Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hobby Hindsight Is Always 20/20

Man, do you remember back before the 2006 season, everyone was on cloud 9 with the rookie class they had. Young, Bush, Leinart, Cutler, etc. were all going to change the face of the NFL as we knew it. Now, what do we have? Its not what it used to be, ill tell you that.

Now, Bush still isnt a bust in my mind. He has potential to still be a good player. Will he ever be an elite RB? No, he was never really of that stock of player. He was small and quick, much like players such as Warrick Dunn and even Brian Westbrook, a little. The difference between bust and bang is that he has the ability to catch 100 passes, a feat which some teams have trouble getting two players to accomplish...together. Of course, those people who spent the hype cash trying to get those top tier cards at thousands a piece want more than what Bush is capable of. Then again, they should know that the hype never matches the player's actual production, so its never worth buying in unless you are really a fan. I remember that his Exquisite Patch Autos were and sometimes still are worth more than Peterson's. That was crazy to me. Instead of spending the payload on Bush, I went after Laurence Maroney (a hometown Gopher favorite) and others. Im glad I did.

Secondly we have Vince Young, who is two shirtless dudes and two drinks away from a full on investigation. This was also the player that said he may retire from football due to lack of interest. Wha? How did the people who met with him before the draft not see this coming a mile away? Plus, he never really had the chops for the spotlight either, which was quite suspect to me. He was always mindful about taking heat, and showed that maybe it would be tough to take all the criticism shot his way. Funny enough, his Exquisites were worth almost as much as Bush's, which was fucking ludicrious to me, considering how tough it is to be a QB in the NFL. Ask Joey Harrington, Alex Smith, and others... I hope this shows people to stop trying to prospect a top QB and start prospecting the middle rounders. Its cheaper, and the payoff is twice what it would be normally.

The same goes for Matt Leinart, who was the top pick in the draft before a number of people saw that maybe he wasnt what he seemed to be. He fell to Arizona, who snatched him up with the potential to build their team around superstars Fitz and Boldin. He was thrown in early, and faltered like many do, but wasnt given that much of a chance to win, either. After an injury took away most of 2007, I still think he hasnt gotten the proper opportunity to flourish in the desert. His cards tanked before the injury, and bottomed out after, so this might still be a guy to take a look at. He probably wont be the next Manning or Brady, but he may just be a good guy to have.

The one 1st round QB that seems to have broken the curse of 06 is Jay Cutler. Diabetes aside, the guy has done okay for himself. He is still young, and shows that constantly, but his performance has out done both Young and Leinart. I wished the Vikings would have traded up to get him, but they couldnt work anything out. He is also a fucking jerk from what I have heard, so maybe that is a trade off on his talent much like TO and Moss.

The three stars of 06 are not enough to drive up prices on any box though, and that is why you can usually get the boxes at very little. Maroney, Addai, and Colston have been great for their respective teams, but they are not big ticket guys. Addai won a super bowl, and was even close to the MVP, but his autos are still very cheap. That is good for people like you and I but bad for the general state of the 06 class.

NOTE: Mario Williams, the first pick in the draft, is going to be much like the Longs this year. He was a great pick in hindsight, but still not a hobby all-star. He is a defensive guy and therefore underappreciated, which means that you probably shouldnt waste your time - hobby wise.

Personally, I was never high on the 06 class like other people. I just didnt see what everyone else saw. Looking back, there has never been that much hype surrounding a bunch of guys coming into the league. Hype does nothing but bad things in this hobby and this is proof. Stick with your favorites and stop trying to make money off of prospecting on football draftees. Its never worth it, if not only for the sheer injury factor and its ability to destroy your dreams.

I hope that we can look back and see the errors of our judgement, and prevent future draft classes from taking over our consciousness before they play a down. Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, etc all are taking the heat already, and that is never good. The only thing that hype does to someone is hurt them. I would much rather be underhyped any day of the week.

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