When NFL Scouts Get It Wrong

by Bob Sparrow

NFL scout career path

Last week Sis gave a great history of the NFL Draft as well as some interesting sidebars.  As luck (not sure if it was good or bad luck) would have it, I was in Las Vegas last week during the festivities, although far enough from ‘The Strip’ to avoid most of the hoopla, but close enough to feel the vibe.

Suzanne mentioned the embarrassment of quarterback, Brady Quinn (or most likely the draft organizers) who was put in a very visible spot, thinking that he was going to be drafted in the first or second round, when in fact he wasn’t picked until round 22!  So, he surely entered the NFL with a chip on his shoulder.  Unfortunately, that chip was probably on his throwing shoulder as his NFL career was less that sterling.  He ‘played’ in the NFL for 7 years, was on 5 different teams, only played in 24 games in his total career, and had more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12).  So, the NFL scouts got that one right.  But before you feel too sorry for Mr. Quinn, he currently works for Fox Sports as a football analyst at a salary of $715,000 a year and has a net worth of over $10 million.

Giovanni who?

But many times, in fact more than you’d think, the scouts get it wrong.  I say more than you think, because the process of hiring an employee in the NFL is very different from most businesses.  Employers, rather than looking at resumes that most likely have a few hyperboles in it, and having an hour-long interview with a potential hire, NFL scouts have several years of game films to look at, doctor reports, work outs at the NFL Combine and extended conversation with a potential employee’s last boss (college coach).  So, getting the draft wrong would seem highly unlikely, but it’s not.

The quintessential “NFL Draft Oops” was in the 2000 draft when Tom Brady, now arguably the greatest player to ever play the game, was picked in the 6th round, making him the 199th player selected – six other quarterbacks were drafted before him – you’re not alone if you don’t recognize any of their names, Spergon Wynn, Tee Martin, Chad Pennington, Chris Redman, Marc Bulger and Giovanni Carmazzi.  I’m not making these names up!!

NFL’s biggest flop

Other notable ‘Oops’ are Shannon Sharp, drafted 192nd in the 1990 draft, who became an All Pro tight end and was ultimately inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Joining him in the Hall was Joe Montana, drafted 82nd in the 1979 draft and lead the 49ers to four Super Bowls.

The scouts get it wrong the other way as well.  Ryan Leaf, was the 2nd player picked in the 1998 draft behind Payton Manning.  In his NFL rookie year, Leaf threw 2 touchdowns and 15 interceptions; and that wasn’t the worst of it, he was a jerk who was despised by both his teammates and his coaches.  He played four uneventful seasons in the NFL and threw for 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.  But, apparently being a ’NFL Quarterback Bust’ is a career path to being a football analyst for a major network, as that’s what Leaf is doing now for ESPN.

I’m guessing that some of those scouts involved in the aforementioned draft picks are now working for Fox or ESPN . . . as janitors.  With the NFL draft now over, football season cannot be far off – can’t wait, especially for the colleges!  Go Utes!!!


By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Old College Football

College Football in Simpler Times

September means only one thing around our household – college football season starts. We await the beginning of each season as a child might await Christmas. In July my husband buys the college football preview magazines and begins to plot out our weekends for the fall. He is a life-long USC fan (it’s going to be a long season) so every year he gives me their schedule to mark on our calendar with instructions not to plan anything silly when a game is on. “Silly” is defined as dinner with good friends, going to a play, or God forbid, a trip to the emergency room.

So every Saturday, from September through the bowl games in January, our day unfolds with military-like precision: we wake up and don our “Saturday pants” (which is anything with an elastic waistband), we cut out the sports schedule from the paper and circle all the games we want to catch, we watch ESPN “Game Day“, and then plunk ourselves down for a Bacchanalia of football. We finally rouse from our chairs around midnight, at which point we take our stupefied selves to bed. Some might suggest that the whole day has been stupefied, but we love our college football.


Our own Artie the Artichoke

One aspect of the game that is getting more attention these days is the team mascot. It used to be that some poor sap put a paper mache head on and ran along the sidelines like an idiot. But like all else with college sports, the team mascot has become more sophisticated. They have races with the opposing mascot, they do push-ups after every touchdown, and their outfits often look like something out of a Tim Burton movie. There are, however, a few exceptions to this sophistication. The first one is right here in my own backyard: The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichoke. That’s right – our mascot is a vegetable. I don’t recall an artichoke being particularly fearsome, unless you count being stuck by those little prickly things at the end of the leaf. A couple of years ago Artie (as he is familiarly known) was #1 in the Top Ten Most Weird College Mascot contest. He beat out the Delta State Fighting Okra. We don’t even grow artichokes in Scottsdale but the story goes that a few years ago some computer science students were upset about the amount of money the school spent on the football team. So they managed to get a campaign going to find a new mascot for the team, plotting to suggest the artichoke since they thought it would be so embarrassing to the team. They drove a hard (and probably rigged) campaign and Artie won the day. Ironically, the students, including the football team, soon embraced the cute little vegetable and today Artie is a beloved member of the campus.

