1. One can argue that there are decidedly few topics to speak about these days in terms of bona fide NFL stories--certainly not many specific to the Redskins--but that doesn't mean there aren't worthy conversations to be had. Look no further than the senseless and tragic incident in New Orleans over the weekend. Will Smith, the former defensive end who spent nine seasons in a Saints jersey and was a father of three, was shot in the back in what appears at the moment to have been the result of road rage. We joke around here about being miserably depressed about our team losing football games, or making disastrously calamitous decisions--and that is what this site is largely for--but it is important to recognize those things that are truly soul-crushing. I have never played in the league, but I am a father of three, and just the thought of those kids losing their father forever in the way they did destroys me.
2. I won't spend the entire Sixpack here, but let's use our down time productively. Behind clever handles and hilarious avatar pics, the temptation to beat up fellow commenters on the internet is palpable. Many of the readers here at Hogs Haven have never and will never fall prey to that temptation. I think you could draw a fair analogy between internet comments sections and the highway. Largely anonymous, behind shaded glass and enveloped in our own world, we operate our vehicles as if they were independent nations, navigating the roadways as both benevolent ambassadors and spiteful dictators. I struggle to think of two places where people seem to care less about each other these days than internet comments sections and the road. Whether there was a link between the suspect and the victim in the Will Smith homicide or not, the truth is that road rage results in WAY too many catastrophic and/or fatal incidents between random strangers in this country.
3. The Will Smith headline brings the issue to the fore, but it is not something about which we are not aware. Even if this falls on deaf ears/blind eyes, please try and remember that the people--for the most part--that are driving around you are just like you: on the way to or from work, to or from an event for their kids, to or from the grocery store...to or from the ballgame. You might ask that age-old question, "How would I like to be treated?" It also serves as a reminder to keep on maintaining here what I continue to believe ranks among the most civil discourses on the internet. We actually do treat each other well on this site, and it does not go unnoticed. If you find yourself about to dig into someone, take a breath and decide if that kind of negative energy is necessary. It might also be a good rule of thumb on the roads as well. That one time you decide to stay positive could actually save a life...and even though it is absurd to entertain the notion that cutting somebody off could get you killed, ignoring this reality of our world prevents us from meaningfully addressing it and maybe even from working to improve it.
4. Stay positive, y'all. Put that positive energy out there and watch it come back to you.
5. Speaking of putting positive energy into the world, The Audible has its first Hogs Haven guest tomorrow night. Hogs Haven's own in-house draft expert--and front man for Fanspeak.com--Steve Shoup, will be joining Kevin, Tim and I to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft. Did you know that was coming up? It gets so little attention...haha. I warned Steve that we weren't looking to have the most traditional draft discussion in the world--certainly not the kind of buttoned-up kind of interview he is likely most used to this time of year. That said, let's first come up with some scenarios for Steve to think through. In the comments section below, give me THREE players that you would take at #21 if they were all still available when the Redskins make their selection. We will put those to Steve, and get a sense of where his head at on value. Steve, don't do what you always do, which is thoughtfully and professionally answer such questions in the comments section. We will save it for our discussion on the podcast tomorrow night. My goal is to cycle through the many contributors we have on this site each week so you get to hear some additional perspective from the people who do such a bang-up informing us. Next week, we will hear from Aaron Lesher, live from our very first Town Hall podcast. That's right, if you live in the area, and can make it out to the Bethesda/Rockville vicinity, we will be recording our show in the bar/lounge of the Knights of Columbus hall located on Cedar Lane. The Town Hall format will open the floor for Redskins-related questions, fashion tips, whiskey suggestions, spirited takedowns of everything Kevin and/or Tim has ever said on the show and of course musical preferences and stylings. Either way, we will have fun and record something good for the rest of you to listen to (if we're lucky).
6. We will be thinking of some draft-related curveballs to throw at Steve as well tomorrow night. We always welcome suggestions and ideas for such things, so please be a part of our show. If you knew Kevin and Tim like I do, you would know they are poring over 5th, 6th and 7th round prospects as we speak. Who is this year's Kyshoen Jarrett? Will there be a wide receiver that can be plucked in the middle to late rounds that has a chance of filling the void in two years left by DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon (assuming both are gone after the 2016 campaign)? Which quarterback prospect does Steve think is most likely to blow McLovin's skirt up? Given Steve's intimacy with the famous draft day Trade Value Chart, I wonder what other areas of his life he has employed it, and to what degree of success he has enjoyed? So many matters for Steve to weigh in on...