Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Johnny Football

I just can’t help myself when it comes to the mystique of Johnny Manziel. Maybe it is the nickname. Johnny Football. Few athletes get a nickname that involves the name of the sport (or very closely associated with it). The only two that come to mind are ‘Teddy Ballgame’, and ‘Donnie Baseball’. He is already in elite company. He has a charisma that seems matched by only the likes of James Dean. The girls love him. The guys (at least the ones that don’t hate him) love him. It seems that most of the experts in football think he will basically be a bust. Merrill Hoge called him a sixth round talent. Of course, he was not taken until the 22nd pick in the first round. Let’s compare (and contrast) him with some previous players. Two that come to mind are Ryan Leaf and Tim Tebow. Tebow was another Heisman Trophy winner who experts predicted would not become a good NFL quarterback. Well, barring a stunning comeback, it looks like they have been correct. Ryan Leaf ended up being a dud also. The comparison to Manziel is because of attitude. People did not believe that Leaf had the necessary work ethic to become a top notch (or even average) quarterback. But there are some differences. Whereas Tebow did not really play in a vertical passing offense at Florida, Manziel played in a spread offense. Whereas Tebow’s accuracy has always been a question mark, Manziel’s wasn’t. And although Manziel’s work ethic has been questioned, he seems liked by his players, whereas Leaf was not. Likeability will only get you so far, but I think Manziel has the intangibles to be a leader. I believe you need three main things to be a good (or great) quarterback in the NFL. You need to be a leader. You need to have an arm (Joe Montana is an exception), and you need a work ethic. Yes, Manziel is only 6 feet tall, but so is Drew Brees. I think Manziel is a leader. I think he does have an arm. I am not sure about the work ethic, but I believe that his teammates at A & M claim he did work hard. The work ethic is up to him. If he dedicates himself to be a top notch quarterback in the NFL, he can still be one.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What's wrong with American Idol

What’s wrong with American Idol? Many people have an opinion on this. Most reasons overlap somewhat, but I will give you my top 7 in order from 7 to 1. Before I get to that, I will say some good things about it. I still enjoy it for the most part. They do a great job with some of the storylines, and the overall presentation. They are very picturesque, from the background behind the judges during auditions to the venue for the final twelve. They are playful, and show some nice moments of the rapport the contestants have with each other. I still think it is much better than the Voice. It is simply more romantic. However, the top seven problems it faces. 7. Harry Connick Jr’s ego – You can see how he tries to show how smart he is. This was obvious last night, when he brought up the word malisma indicating a run. J Lo took him to task for that. He said he used the word for the benefit of the audience. Uh, Harry, I think the word ‘run’ did the trick. 6. Focus a little bit too much on singing, and not quite enough on personality. Hey, I am not saying to find Bruce Springstein’s or Bob Dylan’s of the world, but they need to incorporate personality a little more than they do. 5. Lack of stability in judges- this is not completely their fault, but somewhat. Stephen Perry was pretty much useless as a judge, as was Nicki Manaj and Maria Carey, all for slightly different reasons. 4. Voting- there are 50 ways to leave your lover, and at least that many ways to vote, and you get at least that many votes. It potentially distorts the true reflection of the voters. I presume AI is doing this because it generates money, but they would be more credible if everyone were allowed one vote. 3. The Save- actually, it goes beyond the save, and I will more generally call it a lack of integrity. They are all about ratings, even at the expense of hurting feelings. I know it is a tough business, and yes people will have their dreams crushed in real life. However, it seems pretty callous to me to bring along 30 contestants (the final 30) and not let all of them sing. they may claim that they did not have the time to show all 30 (which is BS). The real reason is that they were trying to add drama. And the save? What bothers me about the save is the way it is dramatized. When Ryan Seacrest says that they are going to sing for their life. Really? Come on! You think we are that stupid? I would have laid 1000 to 1 that neither the last two singers would get saved. The judges know damn well before hand whether somebody has a change at being saved, and number 13 and 12 are not going to be saved. don’t take us for fools Ryan. I guess I should not blame him. That is part of the script. And part of the public is very gullible. 2. – Songs - We are 3 weeks into the season from the final 13, and I am not sure that I have heard a song that was from the 80’s or before. Most people agree that songs are just not as good as they used to be. I think if I had to list my top 500 songs, about 490 of them would come from 1989 and before. 1. Ravages of time - Okay, ravage is a strong word, but you get the idea. Almost all shows eventually fall off. The only exception might be the Super Bowl.