A Recap of the National Football League Draft

My son, Adam Kemp, is an avid football fan, and I asked him to write us a blog about the recent draft. I love football, too, and I hope you enjoy his thoughts.

This is a picture of him and his cat, Thor.20150717_230942

Once a year the National Football League gathers to expand their membership, and to welcome young men from around the country to the club. This year the Draft became international when the Minnesota Vikings use the 180th pick on Moritz Boehringer, a WR from Germany.

Today he became the first rookie to sign a deal. Boehringer had a good reason. He must show proof of employment to obtain a work visa. Many consider the 22-year-old’s journey to the NFL the biggest story on the last day of the draft. But his story wasn’t the only one of note this past weekend. Prognosticators and experts around the country have spent the months since the Super Bowl analyzing and measuring and predicting the success of college kids as they transition to professional game.

Things are much different in the NFL than in college. First there are 128 FBS ( Football Bowl Subdivision ) schools, formerly Division One, in addition to 125 FCS ( Football Championship Subdivision ) schools, formerly Division Two. Combined that is over 18,000 college football players, all competing for roster spots on the 32 professional teams. Consider this, if every NFL team’s roster were empty, the teams would need 1,700 players, that’s roughly 9% of the pool of college players. Of course none of the rosters are in fact empty so the percentage goes down further. Second the quality of the individual players are greater in the NFL. They are the best of the best and the competition is fierce. A WR from North Dakota State may be the best player at his school but wouldn’t make the team at LSU.

So the odds of realizing the dream of playing in the NFL are small, but it’s the dream, none the less, of almost every one of those 18,000 young men. This weekend 224 college football players took the first and the biggest step toward achieving that goal.

Teams trade veteran players to acquire additional picks, and thus more chances to add the best of the best college players to their rosters. I never understood the fascination of professional teams with unproven commodities that are college football players. College football players are drafted based on potential. Why teams are so willing to trade proven commodities for chances to draft potential ones blows my mind. With so many college players not living up their perceived potential, why is so much faith placed on these young men? Scouting the college players and judging that potential is not an exact science.

Remember back 1998 when the league and the experts disagreed on which of the 2 top QBs would grow and develop into a legitimate starter in the NFL. Those 2 QBs were Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. If you are wondering who was Ryan Leaf, then you get my point. Perhaps the best indication of the uncertainty that comes with picking players based on perceived potential is Tom Brady. Drafted in 2000, this 4 time Super Bowl winning QB was drafted in the 6th round. That year 6 QBs were drafted ahead of Brady, and I bet you can’t name them any of them. His success and Hall of Fame career is especially noteworthy considering he was, according to most experts, the worst QB ever to attend the Combine, which is a yearly event where most of the top college football prospects are invited to be tested, measured, and timed in multiple drills.

Now that the 2016 NFL draft is concluded, experts have given each of the 32 teams a grade of the team’s choices. The Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars sit atop of the list with grades of A, and the Atlanta Falcons scored the lowest grade with a D. Time will tell if the experts are right, if the players chosen live up the hype and achieve the success predicted. The teams wager millions of dollars on their choices. Those young men who walked across the stage and hugged the commissioner will soon ink contracts instantly making some of them millionaires. For many it will be the only contract they sign.

Fabric from France

Wayne and I returned last Wednesday night from 2 weeks in France. The cruise was really lovely although the weather wasn’t. Way too much rain, and gloomy skies. But we had fun. I’m just about spoiled from having my meals served and wine poured. Met some really fun people on board and plan to keep in touch with them. IMG_0305

The rumors or gossip that French people are kinda arrogant and aloof were confirmed for some of the folks we met. Shop keepers were friendly and accommodating, but few spoke any English, at least outside of Paris. The worst for me was some of the tour guides – their English was sometimes hard to understand. But more importantly, a couple of them talked constantly so that no one could ask any questions. Interrupting them was hard. When I finally managed to break in to ask one for a bathroom break, she replied, “Now?” I mean seriously. She didn’t like it and escorted all of us back to where there were bathrooms, insisting the break was only for emergencies. Fifteen women got in line.

But aside from all that, we got to do some shopping not only in Paris, Dijon and Lyon, as well as Arls and Avignon. As many of you know, I’m a quilter and have posted pictures of ones in the past.
In Lyon, I think it was, I found a fabric and yarn shop where they had packets of cuttings of several similarly colored fabrics. They cost 30 Euro each, so I bought 2 of them–one several yellows and another several blues.

Now in the U.S., these types of packets are what we call ‘fat quarters.’ These are half-yard pieces of 42-inch fabrics that are cut in half. This gives a piece approximately 21 by 18 inches, while a half-yard would be 42 by 18.

Imagine my surprise when I opened these packets and found I had strips measuring 42 by 9 inches, an exact 1/4 yard.

Picture shows the stack after I IMG_0585 washed them. Are good quality cotton and are completely usable, just not like I expected. So caution quilters— quarters in Lyon, France, are not the fat quarters we are used to in the U.S.

Ever been surprised with a purchase in a foreign country? Anyone have similar unfriendly behavior from the French?

“Is the baby mine?” Could you forgive this question?

In my latest release, Annabelle’s Dilemma, Annabelle’s husband is angry when she announces that she’s pregnant. He’d seen her flirting with her cousin’s sexy husband, and he blurts out this question: “Is the baby mine?” Annabelle blows up and throws him out of their house.

