MAYBE MICHIGAN SHOULD’VE LEFT THE GRASS LONG…

t1_edwardsAppy State: The cupcake that fought back…

A John Deere mulching mower did what Lloyd Carr’s Michigan Wolverines could not.

Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards has put the start of his season in jeopardy after a lawnmower accident put him in the hospital.

The three-time Division I-AA All-American hurt his right foot mowing the lawn at his off-campus house, and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

“First of all, we’re all fortunate and grateful that Armanti wasn’t more seriously injured in this accident,” Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said.

Okay, as a kid who cut a lot of grass growing up, I am well versed on the dangers of lawnmowers.I’ve had many a close calls with malfunctioning blades, rocks getting spit up and shot into me, and those ever-pesky, often malfunctioning grass-baggers.

But if I’m Jerry Moore, I’m giving a tongue-lashing to Edwards’ roommates. Three time All-Americans don’t mow the grass! Walter Payton Awards winners don’t worry about trimming around the hedges, or getting a good mulch. Especially if they walked into the Big House and pulled one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

armanti1_thumbKick up those feet, Armanti. Let someone else mow that grass…

Let’s home Armanti doesn’t miss any playing time, and that some redshirt freshman volunteers to cut the lawn from now on.

MICHAEL CRABTREE, DIVA? SURE LOOKS LIKE IT.

2009_04_crabtreeAll we need are padded walls…

Back in April, before there was even an NFL draft to slide in, Michael Crabtree was battling rumors that he was a diva. His Texas Tech coach, the always entertaining Mike Leach, even went public ripping into new Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini, who Leach blamed for starting the rumors.

“Michael Crabtree has been more sucessful as a receiver than that guy has as a coach at this point,” Leach said. “My definition of a diva is someone who’s loud and self-absorbed. Michael Crabtree is the furthest thing from that I’ve seen.”

I might not be a high-powered super-agent like Eugene Parker, but if I were representing Michael Crabtree, a guy who played in an offense that labeled just about everyone that played in it with the name “system,” and there were already worries about my clients ego, speed, height, and signability, I’m not sure I’d have let him do the cover of ESPN Magazine looking and sounding like this:

get_imageThat’s the modesty most teams look for when investing $30 million…

In Seth Wickerstam’s ESPN profile, Crabtree came across as a work-out warrior obsessed with getting better. Or maybe it was the opposite of that.

Each morning, Crabtree wakes up at 11:30, then sits in bed, simultaneously watching movies on his flat-screen and Young Jeezy videos on his laptop… At 3 he leaves his place for the first time, impressively fleet on a set of crutches, for lunch at Pappadeaux. The menu: fried shrimp and mashed potatoes, with two lemonades. Then it’s back home for more movies and videos. At 10 Crabtree orders a pepperoni thick-crust from Pizza Hut, the empty box joining nine others stacked like a Jenga game on his kitchen counter. “That’s my regimen,” he says.

That’s right. No sprinting 40s, no lifting 225 pounds, no slaloming around cones. None of the jumping through hoops that passes for talent evaluation during draft workouts. GMs have only two ways to size up Crabtree — talking to him and watching his film.

Crabtree’s agent should’ve been fired the day that article hit newsstands. That’s really the aura you want to be giving off? Young Jeezy videos and nine Pizza Hut boxes? Mashed potatoes and a guy who can’t spend a few hours a day working out the muscles that cover the other 205 other bones that Crabtree has that aren’t broken?

Fast-forward four months, one arrogant cover story, a “shocking” slide in the NFL draft down to the 10th spot and the San Francisco 49ers, and unsurprisingly, Michael Crabtree is threatening to holdout for the entire season and reenter the draft if he doesn’t get what he wants.

“We are prepared to do it,” Crabtree’s cousin enabler and advisor David Wells told ESPN’s Joe Schad.

“Michael just wants fair market value. They took him with the 10th pick and you have Darrius Heyward-Bey getting $38 million? This week is crucial. Michael was one of the best players in the draft and he just wants to be paid like one of the best players. This week is very crucial.”

Congrats to Michael Crabtree for letting a family member sink his professional career before it has even started. It’s a marvel that Wells and Eugene Parker aren’t in charge of the Cash for Clunkers campaign with the way they’ve orchestrated this entire thing.

Michael Crabtree, diva? You. Are. Correct.

