Teddy Bridgewater: Over/Under on games into season till he starts

So when do you think Teddy Bridgewater will end up starting for the Vikings? I’m not a betting man at all, but I do enjoy speculating about such things.  I was talking about this with some coworkers and friends and based on those conversations the Over/Under would be 6 games into this season.

I’m honestly thinking it would be right around Game 6, but Matt Cassel is, in my opinion, a competent starter so I would take the “Over” on this. With a new coach in place there is not an urgency to win immediately this year and make the playoffs. However, having AP means they do need to try to win now while he’s still around. So I think if Cassel does struggle much there will be a greater urgency to pushing Bridgewater in to start. However, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the Vikings just benched him all year to learn the tricks of the trade.

What are your thoughts? When will Bridgewater start for the Vikings? Why will he start then?

 

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My thoughts on the First Round of the NFL Draft 2014

Just briefly, I thought I’d write out my thoughts on the first round of the NFL Draft that happened yesterday.

1. Winners: BROWNS, Vikings

Yes, I picked these winners because they were exciting. It’s always interesting to see QBs drafted and multiple picks in a round. That said, I do think these two teams had the best day.

BROWNS: The browns were, in my opinion, the biggest winners of the day. They managed to fleece the Bills by moving back for not only their 9th overall selection, but also next year’s first rounder and fourth rounder. That’s a whole lot of team-building power. Then, they barely had to give up anything to take the 8th pick and take the guy they wanted anyway with a strong cornerback. Later, they used their accumulated mass of picks to trade up and nab Johnny Football, who, if nothing else, will sell tickets and bring a huge level of excitement to a fan base lacking it for some time. Seriously, even if Johnny Manziel doesn’t work out, they still have already set themselves up with an extra first-round pick next year.

I suspect Manziel will be decent, but not great. For the sake of some friends who are Browns fans, I hope he’s amazing. It would be exciting to see his style work in the NFL, and to see the Browns take that division again!

VIKINGS: The Vikings also did a nice job picking up an extra pick to swap places with the Browns, then nabbing a solid pass rusher. The best move they made, in my opinion, was to move back into the first round and take Bridgewater. Although I’m not completely sold on Bridgewater, I think that his alleged failure on a pro day and the like don’t show much. Numbers don’t lie and he’s had some awesome seasons. I expect him to end up as the starter for the Vikings by the end of the year. They’ve got a solid team and I think they could compete in the stacked NFC North.

2. Losers: Lions, Bills, Texans

LIONS: Eric Ebron is an exciting pick with a big upside, but I really hated this pick for the Lions. They desperately need help on defense and they have solid options at tight end. I’ll say it: I’m not at all sold on Pettigrew because of his drops, so I would have liked the Ebron pick except that he’s also questioned for having a number of drops. There’s nothing like seeing a perfect spiral pass bounce in and out of a tight end’s hands to make a fan base upset. If Ebron had solid hands to go along with his height and speed, I’d say this is a good pick to take some pressure off of Megatron, but for now it just seems like yet another weapon that’s going to be inconsistent due to drops. We’ll see, but I think defense was a better option here, not to mention that Fauria could, I think, be developed into more of a threat.

BILLS: Yes, they got Sammy Watkins who is a very exciting receiver, but they paid way too much for him. Two first rounders and a fourth round pick is an extremely steep price, but time will tell whether Watkins shows he deserved that kind of future-mortgaging. On the plus side, I do think this gives them a chance to see whether they can stick with EJ Manuel as their starter. He has been provided a ton of weapons now so now the Bills can see for sure what they have after a roller coaster rookie year from Manuel.

TEXANS: Yes, they got the premier player of this draft, but I really think they should have done anything they could to trade down. Rumors continue to abound that they were asking for three first round picks in exchange for this one. If there were an Andrew Luck, that would make sense, but no team would seriously consider that even for a sure thing at defense. Because the Texans asked too much, they didn’t get the opportunity to stockpile picks and talent. I think they could have gotten two first round picks and maybe a third and fourth. That would help them to plug an awful lot of holes in their roster. It will be interesting to see how Clowney does across from JJ Watt, though. The QBs in their division should be sweating.

Let me know your thoughts!

Sports and “Veterans”

I follow football closely, and something that continually strikes me is how players who have been in the league for anywhere above 2 years are frequently referred to as “veterans.” Really? How long does it take to become a veteran? I just don’t get it. Apparently in football, it doesn’t take much to become a veteran. You just need to survive for two years of pro-level action and boom, you’re there!

Ridiculous.

Want to know what a veteran in the NFL looks like? How about an Urlacher or Ed Reed or Peyton Manning. Those are veterans.