There are other examples of dumb mascots, most notably the Stanford tree. Or maybe I’m just not smart enough to “get it”. There is the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and the Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels. My brother, Bob, attended Westminster College at a time when their mascot was the “Parson”. It will not surprise you to know that Bob wrote the sports column for the school newspaper. He often suggested that “Parson” didn’t really strike fear in their opponents, but to no avail. They since have changed it to the “Griffin” which at least gives them a fighting chance.


Uga in his official football uniform

On the other side of the ledger, perhaps the BEST mascot in college football is Uga, the Bulldog from the University of Georgia. It pains me to say that because I hate the SEC and everything about it. Except Uga. How can you not fall in love with that face? An English Bulldog has been the mascot for the university since 1956, all of them owned by the same family. To date, 9 dogs have carried the name “Uga”, each descended from the original Uga, and frequently the son of the predecessor. Talk about nepotism! The current Uga attends every home football game, many away games, and other University-related functions and sports events, and usually wears a spiked collar and red jersey with varsity letter. The red jersey is Uga’s typical “uniform,” though he wears a green jersey on St. Patrick’s Day. Other special appearances include 1982, when Uga IV attended the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City wearing a tuxedo, and 2007, when Uga VI wore a black jersey for the “blackout” game against Auburn. Shoot, this dog has more change of outfits than I do. He even has an official student identification card. He has a custom-built air-conditioned dog house and typically sits on or near bags of ice at games.


What does a guy have to do to cool off around here?


Here he is – trying to cool off after the half time show – overheated and prostate. I can so relate to his dilemma. Oftentimes as I’m running around in the midst of summer I’ve also felt like heaving myself onto a bag of ice. Granted, I’d need a considerably bigger bag than Uga, but I think he’s on to something.

So this season, pay special attention to the mascots. You never know when you might run into an Artichoke or a petrel. Or if you’re really lucky, a cute English Bulldog named Uga.


Headlines:  This gives him four more years to fit into the Superman suit.

The suspense is finally over, the guesswork is kaput,

The 2012 election won’t have Chris Christie underfoot.

He says it’s not his time, at least that’s what he swore,

But we think it’s more a matter of “always leave ‘em wanting more”.

Business:  Will the stadium seats be made of fine Corinthian leather?

The Superdome will now be named for Mercedes Benz,

Who join in the resurgence of naming-rights trends.

We hope this means good things and makes the locals smile,

And that next time there’s a hurricane, they can evacuate in style.

Sports:  Are you ready for some goofball?

It hardly seemed official, no Hank Williams on MNF,

But he was given a “time out” by ESPN’s refs.

It should come as no surprise, as his railings seem to mount,

Calling Obama and Biden the Three Stooges proves that he can’t even count.

Life:  Do they have to return the Bunny Tails? 

They learned how to do “the dip” and practiced coy flirtation,

But “The Playboy Club” is now this season’s first cancellation.

Hef’s had a bad year, lost his show and his “girl” took flight,

Maybe he should stick to “girls” his age and start dating Betty White.

Wouldn’t you love to make someone’s day just a bit brighter?

Send them a tribute from redposey!

Visit www.redposey.com to start now.


AHEM…well now, after letting off a little steam yesterday we’re back to our rhyming format.  However, we are always seeking to improve and love to get feedback, so if you would like more “opinion pieces” in the future, or have any other thoughts about our blog, please leave a comment below.

And now for today’s news: 

HEADLINES:    But will it make my coffee in the morning? 

Amazon has announced its new tablet “Fire”,

And at a price of $199 it truly is inspired.

You can stream movies and music, even MJ’s “Thriller”,

But the real question is, is it an i-Pad killer?

BUSINESS:    Don’t we have enough of an obesity problem? 

Fast food joints have seen their sales in deep decline,

So now they’re offering deals to entice you in to dine.

Let’s see, on the same day we read that health premiums are up,

We’re not sure what we need are cheaper Slurpee cups.

Sports:  We hope the sumo wrestlers are not part of this program. 

ESPN’s has named the athletes to be in its  “Body Issue”,

They’ll pose almost nude, with some strategically placed tissue.

Among them Hope Solo and Jose Reyes will stare into the lens darkly,

We’re just praying they don’t decide to bring back Charles Barkley.

Life:  Who gets the eyebrow trimmer from his office? 

The clock has finally ticked down for “60 Minutes’” Andy Rooney,

Who – we must admit- can be a bit disgruntled and loony.

But he offered the best advice about handling credit card offers,

Send the pre-paid envelope back empty – the postage comes out of their coffers!

Surely you have a friend or relative that deserves a special birthday tribute – visit www.redposey.com to order one today!