Saturday, April 25, 2009

NFL Draft Day Blogging 2009

Hola, to all three people who might even know this blog exists. :)
Today's a huge day for me as a Bucs fan, I'm gonna be following the NFL rookie draft this afternoon. I'm gonna see about liveblogging it, which means constant EDIT updates to this particular post. I'm gonna see if I can do it, and how many updates I can do before the computer decides to kill me for overloading its CPU...

Some notes beforehand, I've made my predictions (based mostly on the Bucs NOT trading down from the 19th spot, something they're hoping to do) and am now waiting to see how far off I am in mah guesswork.

I'm primarily hoping the Bucs go for Percy Harvin as a need pick for WR. But I'm not blind to the Bucs' needs at DT and DE, so if the team goes there (possibly DT Peria Jerry) I won't have any problems.

What I will have a problem with is if the Bucs go with selecting a rookie QB like Josh Freeman with the 19th overall pick. Half the scouting boards (including that pompous ass Mel Kiper) have the Bucs going that way even though 1) Bucs have a decent roster of veteran QBs already and 2) Bucs have needs elsewhere. These jokers can't even argue that picking Freeman would be a Best-Available Pick (as opposed to Filling-Need Pick) because Freeman is ranked around the 50th spot with most scouting boards. These scouts seem to think the Bucs are screwed at QB because they don't like Leftwich or McCown or Griese. Phooey on that.

Early notes: Detroit has locked up the first overall pick to QB Dennis Quaid, uh Matt Stafford. Teams looking to trade up include the Giants who are hoping to snag WR Darrius Heyward-Bey before he goes to other WR-starved teams. Arizona has WR Boldin on the trading block, and apparently are dropping their demands so much that a smart team could snag Boldin, keep a decent early pick and still get a rookie they wanted. So DON'T expect the Bucs to make that move. ;-)

Draft officially starts in 4 hours. I will post UPDATES! Stay tuned.

Update - 3:42 PM. Currently at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Wireless works. Laptop now on battery power. See how long it lasts.
Most of the talk on the car radio was on the ridiculously rich contract Stafford got, and for the locals arguing about the need to trade down with the two teams most wanting to trade up (Arizona, NYGiants).

4:52 - Big shock with the Jets trading up to get Sanchez. Big question now is how this affects the next QB on the list (Freeman). With DE Jackson going ahead of other big names at the DE spot, there's a possibility the DE lineup will see a lot of activity with the next 12 spots...

5:37 - Didn't realize Denver needed RB. Wonder if the Bucs have a shot at LB Cushing... Biggest shock so far is still the Jets trade, but seeing some of the DEs slip from Top 5 to tenth and eleventh means there'll be more defensive end players on the board to tempt the Bucs...


It's official. We suck.

9:00 - I doubt the Bucs can work out a trade to get back into the Second Round, so this is it for the day. My grand experiment in liveblogging the event kinda goes nowhere and I end up frustrated with the team once again. Sigh. It's a good thing there's a Star Trek movie coming out on my birthday I can geek out over in two weeks...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

So I obsess over a few things

I'm a geek. You might not have noticed by now but... yeah I kid. All four of you noticed on Day One.

I'm a comic book geek, movie geek, scifi geek, Trekkie (yes, I accept the term), XPhile, lit geek, cat geek, cheese geek, tall-long-haired-brunette-with-huge-tracks-of-land geek (I have a fetish, so? especially if she looks great in a Wonder Woman cosplay uniform), and sports geek.

I know that last bit sometimes doesn't square with all the other geekdoms - well other than the cheese and the tall brunettes with yabbos geekdoms - but, yeah, I get it from my mom's side of the family (poor Grampa was a Cubs (or was it teh Braves?) fan, Mom knows ever syllable of the War Eagle fight song). And having grown up in the Tampa Bay region from 1977 on, I got hooked early to the Tampa Bay Bucs pro football team (having them go to the playoffs when I was nine started the fan crush). So yeah, I follow a lot of football, college and pro.

I also obsess over the annual NFL rookie draft.

Not everyone gets the draft, I know. It's a hyped-up non-event in their eyes. No game is actually played out. No one really wins, or really loses (unless you're the Browns or Lions or Raiders, they haven't drafted smart in years!). It's a real-life version of Fantasy Football where REAL team owners get to select newbies to fill out their rosters, nothing more.

Except, except, except... There's a reason thousands of fans do follow Draft Day, or at least the First Round.

How the teams draft can tell you how the coaches and owners are thinking about their team's chances for the coming season. Who a team drafts can tell fans what to expect, what holes in the team line-ups needed to be filled. Like a few other team sports (baseball and hockey for example), pro football has a whole line-up of diversified player positions that require specific skills, so a team drafting a Wide Receiver with their first overall pick is telling fans they're trying to upgrade their passing attack. Like basketball, football draftees can immediately see playing time on the field their rookie year (baseball and hockey both have farm systems in which rookies can hide for years before seeing pro-level play time), so a top draft pick can become an immediate star first game of September.

