Let’s start with a quick review of the NFL Draft — it was a D+
After getting a few hours of sleep I have changed my mind on my Vegas NFL Draft grade. I’ve dropped it all the way to a D+. The airplane hangar location, by the giant Ferris wheel and in a parking lot couldn’t have been any worse for the league. As part of my Screencaps duties, I’m responsible for digging through Instagram hashtags and location tags to find the little nuggets that you guys will enjoy.
Absolutely nothing out there. It was a giant convention of the safest NFL fans on the planet, and I couldn’t even find a single fun modified jersey. Here I was thinking going to Vegas for this draft would be a bucket list item. It was way more enjoyable sitting at home at the command center watching the draft after getting a mow in.
And what was the big deal with the stage at Bellagio? Maybe I missed that part when I was mowing, but the league sure made a big deal — for years — over that stage and the fountains.
This draft was absolutely nothing, not even close, to what we saw out of Nashville during the 2019 draft when it was a legitimate three-day party. Will anyone even be outside that hangar when the draft starts today at 4 PT besides the superfans that were shipped in under the presumption they wouldn’t skip the 2nd round to lay by the pool?
NFL Draft party: Crosby, North Dakota
• Those North Dakota boys weren’t about to let multiple blizzards and a massive power outage that rocked the tiny farming outpost prevent them from holding their annual Draft party.
Nate N. writes:
Hey Joe, good news from Crosby. Power came back to most of the town late last night. Unfortunately in rural areas it still could be a couple weeks before power is back online. About 10 of us got together for the draft at the local Moose Lodge. It’s pretty quite for a draft night, but as usual there has been quite a bit of criticism from us for most of the picks so far. The power is back on and it seems like things are right in the world again. Take care and DBAP from Crosby.
Those beers and wings didn’t stand a chance! And I love how some of the crew have the mixed drinks lined up and ready for a trip to poundtown. What a scene. Someone paint this for the Saturday Evening Post.
Indy Daryl on ‘Advice’
• Daryl’s constantly the voice of reason around here:
There I was on Tuesday night, sprawled and spread out on the kitchen floor, putting together yet another piece of furniture from Ikea. When I first met Mrs Do Hard Things, I had never even heard of the store and now every room in our house has at least two pieces that I have put together. Bed frames, bookshelves, tables, you name it I have done it. What started out as a mostly hate relationship has swung to the more love than hate side of things. I have gotten used to the directions, the tools needed, and the general way in which most pieces are constructed. And generally, I love the way out house looks.
All that to say, every time I put together some IKEA furniture, I am reminded some of the best advice my dad ever gave me: “slow down and do it right the first time.” This can be said of furniture, mowing (see: my mowing epic), nursing, writing, and all manner of other things. Whenever I prioritize getting something done quickly, it never looks as good and I am less satisfied with the result.
So my advice for the SC community is to slow down, get everything in order, and do it right the first time, whatever the task.
Excellent advice from Daryl, especially as many of us head out into the yard to tackle those landscaping projects. I hate edging the garden beds, but then after hours of work, they look clean and so nice when people stop over to visit.
Indy Daryl’s going to be in my head all weekend as I hammer out these gardening projects that need to be finished so I’m not humping it Memorial Day weekend.
Do Hard Things.
Slow down. Do it right.
Dammit, Daryl, I just want to finish these garden beds and crush garage beers.
Daryl: Don’t cut corners!
Tanking in sports
• Robb from Duluth has a solution :
Keep up the great work. It’s amazing what happens when journalists (or content creators, or artists, or whatever you want to be called) listen to their audiences and not the screeching harpies on Twitter.
I’ll be starting Year 3 of a lawn rebuild whenever the snow melts here in northern Minnesota, although with three kids, two dogs and my yard being the neighborhood playground I’ve had to sacrifice some territory. Not to mention my battle for best yard on the block is against two empty-nesters with the tools, time and know-how to keep their yard in pristine shape. Mowin’ ain’t easy.
But with the NFL draft here, what I really want to talk about is topic that’s been around for years, and has cropped up again with the Brian Flores lawsuit. No, not block head coaches or inequality or systemic racism, but tanking. It’s obvious no one really knows how to react to the news Flores was allegedly offered $100k per loss to tank. Flores presents it like it’s a bad thing, and that’s how we’re all supposed to take it, as if we should be offended that any of these fine, upstanding professionals in the NFL would ever give anything less than their best in every game. We hear all the crap at the end of the season about how many guys on cellar-dweller teams are “fighting for their careers” and would never take a snap off. Fair.
But every fan knows that, when your team is out of the playoffs, the only smart thing to do is tank for a draft pick. Like the NBA, there are only a handful of real franchise-changers in any given NFL draft. Any owner who isn’t trying to improve their team’s draft position once they’re out of the playoffs is sabotaging their own investment. What infuriates me is what an easy fix this is.
It’s simple: First team out of the playoffs gets the number one pick, and so on down until the worst team in the league gets the last pick of the non-playoff teams. All the same tie-breakers, just inverted to reward teams with tougher schedules. Reward winning, punish losing. (I’m ambivalent about whether the SB Champ should pick first among the playoff teams since playoff teams don’t need an additional incentive to win, but it would be logically consistent.) $100k is never going to be enough to convince a head coach to forgo a shot at the playoffs just to get the number one pick. No amount of money would be enough, because “Super Bowl Champ” carries a currency of its own for everyone involved.
This solves the tanking problem, but it does much more. Imagine how much more exciting the last few weeks of the season could be. Your team is a game or two out of the playoffs, but also in the hunt for the number one pick. Or your team is dead last, but at least they could move up a few slots with a couple of late-season wins, a real incentive to play spoiler against better teams.
Before you give me any credit for this genius idea, know it’s nothing more than an analog of the Euro-soccer-style “relegation” system. Winners move up a league, losers move down. Simple.
Why wouldn’t owners want this? It’s pure speculation, but my guess would be too much pressure on owners of perennial losers. The Jets and Lions can spend every offseason claiming to be one draft pick away from turning things around, and last year’s “Ls” are quickly forgotten. Under this system, failure to improve year after year would result in serious pressure on ownership – no more blaming a head coach or QB and then hyping up the draft. Get better, your franchise depends on it.
Keep fighting the good fight.
I’m not sure I have a problem with tanking in the NFL. Tanking, if that’s what they’re trying to do, hasn’t gone great for the Lions, Jets, Jags, Dolphins, Browns and the Redskins. They should try tanking much harder. The current strategy isn’t working.
Marty’s email about his father had quite a few people choked up
• Mark in Frisco writes:
Dude, I’m sitting here, just enjoying another screencaps column, and Marty’s email hits me right in the chest. I can empathize with the emotions of mowing his mom’s yard.
My father was an engineer, and work was his thing. Then, when he was 56, he had a major heart attack(Thanks Lucky Strike cigarettes). He recovered, and spent the next 8 years enjoying golf and his grandchildren. In fact, I’d ask him how his week went and he’d say “It sucked! I only played golf 2 times last week.” He had a great 8 additional years. After his ticker finally gave out, I had a case of Pinnacle golf balls I had bought for his Christmas present(he was a hack of the highest order). 2 weeks after the funeral I went out to a local course and “donated” every one of those balls across the course(sometimes even intentionally). It was the saddest round of my life, but I think he was laughing at the “tribute”. I still catch myself thinking about him at the most random times, and it’s been 16 years since he passed away. Good fathers are a gift, and he was a great one.
As far as wisdom, he told me, when I was 12 or 13, that if I ever wanted to work for someone, or do business with someone, to go to lunch with them. Pay attention to how they treat the waiter or waitress. There’s no better predictor for how they’ll treat you.
Keep up the great work. Hoping and praying for our friends in ND. Those are some good strong Americans.
• Bill L. writes:
Thanks for including the email from Marty M in today’s Screencaps. It hit home. Today would have been my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. His funeral was last weekend after passing away in January in Mexico. He would have been a big fan of your content and was always helping people and making friends. I mowed last Thursday before we headed back for the funeral. He always maintained a great lawn and huge garden. Ill miss him.
I’ll offer one last time and then let it go. If you want a couple bottles of homebrewed beer shipped to you, provide me an address FedEx will ship to. Your columns have been a source of happiness these last few months, and I’m just wanting to return the favor.
Appreciate the content. Enjoy the draft tonight.
I sent my address to Bill. It’s time to test this beer I’ve been hearing about. Stay tuned for a review.
• Big softy Diesel writes:
FYI screencaps got me a little this morning…made me call my dad just to say hi and tell him I love him
My recent Linkedin activity
• Mig noticed my recent work over on that insufferable social media app:
I like that you are hitting up the Linked In crowd. Maybe some of the very important people that post there can get with the TNML so they can have some garage beers on the weekend and lighten up a bit.
People on LinkedIn cannot possibly be as uptight as they seem, right? I spend approximately five minutes on that site per month. My perception is that it’s the place where people act super serious so super-super serious HR managers will see that they’re serious and would be incredibly super additions to the ‘T-E-A-M’.
It’s one giant energy suck on that site. Hey, let’s go to that website that makes us feel miserable where we’ll get super jealous over some guy we’ve never met in person getting a promotion. I’m out, dawgs. I’ll stick to jerkin’ around on Screencaps and/or driving a school bus down the road vs. the LinkedIn circlejerk.
And with that, I’m out. I have to bring the fun back to the soul of Americans who have been infiltrated by LinkedIn rot. I have to fish out that rot from their system and make them feel human again. I have to give the suits a laugh. I have to make the suits feel less stressed.
Now get out there and grab this final Friday of April by the balls. I have a Zoom meeting to attend.
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