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Well, sometimes the writing is about the angle and sometimes the writing is about the movie. In this case, it is ALL about the movie. About Last Night is a classic film adaptation of a David Mamet's brilliant work of art “Sexual Perversion in Chicago”. Danny (Rob Lowe) and Bernie (Jim Belushi) love to play softball, hit the bars and chase women. Enter Debbie (Demi Moore) who after a one night stand with Danny, their passion for each other blooms into a relationship. Problem is that Danny cannot grow up and Debbie is not sure Danny is right for her. Joan (Elizabeth Perkins) is Debbie’s best friend and sees right through the immature Danny. Well, Danny and Debbie move in together and all heck breaks loose in this comedy that has some of the best quotes of any 1980s film. Belushi is an absolute genius in this film and gives a performance for the ages.
On the weekend, I was reading a ton of NFL news and notes around the league. The stories were filled with less football than Vegas, Marriage and DUIs. All could be problems. That got me to thinking about players that have greater risk because of what happens in their off-seasons. So, let’s dive into a heart shaped pool at the Palms in Las Vegas and light this candle.
“You know what your problem is? Your face. You're too good looking.”
Ray Rice was arrested for assaulting his fiancé in an Atlantic City hotel elevator - My mother told me that you should never hit a woman. Ray Rice who’s home town of New Rochelle. New York is less than ten minutes from mine probably got the same advice. Sometimes rage happens. Not sure what got into 5’8” 205 pound running back, but the media has given him a pass on a lot of this. The National Football League won’t. Everything I have read on this says that he will get a multi-game suspension. He has lost 20 pounds and is moving a ton better than last year, but he may not get on the field until week 7. If the NFL hands down a 6-game suspension, Rice can only be grabbed in the very late rounds. Watch the news, if he gets two games, he will be worth a 4th round flyer. There have been five Ravens arrested this off-season and Rice’s fiancé apologized for being knocked unconscious. That is crazy. Distractions are distractions. Ray could come out angry, in shape and dedicated to the game. He could also serve a six game suspension and become irrelevant by week 7. Watch close.
Johnny Manziel running around Las Vegas - To be clear, Manziel has been part of all the teams’ activities and every one with team says that he works hard when he is around the team. Many players have spent their free time jet setting to Las Vegas for play time especially in the off-season. Manziel just did it the least discretely. He has been seen at parties, with “party” girls and rolling bills in bathrooms. There is no direct allegation here from me or anyone else that I could find, but the question comes to everyone’s mind “why would he be rolling a $20 bill?” Most answers to that question cannot be good. There is only upside to Johnny Football for where you would have to take him as your 2nd quarterback so I am a BIG proponent of taking the shot in shallow leagues. We have heard that he works hard, looks like RGIII looked and they installed a set of Red Zone plays for him. Why not? What do you have to lose? If he cannot get it together and doesn’t steal the job from Brian Hoyer, then you go to the waiver wire for the hottest player or the best matchup for the week that your QB1 has a BYE week.
Rob Gronkowski running around Las Vegas - Gronk has two brothers who are unrestricted free agents. Not sure if they will be signed anywhere. All reports say that he will play in Week 1. Let’s go to this time last year and look at the news. On June 18th Ian Rappaport reported that the Patriots were holding out hope that he would play week one. On July 9th, the moving target began. Ed Werder reported that he could miss week one, but everyone was being “tight-lipped”. This same coverage happened for three more months with a crazy schedule of moving targets. Now, a lot of things were different. He had only one surgery this off-season as opposed to have at least three last off-season. He is far along in his progress and did individual workouts at OTAs. He will however, start training camps on the PUP. Funny, but those are the same questions as last year. I was lucky enough to play in a league with the star of this movie, Jim Belushi last year and I got fooled by the news at this time of year and drafted Gronkowski in the 5th round. Broke all the rules of the SMART system that day and am embarrassed by it. We had a lot of fun together last year but I will NEVER own Gronkowski again. He is dead to me.
Roddy White arrested in February for failing to appear in court - Ok. This is thin. He was cited for having non-transparent material on his windows and then arrested for not appearing in court. Minor thing, but still represents a minor risk. More importantly, the injuries from last year don not seem to 100% gone as he is not practicing every day. He is 32 years old coming off the worst season of his career. With Julio Jones out and his ankle hurting, Roddy tried to play through the pain, but only amassed 711 yards on 63 catches. He looks a step slower. He has a lot to prove and Julio Jones is talking a good game pitching the duo as the best duo in the game. There are two WRs from the location of our movie who are laughing at this notion. Too much risk here to invest in. Find another wide receiver with more upside in that spot.
Hakeem Nicks got engaged to model Ariel Meredith - Like Mickey said in the classic movie Rocky, “Women weakens legs”. Nothing is worse than being on the downside of your career, getting an opportunity to play with one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and then getting all lovie dovie on us. Play football not footsie. Hakeem is the 73rd ranked WR on Jeff Mans’ rankings for a reason. He is not that good. This represents a good risk though as to the draft position that he is going in. He wants to keep that hottie and there are a number of things to point to as to why this season is so important. Nicks is still only 26 years old. He has a deal that pays him based on incentives mostly. He signed only a one-year deal meaning that he will be motivated to perform. So in this case, there are enough other factors to be able to believe in to invest in Nicks in your 8th or 9th round.
Yeah, right. Pull this leg and it plays jingle bells.
So the lesson here is that sometimes it is just great sex. None of that means anything unless you can make it last. Well, it means something and you will smile about it at least once a month for the rest of your life, but...oh forget that. Back to football, at this time of year, you need to identify risk as there is almost always another player during your draft who represents similar talent with less risk. You need to assess this in real-time and determine if you want these players with question marks on them or a player that you can be more sure of. Johnny Manziel represents opportunity as people question his off-season shenanigans. In the case of Rob Gronkowski you will be burning a 2nd round pick to get him. Gronk has huge upside as he is the dominant when healthy, but he won’t EVER play for me again. So, stick to the plan and take a different players when there is this much risk. Always ask the question that Danny asks Bernie in the very first scene…
Danny: Was she a pro?
Bernie: At this point, we don’t know?