THE GRAPEVINE: Revisiting “Sex Sells” in the NFL

Lombardi's Way THE GRAPEVINE: Revisiting “Sex Sells” in the NFL

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According to several league sources have indicated that NFL insider Adam Schefter will join ESPN later this year. (Yawn) Excuse me but what’s the big deal?  Let me put Schefter’s current job in perspective for you. Wouldn’t you expect the public relations director of Under Armour to know about a new UA product announcement before the media and the general public learned about it?

Of course you would.

Schefter is the NFL’s mouthpiece.  He works for the league (at least until his contract runs out in August). Shouldn’t he beat his competitors to the punch with breaking stories? And let’s not forget that when he speculates and a story hasn’t been served up to him on a silver platter he isn’t all that accurate. Remember his breaking story that suggested Ray Lewis would not be returning to Baltimore?

Speaking of the NFL on TV, the iconic John Madden is parking the Madden Cruiser and he’ll step down from NBC’s Sunday Night broadcasting booth.  Here’s to NBC recruiting Troy Aikman to replace Madden.  Aikman is the best analyst in the game and it’s not even close.

The Ravens 2009 schedule seems fair and balanced from my vantage point. And by all means count me among those who don’t give a rat’s hind parts that they have only 3 nationally televised games this year as of this writing. Seven of the team’s eight scheduled home games are 1 o’clock starts and as KC & The Sunshine Band once drilled into our heads, that’s the way I like it!

The Sun’s David Steele weighed in today with his thoughts on the Ravens’ relative lack of national exposure given the fact that they made it to the AFC Championship game last season. Steele suggested that fans want offense and the Ravens are considered a defensive team.  I wrote a column called "Sex Sells" during the Ravens 13-3 2006 campaign suggesting the same thing as Steele. You can find it here and I dare you to tell me that you don’t agree!

That said, let’s face it folks, the Ravens for years have played a bland, boring brand of football and if you really weren’t a fan of the team, would you really want to watch them? C’mon be honest…

I don’t know about you but I have a Google Alert that points me in the direction of Ravens news. I don’t have the time to read all the stories, just the ones that capture my attention.  Today something popped up that jumped off my laptop’s screen and sucked me in.  It was a link to a blog entitled, Dumbass of the Week – Cleveland Browns.

So I hit the link and the blogged opens up this way – verbatim:

There is a report that the Cleveland Browns is looking to trade Braylon Edwards.  Edwards who at 63 and weighs 220 pounds.  Is the Browns best threat in scoring in the passing game.  But Edwards had a down season last year and now the Browns think that trading this guy with all this talent is the thing to do to the Giants.  The Giants may give up a 1st round pick but Edwards puts the Giants right back into the hunt for another superbowl. The city of Cleveland who haven’t won any title sine the 1940’s and with dumb ass moves like this you see why.

And this writer has the stones to call someone else a dumbass?

He better recognize!

Back to the Ravens, the team is very comfortable with the 26th pick in the draft and they are supremely confident that a player will fall to them who will be a productive contributor from Day 1.  I’ve been told that the club sees very little separation in ability from the 10th player on their board to the 30th player. The added value in that of course is that the Ravens don’t have to pay their first pick as much money as the 15 picks preceding them given the league’s obsolete slotting system.

With that in mind, don’t be shocked to see the Ravens trade back if they are offered a sweetheart deal by another club. You may recall that the Ravens traded away an early round 2 pick in 1999 to the Atlanta Falcons for their No. 1 in 2000 which eventually became the fifth pick in the draft, Jamal Lewis.

While on the subject of running backs, it would not surprise me to see the Ravens take a running back in the second round. While most believe a new collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) will happen before the 2010 season, if that falls through next year will be a cap free season meaning the Ravens could dump Willis McGahee and his salary without negative cap implications. Word is that if the Ravens were entering the 2009 season as a cap free campaign, McGahee’s bags would be packed faster than you can say “missed voluntary work outs.”

Brandon Pettigrew visited the Ravens recently and rumor has it that the team likes the draft’s most complete tight end from OK State. Initially most thought that the Ravens would have virtually no chance to draft Pettigrew at No. 26 but after poor 40 times during the combines, some have him falling to the Ravens and beyond. 

If the Ravens call Pettigrew’s card, might that signal the end for Todd Heap?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts "The Fanimal" also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi


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