General Thoughts

in deep thoughtThe sports world was abuzz this weekend due to several big events going on. Without a doubt the one that dominated the sports airwaves the most was the 2013 NFL Combine. The annual event where prospective NFL draft picks do interviews with NFL teams as well as physical activities to show their abilities did not disappoint. Of all the groups of players, the receivers, and especially wide receiver Tavon Austin (West Virginia) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) stole the show. Both ran electrifying times as they wowed the onlookers with their blazing speed. Many were abuzz with their times and some actually looked at Goodwin as a guy that could shoot up the draft board because of his speed (4.27 official 40 time). But if you look at the total package of Goodwin, you will understand why he is not going to rise up more than where he is now. Goodwin is a former olympic track athlete that is a football player as well. His speed is dangerous, but as a football player, if he does not know how to use it on the field, then it is worthless. At best, he could be a kick returner when he enters the NFL, but he will not be a guy that makes an immediate impact on the field as a wide receiver. Unlike Goodwin, Austin plays just as fast as he ran (4.34 40 time) today. Austin runs good routes and understands the intricacies of the position in addition to being a threat in the return game. Austin is a football player that happens to have track speed while Goodwin is a track athlete still trying to learn the game of football. And it is because of these differences between Goodwin and Austin that Austin is more highly coveted than Goodwin in this draft.

The quarterbacks in this draft were also on display, well most of them were. USC quarterback Matt Barkley was not available for anything but interviews due to still recovering from his shoulder injury. But other than that, most were out there playing throw and catch with the receivers. After watching all of the quarterbacks that were present, it is evident that this quarterback class does not have guys that can step right in and play. Usually there is a quarterback that has little to no holes in his game but there may be more projects in this class than any class that we can remember in recent history. At the top of the class is West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. But he has created some doubts about his play with some of the inconsistencies that he showed in his senior season. And Geno isn’t the only quarterback that has had inconsistent performances in this draft. It should be interesting to see where all of these guys fall, but one thing is for sure: don’t look for many, if any, of these guys to start a game in the NFL next year.

In NASCAR, there was a huge wreck at the Nationwide Series race in Daytona on Saturday. The crash happened towards the end of the race as a few cars collided and sent one car into the protective fence while on fire. Pieces of the car went thru the fence and into the stands. There were many fans that were injured and even a couple that had to face surgery from the damage in the accident. After this race, some questioned whether the race Sunday, at the same racetrack, should happen or not. Workers worked feverishly overnight to make sure the fence was repaired and allowed the race to happen.  This horrific accident should cause NASCAR to examine the way they protect their fans with that fence. The first thing that needs to happen is the fence needs to be higher. Numerous times cars have flown into that fence and looked like they are about to fly over it and into the crowd. Another thing that needs to be looked at is the fencing itself. If the fencing is not strong enough to keep debris out of the stands, then some other material needs to be used to keep the fans safe from harm. After all, if you cannot provide a safe enviroment for the fans, then then fans could start to disappear.

The Los Angeles Lakers are on their rollercoaster ride of a season still. They won their third straight game as they are trying to fight their way into the playoffs. But like always, some drama always has to hover around this team. Recently, Dwight Howard admitted he was not in shape coming into this season and that has cost them some games. Howard should have never made this statement. Even if Howard knows this is true, why do you take the time out to mention it now? At this point, it is obvious that Howard’s public relations people are failing him miserably. As a result of this admission, another batch of criticism is likely headed Howard’s way. Hopefully one day Dwight learns his lesson and stops talking too much to the media.

The Miami Heat have been white hot as of late. Miami, after winning against the Cleveland Cavaliers, has won 11 straight games and are starting to round into shape. The big key for the Heat is the play of LeBron James, but often people forget how potent Dwyane Wade can be. The superstar shooting guard has been on a tear recently, leading the Heat in fourth quarter points and taking and making big shots for them. It’s almost like Wade was pacing himself through the season while LeBron exuded his dominance on the NBA. Well, now Wade is starting to pick up steam and him with LeBron could be serious problems for the rest of the NBA.

Finally, spring training has started in baseball and there is already a big injury. Yankees starting outfielder Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch and has a fractured forearm. As a result of the injury, Granderson will miss ten weeks. Losing Granderson is a big blow for the Yankees because Granderson was one of the Yankees big power guys. And to top it all off, Alex Rodriguez is out with a hip injury and first baseman Mark Texiera has been slumping since last year. For the Yankess to survive, they will need their captain, shortstop Derek Jeter, to inspire and lead this crew of players. If Jeter starts out playing well, the rest of the team will follow suit. Another player that must step up is second baseman Robinson Cano. The veteran infielder is very powerful and is capable of putting the Yankees offense on his back. Going into this season, he will have no choice but to carry this offense.

These are my thoughts and these are my words. Until next time……

Written by 

The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free's World, the website for radio personality and former cohost of BET's 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on CitySportsReport.com as well as here on My Mind On Sports . Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.

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2 Thoughts to “General Thoughts”

  1. Austin was blistering in his times running the 40 and it really improved his payday, because he’ll rise up the draft boards and go quickly.

    But if I’m the guy drafting for my team (NE), I’d go for your cousin, think he’s a great fit ….. as always, great work Mike. Listened in for awhile last night before I had to go. Great show

  2. If Al Davis was still breathing, I would say Austin is a shoe in to be drafted by my Raiders. What many people aren’t speaking of regarding NASCAR is how most of the drivers at the front of the pack froze Danica out on the last lap, she didn’t stand a chance without a push. Anybody who has intently watched NBA over the past few seasons knows that Dwight hasn’t been right this season. For him to make that statement, seems he’s just making excuses. Let the game do the talking and the respect will come.

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