Chumpservations, Vol. 9: Mel Kiper, Rockettes and the NFL Draft, Gary Bettman vs the NHL vs the Winter Olympics and what not to say at an open bar wedding

The Roof Is On Fire

Football fans, get your popcorn ready.  That’s right, there’s only seven weeks until they kick the Rockettes out of Radio City Music Hall for the weekend and prepare the venue for the NFL draft.  This year, there’s only one player who stands out as a clear number one, Ndamukong Suh, but despite that, this draft will be unlike any other in recent history.  That’s because the NFL is about to tread into unfamiliar waters.

With an uncapped year approaching, some players stand to get VERY rich while owners around the league will soon take serious gambles with their pocketbooks.  Although football reigns supreme, even the NFL isn’t recession-proof. In this economy any owner not named Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder will think long and hard about who they sign and how much they pay.  In fact, there’s rumors that the top three teams in the draft, the Rams, Lions and Bucs, are looking to trade down to avoid being burdened by a huge signing bonus.

mel-kiper1It makes good financial sense for these teams to do so if they’re not in love with any of the top three picks, but will there be teams looking to move UP? Not only is the NFL entering an uncapped year, but there will also be no salary floor, meaning owners can spend as little as they want.

With a lockout looming, football players and the agents representing them will be looking to land a huge payday while owners will be looking to tighten their bootstraps. After all, who wants to cough up $30 million dollars in guaranteed money on unproven talent?  For every Peyton Manning, there are five JaMarcus Russells. There’s already considerable clamor among veterans that rookies are paid too much, even if the vets get a nice steak dinner out of the deal.  Last time I checked it’s hard to find a steak that costs more than eighty bucks.

Whether we like it or not, we’re about to be subjected to seven more weeks of Mel Kiper’s speculation and Todd McShay’s rebuttal regarding which teams will jockey for draft position when not even Chris Mortensen knows for sure.

War rooms, get your cell phones ready. We could be in for a wild ride.

Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another?

Nothing says Geeksville more than offering to buy a pretty girl a drink while standing next to her at an open bar.

I tended bar at a wedding last weekend for about 150-200 people.  The couple getting married did it up right, splurging for all the liquor for their guests. The only way to fly… although I’m sure they probably grimaced when they got the bill.

free-credit-report-trioSince it was open bar, the return customers were aplenty.  As is usual at such functions, there’s always some single guy who thinks he’s coming up with a clever line no one’s heard before. Inevitably someone will approach a single female, or his friends, and shout “This round’s on me!” or “I got this one!” while the bartender rolls his eyes. I mean, come on. Even the guys from the ads come up with a new jingle every now and then, although it’s probably unfair to compare your average wedding lush to the most prolific recording trio of this generation.

One poor guy at this particular wedding, who was clearly getting his drink on, must have dropped that line about four or five times that very evening!  Fortunately his comments were met with a series of disingenuous chuckles.

People, I plead with you. I know it’s tempting to say something witty when faced with a night of free booze but next time, please refrain from cheapening the moment, and yourself, by jokingly offering to buy someone a drink when the liquor is already free.

The only person who thinks that’s funny is you.

Passing the Torch

Raise your hand if you watched the Olympic gold medal game between USA and Canada.  Now raise your other hand if you regularly watch the NHL.  If you’re sitting there with only one hand raised, you’re not alone…. and you’re probably looking pretty silly. Simon says you can put your hand down.

Last Sunday’s gold medal was the most watched hockey game since, you guessed it, the 1980 Olympic games. That game drew more viewers than any World Series game since 2004. It also outdrew any Final Four or NBA Finals game since 1998. One would think that the NHL, a sport which so desperately needs viewers could benefit from this sudden spike in hockey interest.

gary-bettmanCommissioner Gary Bettman disagrees.  In fact, he’s debating whether to keep NHLers OUT of the next winter Olympics. Nothing like looking a gift puck in the mouth.

Just like the rest of the nation, I watched USA-Canada on the edge of my seat.  I’m not a huge hockey fan but I couldn’t turn away, shouting loudly as Team USA scored the game-tying goal as time expired, then shutting off the tube moments after Sidney Crosby finally shut up the trash-talking Americans once and for all. Canada reclaimed dominance in their sport just as Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James had done with basketball in the Summer Olympics only two years ago.

Sundays’ finale was quicker, cleaner and prettier than most NHL games.  There were fewer clock stoppages and considerably less blood left on the ice, an image the NHL is becoming more and more know for.

I knew we Americans have an abnormal affinity for bloodlust, otherwise guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal wouldn’t be millionaires.  But we’re also patriotic.  Heck, at this week’s Buffalo-Pittsburgh game, USA goalie Ryan Miller got a louder standing ovation in Pittsburgh than their superstar Sidney Crosby and Miller plays for the opposing team!

When polled, most NHL fans want fighting in hockey, but there has to be some sort of middle ground.  It’s the job of the commissioner, the owners and their advisors to figure out what can make their sport better. If Bettman is wise, he’ll take something from these Winter Olympics and incorporate that into his league’s brand of hockey before the last fan reaches for the remote.

