Last night, ESPN reported that the Cleveland Browns had made an offer to the Tennessee Titans in order for the Browns to acquire the overall #2 pick in the draft tonight. There is nothing particularly notable in that; plenty of teams might be angling to get that pick. However, what ESPN reported was that if the Browns got the overall #2 pick, they were going to draft Marcus Mariota. When I heard that, I thought that Mariota must have gone into a blue funk hearing the news. Here’s why…
Consider that the Cleveland Browns as we know them today began in 1999. Since they had the overall #1 pick in the draft that year as an expansion franchise, the Browns have taken a bunch of QBs in the draft and none of them have turned out to be anything more than journeymen. In fact, a large number of the QBs that the Browns took cannot play dead in a John Wayne movie. I may have missed a selection; my “research” here was done hastily, but here is the list I compiled:
1999 Tim Couch — First round — Overall #1
2000 Spergon Wynn — Sixth round — Overall #183
2004 Luke McCown — Fourth round — Overall #106
2005 Charlie Frye — Third round — Overall #67
2007 Brady Quinn — First round — Overall #22
2010 Colt McCoy – – Third round – Overall #85
2012 Brandon Weeden – – First Round – – Overall #22
2014 Johnny Manziel – – First Round – – Overall #22
Since 1999, there have been 16 NFL Drafts. In those drafts, the Browns have taken a QB eight times; of those eight selections, four have been first round picks. If Marcus Mariota looks at that history and realizes that he might have his name entered onto that list, it ought to give him night sweats.
Three years ago at draft time, the Miami Dolphins traded up to the #3 slot in the draft to select DE/OLB Dion Jordan. Earlier this week, we learned that Jordan will be suspended for the entire 2015 season for running afoul of the substance abuse policy. I believe we can make it official now; Dion Jordan was not worth trading up for.
In 2 seasons, Jordan has 3 sacks and 2 drug suspensions. That is an ominous start to an NFL career – if in fact it is not the sum total of his entire NFL career.
There seems to be about as much hype and hoopla surrounding the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight as there is for some pro ‘rassling extravaganza. About a week ago, Mayweather proclaimed that he is the greatest fighter in history specifically saying, “I am greater than Ali.” For some reason that I do not understand, George Foreman chimed in saying “I agree with Mayweather.” Of course, Ali simply said, “I’m the greatest.”
None of that amounts to a scintilla of squirrel stool but I would like to point out to all of those fighters a simple fact:
Rocky Marciano retired as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world beating all 49 men who stood in front of him.
Rocky is on the other side of the grass at the moment so he cannot offer his opinion on this matter directly…
The Nevada State Gaming Control Board released figures for March indicating that sportsbooks in Nevada handled $375.5M in wagers on basketball. That number is up from last year’s $343.5M and represents a 9.3% increase. If you assume that the handle for NBA games in March of each year is relatively constant, the difference would have to be wagering on March Madness. People who follow the gaming industry say that 70% of the wagering on basketball in Nevada goes to NCAA Tournament games; if they are correct, that would mean that almost $263M went through the windows in March on college basketball games. And please recall that the Final Four games did not happen until April…
This increase in wagering happens to coincide with record breaking TV ratings for the tournament games this year. Adam Silver seems to recognize that there is some causation here and so does Rob Manfred; Mark Emmert continues to do his Marcel Marceau imitation on this matter.
For the final game, the ratings say it was the most watched game since 1997 (Kentucky vs. Arizona). The total viewing audience was 28.26 million folks.
Saturday will see the Kentucky Derby happen. As usual there will be 20 horses in the field which is about 6 too many. More than about any other US race, the outcome of the Derby is often decided by which horse best avoids traffic congestion. Horses to watch include:
Carpe Diem. Post position 2. Morning Line 8-1. He has 4 wins in 5 starts and has the best trainer/jockey combination in racing going for him.
Dortmund. Post position 8. Morning Line 3-1. He has never lost and he ran a huge race in the Santa Anita Derby.
International Star. Post position 12. Morning Line 20-1. If you like your horse to close ground late, he is one to consider.
Frosted. Post Position 15. Morning Line 15-1. Ran a very good race in the Wood Memorial.
American Pharaoh. Post 18. Morning Line 5-2. He has 4 straight wins but I am leery of a favorite from the 18 post in a field like this.
Finally, Dwight Perry had this note in the Seattle Times recently:
The 76,976 fans at WrestleMania XXXI in San Francisco broke the Levi’s Stadium record for WiFi usage — 4.5 terabytes of data.
“On the downside, local doctors report a sudden rash of cauliflower-thumb complaints.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………