I'm not going to lie to you... I have no idea what the NFL lockout is all about. It's not that I don't care... but I just have too much on my plate to pay attention.
However on the bus ride to Six Flags last Friday, I overhead two students talking about the lockout. I was too busy managing and entertaining my own students to concentrate on what they had to say... but then I heard the name "JaMarcus Russell" and it stirred my curiosity.
I wasn't able to focus on them long enough to hear their full conversation... but I can assume that it had something to do with Russell and the 30 something million dollars he made with the Oakland Raiders.
I'm not a Raiders fan... in fact when they're doing well... I actually can't stand them. But as we all know... the Raiders have struggled for much of the past eight seasons... and so I've actually started to feel sorry for them and their fans... mainly because of their owner. Let's face it... Al Davis is a joke. He may be a football mastermind... but unfortunately he also has a tremendous ego too.
His ego blinded him from seeing the true JaMarcus Russell, until it was too late. Thirty-nine million dollars too late.
It may be too premature to call him one of the biggest draft busts in the history of the game... but I'm sure you won't hear too many Raider fans argue with me.
So let's just see what Mr. Davis, the Raiders organization, and their fans got out of Mr. Russell & his nice, little paycheck...
Drafted: #1 overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft
Seasons Played: 3 (2007-2009)
Games Played: 31
Games Started: 25 (7 wins/18 losses)
Completion %: 52.1 (354 completions/680 pass attempts)
Touchdowns: 19 (18 passing/1 rushing)
Fumbles Lost: 25
Quarterback Rating: 65.2
But even after Mr. Davis finally saw the light and released Russell... there was a part of me that thought that we'd see JaMarcus again one day in an NFL uniform. I figured that the former LSU standout who won the Manning Award in 2006 (given to the best collegiate quarterback) had too much talent to be finished.
I have recently rethought my position on this topic after reading an article about former NBA player/coach, John Lucas and his failed effort to help Russell get back into the NFL. It stated that Lucas (Russell's former "life coach") became frustrated with his lack of effort and has decided to cease assistance to the NFL bust. I mean... if a life coach doesn't have faith in you... who will?
My guess is that it's over for JaMarcus... which is sad since a lot of collectors spent a fair amount of money picking up his rookie autographs and memorabilia cards. Thankfully,I picked up the beauty of a bust you see above... his 2007 Donruss Gridiron Gear "autographed rookie" card for $5... the same price as a bargain priced footlong at Subway.
Okay... so most of you are probably thinking to yourself... five bucks? Why the heck would you waste $5 on a bust like JaMarcus? Well it's simple... I've been looking for a cheap autograph of his for a while now... and this was about as good as I was going to get. I'm sure in 10 years, I'll be able to find one cheaper... but my Sports Bust PC feels a little more complete with this card in it... so you'll find no regrets here.
Today's question of the day:
Have you ever invested a bunch of money on a bust? If so who? Where are the cards now?
JaMarcus is officially the 27th addition to this foolish collection, I've chosen to pursue. And sadly... out of all of those busts... I've purchased more than half of them. But... I'm pretty sure this is only the second time I've spent $5 or more for the signature of a draft bust (David Carr was the other).
By the way... I'm currently looking to pick up autographs of these other busts:
Tony Mandarich (#2 pick in 1989 NFL draft)
Bruce Pickens (#3 in 1991 NFL draft)
Andre Wadsworth (#3 pick in 1998 NFL draft)
Courtney Brown (#1 pick in 2000 NFL draft)
Charles Rogers (#2 pick in 2003 NFL draft)
So... if you have any certified autographs of these players and are interested in trading or selling... let me know. I might just be able to rid you of your bust.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Sayonara!
Oh... one more thing... A huge shout out to Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Alex Morgan (who scored the first goal for the US and assisted on the second), and the rest of Team USA for their courageous effort. Some will choose to focus on the negative... but that's not my style. In my mind, they represented our country as best as they could and will be remembered for their amazing victory over Brazil... which should be made into a movie.
And of course... congratulations to Nadeshiko Japan on their miraculous win over Team USA. Someone said that it reminded them of a Japanese version of The Miracle on Ice... and I have to admit, that's a pretty good call. I mentioned before the game that I didn't think I'd be too disappointed if Japan won... and I was right. It's hard to explain... sure, I was bummed that Team USA didn't win... but at the same time I was happy to see the underdogs never quit... even though they were outplayed by Wambach and Co. for most of the game. It truly was an event to remember... and I wouldn't be surprised if someone made this into a movie too.