came across here
To see the changin' of the guards and all that jazz."
Well, Bo Diddley looked up at me and he said,
With half closed eyes and a smile,
He said "Man," took off his glasses,
He said, "Man, that sure is the biggest load of rubbish
I ever heard in my life..."
Oh Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley
Oh Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley
Yeah Bo Diddley
Oh Biddley
Yeah Bo Diddley