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19 Replies to “Chumpservations, Vol. 9: Mel Kiper, Rockettes and the NFL Draft, Gary Bettman vs the NHL vs the Winter Olympics and what not to say at an open bar wedding”

  1. Yes, I think not having a salary cap is stupid to begin with. The more I think of it though, as long as small market/lower revenue clubs like the Jaguars are able to sign top level free agents such as Aaron Kampman (who the Jags signed yesterday) and clubs such as the Bills, Vikings, Chargers don’t relocate in the near future along with forms of revenue sharing available in future seasons (with or without the return of a salary cap system) then I will be okay with future NFL seasons which are uncapped. A rookie cap is also something which I completely agree with. This way clubs like the Raiders can rescue themselves from overpaying for rookies who underperform or don’t do anything at all such as Jamarcus Russell. So it is understandable that the Rams, Lions, and Buccaneers may want to trade down as draft weekend is approaching. If the NFL & NFLPA cannot get a deal done by March next year, then Roger Goodell & Demaurice Smith should both be fired.

    Now with Gary Bettman and the debate being whether or not to go to the Olympics in 2014, how STUPID could Bettman possibly be? The USA/Canada gold medal game was exciting from start to finish and lots of people watched! I am very happy that Canada won gold! The experience of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games can grow the NHL in the immediate future! Bettman being the MORON that he is has to go and F up a major opportunity?! What a bloody idiot who has NO respect whatsoever for the sport of hockey. This is the same moron who thinks that Atlanta, Florida, Phoenix are better hockey markets than Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec City & Milwaukee. This is what the NHL should be talking about as opposed to debating whether or not to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics. If the NHL doesn’t go to Sochi and/or screws up their chances of getting a major television contract in the States, then Bettman deserves to be fired immediately. This moron must be stopped in his quest to ruin the NHL.

  2. If the NFL lets the Rockettes stay, then I will watch every minute of the draft.

    Since my youngest daughter became engaged I’ve thought about an open bar and I’ve started to wake up in the middle of the night broke out in a cold sweat.

    Fighting in hockey is acceptable I suppose, but they need to stop with the vicious blind side ambushes that endanger a players life.

  3. Sens… sorry, man. I just assumed that Fire Bettman site was yours.

    But yes, Selig and Bettman can go jump off a cliff together. I fail to see how either of them over the years have made their sports even remotely better.

  4. Aer…. funny. I was actually going to post a Rockettes picture but sided with the coif of Mel Kiper instead. If only I could have found an image with Kiper doing leg kicks, I’d hate to think how you’d react.

    Open bar is definitely a nice gesture, and congrats on your daughter getting engaged, but from my experience, kids have a tendency to get out of hand in the face of unlimited liquor. If you have open bar, you might want to suggest no shots to the bartender.

    True, Aer. Didn’t I just see another hockey player get carted off the ice the other day?

  5. Chris

    I can’t wait to see which player Kiper will anoint as his ‘world beater’ in the NFL ! This guy has had more misses than hits ! But yet everyone buys into the shpiel as to what he has to say. Thank God he doesn’t recommend stock picks otherwise he’d bankrupt his damn clients !

    Ryan Leaf, Aikili Smith , Tim Couch and Lawrence Phillips , do they ring a bell somehow ? All of those guys were part of his can’t miss picks in the NFL . Wow !

    Alan Parkins

  6. Al… I forget who it was but year’s back Kiper got into it with one of the owners on draft day. I thought it was the Colts owner well before Manning was in the league.

    The two went back and forth and Kiper pretty much called the owner and the franchise the laughing stock of the league. It made for great tv.

    I guess the Colts are now having the last laugh.

    I’m okay with Kiper. Hey, the guy can’t be right all the time. Owners certainly aren’t. He wasn’t the only one who thought Leaf and Phillips were no-brainers. Heck, after watching what Phillips did to the Gators in 1995, I thought he was gonna be the second coming.

  7. Chris

    Colts GM is about as popular in the Colts’ locker room as a dose of the ebola virus. Look at the way he ragged on the team after the Superbowl loss ? That was a collective team effort and the Saints playing above the par of the Colts. What a whining moron ! He’s laying blame on the Colts’ o-line for their demise . But I guess that’s what happens when you think you’re entitled ?

    Alan Parkins

  8. Chris

    See that Roethlisberger has hired himself one of Atlanta’s top criminal attorney’s. It’s the same guy who represented Ray Lewis in his criminal trial dating back to 2000. That was when he was being indicted on perjury and criminal facilitation in the death of the two guys in brawl outside the Atlanta bar.

    Roethlisberger is treading on really thin ice. But I do feel now that Goodell and the Steelers ought to be doing something proactive rather than waiting on the legal findings. Cause of there’s any evidence on the security tapes to suggest he even acted inappropriately then he won’t have a leg to stand on. And there’s no way in hell that the lawyer in his now misleading statements can make this out as being an act of consensual sex.
    Because that’s what he’s now trying to allude to !

    Alan Parkins

  9. Chris

    Hope springs eternal for the Nets . It’s been rumored that they’re going to ask for special dispensation from David Stern to draft the entire U Conn women’s basketball team and then have Maya Moore and Tina Charles play alongside Devin Harris and Chris Douglas-Roberts. The rest of the roster will be their entire Nets’ bench.

    Well that’ll probably happen as there’s no chance in hell of LeBron going there !

    Alan Parkins

  10. Chris

    It looks as if the Vikings are close to signing LaDainian Tomlinson . I don’t if it’s to be a backup to Adrian Peterson. But how damn crazy would that be ? You might as well hand the <a href=” North to them once that signing is made, Brett Favre or no Brett Favre !

    Alan Parkins

  11. Al… it’s slowly starting to appear that you were right about Big Ben all along.

    In the meantime, once again, the Steeler franchise hangs in the balance.

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