Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Draft Week, Sir.

Brethren: It's draft week, which is usually a much more anticipatory time for the Sports Brethren, as it's our one official NFL moment until early fall. Yea, the official schedule came out recently, but I like to take a Silver Foxian view of the schedule and say "you play who they tell you to play." But this year, the Panthers have no first round pick, which means they won't be active for the first five hours of ESPN's coverage. Of course, the Silver Fox will tell you we already had our 2009 first round pick -- last year, when we traded up to get Jeff Otah. Hiiiyyooo.

But there are some things to note with this draft, despite the relative lack of impact the Cats can have. Of course, that can all change if the stealthy Panthers do something big with Julius Peppers before or during the draft. Everyone's been saying we pretty much have to deal him before the draft takes place if he's going to be moved at all, so things seem very "calm before the storm" quiet right now. There was solid Twitter chatter today about a rumor that sprung out of the QC's best sports radio station, WFNZ (more on that later), but beyond that, the Panthers front office is doing the right thing by saying, "We have Julius on salary cap right now and we anticipate he'll be a Panther come fall" and force the Peppers camp to drive the conversation. Which they haven't been, which has led to a very All Quiet on the Panther Front offseason.

Some Draft Day musings, and an appearance by dear Nacho, desde:

Brethren (cont'd): First thing of note that I think has been undercovered so far this year: the new start time of the draft. We're now getting started at 4 PM EST, which seemed like a ludicrously late time, until I read that link. Apparently, the draft was pushed back to 3 PM last year, so this year is only an hour later. I was under the impression that the draft still started at noon, like it did back in the day, but then I remembered I haven't watched the first day of the draft live since 2003. That was my senior year in high school, and since I went to college, Draft Saturday has fallen on the high holiday of the Foxfield Races, the most wonderful UVA tradition ever, and thus, I've been preoccupied (read: drunk and not near a tv) and unable to watch the draft live. (Yes, even in the late 80s, Foxfield was a ridiculous conceit to day drink heavily. Love how some things never change.) In any event, I find the 4 PM EST start time patently ridiculous because now the first day probably won't end until 1 AM, but it also means I can probably catch the Panthers #59 pick live from the bar Saturday night. I guess now Nacho and the Left Coasters can sleep in and not miss the start, but still seems like quiet a late start time for a slow-moving event like the draft.

Issue #2: Who should the Panthers pick? Fuck if I know. We don't pick for so long, it's a bit absurd trying to actually nail down a name. I hear the Utah DE (we drafted Steve Smith and Jordan Gross from there so every Ute must become a Pro Bowl Panther!); I hear some DE from Ga Tech (if he falls to us!). It seems pretty widely accepted we're going after a DE or DB because of the Peppers situation and the Ken Lucas roster cut. Sure; I could go either way there. Thing is, I have no idea, but I'm sure I'll be pumped and convincing some poor undergrad girl in a booth at the Virginian that we made a wise decision Saturday night, and thus it would be wise of her take me back to her humble abode.

Issue #3: So this is the digital marketing nerd in me, but back to that point I made about Twitter earlier: my search patterns have drastically change when I need news now. Whereas I would usually search Google News as quickly possible, nowadays, Twitter Search is much more reliable. For instance, today, I received a text from Nacho about the rumor Peppers is being dealt to the Patriots for Richard Seymour and a 2nd round pick. While sweeping the Internets with glee, trying to find the story, I went to Google News and searched. Nothing came back about the rumor. So I responded to Nacho about where he heard. His response, "a KSK retweet." So I checked Twitter Search and boom, 12 answers about the rumor. Real-time search results, provided by the users for the users. Granted, this is something I've mildly read about at work, but until now, had no personal experience with the power of real-time search. And it's why Google should be shitting their pants over Twitter.

/end nerdgasm.

Issue #4: The Observer upset the Cap'n quite a bit this weekend by throwing out the fantasy that the Panthers draft Pitt QB Pat White. Now, I encourage such whimsical thinking, but Pappy didn't take kindly to the ridiculousness of it. It's sad that the Panthers brass would be so written off that their own fans won't even entertain the thought that they could pull something like that off. But I like to think that's where the Silver Fox operates best: when everyone already thinks they know what he's up to.

Either that, or it's been a long damn time since January 10th and I've forgotten how he blindly stuck to a defense that Fitzgerald was killing and didn't have the good sense to reign Jake in. Well, maybe not completely forgotten, but I still -- for some reason -- have faith in the Silver Fox.

Enjoy watching Berman tip the picks; I'll be leering at sundress cleavage through my un-reality aviators, swilling bourbon, sweating through my finest race clothes, and generally being a gentleman.

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