People can surprise you. I know that I, for one, have been very critical of Chris Webber in the past. As an Ohio State fan who grew up in Michigan, I got awful tired of hearing about the Fab Five. Webber has has his share of grief over comments and odd moments in his basketball career, but I learned a surprising fact about Webber today: he's a history buff. He's also a collector of historical items.
It seems that Webber has maintained a collection of artifacts from African American heroes like Dr. King and Rosa Parks. While the collection was began as a means of personal inspiration, Webber has recently decided to show his collection to the public. Starting in April Webber will loan his collection to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History here in midtown Detroit. Webber says that he has decided to share is collection with the public to help inspire and educate the public, especially kids.
While the NFL is in its off season and we wait for the draft, we can take pause to think about the veterans available in free agency. While one can easily guess more than a few guys will stay put, theres some interesting players available. QBs like Drew Brees and Alex smith will probably be re-sign to their old teams. The only question is for how much. Donovon McNabb is out there, but common sense figures he'll retire. The three guys I see as most interesting in the QB class are Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell, and Shaun Hill.
While Flynn and Hill have spent most of their time as back-ups, they've performed admirably when called upon. Flynn made the Lions defense look very average when they last met, much to my bro's chagrin. He figures to be a huge draw and may even tempt teams who have a high draft pick.
I hope the Lions will re-sign Hill, but his services would be good for a team looking for a veteran QB to back-up or challenge a younger guy. Campbell's hopes of being re-signed by the Raiders may have tanked when the Raiders paid up for Carson Palmer. Campbell was only able to play in 6 games for a run happy offense in Oakland, but he had a 60.6 % completion rate with 1,170 yards and 6 TDs. He had 5 turn overs, which is a worry, but has shown he has the goods to start.
The offensive side of the ball is very deep in free agency. My favorite running back available is Michael Bush. I don't mean to raid Oakland's cabinet, but I'd love to see the Lions pick this guy up and focus their draft picks on defense. Bush has had a nice run backing up McFadden and shows very good versatility. Bush was very close to reaching 1000 yards rushing last season with 7 TDs and only 1 fumble in 256 carries.
The wide receiver position is by far the most exciting group. There is a lot of value for teams who choose not to bank on the draft. I imagine guys like Wes Welker, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, and Mike Wallace will be re-signed, but that leaves a lot of quality guys out there. Indy has three receivers who are free agents and none of them are restricted or have been given the franchise tag yet. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Anthony Gonzalez will be on the market and with the Colts still thinking of Manning it will be interesting to see who they will keep. Ideally they'll keep all three, but any of them would make fine additions to any team. Wayne fell short of 1000 yards for the first time, but inconsistent QB play may be more of the answer than aging. I also like Dwayne Bowe, Mario Manningham (though I figure the Giants will try to keep him), and Greg Camarillo. A lot of the other guys seem as if they will come with too large of a price tag and expectations.
Speaking of the NFL, after another season of incredible revenue and record setting TV ratings, Goodell and the gang are clamoring for an 18 game season. Troy Aikman came out against this, but also the NFL moving there games to include Thursday and Saturday. I wasn't sure if I'd ever feel this way, but I agree with Aikman. Aikman tried to remind the owners that the NFL may not be number one forever. Moving games to days other than Sunday or Monday night puts those games in direct competition with NCAAF for viewers and revenue. No to mention that these games are often shown exclusively on NFL Network. The greed of Goodell and the owners threatens to alienate the NCAA (not that they are innocent either) as well as the fans at home. I think Aikman is right. The league needs to reign things in, or at least not try to get any bigger by adding games.
Well, thats it for me this week. I have to agree with a lot of my fellow Gabbers that it's great to know that spring training has started. Reports are that Miguel Cabrerra is in town and looking lighter. He seems ready to attempt playing third. Always a good sign. Thanks for stopping in and reading. Hope you guys have a great week. I leave you with your word of the week.
The way in which a douchebag would go about introducing his/herself. Bragging about their meaningless accomplishments in an attempt to impress you.
Chris: Watch this, John's about to introdouche himself to Carol.
John (Speaking to Carol) : "Nice to meet you, John's the name. Nice rack. Think I met you one time at the bowling party. I won three times."
Carol: "Thanks for introdouching yourself."