I just looked up at my calendar. Yup. I have a three day weekend within my sights and one MLS SuperDraft ready to get said weekend kicked off at noon (which also coincides with the time my mind clocks out for the weekend, contrary to HR's time records). Full disclosure: this is my first "tracking" of the SuperDraft, so I am about as lost as a drunk-driving Nicole Ritchie on US-1 as to how to adequately prepare for one. Should I TiVo it? Should I take an early lunch to catch the festivites on espn2? Should I have all of my soccer friends on speed dial, ready to offer critique of each pick? Should I pop open the laptop, drink 20 Red Bulls, set up shop in front of the Toshiba, and watch myself become an erstwhile MLS "draftnik"? With so many questions and concerns pounding my cranium, I can only thank heaven that the extended weekend will allow me extra time to regain my self-professed sanity.
While I've made it abundantly clear who I'd like to see in the navy and red in 2007 (see previous entry), I also understand that predicting, nevermind guessing, which teams will select which players, is as much of a science as playing the odds of "Plinko" on The Price is Right. With much of my spare time devoted to seeking the opinions of fans and those in the know, I've attempted to form a reasonable hypothesis as to Tornborg Nicol & Mariner's draft strategy. Some have offered that the draft philosophy of said partnership has always been to draft the best available player, regardless of specific needs. This theory seems to be the ubiquitous party line dispensed for those who really mean "I have no idea, your guess is as good as mine". Soccer scribe Jeff Bradley said it best in a recent article: "Don't act like you know too much until, say, July of next year." So if you're inclined to become Soccer Nostradamus, be prepared to walk around with your tail between your legs, as it appears that many predictions are about as accurate as Harry Dunn at the end of Dumb & Dumber.
To acertain that SuperDraft has the same kind of general predictability as the overhyped, overanalyzed, "let's beat the dead horse even dead-er" NFL Draft is to compare Vanilla Sky to Armageddon. While both undoubtedly provide quality entertainment, Vanilla Sky's "what the hell?" factor is 1,043,190 times higher than Armageddon's pre-packaged, consumer-friendly plot.
While it may be a secret ambition of mine to be the SuperDraft version of Mel Kiper, Jr. minus the slicked-back Goodfellas look, I understand in coming to grips with reality that I will never find such a position that allows me to get paid to watch soccer and completely miss on 85% of my prognostications. As a fan, all I can do is sit back and watch the smorgasboard of soccer talent sport the scarves of their new homes. Whoever the Revs select, I will undoubtedly support and root for come April. Just don't ask me if I have any idea of who any these players will be prior to Friday.
And now, for further ammunition in discrediting my opinions, here are the top five moments that SuperDraft should adopt from the NFL Draft:
1. The Eli Manning Moment. Wouldn't it just be awesome if we had some spoiled, blue-chip prospect totally renege on his new team, awkwardly smile for the cameras, and don the team's scarf like it had anthrax on it? The very same Moment occured Draft Day 2004, when the Chargers drafted Peyton Manning's Little Brother against his wishes. Dad got involved, and boom, minutes later, PMLB became a Giant. CLASSIC!
2. The Aaron Rodgers Moment. This very moment found a head table at the 2005 NFL Draft when Cal QB Aaron Rodgers, a can't-miss top 5 pick slid, and slid, then slid some more to the Packers at the slot 21. Ouch. The whole debacle was about as awkward as the boss taking up the urinal next to you...for two hours straight.
3. The "Who the Hell is He?" Moment. There was a wide receiver drafted by the New York Jets back in the early-90s (name escapes me at the moment) that no one, save for Mel Kiper Jr. and his hair had ever heard of, which prompted clueless, vague, completely uninformed analysis (sound familiar?) of said wide receiver. The Moment would have been made even more comical if a camera had focused itself on the unprepared production assistants, no doubt experiencing multiple coronaries struggling to locate information on the no-name.
4. The Donovan McNabb Moment. Wouldn't it be cool if SuperDraft were as high a profile event like the NFL Draft, where throes of each teams fans show up, half-sober and sporting two-day old BO, ready to jump on their team's picks? This happened in '99, when Philly fans, ready to cheer their anticipated selection of Ricky Williams, instead drafted McNabb. BOOOOOO!!!! YOU SUCK!!! Ah, the City of Brotherly Love...Twisted, Redheaded Stepbrotherly Love.
5. The Vernon Davis Moment. Flash back nine months ago and recall when the 49ers picked Davis, who weeped openly and profusely at his selection, as if he were being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. The scene was made even more unintentionally funny because of the fact that Davis is an imposing 6-5, 270lb tight end.