AnnabellesDilemma_800x1200 http://amzn.to/1Wqu7wf

I’ll let you read the book to learn whether Annabelle forgives him. But my question to my women readers is whether this ever happened to you?

Given that most women of child-bearing age these days grew up with abortions being legal and relative access to birth control, unintended pregnancies from an affair can be avoided. A 2002 study estimates that half of married men and women indulged in at least one extra-marital affair during their marriage. It’s not something that folks are willing to admit, I expect. Therefore, the data are likely fraught with self-reporting errors. And I couldn’t begin to trust the data on the number of children born from such liaisons. When a woman is married, any children are legally treated as being fathered by her husband.

All that aside, it seems to me that when such a question is aired, there is a lot of work to be done to restore trust, if it’s even possible. When I was married to my children’s father (he’s deceased now), I discovered that he’d told his girlfriend that our third child wasn’t his. What else do you say in the circumstances? Needless to say, the marriage was over. My son learned this and never forgave him.

Writing romantic fiction gives an author the opportunity to posit different scenarios for life events. What would you do?

Aren’t We Sick of These Five Phrases? I am!

These are the overused, trite, and Im-so-sick-of-them phrases. See if this is true for you, too.

1. Win-Win Don’t know the etiology of this, but it sucks.

2. Happy Holidays What the hell is wrong with Merry Christmas? This is a politically correct solution that is insufficient.

3. What’s in Your Wallet? These commercials have outlived their usefulness. Doesn’t the company have enough funds to come up with a new one? I hate it.

4. Ground Zero I’m ready to shoot folks who apply this designation to all kinds of stuff. It demeans the losses of 9-11 and should be eliminated for good.

5. ___gate This one is the worst! Watergate was 44 years ago–1972. And we still continue — delfategate was the latest. Enough already. I bet most folks don’t even know what Watergate was. Let’s bury it.

Thanks for listening to my rant — AnnabellesDilemma_800x1200
And I have a new book out. It’s available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1paxZGH
Annabelle is a quilter and owns a fabric shop where she teaches quilting. Her best customer is an Uptown New Orleans matron who gripes and complains about everything. Among Annabelle’s many dilemmas, she’s pregnant and her husband asked “Is it mine?” Her cousin accused her of sleeping with her husband. Next, her cousin is found dead and the police suspect Annabelle. And she’s being stalked by a crazy relative of a young woman accused of drowning her newborn. What else could go wrong? You’ll have to read it to find out. (-: Isn’t this a great cover.

And here’s one more: ‘Have a nice day’

A Truly Difficult Position for Feminists–Hillary vs. Bernie

 

With women leaders like Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem exhorting women to vote for Hillary, some feminists are pushing back. ‘Don’t tell us what do do.” And they are voting for Bernie Sanders.

In an essay by Cokie and Steve Roberts in today’s news —“Yes, having women in political offices matter,” they detail the many many accomplishments women have achieved simply by ‘being at the table.’ And I applaud all of them.

Yet, I can’t overlook the squandering of influence by such as Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin.

But the point now is do we feminists unite behind Hillary? Sure, she’s for women’s rights, etc., but what about the rest of the job of President? The issue of integrity, for example.  And recently, she told a supporter something to the effect that we have to change laws, not hearts. What chance do women have of changing laws with the power concentrated in the hands of old, white men?

Their hearts have to be open to change in order to change any laws that matter. We can’t assume that all women because we are women need/must/have to support Hillary. It’s a real struggle for me.

It’s hard to trust her after that Benghazi mess, and her supporting Bill when he was President? Good Grief. If she hadn’t stood by her man, I think he would have been TOAST. 

It seems unlikely that any clarity will come from the shouting at debates and the claims that no matter what, Bernie Sanders will never be elected. We’ll see.

A Rose by any other name

I’m one of those old folks who start the day by reading the local paper. And we’re lucky here in New Orleans that we still have a daily paper – The Advocate. The other long time local paper, the Times Picayune, has gone like so many others to 3 printings a week, which doesn’t work for me.

So this beautiful, clear, and chilly January morning, I’m skipping through the dozens of society page pictures of smiling young women in white dresses holding flowers. This is not only Carnival season where the krewes post pictures of their Queen and her court of princesses and pages (there are a few guys in tuxedos, too), but also it’s debutant season. Don’t ya just love it?

The debs are featured with biographies, including their lineage, colleges attending, and both formal shots and casual ones, often taken under the oak trees in City Park or with their horses. The best part is one of these young women–ages 18-21–is likely chosen Queen of Carnival. The King of Carnival, however, is a white-haired old fart–a businessman, banker, lawyer, or philanthropist-type, but not politicians. Perfect, right? These guys are old enough to be these women’s grandfathers.

All the photographers happy, as well as the dressmakers, hair stylists, makeup specialists, and florists. But what struck me this morning was the variety of first names for the young women and girls–kids as young as 6 or 7 are involved.

We have the usual collection of Marys, Susans, Emilys, and Graces. Yet, I found Carter, Stirling, Everett, Peyton, Marley, and the most amazing name for a beautiful, blonde, young lady–Kingsland!

What the hell were her parents thinking?