People Are Crazy

The world is coming to an end in 2012. The Mayans were right and I have the evidence to prove it.

Matt Barkley has chosen to return to USC to play quarterback for one more season. He has decided that the NFL and the millions of dollars that go along with it can wait. This is the 3rd year in a row that a top quarterback prospect has put the NFL on hold for the opportunity to immortalize themselves in their respective school’s history. First it was Jake Locker and then it was can’t miss prospect Andrew Luck. Oh, and how can we forget about Matt Leinart all the way back in 2004.

This year’s April fool happens to be Matt Barkley.

What is this world coming to? Where’s the greed? Actually, never mind that, where’s the common sense? The end of the world must be upon us. There is no other way to explain the topsy-turvy nature of these potentially life-altering choices. Men in their early 20’s are willingly turning down the chance to join the exclusive 1%. Delayed gratification at its finest. Matt Barkley’s family may be closer to the 1% than most of us but the point is still valid.

In all seriousness though, I feel sorry for these guys. The people they are surrounded by must be feeding them some grade A bologna.

The coaches who tell them it is in their best interests to get another year’s experience under their belt only have their own selfish interests in mind. The family members and friends who tell them that going back for a national championship to, in Barkley’s own words, “finish what [they] started, don’t understand the possible implications that returning for another year of school could have. The people who tell them to look into their hearts to find the answer don’t realize the follies that accompany decisions made emotionally.

Matt Barkley thinks he has unfinished business at USC. He doesn’t want to leave his national championship calibre team hanging out to dry. It’s good that Matt Barkley experienced those feelings because that’s what a leader is supposed to feel. Those are the qualities that bode well for his NFL career.

Of course, every sentence containing Matt Barkley and the NFL will, once again, be preceded by the word ‘if.’ By choosing to go back to USC there is no guarantee that he will even become an NFL quarterback. I already went through all the ‘if’s’ for Andrew Luck in early January prior to his similarly foolish decision to postpone his NFL career: The risk of a career-ending injury, losing lifetime financial security, exposing previously undiscovered flaws and, most importantly, being unable to fulfill the childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.

The chances of any of those things happening are indeed quite low but the risk is still there. It hurts me to see young men time after time follow in the footsteps of their peers’ illogical decisions. It will hurt Matt Barkley a whole lot more if something tragic should happen to him in the next year.

Heck, after the Indianapolis Colts’ dramatic victory last night against the Texans, it is possible that Andrew Luck could end up falling from his seemingly locked up first overall slot in the 2012 draft. The Rams and Vikings are stuck at 2 wins but both teams believe they have their franchise quarterback already on their roster. It is unlikely that either would take Luck. The dream of being a 1st overall pick, which no doubt played a part in Barkley’s decision, could stay a dream for Andrew Luck.

The chances of a 0-13 team winning their final 3 games to finish out the season can’t be very high but it is becoming all too real for Andrew Luck who appeared destined for Indianapolis less than 2 weeks ago. If a 0-13 team can win 3 consecutive games, there’s no reason that something just as improbable could happen in the next calendar year that negatively affects Barkley’s NFL career.

Now, Matt Barkley’s puzzling choice may not signal the end of the world but it’s very possible that the only thing to stop these quarterbacks from continually choosing to play an unnecessary season of College football is an apocalypse.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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Don’t Suck For Me…Or Else

Andrew Luck is worried.

Well, at least he should be.

“Suck for Luck” is sweeping the nation. According to Luck, this doesn’t concern him too much. He is just going to go out each week, play his game and continue striving for a national championship.

In theory, the Heisman candidate shouldn’t be wasting his time and energy on which city could be his new zip code for the next 15 years. In theory, he is going to be drafted onto an awful team. Too bad for Andrew Luck the Indianapolis Colts are screwing with the nature of the NFL draft.

Luck is saying all the right things but we know all too well that the Colts would be a devastating landing spot for the Stanford product. To Luck, going to Indianapolis would make him feel like he was kicked in the groin by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robinson. He can ask T.J. Lang how that feels.

With 6 teams – the Dolphins, Jaguars, Vikings, Rams, Cardinals and Colts – still firmly entrenched in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes, you would have to put Colts as one of the frontrunners after 7 weeks.

