Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My favorite time of the year......NFL Draft Time

Here is some of my observations/predictions for the NFL Draft this weekend.

1) The mock drafts have been all over the place since the beginning of January. That is interesting, because not a down of football has been played since then. Anyone who has ever put on a jock knows that competition is different from workouts, practice, drills, and all-star games. Todd McShay was a backup quarterback at the University of Richmond, and should know better. I have a feeling, with the exception of the quarterbacks, is that the draft is going to be closer to January's than to April's mock drafts.

2) One thing I like about that top quarterbacks (Newton, Gabbert, Dalton, Locker, Ponder, and Kaepernick) is that they all look like quarterbacks. They just have that look. I still think the reason that Jeff George and Ryan Leaf did not have more success is that they did not look like or carry themselves like quarterbacks. (Note: Personally, except in Atlanta, Jeff George was misused and could have been an elite quarterback and Hall of Famer)

3) Most of the mock drafts have Nick Fairley (Auburn) going either 8th (Titans) or lower. All you need is one to fall in love with him, and I think he is going to go earlier. Anyone who watched the BSC Championship knows why. All the talk about taking plays off is bunk. As a defensive tackle, you can't play with your hair on fire all the time. Sometimes you have to hold the point of attack and let your teammates make plays. People who micromanage watching film lose sight of this.

4) There is no way Da'Quan Bowers (DE/Clemson) goes 17th-20th like many of the mocks suggest. Former #1 projection, again, only needs one team to love him. I just can't see him falling to New England, San Diego, New York Giants, or Tampa Bay. This guy is too physical, too productive, and too versatile to fall that far.

5) There are a lot of good defensive ends in this draft (Aldon Smith, Missouri; JJ Watt, Wisconsin; Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue; Bowers, Clemson; Cameron Jordan, Cal; Justin Houston, Georgia; Adrian Clayborn, Iowa; and Cameron Heyward, Ohio State) projected between 11 and 26. I am not buying it. I think the offensive tackles (Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin; Nate Solder, Colorado; and Derek Sherrod, Miss. St.), which I think is a much stronger group, bump a couple of these guys into the second round. Also, the top safety, second best guard, and second best running back, will also bump a couple of these guys down.

6) I think that Detroit will continue their run of good picks (Calvin Johson, Matthew Stafford, N. Su) with Prince Amukamara (Nebraska). I don't think he is Deion Sanders, but he will be a solid starter that will make many positions better. I think if Bradford stays healthy the Lions make the playoffs.

7) Anyone who sees the films can see that AJ Green (Georgia) is a better wide receiver than Julio Jones (Alabama). Stop focusing on stuff that doesn't matter and watch the games. Being a wideout is about two things: getting open and catching the ball. Green is superior in both of them.

8) I would not want the first pick. There isn't a sure thing is this draft. Also, Carolina drafted two quarterbacks last year (Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike). I don't envy their situation. There isn't a good pick for them. They should skip it, just so they can pay less. It would be a greater value, picking 3rd, but very bad PR. Note: at one point, both Clausen and Pike were top-10 projected picks.

9) The offensive tackle group is solid, but there isn't a Munoz, Pace, or Walter Jones in the bunch. There are some Matt Lights and Joe Thomases, however.

10) New England has the 17th and 28th picks in this years draft. I would hold pat (no pun intended), because both are great value picks. I can't justify a reason to trade up. They are however, in a great position to trade down, esp. if teams are antsy about missing out on a quarterback, defensive end, or offensive tackle. They like to stockpile picks. They also have the luxury of taking the "best available athlete".

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Review of "Dance Dance Revolution" for Wii.

Anyone familiar with my blog or Facebook page knows that I am such a dork about Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). If you are looking to get in shape, all I know is this:

1) If someone is good at DDR, they are probably not overweight. It happens, but not nearly as often as with people who are good at weight lifting, kettlebells, Zumba, running, or spinning.

2) If someone is good at DDR, they cardiovascular system is in good working order. I very much can't say about the Under-armour wearing mullet who has to sit down between sets.

3) If someone is good at DDR, they move well and for the most part they are injury free. I definitely can't say this about my running and spinning friends. Some people who do Zumba don't even look like they can get out of bed on their own.

I am such a proponent of DDR that I am going to write an e-book about using it to get in shape. I use it in conjuction with High Octane Cardio, my weighted X-vest and swings. I have lost 36 lbs. since getting DDR 3 years ago, and unlike others that write about weight loss, I am still losing weight. DDR can very much be a convenient, effective, and sustainable form of fitness.

That being said, here is a review of the newest Wii version of Dance Dance Revolution.

Popular Songs (GRADE: D-): In this regard, this new version sucks ass. Lots of Jordan Sparks and Kelly Clarkson-type stuff. Just because it has popular appeal doesn't mean it has DDR appeal. Also, there is not as much range with these songs as their were in previous version. The worst part of this is that the foot rate for these songs is very slooooooooow compared to other version. This limits its exercise value.

Boss Songs (Grade: B+): "Boss" means "made for DDR." These songs are pretty good, at least the ones I have been able to unlock. Entertaining, well choreographed, and fun to dance to.

Choreography(Grade: A): Even though the song choice was pretty bad, the choreography was pretty good for what they had to work with.

Wii Remote/Nunchuk use (Grade: B): This is a feature that I always have turned off because it was annoying. The response reliability was really bad and it did not add anything to the game. This was consistently shitty throughout the entire Hottest Party series. Well, this version it has all changed:

a) The reliability is pretty good.

b) You do different things with the remote (slash, punch, swing, hand circles), which makes it more fun. For those that work with mobility, some of the pattern have a "Indian club" feel to them. They loosened up my shoulders a lot. One drawback, however, is when you are using them (i.e., Choreography Mode), the foot rate is really slow. I do thing this is a big improvement and it compares favorable to Xbox Kinect's "Dance Central", and you don't have the annoying calibration of the Kinect's.

c) The one bad point about this is when using the Choreography Mode, the foot rate for most songs is very slow.

d) If you do "Expert" level in Choreography Mode, you are not cued as to what to do. You have to follow what the dancer on the screen does. This is a really plus and was a lot of fun.

Exercise Value (Grade: C+): The other versions, especially Hottest Part 1 and 2, are way better. As I open up more songs, my opinion may change, but the songs, especially the popular ones, are definitely sissyfied.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kettlebell Workshop_INTRO_generic

I am hosting an INTRO kettlebell workshop at Xtreme Athletix on 4/9 and 4/16.

To register: http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops