We're almost a week into July at the time of this writing, and I'm desperately getting a case of NFL withdrawal.
The only prescription is more mailbag, and more football talk. Reach me with mailbag questions on twitter @RealMNchiefsfan. Also (and this is huge), the one and only Mrs. MNchiefsfan has re-joined Twitter (after leaving it back in 2010 or so) in the last couple of days. Some of you fine folk have already found her. I encourage all of you to do the same and give her a warm welcome. @MrsMNchiefsfan is where to find her. Also, if you guys are nice enough to her, I bet I can talk her into answering mailbag questions sent to her via Twitter.
All right, let's get into the mailbag...
Who takes a bigger step forward this season? Knile, DAT, or Albert Wilson? @RealMNchiefsfan— Heath Larson (@heathlarson) June 13, 2015
I think it's Albert Wilson. I've written about him extensively, so I won't go into it a ton here, but Wilson has already shown he can be productive. He also has the traits you want in a wide receiver. He's got speed, quickness, good hands, exceptional YAC ability, and plays with a mean streak.
I don't dislike Knile Davis as strongly as some do, but I sure don't think he's as good as some OTHERS do. I'll be writing about Davis very soon, but to make a long story short he is EXCEPTIONALLY dependent on his blocking. If he's got good blocking, his athleticism (he's a truly gifted athlete, even for a a pro) allows him to do more with it than most RBs would. When he doesn't get good blocking, he looks pretty horrific.
If the offensive line is better than "meh" at run blocking this year we could see an improvement statistically from Knile Davis, and maybe even a big one. But I doubt it'll be due to him changing much as a player (you know "taking a step forward"), but simply an improved situation. Of course, people will still call it an improvement of the player because that's what we do.
De'Anthony Thomas is the guy I WANT to pick, simply because it'd be incredible to see him blossom into a stud slot WR. But I've been hurt too many times by this scenario. You know the story; a guy who seems to have all the tools to be a great slot WR just ... doesn't. I'm not going to count my chickens until they start running full route trees.
Wilson is the safest bet here. Barring health issues he's going to surprise a lot of people.
I would not take that bet.
Look, it's not that I lack faith in the Chiefs. There's serious potential for one of the best defenses we've ever seen this season. The offense has picked up a few pieces and should (hopefully) be pretty decent. The coaching staff has proven itself capable. There's a lot to like about the Chiefs.
But the fact of the matter is there are 31 other NFL teams who are currently convincing themselves of their own chances at the Super Bowl this season. And you know what? About a dozen of them have reason to hope, maybe more. This isn't the NBA, where only once a decade or so does a team who ISN'T a preseason favorite make a run in the playoffs. This is the NFL, where it seems like anything can happen.
So it's a sucker's bet to put good money on almost ANY NFL team in a given year. Even the Patriots can't win it every year. There's just way too much "any given Sunday" in football. There's not a single team in the league I'd put a significant amount of money on to win the Super Bowl.
And that's kinda the great thing about football. for all we think we know, we never really know. And a wise man doesn't place bets he can't adequate KNOW.
Bet on Jamaal Charles doing crazy things. That's a much, much safer bet than any team is to win the Super Bowl.
If we're JUST talking about the baseball aspect of a movie it's absolutely no contest whatsoever.
"For Love of The Game" has some of the best baseball scenes you'll find anywhere. I'm not generally a gigantic Costner fan, but he kills it as the aged flamethrower for the Tigers. The entire perfect game setup is just phenomenal. I've very rarely actually felt on the edge of my seat due to an imaginary game, but this film is one of those times (Friday Night Lights has the other 20 moments).
They do a great job with the baseball scenes in general. The fantastic brushback of the Yankee Chapel hates, the hat tip to what's-his-name after a fantastic catch, the general muttering and thought process of a pitcher... it's all wonderful.
The rest of the movie? Eh, I could take it or leave it. The baseball scenes are so good it drags the whole movie to near the top of the list (though there aren't a ton of baseball movies I REALLY enjoy, to be perfectly honest).
If I've gotta pick an entire movie, it's "The Sandlot." A big part of that is I watched the movie at EXACTLY the right age of 10 years old. I was old enough to get the coming of age aspects of the story but still young enough to not sneer at the more boyish aspects. Also, at 10 years old I was at my absolute peak of loving baseball. After the strike I never really came back, to be perfectly honest.
But what makes The Sandlot great is that it's a great baseball movie that isn't remotely about baseball. Whereas if you take baseball out of For Love of The Game and it's not even a movie worth watching. So the edge goes to Smalls and the gang.
@RealMNchiefsfan Give me the plot synopsis for Chris Conley's next fanfic movie, but based in the Walking Dead universe instead.— Nathan Alexander (@brainfertilizer) June 18, 2015
I'll give you the first episode synopsis. I'm sure Conley can take it from there...
Chris Conley is a rookie receiver who falls into a coma after accidentally running into Dontari Poe on a crossing route during practice. He awakens several months later in the Chiefs medical facilities only to have found the world fallen completely apart. He emerges in a daze from the building onto the field (because, you know, the Chiefs would totally keep a player in a coma at Arrowhead Stadium. Duh) and is attacked by a throng of zombies in cookout attire, as the breakout occurred during a BBQ contest at Arrowhead.
Conley finds himself armed with a BBQ fork and a hatchet (because you need a hatched to barbeque, obviously) and is initially able to fight off a couple of zombies, but a long action sequence in the halls of Arrowhead (what a fan pleaser that would be, right? Right?) leaves him vastly outnumbered.
Conley outruns the mob (he's fast, yanno) and ends up at a dead end, where he sees the back of Poe, who is oddly still in uniform. Conley calls out to Poe, only to realize too late Poe has been turned. Poe immediately overpowers Conley and is about to devour him when a spear splits is head, stopping an inch short of Conley's face.
Conley manages to shove off the massive zombie and his helped to his feet by his savior... a machete-wielding Tamba Hali.
Hali: "You can't just be fast anymore, kid. Not if you're gonna roll with us."
The camera pans out to reveal, standing behind Hali: Jamaal Charles with a kitana, Allen Bailey with a shovel, and Justin Houston with... well, his bare hands.
Hali: "Let's go, rookie."
Ominous pause as Hali turns and stares off into the distance...
Hali: "Alex is waiting. We've got some housecleaning to do."
The camera pans out to reveal dozens of zombies milling about right outside the dead end... then farther out to reveal hundreds of zombies in the halls and in the stands... then FARTHER out to show THOUSANDS of zombies milling around Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium.
Charles: "Let's go to work."
Cut to black.
I would absolutely watch that show. See you next mailbag.