Tag Archives: football

‘With the First Pick in the NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs Select: Not Luke Joeckel’

So, if you know me, you know that I am a unrepentant Chiefs fan unswayed by years of poor management and inept play. As a way of keeping a link a back to that conversation alive, I write a weekly column for Chiefs fan site Arrowhead Addict. This was my latest piece on draft talk and what the Chiefs should do with their 1st overall pick in the 2013 Draft.

Last week, I laid out why I think it would be a mistake for the Chiefs to select DT Star Lotulelei with their first pick. This week, it’s Joeckel’s turn.

There’s probably no player more frequently mocked to the Chiefs than LT Luke Joeckel, but there are a lot of problems with that pick.

Still, let’s start with the good:

He’s a blue chip player at a blue chip position and if the Chiefs don’t re-sign Brandon Albert, it’s a need position for the Chiefs as well.

By almost all accounts he is one of the top three prospects in this draft. Left tackles with the natural ability and prototypical size that he has do not grow on trees. In a year of iffy quarterback prospects, tackles also tend to be safer picks and he’ll be cheaper than retaining Albert’s services most likely.

He has no injury concerns and held his own against some of college football’s best pass rushers in the SEC. All around, he is a low-risk pick and could be the best LT in all of football with some development.

So why not take him?

First off, while there is an overall lower bust rate for tackles in the top of the draft, they’re not a sure bet either. Of the eight tackles taken in the top ten since 2008, all but two are currently rated by Scouts Inc. as just “good starters,” which they describe as a “Solid starter who is close to being an outstanding player … Has few weaknesses and will usually win his individual matchup but does not dominate in every game, especially when matched up against the top players in the league.”

That’s not exactly an inspiring result for a 1st overall pick. If you pick in the top five, you should be landing a guy that is a star in the league for years, not a guy who is merely better than average.

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MLS All Stars defeat West Ham United

I just watched the last few seconds of the MLS All Star game against British football club West Ham ending in a 3-2 win.

It is strange, but I very much like the format of these games. Rather than split up the MLS into separate leagues and pit their respective MVP’s against each other the MLS just takes the league’s best and challenges a foreign team to a friendly.

Why? Because normally American “soccer” gets no love, and it shows that we have players that can go toe to toe with the world’s best. In 2006, the All Stars beat Chelsea as it was coming off it’s Premier League Championship win (basically the biggest match in the soccer world).

It should be noted however, that in these friendlies the foreign clubs often don’t field their best players, but any win should justify bragging rights. It’s their own fault if they don’t play the right players.

Silly Russians

One of my distinct pleasures in surfing Russian news websites is the polls they have on world issues. We, of course, have the same thing on our news sites asking readers everything from how they feel about Brett Favre returning to the NFL to whether the country is going in the right direction or not.

Occasionally however, these polls in Russian newspapers provide an interesting look at what the average Russian is thinking about certain issues, although I wouldn’t necessarily take these unscientific polls too seriously.

Today on the website for the business newspaper “Vzglyad,” the poll question was “How should Russia punish the Czech Republic for the installation of the radar station for the Missile Shield.”

Out of the seven options I voted “Beat them in Soccer.” This is how it broke up among the 1,491 Russian respondents:

28.2% – “Aim nuclear missiles at Prague”

19.9% – “No punishment. It’s the Czech Republic’s internal business”

16.8% – “Boycott of Czech beer”

16.3% – “Reduce oil exports to the Czech Republic”

8.7% – “Send tanks to the Czech Republic” (. . . again)

7.0% – “Beat them in Soccer”

3.1% – “Break diplomatic ties”

A lot can be said about the results, but once again I don’t think it should be taken too seriously. I think a good portion of the respondents were joking, but wanted to express their displeasure towards the Missile Shield. Having been in Russia and talked to people about these issues, I was actually surprised that the second most popular response was ambivalence.

International Volleyball Federation suspends Albania’s membership

Apparently bowing to pressure from Serbia, the International Volleyball Federation has suspended Albania’s membership status and accordingly the nation’s volleyball team will not be able to compete in international matches.

In a related event, FIFA has clarified that Kosovo will not be allowed to participate in international soccer matches, the first of which was a scheduled friendly match with Brazil. Kosovo apparently applied for the match, and announced that it would take place, but FIFA refused to consider it as Kosovo is not recognized by the U.N.