Sports fans love their drafts. New players bring new hope to a franchise, to a city, to a sport. For the most part, rookies are given a clean slate. “I don’t care how many trains you robbed while playing free safety at Valdosta State, is all of that behind you now? Are you ready to play some ball then?”
Of course, life never goes the way we script it, not even for multi-millionaires who play sports for a living. I’m sure every player wants to be loved and respected and remembered fondly long after their days in the spotlight have ended. But it rarely ends that way for professional sports figures.
And then there are those we just can’t wait to see leave.
So, here’s a new twist on an old concept. The Arizona Sports 620 staff is on the clock for the first-ever “Back-Draft”. Take the term however you’d like, this could be a draft of guys that are either on the “back” sides of their career or someone the staff member just wants to see consumed in fire.
The premise: What active sports figure have you simply had enough of? Who would you like to draft out of sports?
John Gambadoro has the first pick and he’s on the clock…
#1: With the number one pick in the Back-Draft, John Gambadoro selects…
Gambo: “He’s the one guy I can’t stand. Get him out, and get him out now. The sport will be better off without him.”
ANALYSIS: Rodriguez was number one on a lot of draft boards. He is the Andrew Luck of this particular draft, a once-in-a-generation turdburger. Hell, I considered trading two future first-round picks to move up for the satisfaction of dumping him myself. The sooner baseball is A-Rid of A-Rod, the better.
#2: Burns & Gambo producer Jordan Byrd is on the clock
And with the #2 pick in the draft, Byrd selects…
Byrd: “Never has so much media coverage been given for someone with so little athletic ability.”
ANALYSIS: Not sure I like this pick. After all, it’s not Tim Tebow’s fault that ESPN leads SportsCenter with him every time he completes a pass, or doesn’t complete a pass (the latter being far more time-consuming). It’s not Tim Tebow’s fault that Thom Brennaman wants to run off with him to the Cayman Islands and raise a family together. It’s not Tim Tebow’s fault that devout Christians everywhere want to see him run in the rain without his shirt on. Tim Tebow should have been good for sports, but the media, and the Jets, turned him into a traveling sideshow. Now, if what Byrd is saying with this pick is that sports would be better off without Tebow because the media would have no choice but stop covering his every prayer, then perhaps I better understand it.
#3: Vince Marotta is on the clock…
And with the #3 pick in the draft, Marotta boots out of sports…
Marotta: “I’d vote him off the planet, if I could.”
ANALYSIS: I spoke with a PR guy from Mars (at least I think it was a guy. You know Martian voices.) Anyway, it turns out they don’t want Bryant either. Everyone knows there are two places where Kobe Bryant will never be welcome: Colorado and the solar system. Here’s what I can promise you: No one in this draft has a longer hate list than Marotta. So, for him to race up to the commissioner with an I-don’t-need-anytime-to-think-about-it pick of Kobe Bryant displays the Italian Mongoose’s hatred for the Black Mamba. Are we, as sports fans, ready to see Bryant go? I’d say no. He’s still a great player, and sports, like movies, need as many villains as heroes to keep things interesting. To me, Bryant still adds to the NBA game.
#4: Dan & Vince producer Bryan Gibberman selects…
Gibby on Sanchez: “Tool.”
ANALYSIS: Is Mark Sanchez a tool? Of course, he is. The headband alone puts him in the tool chest. But this decision to boot him out of sports is purely the case of a diehard Jets fan wanting a better quarterback for his team. See, what Gibberman has done here is wasted a golden opportunity to rid the sports world of a true cretin, and instead he’s used the fourth overall pick to satisfy a personal vendetta. Selfish.
#5: With the fifth pick in the Back-Draft Paul Calvisi selects…
THE GUY WHO YELLS OUT “GET IN THE HOLE” AT GOLF TOURNAMENTS
ANALYSIS: I hope we have enough jerseys for these guys to pose with on stage. I’ll admit, I wasn’t prepared for overzealous drunk golf optimist to go in the first round. Kiper had him projected as a fifth rounder, fourth tops. But now that Paul’s call (see what I did there? “Paul’s call”) is for the elimination of the one-cheer-pony golf fan, I will admit that that guy is a nuisance. Dude who yells out “Get in the hole” at golf tournaments is akin to dude who yells out “Vegas baby, Vegas” thirty times during the flight to Nevada.
#6: With the sixth pick Dave Burns chooses to boot from sports…
Burns: “Enough is enough. He’s gotten way too much attention.”
ANALYSIS: But if you revel in the Cowboys’ mediocrity, you don’t ever want Jerry Jones to leave. Jones is the new Al Davis, only Jones can’t blame his poor personnel decisions on senility or that Sauron controls his thoughts from Mordor. The way I see it, Jones is a blessing to football fans everywhere. Even with all his advantages, he still can’t produce a consistent winner.
#7: Arizona Sports 620 Executive Producer Ryan “Yoda” Lindsay selects…
ANALYSIS: Clay Bennett? The dude who lost to Ruben Studdard on American Idol? Well, not exactly. Clay Bennett is the owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder. See, Yoda is from Seattle (or Dagobah, depending upon whose story you believe). The OKC Thunder happen to be the former Seattle SuperSonics. Yoda wakes up at night from dreams of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook still wearing the green and gold, only to realize they’re not true. He can’t get over Clay Bennett moving his beloved Sonics. Yes, Yoda has pulled ‘a Gibberman’ in the draft. He had the chance to make the world a better place, and instead he decided to behead someone who’s wronged him personally. It’s like having the chance to sleep with anyone in the world and picking the girl who wouldn’t go out with you in high school.
#8: At pick eight, Arizonasports.com’s Adam Green selects…
Green on Jackson: “If you want to coach, fine. If not, just go away.”
ANALYSIS: This is likely seen as a wasted pick considering that Jackson is technically inactive as a sports figure. I mean, we’re just kicking these guys out of sports, this isn’t the “who do you want bagged up, weighted down and thrown into still water” draft. But I see why Green is annoyed with the ZenMaster. If you want to coach, coach. You certainly have the opportunity. But this, “I could do it better” two cents Jackson wants to put in doesn’t strike me as the behavior of a content man, much less a zen master. The Dalai Lama would never have a Twitter handle… Wait… Does the Dalai Lama have a Twitter handle?
#9: With the ninth pick of the draft, Doug Franz selects…
Doug on Danica: “You’re gorgeous. And you’re average. Quit telling me I need to like you.”
ANALYSIS: Franz throws the draft a curveball, and the fans at Radio City Music Hall seem to like it. “Yeah. Quit telling me I need to like you,” they yell from the rafters. Win a race. Or get through a lost race without blaming your failure on someone or something else. This is one of the many problems with NASCAR. In any other sport, Patrick would have been waived by now. But as long as you bring in sponsor money, you can just keep on driving. Glad baseball doesn’t operate that way. Otherwise, Patrick would be playing second base for the Mets.
And #10: With the last pick of the first round of the draft, Chuck Powell selects…
ANALYSIS: I can’t stand that my favorite sport continues to endure the firestorm storm that is the steroid era. And somehow, the guy who deserves the most blame for steroids in baseball is still running the league and has actually justified major salary increases for himself over several consecutive years. Bud must go. Anyone have any cinder blocks?
So, that’s it. The first round of the first Back-Draft is in the books. Who would you pick?