The Dolphins and Colts are the two favourite heavyweights in the ‘suckiest be luckiest’ division. But after the thorough beat down the Colts took at the hand of the New Orleans Saints, 62-7 on Sunday night, the Colts might have Vegas giving them the best imaginary odds to take it all.

I don’t think I can remember an instance in my lifetime where Peyton Manning and quarterback controversy was used in the same sentence.

Andrew Luck got into Stanford. He’s smart enough to know that he doesn’t want to be part of one of those. He can ask Aaron Rodgers how that feels.

However, it would be ironic if the first player touted a once-in-a-decade talent since Peyton Manning ended up fighting it out with him for the starting job.

Nevertheless, an ironic situation isn’t topping Andrew Luck’s NFL aspirations bucket list. For his own sake, Luck must make sure he doesn’t ever have to face that ironic situation. He has the power to prevent it but his personality might stop him from doing so.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, there is no doubt that Andrew Luck will be ready to start week 1 of the 2012 season. Heck, he would have been ready to start week 1 of the 2011 season. I still believe he should have come out last year. Maybe he didn’t want to go to Carolina but it has got to hurt a little bit to see Cam Newton have such a successful first half of the season.

The thing is, Cam Newton is exactly the reason that Andrew Luck can’t let himself end up in Indianapolis. Consider this, 4 quarterbacks drafted in 2011 and 8 quarterbacks drafted since 2010 are currently starting in the NFL. It would be crazy if Luck wasn’t starting week 1 of 2012.

No one knows how many years Peyton Manning has left, especially following 3 neck surgeries. Although, if we have learned anything about Peyton we know that he wants Brett Favre longevity, which doesn’t bode well for Andrew Luck.

Luck foolishly proved that he is a selfless individual by returning to Stanford for another unnecessary year. He doesn’t need to prove it again.

Related: Make the Right Decision Andrew Luck

At some point, but not yet, he is going to have to speak up and tell the world that he will not sign with the Indianapolis Colts if Peyton Manning is there. A selfish ultimatum from a selfless individual. Yeah, he might be criticized by some for a move like that but it would be worth it in the long run.

The other Manning wouldn’t sign with the Chargers. His reputation wasn’t tarnished by his refusal to sign. He won a Super Bowl.

Even if the Colts ended up taking Luck, fully intending to trade him, is there really a guarantee that some team is willing to pay the inevitably mammoth price to get him? The 2012 draft is projected to be one saturated with quarterback talent. Well known prospects Matt Barkley out of USC and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones round out the top 3 quarterbacks.

Is the price for Luck really worth it when other potential stars are available in Jones and Barkley?

What about the possibility of stepping into Peyton Manning’s shoes following a trade of the Colts legend?

If Peyton Manning were traded to allow Andrew Luck to start in his rookie year, the expectations and animosity surrounding Luck among Colts fans would be tremendous. While I’m sure Luck would be able to handle the increased stress, the conditions are certainly not ideal for a quarterback with so much already on his shoulders.

Playing in a Miami or Jacksonville type city would allow for a certain degree of patience that wouldn’t be accepted in Indianapolis.

It could be argued that learning behind one of the great minds in NFL history would be beneficial to Andrew Luck. Much like playing behind Brett Favre seems to have been most helpful to Aaron Rodgers.

Despite the possible advantage sitting out 2-4 years could have for Andrew Luck, his situation is far from similar to Rodgers. People tend to forget that Aaron Rodgers slipped all the way down to 24th overall in the year he was drafted. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, I don’t see Luck slipping to 24th overall. Rodgers was not touted as a once-in-a-generation talent, he didn’t have the power to demand better circumstances and are we seriously supposed to believe Rodgers wouldn’t be the quarterback he is today if not for those years riding the pine.

If Luck is as great as they say he is, he can, should and will be able to learn on the job.

Andrew Luck doesn’t have to cost himself precious years of a football career that could potentially be one of the best in history.

All he has to do is speak up.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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Make The Right Decision Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck will be the first overall pick if he decides to leave Stanford for the NFL

The great Winston Churchill once said “those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Andrew Luck may be majoring in architectural design but hopefully he knows his history as well because he will soon be making a decision that will shape his entire life.

The Carolina Panthers are a team in need of some quarterback help and have also locked up the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. It has been speculated and now seems to be a virtual lock that the Panthers will make Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck the number one overall pick.

