This is why the days leading up to the draft are stupid, irrelevant and even dangerous. Take Ryan Mallett. Or rather, what was just said about him.
"For the lack of a better phrase, he's kind of the first -- and forgive this phrase -- kind of the Caucasian street guy," NFL analyst Jamie Dukes said Wednesday night on the NFL Network. "And what I mean by that, he's got that Eminem, slash, ya know, Vanilla Ice thing that goes on."
Dukes is smart. Dukes is a good analyst. But that is Kardashian dumb. What the hell is "Caucasian street guy?" Was that a Steely Dan song? I don't even know what that means.
Mallett isn't my favorite guy in the draft. He's clearly got a little punk in him, but the criticism of him is reaching an absurd level. Absurd and unfair, that is. Imagine if someone called Cam Newton -- who has been treated even more unfairly -- "a street guy."
This is why the days leading up to the draft are stupid, irrelevant and even dangerous. Take Nick Fairley. Or rather, what was just said about him.
It was reported he skipped a dinner with the brass of the Miami Dolphins following Auburn's pro day. There's a problem. The story wasn't true. As the Miami Herald first reported -- and CBSSports.com has confirmed -- the dinner was actually optional. Fairley wasn't required to go so he took his ass home to sleep. He didn't really skip anything.
This is the worst time of the year. This is when every ridiculous rumor, every smidge of worthless news, every piece of spin doctoring and sabotage, gets published and discussed with the kind of seriousness that the Wall Street Journal publishes essays on tax code.
It's become so much worse in the past decade or so and now we're at the point where anything is game. Nothing is off limits. Want to blog about an alleged threesome a draft prospect had? Go ahead. No one will stop you. Heard a rumor from a guy who knew a guy who dated some dude's sister that a draft prospect once smoked some dope? Do it. No one will stop you and everyone will read it. Even if it isn't true.
Please, no high horse here. I've reported on significant transgressions of draft prospects in the past such as drug issues or criminal offenses. But they were major things, not calling someone "a street guy" or reporting on skipped dinners when nothing was skipped and even if it was, who gives a damn?
Team executives and agents spread lies with a definite purpose. The reason you read about Fairley skipping a phantom date at Outback was likely because the agent of a player close in ability to Fairley leaked it. Or, rather, leaked some half-baked version of it.
General managers and scouts have been known to do the same thing. It's not uncommon for them to leak negative information about a draft prospect so he plummets down the board and they can snag him.
It's a brutal and dirty business, the draft. Always has been, always will be. It just seems that now it's dirtier and nastier than ever.
This is why the days leading up to the draft are stupid, irrelevant and even dangerous.
Just heard a rumor.
Ryan Mallett, Jamie Dukes and Vanilla Ice skipped a dinner with Nick Fairley.
But Wu-Tang was there.