Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Greedy Quinn

I couldn't believe what I just heard on the radio. Brady Quinn, erstwhile 22nd pick of the 2007 draft, is demanding a contract that would pay him as a franchise quarterback in the latter years of the deal. You would think the man had been humbled by his draft tumble, but that's clearly not the case. Instead, he's decided to believe his hype from the past few years and in so doing, he's hindering his development as a pro quarterback. If I'm a Browns fan right now, I'm thoroughly pissed off.

Look, Quinn's supposedly a reasonably intelligent individual, right? Why, then, would he hold out? Rookie QBs have a lot to learn about their responsibilities in each play, what their teammates are doing on the field, and just how to be a pro in general. I don't think it's a stretch to argue that QBs, especially young ones, have the most to lose from a holdout. And what exactly is he holding out for, anyway? More money? Listen up, kid, this is the NFL, where contracts are ripped up quicker than Enron paper trails. If you overperform your contract, you'll be rewarded with renegotiation. If the deal calls for more money than you've proven yourself worthy of, the team won't hesitate to cut you. You should know this by now.

Besides, if what he's worried about is being paid like a franchise QB if he's the starter, then that's easy to arrange. All you do is just put in some incentive payments for reaching certain goals of percentage of team's snaps, passing yards, TDs, playoff appearances, and so on. I don't know what teams are able to do in terms of rookie contracts, but those types of options have to be available in some form. What Quinn needs to realize is that he'd only be delaying his ability to earn the massive sums of money that he's demanding by staying away from Browns camp. And in this league, if you don't earn what's coming to you, it's just a matter of time before you're out on the street. If he needs any proof of that, he can just go talk to Tim Couch. I hear he's not doing much these days...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Are You Ready for Some (Fantasy) Football?

The latter half of July is upon us, which means it's time to start thinking about fantasy football. For me personally, it's a chance to try to atone for my worst fantasy season ever. Football in 2006 was simply a debacle; there's no getting around it. I'm going to try not to repeat the mistakes of a year ago, but I'm well on my way to duplicating the biggest one already: trying to juggle a personal-record 6 teams. We're 6 weeks away from opening day, and already I'm halfway there. This year can't get much worse than last, though; part of the problem with having so many teams was that every single one of my players seemed to be made of glass, and I simply got overwhelmed trying to sub them all in and out. It's my job to overcome that, but I've got to believe my luck will be at least a little better this time around.

I've got high hopes for my team in the league I'm running. How do I know, you ask? It's true, I don't know for sure who my opposing owners will be, and I won't have a single player on my roster for another 5-6 weeks. I'm not even sure where in the draft order I'll fall, although it will probably be high since I royally sucked last year. My confidence has to do with the one thing I do know about my team: its name.

I'm calling my boys the Armadillos this year, which the observant ones among you will recognize from the underrated football classic "Necessary Roughness." The game plan is to stock the roster with the type of talent the fictional football team had before going on probation, and then instill the scrappy attitude that kept them in games after trimming down the scholarships. I'm even thinking of giving Ed "Straight Arrow" Janeiro a call; if he's not doing anything, maybe he can coach them. The real thrill, though, would be if one of my guys went nuts on the field and allowed me to quote the inimitable Rob Schneider: "I don't know what he saw on that play, that was a CLEAN kick to the facemask!" I think if we can get Joey Porter to randomly punch Levi Jones in Vegas months after a hotly-contested game, we can make this happen.

The other thing that gets me excited about "Armadillos" as a team name, besides the endless quoteability it brings to the table, is the abbreviation factor. Many dominant teams, such as the Yanks, BoSox, Celts, and Pack, have had the ability to abbreviate their name, thus drawing the fan base in and making the team feel more supported, always an important intangible. It even works for fantasy sports; for instance, a few years ago my brother Kevin ran away with the regular season baseball crown with his Isotopes, which he constantly referred to as the 'Topes. With that in mind, I think my 'Dillos are destined to bring home the hardware this year.

Speaking of Kev, his victory in last year's playoffs gave him the right to choose the league name for this year. He promised to come up with an obscure name that only he would find amusing, and he didn't disappoint with "Flash Gordon QB, NY Jets." This is from the early '80's sci-fi flick "Flash Gordon" and was how the title character introduced himself to all of the extraterrestrial characters in the movie. Classic Kevin: a silly quote from an awesomely bad movie that you have to think about just a little bit too long for it to be truly funny. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea...