3 days ago
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Counterfactual of the Week
The NFL Draft is on tonight, will turn to watch the rest of the first round once the Penguins build up an insurmountable lead. Actually, it wouldn't shock me if Ottawa won this game. They had their best games those first two in the Igloo.
But I want to raise an alternative reality. What if the Indianapolis Colts had selected Ryan Leaf first overall in 1998 rather than Peyton Manning? The Colts are, in a de facto sense, my NFL team. But I don't compete in any "fantasy" football pools. Hence, unlike in hockey, I can have a team to follow, so to speak. I'm really just an overall observer of the NFL, but if I have a team, its the Colts. Even liked them when they were in Baltimore, as they were when I began to watch the NFL when I was a kid. When Bert Jones was under center (American sport, so I'll use the American spelling). Before he bolted in free agency to the LA Rams, and his career came to a quick end.
I even liked his Dad Archie. One of the first Sports Illustrated magazines I collected as a kid had a feature on Archie, during the bleak years of the 'Aints. It was difficult, though, to see those 'Aints beat the Colts back in February.
And what of the cannon-armed Ryan Leaf? I remember being in Seattle during his heyday with the Washington St Cougars -- they were playing the hated Huskies. After his glorious career with the Super Chargers, he finally quit football a few years later. Tried coaching in college, which didn't go well. Last I heard, he was doing 10 months probation for burglary and cocaine possession.
But as a senilic Cliff Fletcher once opined so eloquently, "Draft Schmaft".