Listens I – Moto Perpetuo as performed by Sergei Nakariakov
This little ditty was composed for violin, but Nakariakov performs this endless tire drill with articulation (think footwork for running backs) that would put Barry Sanders to shame. By the way I listened to Wynton Marsalis perform this, but he slurred everything. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, it has a more lyrical quality. But technically Narkariakov’s performance is more impressive.
If you’re new to my blog. This is my Friday Free-For-All of football and non-football content that I found interesting this week. You may not like everything, but you’re bound to enjoy something in this post. I have greater readers. It’s a small, but awesome community and I appreciate all the support over the past 10 years I’ve been writing about football in some capacity.
Commentary: Terrelle Pryor – I’m a fan
When the Raiders picked the Ohio State star in the NFL Supplemental Draft, I thought this was a case of Al Davis having a case of beer goggles. If you haven’t read my pre-draft assessment of Pryor, you should. While my overall takeaway was that Pryor had a lot of hard work to do, I said he had the talent to be a dominant quarterback if he could work hard and learn fast.
Pyror isn’t dominant right now, but I’m so impressed with what he’s done to correct his release, change his footwork, and adjust his style of maneuvering the pocket. He’s the rare example of a quarterback who has overhauled his playing style with enough success that his third-round selection may prove to be a steal in hindsight.
Seriously folks, look at Tim Tebow. Pryor had similar issues as a passer and even better athleticism and arm strength, which could easily give him a sense that he didn’t need to work as hard has he did to correct his technical flaws. You could even argue that compared the Broncos organization, the Raiders have been a dumpster fire.
It should tell you that when it comes to a player’s development, it’s ultimately how hard the player is willing to work and find the right resources to help him along. Pryor’s development tells us just as much about his mental-emotional makeup as his physical talents. As my buddy Bloom likes to ask, “If the draft were held today, would Pryor’s status be different?” And the answer is “no question.”
Pryor would be a top-10 pick. In fact, I would have rate Pryor alongside Cam Newton based on what we know today. The rate he’s developing game to game is startling. Most increments of growth are too slow to see weekly without deep examination of the player and system. This is like watching grass actually grow with time-elapsed photography.
- Planes, Turnovers, and Adrian Peterson – Doug Drinen explains coaches should see fumbling to a certain extent as “you can’t win if you don’t try.” Some one find a telegraph and get Coughlin the message.
- Game Scripts – Chase Stuart’s work at Football Perspective
- Futures: Aaron Murray – I finished a piece about Johnny Manziel for Saturday. This is a good one to read first.
I work at a magazine during the day where I write (really write – not this stuff that barely passes as such) features as an in-house staff writer and editor. One of our hired guns is an Atlanta-based writer by the name of Charles McNair. In addition to writing about business, he’s the books editor at Paste Magazine and he’s a novelist. Land O’Goshen, his first novel, was nominated for a Pulitzer. Yesterday, McNair kicked off the tour for his second novel, Pickett’s Charge, which is about an old man who busts loose from an Alabama prison – I mean nursing home – to avenge his brother’s death about 65-70 years earlier in the Civil War. Yep, the protagonist is 114 years old and he travel across the 1960s south.
As McNair – or Zach Law’s wife Amy, who does the PR work for the author – says, “Imagine Kurt Vonnegut and Ken Kesey joining forces with Shelby Foote and Margaret Mitchell to tell the last story of the American Civil War. Welcome to Pickett’s Charge.” Go here to learn more, read the first chapter, and buy the book. McNair is a fine writer and I’m looking forward to reading his second book.
By the way, McNair also recommends Thomas Mullen, who I also can’t wait to read. You can check out Mullen’s work here – including a tail of bank robbers who come back to life each morning after they were shot up the night before.
Listens II – If you thought the Miami Hurricanes’ football team was good, the musicians that regular matriculate through its jazz program are just as talented
Views – Autumn is a great time of year (and I think these leaves are laced with something).
- The New Old-School Birth Control – Not sure some of you should try this at home – or on the road.
- What Happens When a Store Lets Customers Return Whatever They Want – Considering the last story, it’s a good thing L.L. Bean doesn’t sell the flannel lined prophylactic. Imagine that catalog picture? Those Nebraska boys with the old Sears catalogs would have lost their minds.
- Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior – For those of you comparison shopping. Perhaps the mayor’s of Chicago and Detroit should tell its city that if they fly to northern Europe and do their dirty deeds there, they’d get a better deal.
- I Quit Teach for America – Five weeks was not enough to prepare her for unruly students. My brother knows. He did the gig for two years. We briefly thought about writing a book about his experiences. He opted to have Harvard pay for his PhD instead. He can write a book another time about it. He’s the smart one. I play the fool.
- The Town Where the Men Are All Marked – What’s a Reads Listens Views where I don’t provide commentary about race in America?
- Prostitution and Sex Abuse Spread As Lebanon’s Refugee Crisis Worsens – This is part of the revolving cycle of violence that increases when societies collapse. Not that it isn’t prevalent in functional society.
Listens III – Bernhoft “On Time”
Listens IV – Maynard Ferguson and the University of Miami and North Texas State alumni band (might as well be).