However, all of this depends on the upcoming decision of Andrew Luck.

At the Orange Bowl on Monday, Andrew Luck finished off his junior season leading 4th seeded Stanford in a 40-12 rout of the Virginia Tech Hokies. As if there was any doubt to who the best quarterback prospect in the country is, Luck confirmed it with a very solid performance throwing for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The question still remains though of whether Andrew Luck will forgo his senior season and declare for the upcoming draft. He still has not given any indication of his decision and it is even being reported that Luck and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh could be a package deal according to ESPN.

In recent years we have seen a few examples of quarterbacks who have declined the lure of the NFL to play another year of College ball despite being touted as high first round picks and possibly being the 1st overall.

If Andrew Luck and his Stanford brain have any sense then it should be an easy decision for him to enter the 2011 NFL draft.

We have already seen the demise of former Arizona Cardinal Draft pick Matt Leinart who won the Heisman and a national championship in his junior 2004 season at USC. He was surely going to be the number one pick in the draft if he had left after his junior year but Pete Carroll convinced him to stay for another year.

He had a very good senior season, just not quite as good as his previous year. He lost in the national championship game to Vince Young and finished 3rd in Heisman voting but more questions started to arise about Leinart’s ability, or lack thereof, to be a pro quarterback. He fell all the way to the 10th overall pick and the rest, well the rest is history.

Number two historic failure comes from Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Locker. Like Luck, Locker was almost undoubtedly destined to be the picked 1st overall last year, but he decided to stay at Washington to work on his game and win a bowl game for the Huskies.

Locker got his bowl game victory for Washington but his season was a disaster, in relative terms, marked by a terrible 4 for 20 passing performance against Nebraska on September 18th. In the Huskies’ Holiday Bowl re-match versus Nebraska they were victorious in spite of another Locker stinker in which he looked to be down on confidence. Locker has now seen his draft stock fall farther than anyone could have imagined and will be lucky to be picked sometime in the middle of the first round.

Both Leinart and Locker have lost millions and millions of dollars because of their decision to stay in College. They had their chance to secure themselves financially for life barring a Dennis Rodman or Antoine Walker type bankruptcy yet they still chose to play amateur ball.

Sure, another year of college gives you the opportunity to work on your game but that’s about it. However, there is still no assurance that your game will improve with another year at school anyways.

When you have a chance to be a very high first round pick the decision to stay for another year entails so many dangers that it seems unfathomable for anyone to make that decision.

Sam Bradford missed most of his final College season after he decided not to declare for the 2009 draft

The most obvious of risks comes from a decline in the level of your play, which is exactly what we have seen happen to dumb and dumber. Also, as most people know, football is a physical game and the chance of injury is not small. Sam Bradford may have had a successful NFL rookie season, but his decision to forgo the 2009 NFL draft almost cost him his dream. He injured his shoulder in his first game back that forced him to miss most of his final College season and forced the Rams to seriously consider defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh instead of Bradford.

The possibility of a career ending injury in football is apparent with each and every play more so than any other sport. To put financial security and the dream of professional football on the line is absolutely absurd.

Take a look at Mark Sanchez who is starting at quarterback and has reached the playoffs in his only two NFL seasons for none other than the New York Jets. Pete Carroll and his selfish agenda once again tried to convince another USC quarterback to stay for his senior season. However, unlike Leinart, Sanchez made the right decision and was drafted 5th overall in 2009.

For being the 5th overall pick Sanchez was awarded a $50 million contract with a whopping $28 million of that guaranteed. I’ll let you Imagine what life for the Sanchize would be like now if he hadn’t made the decision to declare for the draft.

The Carolina Panthers are a team that is far from contending for a playoff spot but how many team’s with the number one overall pick are?

It has been rumoured that Luck would not be too happy with his destination being Carolina, but he should remember that there were not many people who thought St. Louis would be a great destination, at least initially, for Sam Bradford. The Rams were a win away from a hosting a playoff game.

Maybe Andrew Luck doesn’t declare for the draft and doesn’t suffer the fate of Matt Leinart and Jake Locker. Maybe he is still the consensus number one overall choice next year. Maybe it won’t matter at all for him if he decides to play out his college career.

If I were Andrew Luck I would not leave my life up to a bunch of maybes.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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