Bri Goes Before Them All: UCLA’s Brian Price gets drafted before anyone from usc, and is going down to Florida to be a Buc for lotsa bucks, while Bruin Gymnastics refuses to go down in Florida, to Florida et al., buckling down to buck the trend and win UCLA’s 105th National Championship
“Hey T-H — Why didn’t you use ‘The Price is Right for Bucs’” as your headline?
Because if you Google that phrase today, you’ll see a page full of articles about Brian Price getting drafted by Tampa Bay, WITH THAT VERY HEADLINE. When I come up with an idea, I check it against Google before using it, just so that I DON’T duplicate someone. If it isn’t original/unique, what’s the point? Besides, whenever possible, I like to connect the story to the not-so-beloved trojans — which often makes my angle distinct — and today, that was easy. While I root for Bruins in the Pros regardless, this year’s Brian Price Draft story becomes much more “newsworthy” on this web site, when there are disgruntled trojans involved.
With several trojans expecting to go way before any Bruin, the 35th pick of the NFL Draft shocked and dismayed lots of people wearing ketchup and mustard colors. Fig Techsters were forced to watch as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — who had already taken another Defensive Tackle in the First Round — took another one with UCLA’s Price. With Brian being their second DT in a row, it’s hard to argue that they went with the Bruin over all the available trojans, just to fill a specific need.
As the Draft continued, the continuous graphic of Mel Kiper’s Best Available players left was top-heavy with trojans. In other words, usc players dominated the list of players who had fallen below their expected Draft position. It wasn’t until the middle the 2nd Round when a team finally took a chance that usc’s reputation of rule-breaking, lack of discipline, hot-dogging, slacking off, and arrogance was overestimated. With the 49th pick, FOURTEEN AFTER a Bruin, the 49ers took Safety Taylor Mays.
And Mays is PISSED… at Pete Carroll.
Mays was a sure-fire Top 10 pick at the end of his Junior Year in 2008, considered arguably the best D-Back in the Nation. But Pom Pom Pete convinced him to stay, persuading him that he needs to learn a few more things in College Ball to prepare for the Pro’s, but that Carroll would take care of him.
Then Carroll’s Defense and Mays performed well below expectations, with Mays getting beat and found out of position way more times than the year before. The Defense went on to have the two worst games of the entire Carroll Era, giving up around 100 points to Oregon and Stanford… And Mays’ NFL Stock dropped like Toyota Corp.
But no problem, thought Mays. Now that Carroll is the Coach of the Seahawks — who are looking for a D-Back — Seattle will scoop him up with the 14th pick of Round One. But when Seattle’s turn came up, they went with a 20-year old Safety from Texas instead — Someone who DIDN’T stick around school for that extra seasoning that Carroll said was so mandatory.
That surprise selection prompted Mays to give his two cents about Pete. Mays sounds like he feels betrayed, complaining that Carroll told him all year long that he was fine, and didn’t need to work on anything to improve his Draft status. Mays says that Carroll was completely wrong, gave him horrible advice, and then had a chance to make things right, but didn’t. Mays says that what he was really looking for from Carroll — but not finding — was HONESTY. What a chump. Does Mays look for blood in turnips? Virgins in Hollywood? After 4 years of playing for the ultimate slimy Snake Oil Salesman, how gullible must Mays be to be surprised to find out now that Carroll is full of it?
And the funny thing, is that it’s not really Carroll’s fault, completely. Earl Thomas, the guy Carroll took instead of Mays, was actually rated higher than Mays, and even Mays expected Thomas to get picked before him. Carroll said that he still loves Mays, but that they were shocked to see Thomas still available at 49, and couldn’t resist his All-World stats in big categories like Passes Broken Up… Categories where Mays failed to shine.
Or… maybe Carroll just thinks that Mays wasn’t dragged down by bad teammates and bad scheming — Mays himself was one of the biggest problems. Maybe: A guy with enormous God-given talent simply failed to take it seriously, work hard, learn the formations, learn THE GAME, and live up to his potential. Coincidentally, Mays’ first game with the Niners is AT SEATTLE on Opening Day.
Mays may or may not be correct in his criticisms of Carroll, but either way, Mays comes off looking a little bit whiny. But he did lose Millions of dollars due to bad advice and then apparently-lackluster Coaching, so who WOULDN’T carp a little bit? Regardless, I still got an e-mail asking if I heard about “Crybaby Mays.”
And to make matters worse for Mays, as soon as he was selected, ESPN Draft Guru Kiper WENT OFF on San Francisco, for practically WASTING the 49th pick. Kiper said that Mays missed way too many open field opportunities, and just FAILED to make any sort of IMPACT all year. He was so passionate about it, you’d think that he was disgusted with San Francisco’s decision-making, or that he had instructed them to go elsewhere. However, Mays was right near the top of Kiper’s list when he was selected, so that could only mean that Kiper had expected Mays to be a Top Pick after last year, but that he had fallen drastically, just to get down to the 40’s.
At least Mays was picked at all, as were, finally, 3 other trojans. But one of the trojans whose name was also hovering near the top of Kiper’s list was Everson Griffen, a first-rounder in many mock drafts, and Griffen is still waiting for his name to be called. Also, Running Back Joe “Free SUV” McKnight is still in limbo. Could it be a CHARACTER issue? Don’t pity them — I’m sure they’ll get selected soon, and sign lucrative contracts. But it can’t hurt for a couple of trojans to get a little taste of humility before they cash in (again). Maybe next time they’ll think twice before thinking so highly of themselves. And who knows, maybe Griffen and McKnight never bought in to the experts’ predictions, and didn’t expect to go until the 5th Round. But I think that most trojans probably have high expectations, and seeing 4 of their teammates — and a Bruin — get picked ahead of them, must not feel good. Right now, they’re even jealous of Taylor Mays.
Speaking of jealousy, the whole world of Womens’ College Gymnastics is jealous of UCLA, as the Bruins just won the 2010 NCAA Championship in Florida. They won by a huge margin, beating Oklahoma, Alabama, Stanford, Florida, and Utah, for their SIXTH Title since 1997, but first since 2004. The University of Georgia had won for the last FIVE years, but weren’t invited to the Finals this year. UCLA and Georgia have won 12 of the last 13 Titles between them. The Bruins are a young squad, so there’s a chance that they could start a run like the Bulldogs just finished, as UCLA continues to rack up the National Championships, the Grand Total now at 105.