Thursday, September 30, 2010

So Sam Bradford reminds you of Troy Aikman, aye?

Did I have something to do with that?

I seem to recall doing a comprehensive blade-job on the very notion of drafting a QB #1. I wrote a piece called "The Only Time it Every Worked Out" prior to the 2010 draft and I sited Troy Aikman and the Cowboys as the one and only time taking a QB #1 resulted in an all-out, smash-bang hit for the team that selected him.

The object was to spell out in absolutely clear terms what ungodly low-percentages you face when selecting a QB #1 in the draft.

At the end of that piece, I compared the 4 QBs at the top of the heap in 2010 to Troy Aikman. I found all of them wanting in one respect or another. I stated that the only dude who even kinda sorta reminded me of Troy was my bambino: Tim Tebow.

Shortly after that I began reading so-called leaks from the Rams organization that stated Sam was the most accurate passer since Troy Aikman. I raised one eyebrow like Spock, and wondered how Peyton Manning felt about that statement. I felt the statement was self-refuting and left it at that.

Then all of a sudden, I hear famous scouts declaring Sam had the best private workout since Troy Aikman. Interesting... I thought they said the same thing about JaMarcus Russell.

Then suddenly, after Devaney drafts Sam, he decides that Sam is going to wear #8 rather than #14. Of course, it is a violation of sports taboos to renumber a QB between college and the pros. We superstitious dudes believe that this often leads to busts. What was the reason for this violation of superstitious taboos? Keenan Burton, a WR who did not make the squad (on one of the most depleted WR rosters around) had already been allocated #14. Surely there must be a better excuse for that?

Devaney and Bradford felt it was a nice tribute to fellow Oklahoma QB and #1 pick Troy Aikman. Incidentally, he graduated from my alma mater UCLA, not Oklahoma as the conference falsely stated.

Now, Michael Irvin is singing this song. He says Sam is a good professional young quarterback, much like Troy. Of course, we know that the NFL Network is the official mouthpiece of the 32 teams of the league. They are asked to single certain promotional songs to stir-up the echoes of official promo statements made by the 32 teams.

While it does my heart some good to think this just might work out after all, I have considerable reservations about these comparisons. Are these comparisons warranted? Let us count the similarities:
  1. They are both quarterbacks
  2. They are both from Oklahoma
  3. They are both right handed
  4. They are both around 6-4
  5. They were both #1 picks
  6. They are both extremely accurate.
  7. They were both highly professional young QBs (at least once upon a time)
  8. They are both Scorpios
There is a bit of data-noise in each of those statements, but I will set that aside. Suffice it to say, I think the comparison is strained. I watched both of them play through their entire college and Pro careers thus far, and I think there are systematic, health, mechanical and stylistic differences that make them plenty distinct.

Don't you think so?

Of course, my draft campaign failed utterly, however, I did raise some hullabaloo inside Ram-circles. I wonder if I mounted a unsuccessful pressure campaign that raised enough ruckus to draw some direct counter-measures? What do you think?