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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Draft Is Coming!

That's right folks, you read my headline right; there is a draft coming to the US, and coming soon. It's a bit strange though, because unlike other drafts, you have to be two years out of high school to be drafted, and 99% of the people who get a slip for it will be college educated.

It is of course the NFL draft, and it's this weekend. For us football junkies this is important stuff, thousands of them will be at Radio City in New York to watch this weekend, millions will tune it at different times to ESPN to try and see where their favorite college player went, or who their pro team picked up.

Every year there is a sort of strange story out of the draft, usually where some star player fell to, or a surprise pick in the first round of some unknown, who usually stays unknown for their short career.

This year the story is already out, University of Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, a probable top five pick has said he can't make it to New York to go on stage and get a jersey and hat. He's decided to go to Lake Michigan fishing with his dad instead. I applaud him, I missed a lot of years of fishing trips with Dad while I gallivanted around the globe, and they can't be replaced.

In a world full of prima donna athletes, it's refreshing to find one who'd rather go fishing than work on his acceptance speech and stage strut. For those who followed Wisconsin football though, it's not a surprise.

A few years ago, when Thomas could have been a top 5 pick if he came out early he put team in front of self, and could have paid dearly. UW's defensive line was decimated by injuries, and the All American offensive tackle told the coach he'd play defensive line, too, to help the team. Then, in every jocks nightmare, he blew his ACL during a bowl game, playing on the "wrong side' of the ball". He still ended up as the best lineman in football last year, winning the Outland Trophy, and being a consensus All American.

I'm not sure where Cincinnati is picking in the first round, but the Commissioner ought to force them to take Thomas, since they are a team in need of character and he seems to have some.

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