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Friday, April 07, 2006

John Lopez Despises Logic

As I wrote a few days ago, it now seems fairly certain that the Texans will draft Reggie Bush with the first pick in the NFL Draft. Before I begin this rant, allow me to say that I am not anti-Bush. I think he'll be a regular on SportsCenter. Do I think he'll be an All-Pro RB in the NFL? I sure hope so, but I don't know. Just like I don't know that Vince Young will duplicate his success at Texas in the NFL. For anyone to say that any prospect is a "sure thing" is ludicrous. The NFL is littered with "can't miss" prospects who turned out to be busts. Ryan Leaf? Tony Mandarich? Ki-jana Carter? Rick Mirer? Tim Couch? They were all once "sure things." But at its crux, any draft is little more than an educated guess. You gather as much information as possible and make what you hope is an informed decision. No one has a crystal ball. No prospect is without risk.

Yet despite the inherently speculative nature of the draft process and the rich history of "can't miss" prospects turning out to be flops, we can always count on people to assure us that Prospect X is bulletproof. In the latest local installment of this illogical practice, the Houston Chronicle brings you John P. Lopez:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/lopez/3777786.html

Lopez's basic position is that Reggie Bush is without a single flaw in his game or personality. That's right, Houston--he's perfect. According to Lopez, NFL folks have found absolutely nothing wrong with Reggie Bush's game. Nothing. This is patently absurd on several base levels. Every player, even "Jesus in Cleats," has flaws in his game. VY, who I obviously hold in rather high regard, makes the occasional ill-advised pass into coverage. Just like any player, VY makes the wrong decision now and then. To base an entire column on the premise that any athlete is perfect is asinine.

Indeed, I seem to recall an infamous lateral in a game of some consequence for which Reggie was widely criticized. Was that a flaw in his game? Perhaps a bad decision at a bad time? I haven't had the pleasure of speaking to Reggie Bush, but I'd be willing to bet that he would readily state that the lateral was a mistake. A flawed decision, if you will.

As ridiculous as the "perfection argument" might be, Lopez's nonsensical assertion that Reggie Bush benchpressing 225 pounds 24 times answers all questions about his durability might trump it. Zuh? What does one have to do with the other? How do 24 reps demonstrate that someone will withstand the pounding of 300 pound lineman and 250 pound linebackers throughout a 16 game season? All it shows is that Reggie Bush is a great athlete, which I can't imagine anyone ever doubted. It doesn't mean that his body won't wear down after getting shocked by multiple behemoths every Sunday. Once again, the dots just don't connect.

Look, I'm looking forward to having Reggie Bush in a Texans uniform. I think he'll be an exciting addition to a team sorely in need of excitement and offensive firepower. While I still think Bob McNair will live to regret passing on the hometown boy, I can appreciate the decision to go with Reggie. What I can't condone is John Lopez wasting my time trying to prove the impossible and inventing a brand of logic (henceforth known as "Lopezgic") to get from A to Z.

3 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

"Lopezgic" is code for "blinded by maroon". I cannot believe that this column got past the sports editor's desk without being routed directly into the wastebasket. The thesis "Player A is perfect" would get a C- in 3rd grade creative writing, and the mere mention of VY's sportcoat/White House debacle is enough to make me ill. Remind me again what Tom Brady wore to the White House? How are Ben Roethlisberger's manners? Only a hate-filled putz like Lopez would even pretend that such ideas are worthy of mention when debating a #1 NFL draft pick.

I've seen a lot of footage of Bush full of incredible breakaway runs, dazzling cutbacks and acrobatic airborne moves, but I haven't seen many shots of Reggie Bush turning the ball upfield and taking out a 215 lb. DB or bouncing up after being flattened by a 320 pound lineman. Maybe Bush's sensational athleticism will enable him to avoid taking any debilitating hits from massive linebackers or punishing safeties in the NFL, but until he does so successfully, there are as many question marks about him as there are about the objectivism and worthiness of John Lopez's writing.

Fri Apr 07, 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are exactly right about not having any "cant miss" prospects in the NFL. Therefore, going forward and coming off of a 2 win season, I would think you would go with the player that seems like the lesser risk. In this case, Reggie Bush is head over heels above Vince Young. Before the rose bowl, Vince Young was lower on people's draft board than Brady Quinn! (who is staying at ND) Suddenly he has one great performance against a young and sloppy USC defense and we talk about him like he's some kind of a deity? That to me makes no sense.

I am not agreeing with the Chronicle article by any means, but that is nothing unusual because their writing is usually poor. However, i think this whole VY-hometown-UT-kid thing is getting way over done. The smarter pick is Bush.

Fri Apr 07, 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Emotion aside, I think the smartest decision would probably be to trade the pick and draft Ferguson. If the Texans are really committed to Carr as their long-term solution at QB (and it appears they are), getting a cornerstone LT would seem to make the most sense. You already have an above-average RB in Domanick Davis, so why take Bush? There are certainly more pressing needs out there. From a need perspective, Mario Williams would probably also make more sense than Bush. I think everyone can agree, however, that it's not really about need. It's about putting butts in the seats, and Bush or Young will do that far better than Ferguson or Williams.

Sat Apr 08, 01:56:00 PM  

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