Some house keeping notes today.
1) Every April 1st, friend-of-the-program Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) releases his Rookie Scouting Portfolio. The RSP not only provides rankings and analysis of all of the major skill position players in this year’s draft, but also provides over 1,000 pages of scouting checklists and play-by-play notes.
Matt does top-notch work year round, and I support just about everything he does. In fact, I’m a bit delinquent this year in letting you hear about the RSP, and my apologies for that. But this is not the worst time to bring you news of the RSP, because Matt also writes a post-draft analysis with rankings assembled in a tiered cheat sheet. This is free with the RSP purchase and will be available by the end of this week.
The RSP is $19.95 and available at www.mattwaldman.com. Matt donates 10 percent of every sale to Darkness to Light, a non-profit that combats sexual abuse through individual community and training to recognize how to prevent and address the issue. Matt’s not only a great football writer, but a great guy, so I don’t think you can go wrong here.
2) Let’s make the smooth transition to a man who has decided that he’s had enough of football. It’s All Over, Fatman, was the best Broncos website on the internet. And the main man behind it, Douglas Lee, is another one of the good guys. But last week, IAOFM shut its doors. Doug is not just a smart guy, but a thoughtful one, and well, here’s an excerpt from his very interesting farewell post:
It’s become increasingly difficult for me to think about football outside the context of the brutal long term physical and cognitive toll the sport exacts upon its players. This would be somewhat more palatable if I thought the league and its owners cared about their current and former players to a greater extent than a settled class action lawsuit dictates. Their actions consistently suggest otherwise.
Given those long-term consequences, I’ve known for quite some time that I wouldn’t want my son to ever play tackle football. More recently, I realized I didn’t necessarily want him to become a fan. Sure, I’ll have far more control over the former than the latter, but what example would I be setting by continuing to pour so much energy into chronicling and analyzing the NFL?
Teams pump players full of (performance enhancing) narcotics to mask pain, stay on the field, and risk more serious injury. But when those players turn to HGH to help rebound from this increasingly brutal sport (hello, Thursday Night Football), they’re branded as cheaters. Owners hold cities up for hundreds of millions of dollars in stadium subsidies, while simultaneously demonizing players who seek to maximize their earning potential during limited career spans.
Those three paragraphs don’t do the whole article justice, so give it a read. Of course, we all wish Doug and the other members of IOAFM well in their future, football-less lives. And I can’t say that I am shocked by his words, or that I haven’t battled some variation of them myself. I don’t know how many people will quit football, but if someone like Doug is going to, that should be enough to make everyone stop and think.
3) Yes, I will surround IAOFM’s farewell with a pair of football fanatics. Arif Hasan, another friend of the program, has put together a great set of post-draft “grades” based on his consensus rankings. It’s well worth a read.