Friday, May 1, 2015

5 Things of a Friday: All-Avengers Draft Day Special

Age of Ultron is here, and so is the NFL Draft. No matter what kind of geek you are, this is your weekend.

This week's stories are mostly about sports, but there's a little bit of Avengers in there.  Don't want you to think we're playing favorites.

Emmitt Smith in 2007, courtesy of Wikipedia.
The 25 players selected in the first round of the 1990 N.F.L. draft paint a complex picture of life after football. Some have millions of dollars in the bank, while others have declared bankruptcy. Cortez Kennedy, Junior Seau and Emmitt Smith have been elected to the Hall of Fame; Tony Bennett avoids the game. Rodney Hampton, Mark Carrier and others are coaches. Keith McCants is a recovering addict. A quarter-century after the draft, they shared their stories.

Great article.  Emmitt Smith is the most successful member of the NFL Class of 1990, with Junior Seau fairly close behind. Of course, Seau committed suicide a couple of years ago, largely as a result of problems brought on by repeated concussions, but he still did a lot. His is a success story but also a cautionary tale.

A little more than half of this class did reasonably well post-football. They're not all still millionaires by any means, but the guys who have their lives together and who live comfortably were uniformly the same guys who planned for life outside of football either before they reached the NFL or shortly after they arrived. Given the way that college football is becoming an all-consuming thing earlier and earlier in the lives of its athletes (see below), that's a lesson that probably needs to get out sooner rather than later.

The NFL draft started last night, so the cycle continues.  Rounds 2 & 3 are tonight.  

2. Hawkeye Sings
Yes, the new Avengers movie comes out today.  Hallelujah!

Owen Pappoe, a Class of 2019 prospect from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., received a scholarship offer from Tennessee on Tuesday.

It was the second offer for the 6-foot-1, 194-pound Pappoe, who received his first offer last week from Boston College.

Class of 2019?  That makes Pappoe a rising high school freshman.  He’s currently in 8th grade!
Holy cats, man, college recruiting has gone crazy.  I guess we all knew it was crazy, but this is a whole new level. I wish nothing but the best for Pappoe, and I hope he enjoys the ride, but I have to admit that I hate how this is developing.  This kid is not even old enough to have seriously considered what he wants to do with his life, and he’s already being fast-tracked into big-time college football.  

I have nothing against college football—or college sports in general—but as it stands, offers like this are limiting Pappoe’s options. They're trying to, anyway.  What if he also turns out to be a good student?  Pappoe could go to Harvard.  Or Stanford.  Or anywhere.  And to say, as he already has, that Tennessee is his dream school…  It’s not necessary. He doesn't owe them that.  He’s got his whole life in front of him and lots of reasons to consider life outside of football.  Just look at what became of the NFL Draft Class of 1990 (above).  

With all these big time colleges already knocking on his door, the boring stuff, like school, doesn’t seem important, I'm sure.  That’s not a good thing.  There is life after football; there is life after sports in general.  For that matter, Pappoe could decide that he doesn’t want to play football for the rest of his life.  What then?  If he cuts short his options at 14, he won’t have any choice but to play.  That’s not good, regardless of his talent level.

These coaches are not doing these kids any favors by showing them the big-time this early in their lives.  The odds of them making it, even if everything goes perfectly for the next eight years, are still not real great.

4. Friday Hair Metal: Dirty Diana
Yes, it's Michael Jackson.  Yes, it's hair metal.  Deal with it.

5. Free comics! Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday (CNet)
The Avengers are in theatresthe Joker's tats are making headlines and comics are everywhere. What better time to head down to your local comic store and see that there's more to funny books than Batman vs. Superman -- and this Saturday 2 May there's a whole bunch of free comics in it to sweeten the deal.
"Free Comic Book Day means fun," says Kara Emerton, of Sydney's Kings Comics. "It means chaos, comics, cosplay and coffee... lots of it."
Yes, it's Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) tomorrow.  The one day in a year when comic shops are totally crammed with people, mostly families with no interest in comics doing drive-bys to let their kids grab as much crap as they can as long as it's free-of-charge.  The hope is that the shop's will see some increase in traffic based on interest derived from the free books--and the movie that's coming out today as well--but I have a little trouble believing that this actually works.  If I owned a shop, I think I'd probably require a minimum purchase to get a free book, say one free book for every comic purchased, but I know that's not how most shops operate.
That's all I've got this week.  Have a good weekend!

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