LOMBARDI’S WAY: Do NFL owners and execs listen with their EYES?

Lombardi's Way LOMBARDI’S WAY: Do NFL owners and execs listen with their EYES?

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Ok I have a confession to make – I have been a regular viewer of American Idol this season.  In the past, I may have seen some of the contestants perform while channel surfing but not until this year did I give the program much more than a sniff.  Perhaps their tapping into the Beatles’ catalog lured me.
Redundancy is certainly a problem with the show and the biggest culprit is the bubbly and bumbling Paula Abdul.  But that aside, I’m sure that each of you who do take in the show (whether you want to admit it or not) has your favorite contestant(s).
Now there could be any number of reasons why you’ve selected your favs.  My favorites are David Cook and Michael Johns and I’ll be rooting for them down to the wire.  Yet at the same time, it’s difficult for me not to find Brooke White appealing.  She’s talented, attractive, humble, sweet and sincere and I find her to be a breath of fresh air when compared to many her age that are hardly humble and are really nothing more than self-promoting windbags.
Yet I must admit that her appeal makes me overlook some of her deficiencies as a musical talent.
Am I listening with my eyes?
While noticing this built in bias towards Brooke I wondered how many other voters felt the same, whether it be for Brooke or any of the other 9 surviving contestants on Idol. 
And then as they often do my thoughts veered in a totally different direction towards the 2008 NFL Draft…
And then I thought of Kyle Boller…
And now I’m thinking about Matt Ryan…
Did the personal appeal and Wonderlic score of Kyle Boller allure and subsequently trap the Ravens into committing two high end draft picks just to secure his rights?  Might the Ravens’ organization, desperate for consistency and efficiency at the quarterback position commit the very same mistake with Matt Ryan?
Of the two, clearly Ryan is the more polished QB as a senior entering the draft.  But is he worthy of a No. 8 pick and the dollars that go with such a lofty selection?
I’m really not sure. 
I’ve been told by folks in the know that Ryan really didn’t have a very good supporting cast and still managed to keep his team undefeated heading into November before Boston College dropped three of five prior to their 24-21 Champs Sports’ Bowl win over Michigan State.
That aside, is Ryan one of the country’s 8 best collegiate players? If your answer is no then do you think that this is the year the Ravens go against the grain and pick for need rather than best player available?  Or should they wait until Round 2 for Joe Flacco or Brian Brohm or Chad Henne?
Talent v. Need
Needs can certainly influence appeal and appeal can influence, even blur opinions on talent.
It happened with Kyle Boller.
It’s happening for me with Brooke White.
Might it do the same to Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta with Matt Ryan?
We’ll find out one month from today.
In one month or less we will find out if Pacman Jones has a new home in Dallas, Texas.  Clearly Jones is a gifted athlete possessing outstanding speed and ball skills.  Perhaps even more clearly, Jones is an extremely troubled man possessing less than exemplary common sense and role model skills.
The attraction to Jones’ talents is understandable.  And on the surface offering a very team-oriented contract to him makes sense for the Cowboys.  There are apparently few if any other teams interested in the frequent visitor to the principal’s office and that gives Jerry Jones all the leverage.  The cost to obtain Pacman from Tennessee should be very inexpensive and the former Mountaineer is more than likely willing to play on the cheap just to prove himself to the world, somewhat similar to Randy Moss a little more than a year ago.
If it works out for the Cowboys and the Joneses, one year from now they’ll be talking about a more lucrative long-term deal on par with some of the other big cornerback contracts offered recently.
But what if it doesn’t work out?
Is Pacman’s talent too dazzling for Jerry Jones?  Is it the equivalent of a beautiful woman luring an unsuspecting average Jerry?  You know the type – the woman so stunning that some unlucky guy is willing to ignore the garage-full of unpleasant baggage.
Clearly the Ravens have needs at corner and thankfully they aren’t competing for Pacman’s services.  And for that matter, nor should anyone else.  Pacman Jones is a tormented man.  And yes I know that his childhood story is tragic having experienced the murder of his dad at the tender age of 8 and the addictions of his mother.  But that doesn’t excuse his behavior as an adult.  It might explain it but it doesn’t excuse it.
Pacman Jones hasn’t paid the full price yet for full reinstatement, acceptance and such a clear path to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire winner’s circle – AGAIN!  It’s way too soon. Jerry Jones should not enable him again nor should any other NFL owner.  Collectively they need to send a message.  Remember what happened to each team and each league that gave Lawrence Phillips a second, third or fourth chance?
It’s time to ignore the talent and focus on right and wrong.
It’s time for Jerry Jones to stop listening with his eyes.
It’s time to pass on Pacman.
He’s used up the last of his power dots – at least for now.
Hey so what do YOU think of Brooke White?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) 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.

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