It makes me think, though, the term “veteran” is abused. It’s not just something you get once you’ve reached a certain threshold of time put in; instead, it is something that you earn.

Of course I’m only speaking of sports here and certainly think anyone who served in the military deserves the term. Just to be sure I don’t get people thinking the wrong thing there.

Anyway, what does it take for you to call a sports player a “veteran”?

Football, sports, and violence: Should we use sports as a “hope” for children?

Recently, an article on ESPN about the violence in football offered the following explanation for why football will not go away:

It [the known effects of multiple concussions, etc.] also shouldn’t give people a reason to sell their kids on the notion that it’s not a sport worth playing. It’s easy to say that when you live in the White House or you’ve benefited from a nice, upper-middle class lifestyle. It’s a different story for those kids who grow up in inner-city projects or have few options of ever improving their own lives. Ask those families what football can do for them. Their parents won’t be so quick to condemn a sport that could open doors that would ultimately be closed to them later in life.

Really? Football is some kind of hope for kids with “few options”? I think this is absurd. How many of the kids who live on this dream actually grow up to play in the NFL? If the opportunity referenced is about scholarships there may be a point to it, but I think it is really depressing that when it comes to kids with few options, one of the first things that gets brought up is sports. I’m sorry, but sports is not a salve to these issues.

Giving kids the hope that they can play in the NFL or any other major sports league is not very realistic. I also think it sells children short. The general message that is given is that if you are born into a certain situation, the only way to pick yourself up out of that hard place is to play sports. Frankly, not everyone is gifted in sports, so this message presents a message of hopelessness.

So what do I suggest? Hey, I admit I am not an expert on this at all. I am not even sure I have any alternatives to suggest, but I think that we need to get beyond offering sports as a kind of dream. It’s not realistic to tell children that they can all go and be NFL stars or NBA stars or what-have-you. We need to work with children in their situation and work to change the situation. The salve for poverty and need is not to give a false hope that only one in thousands can even have a chance to achieve.

As a Christian, I have to say that we need to be praying about those in need. We need to use our gifts to forward the causes that help care for those who are in want. We need to get beyond offering false hopes and offer the true hope of Christ. I know for some that is groan-inducing. Allow me to explain: I’m not suggesting that just going around preaching the Gospel will magically reduce poverty and lead to world peace. What I am suggesting is that the Christian worldview, in all of its robust splendor, provides a motivation to care for those in need. It also provides a framework for viewing those in need not as people to whom we need to throw a bone in the form of false hope, but persons who are fellow imagers-of-God whom we are called to aid. There are no easy answers to all the needs of our time, but at least as Christians we are called to take on those needs head-on. I hope you’ll join me.

Finally, I’ll have you know that all of this comes from an avowed NFL fan. I love football. My point is we should not use it as a substitute for real hope.

Links

Don’t forget to check out my main site which focuses on religion, philosophy, and contemporary issues.

Here’s the article that touched off this issue for me: http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8905129/super-bowl-xlvii-football-change-survive

 

Why NCAA Football is ridiculous

Look, I won’t hide my bias. I like the NFL a lot more than college ball. I was reminded of the reasons for this one more time this weekend.

Florida State was playing against Savannah State. I turned the game on because it was the only one I could get with a ranked team in it. I looked at the score. 28-0. Oh well, I thought, maybe Savannah State can mount a comeback. Then I realized there were 7:34 left in the FIRST QUARTER. Oh, and Savannah State hadn’t even gotten positive yardage yet. They were at -27. Wow. Seriously? It was 35-0 to close out the quarter.

This is why I think NCAA Football is often ridiculous. I’ll grant I like college ball, but these types of games are what really destroys it for me. This isn’t competitive. This is just a straight up slaughter.

Do I need to mention that going into the 2nd quarter, Florida State put their 2nd team defense on the field?

Yes, there are NFL games that can become non-competitive, but here’s the thing: in the NFL everyone has a realistic chance. They have access to relatively the same amount of money, and they’re allowed to spend about the same amount every year. Yes, some owners don’t spend all the way up to the cap, so they may not have as many superstars, but the point is they all have a chance.

In the NCAA, it seems like these ranked teams line up as many piece of junk teams as they can in order to throttle them to try to earn a higher place in the rankings. Then, they’ll put a few ranked teams on the schedule to see who actually might be better.

There’s no parity in the NCAA either. Top players go to the teams that are already good or have a system in place to be really good. Savannah State? Sorry, no luck.

So don’t get me wrong. Is there excitement in the college football season? Yes. But does it feel to me like the same level of excitement every week as the NFL? No. Why? Because there isn’t nearly as much parity. Oh well.

I don’t see any way to change that. Do you?

How did the game end? It got suspended due to weather. Florida State won by a paltry 55-0.