Friday, April 24, 2009

Hey, High-Schoolers-- go chase millions. Unless it is via basketball.

Hard not to see this kind of fist-shaking coming on the heels of high school hoops star Jeremy Tyler opting to take his senior year of high school overseas to play pro ball in Europe. Eric Crawford of the Courier-Journal is all over the problem.

The last time a kid said he was going to skip his senior year of high school and go pro, the year was 1999, his name was Brandon Bender, and everybody laughed.

[So I guess for the purposes of this "big picture/problem with society" piece that we are just going to ignore golf/tennis/baseball/auto-racing/music/acting/etc.? OK, cool.]

I can't knock the 6-foot-11 U of L prospect and his family for deciding to negotiate a six-figure professional basketball deal in Europe, probably Spain, in favor of his senior year of high school.

[Why do I feel like he is about to knock him anyways?]

Something tells me that Tyler isn't availing himself of much in the way of "off-the-court stuff" in high school, either. Might as well finish his graduation requirements online, as he plans to do. Let's hope one of those lessons teaches him to find Spain on a map.

[Bingo. Classy.]

On the flip-side, a rare kudos to for Andy Staple's piece on the same issue. Hint: Staples takes a slightly different view than Crawford.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NFL Draft Columns: Where Logic Goes to Die

A couple of points in Peter King's most recent column (though, he is hardly the only one making them) about the upcoming NFL Draft that I cannot quite wrap my mind around.

Curry's less of a gamble than Stafford because quarterbacks fail at a higher percentage high in the draft than do linebackers.

[Perhaps I am missing something, but this simply makes *no* sense. Picking Curry is less risky than picking Stafford because previous players that *aren't* Stafford have failed?? Really? Not sure what that has to do with Stafford. Using past performance of SEPARATE individual players to predict future performance of a particular present-day player seems...... stupid, right? I mean, this is an obvious point, no??]

New England will surely hit it rich on one of their first-day picks. Check out some of the names taken in the last two decades with that 34th pick, for instance: Carnell Lake, Amani Toomer, Jamie Sharper, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Chris Snee, D'Qwell Jackson.

[Kind of the same idea here, right? Predicting that a team will get a great player at a certain pick because six times in the last 20 years the team with that same pick ended up with a decent player? Solid. Cherry-pick = Fail.]