RTGD VIDEOS RETURN: PRINCE FIELDER VS. THE HAMBURGLAR

After Prince Fielder got pegged in the hip by a 95-miles-an-hour fastball by Guillermo Mota, many assumed that he was going to the clubhouse to fight him…

They assumed wrong.

(Editor’s Note: The music was supposed to be Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft,” but YouTube and their copyright department nuked it before it ever got posted. But if you watch the Vimeo version, you’ll see the Director’s Cut.)

I ACTUALLY LIKE VINCE YOUNG BETTER NOW

vyThe Super Bowl and Canton didn’t seem so outlandish back then…

It’s interesting that Vince Young’s recent Esquire magazine comments have created such a stir. Young, featured in the magazine’s “What I’ve Learned” section has been the talking point for ESPN, sports talk radio, and bloggers everywhere for these comments:

“I don’t know when I’ll start again. But I will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And I will be in the Hall of Fame.”

I’ve got absolutely nothing wrong with Young saying that he’ll be the next black QB to win a title. Who are his competitors? Donovan McNabb is the first to come to mind, but after that who is he really competing with? David Garrard? Jason Campbell? Tavaris Jackson? I think it’s safe to say that I’ll win a Super Bowl before JaMarcus Russell, so why don’t we all take a step back before we crucify the kid.

vince-young-hurtThese people think T. Jack is better than me?

As for the Hall of Fame comment, I’m not a big fan of a guy with as little experience as Young already talking about getting enshrined in Canton, but we are talking about one of the best college football quarterbacks ever.  And he’s only 26. Besides, if Young having a little brazen confidence means he’s put the scary mental health issues behind him, then I’m okay with him being cocky.

What bothers me the most about all of this is that people skipped the part of the interview that was really incredible and noteworthy. What’s more interesting? Young saying that he’ll win a Super Bowl or be one of the games greats, or the story of his incredible childhood?

“One thing I will say about my mom is that even though she did her dirt — smoking, drugs, alcohol — she always woke up and went to work early the next morning… I saw everything. There was a hole in the door that closed off my room from the living room. I used to always… peek through that little hole and see my mom and the whole neighborhood. The kids were in bed, the party was at our house. Every night. Smoking, dancing, having sex, and there I was, couldn’t sleep for the noise, looking through that little hole at a strange world. People so strung out that they’re stuttering… I thought to myself, I don’t know what else is gonna happen to me, but I do not want to be like that.”

I realize that most people that are going to discuss Vince Young are doing it because they’re talking sports, but everybody is only talking about 28 of the 1,000 words that were written. And that’s what sucks about today’s current media cycle.

If people really want to talk about stupid things that Young said, they could’ve just gone with this:

“Quarterbacking is all in the legs. You don’t even really need a good arm. Of course, I work on it all, but it’s all in the legs.”

AND SO IT ENDS: MARK PRIOR

priorDon’t feel too bad for him. He made $33,000 an inning from the Cubs.

It’s pretty incredible to think back at what Mark Prior could have been. The greatest college pitcher ever? The pitcher that would end the Cubs century of futility? The next Tom Seaver? The first-ballot Hall of Famer with perfect mechanics? The guy the Minnesota Twins would always dread passing up?

In the end, Prior was just like hundreds of pitchers before him and hundreds that are sure to follow, a guy with a lot of ability that couldn’t defeat one of the toughest opponents of all: arm injuries.

While Prior made a sparkling debut with the Cubs as a 21-year-old in 2002, he hasn’t thrown a pitch in a big league ballgame since 2006. And for all the talk of his picture perfect mechanics and pitching frame, Prior’s mechanics have always given some people pause, and the stats behind it look like they confirmed the worries: Prior threw over 200 innings only once, and over 150 only twice in the five seasons he was actually healthy enough to climb on the mound.

Prior collected a major league record $10.5 million signing bonus from the Cubs in 2001 and “earned” $12,800,000 as a major league baseball player (including $1,000,000 last season to never see the field with the Padres). He was released yesterday from a minor league contract that paid him $15,000 a month to rehab with the club.

“The poor guy just can’t seem to get over the hump. He is doing everything possible for him to come back,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “I hope it works out for him.”

Prior has earned roughly $500,000 for every win that he gave the Cubs from 2002-2006, and a $1 million-and-change from the Padres to live at home, so I think it’s safe to say that it worked out for him pretty well for Prior, even if he never steps on a baseball field again.

I hope Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals look back at the career of Mark Prior before they both do something that they might regret.