Another thing is that NFL Draft Day is a time when both the college level fandom and pro level fandom intermix. College football fanaticism is actually bigger than the pro game (more schools, more regions, more history), and not all college fans are pro fans (and vice versa). Draft Day is when fans from Wake Forest can gather to watch a top-rated Defensive linesman can get taken by the Green Bay Packers, or the Oakland Raiders, or the Cincinnati Bengals (poor guy) or the New York Jets (whose fans will boo him anyway. Lord, those guys would boo the Pope if they could).

Draft Day IS a day for the fans, because it gives fans a chance to gather at local watering holes (or at a team's draft party, or AT the draft in New York City itself) and bicker and whoop and praise and curse the team they follow.

It's a HUGE day for me, because like I told you earlier the Bucs are mah team. And from 1984 to 1996, the Draft Day was really the only real fun day a Bucs fan could have, trust me we were THAT bad a franchise those years. So yeah, I'm into the draft.

This April 25th, I hope to gather with a few Bucs fans in the bay area (perhaps Oldsmar, there's a Buffalo Wild Wings there that might have wifi handy), and maybe even liveblog it from this blog. Hope you don't mind... but it's not like I've got a lot of reasons to write about librarianship these days...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Time flies when you're plugged in

It was ten years ago this month when The Matrix came out.

As a Gen-Xer who measures time by cultural milestones, this is yet another moment where I sit back and realize that DAMN I'm getting old. My 20-year high school reunion kinda worked the same way.

How can I describe 1999 (or 1985 for God's sake) to those who weren't there? That was a crazy-ass year. Everyone, well every geek, was waiting for Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace to come out that summer: a brand-new website called was practically created to flash a timer waiting for the day we'd see Anakin Skywalker start on his destiny. The only summer film that looked to compete with the Force was this Austin Powers sequel. There was this buzz about a small indy project called the Blair Witch Project that had this weird-ass website of background info. Meanwhile in the real world, politics was getting all screwy with the Clinton Impeachment over Blowjobs fiasco that was wiping out Republican leadership instead of the Clintons themselves. Bush and Gore were lining themselves up as the de-facto party choices for 2000. There were Melissa Worms and Napster and everyone waiting for Y2K to erupt on New Year's. Stephen King nearly dies in a hit-and-run accident. Enron starts messing with California's energy supply. And on April 20, 1999... that was a bad day all around.

Into all of this came The Matrix. For all we knew or heard about this film, it had something to do with computer hackers figuring out something, not sure what, about the universe and reality in general. Nobody I knew who were into films had much information on what this was about. Warner Bros. was kinda releasing this film with almost little fanfare, in early April of all times rather than the more lucrative summer months as though they wanted it done and out of the way before Star Wars cleaned up the market.

For meself... Two hours after going in, for myself, every geek I know, and every geek I knew existed out there on the planet, had to have exited that film with OUR FREAKING MINDS BLOWN!

It had hackers saving the world (nice ego-stroking there). It had questions about reality, about our senses, our perceptions. It had proto-goth culture mixed with techno-shoot-em-up culture mixed with Far Eastern mysticism and every form of kung-fu (Jedi, wire-fu, gun-fu, hack-fu, wtf-fu) you had ever seen. It had Christian parables and messanic overtones. It had Keanu Reeves saying "Whoa" and actually SELLING THAT LINE! It had Hugo Weaving owning the title of "Badass" (even in good-guy roles like Elrond!) for the next decade (would half the people who even moderately tolerated V For Vendetta even been that way if it didn't have Hugo Weaving's near-perfect dark voice as the anti-hero?). It had Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, out-mentoring Yoda in some of the best kung-fu sparring you'll ever see. It had Joey Pants as the one sensible jerk in the whole universe ("Why didn't I take the Blue Pill?"), who of course turns out to be a total -ssh-l- because in a war against the Machine you need to accept the Red Pill and accept the reality that we are all brains in batteries.

Those who came after this movie came out can't begin to understand how the Matrix warped our geekhood. We came to quote from Morpheus and the Oracle more than Yoda. It also hurt that when the Phantom Menace finally came out - Jar-Jar??? Mitichlor-whats? Anakin crushing on Padme even though he's clearly 8 years away from hitting puberty? What??? - that a lot of geeks felt betrayed (ten years later, IT STILL HURTS) by Lucas' lack of understanding his own vision (the geeky response of The Phantom Edit tells you all you needed to know: if only Lucas had the supporting staff he had back during the 70s-80s trilogy, people like Gary Kurtz at producer and Lawrence Kasdan at screenplay who could have pulled back on Lucas' worst indulgences, the prequel trilogy could have been SO AWESOME).

So here we are, 10 years later. I'm getting to 39 years old, plugged into a computer messing with blogging and Facebook and a bunch of other things other than having an actual, you know, social life, pretty much like the USENET threads and emailing of days past. Has anything really changed?

Oh, and there's a rebooted Star Trek movie coming out. Gasp drool worship. Some things definitely never change...