Mel Kiper, above, is one of the many draft experts floating around every year about this time making big bucks by attempting to read the minds of the 32 teams in the NFL. Is he as good as ESPN builds him up to be?
Slate doesn’t think so …
His Web site offers this ambiguous claim: "Mel's in-depth knowledge … has enabled him to accurately predict as much as 80 percent of first-round draft selections." Translation: At some point in the last two decades, 80 percent of the players Kiper thought would be drafted in the first round were drafted in the first round—never mind by what team or with which pick. Last year, Kiper didn't quite match that mark, but he still correctly predicted 77 percent of "first-round draft selections."
But when you look at his mock draft on a pick-by-pick basis—i.e., how he matched specific players with specific teams or, at least, specific picks—Kiper's batting average slipped to a dismal 29 percent. A few picks weren't even close. Three players he thought would be first-rounders fell more than 30 picks, and one, Georgia Tech wide receiver Dez White, fell 47 picks. Mel thought these players deserved to be first-round picks. The problem is, no NFL team agreed. It's Kiper's recurring fault: He substitutes his own rankings, which carry little weight, for in-depth reporting. And because he attempts only to understand the draft on his own terms, he doesn't understand it at all.
Big Changes in the NFL Television scene ….
With deals already made with CBS, Fox and DirecTV, the N.F.L. will receive $3.7 billion annually starting in 2006, up from the $2.4 billion it receives on average from its current television contracts, which expire after this season. The longest deal was made with ESPN, for eight years. No decision has been made about whether ESPN will keep its announcing team of Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire, or bring over the ABC team of Al Michaels and John Madden. Both networks are owned by the Walt Disney Company.
"I'm still digesting this," said Mr. Michaels, whose contract at ABC expires after the 2005-6 National Basketball Association season. "All I know is that there will be no letdown this year."
Under the new contracts, Monday night games will start at 8:40 p.m. Eastern, and the Sunday night games will start at 8:15 p.m.
Auburn Running Backs will make history …
Williams and Brown are expected to be among the first 10 names called in the draft, unprecedented since the first combined AFL-NFL draft in 1967. Two running backs from the same school have shared first-round status only three times during that span and none since 1987, when Texas A&M's Roger Vick and Rod Bernstine were chosen late in the opening round.
Brown is expected to once again play second fiddle -- only not to Williams. He's expected to be the second overall pick by the Miami Dolphins.
Yep, Auburn's No. 2 tailback could be the NFL's No. 2 pick.
The NBA Western Conference Playoff Match-ups are set:
#4 Dallas vs. #5 Houston …
#2 San Antonio vs. #7 Denver …
#1 Phoenix vs. #8 Memphis
#3 Seattle vs. #6 Sacramento
Cowboys debating the feared “trade down” , but remember, the trade down last year seemed to work pretty well…
Reevo on Chan Ho Park sparing us to death last night …
A’s 8, Rangers 5 …
Juan Dominguez demoted …
Happiness is: Reading Peter King’s MMQB …
Feature on Big Dirk ….
London Marathoner answers nature’s call during race …
Comedy bit featuring Jules Winfield and Chris Chelios …
Mike Tyson featured in Russian Chick’s Music Video …
And now, some E-Mail:
My Intention is to talk Dirk for MVP. The reason I chose you as a release to my frustration, is because I find you as my sports-conscience, which is a gay way of saying I value your sports opinions.
It bugs me that all the national sports pundits that plague my tele are so quick to proclaim Dirk as having an MVP year, yet none are willing to give him the nod for MVP.Today Hubie Brown(abc) didn't even have him as a top five candidate(Ray Allen over Dirk...good god). Instead Nash is the new media darling. Of course the reason is his impact on the Suns, my argument is that a handful of guys would have that same impact. Billups, Bibby, Kidd, hell even Boykins would have that team on the right track. So Nash leads the league in assists, if he did that two yrs ago, or at any point with the Mavs would the outcry be so great...I think not. And can you really be an MVP if the team you left gets better in your absense ???
So that leaves the only other candidate...Shaq(If Dans Cavs didn't collapse, Lebron would be legit). I wont bore you(as if you weren't already) with numbers. I'm sure you can look them up, but I will say Dirk is the ONLY player to finish in top ten in both rebs and pts per game this year. One of only five players currently in the NBA to ever do that, 3 of which won MVP. So we are back to value or importance. Take Dirk off this team, and I think they are worse than Phoenix last year (Stoudamire, Marion, Johnson, and Richardson), or the Lakers are this year who still have Odom and...oh yeah Kobe. Plus, If I'm not mistaken didn't the Heat have an exciting playoff run last year. Sure Shaq is dominate and there is no other player like him in the league, but name me another player on Dirks level who can do what he does.
I just think that when you have two players of equal or close importance, shouldn't the nod go to the player having the best year. This year more than ever with all the injuries, new players, new coweches(love avery), loss of best buddy, who has been more valuable than Dirk ???
50 + wins in five years, only constant in those five years has been Dirk, hasn't he payed his dues?
Thanks for your time,
First, let's get one thing straight: Hubie Brown is a buffoon-
Now, on to MVP-
I think Dirk has had a year that normally would get strong consideration, save for two things:
1) He is playing in a year when Shaq switched teams, the team he left went from the NBA Finals to Out of the playoffs- The team he joined went from being mediocre to great-
2) He is playing on a team that has never won its division since he has been there- I understand that it is not easy to beat the Spurs, but to get the national respect that he deserves, he at least needs to win his division-
As goofy as it is for Hubie to not list him in his Top 5, I still cannot sell Dirk-for-MVP over Shaq. I think Dirk and Nash have a good argument for 2nd place, but Shaq is the MVP in my world.