Each Thursday, we check out the weekend sports scene locally and offer more casual sports fans some observations that can get them in and out of conversations without anyone catching on to your, ahem, casualness.
Whether at the water cooler, bus, lunchroom, frat kegger or cocktail party, you can drop in a riposte, bon mot or bit o wit to start a conversational conflagration, or put one out. Then walk away.
National Football League Draft — 5 p.m., Thursday, ESPN.
Mariners baseball — Seattle at Detroit, 10:05 a.m. Thursday; at Boston, 4:10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; at Boston, 10:35 a.m., Sunday.
Sounders soccer — Toronto FC at Sounders, 7 p.m., Saturday, Qwest Field.
Months of discussion and speculation come to a head over the next three days when the National Football League conducts its annual player draft. The first round will be held on Thursday (5 p.m.) with subsequent rounds on Friday and Saturday. The draft, which used to be a two-day affair, now runs three days so that the NFL and ESPN can soak advertisers for all they can get.
Burning questions have wafted for months: Will ex-University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker become a first-round pick? Or will Locker, who might have gone No. 1 overall last year if he had bypassed his senior season, fall out of the first round entirely? If not, will Minnesota take him at No. 12, as has been widely speculated? If not, will the Seahawks, selecting 25th, draft him?
Does Locker really fit the kind of offense the Seahawks play? And wouldn’t he be better off playing in another city so that he doesn’t have to begin his pro career under intense hometown pressure?
No player in recent years has attracted such wildly diverging points of view. Some think Locker will develop into a stud NFL quarterback. Others believe that Locker will wash out of the NFL and attempt to play Major League Baseball.
We’ll start to get some answers at around 9 p.m. (Pacific) on Thursday, or maybe earlier. Or maybe not.
Two things we know: Draft speculation is utterly useless, if not the athletic equivalent of an eggless omelet, and an entire industry (mock drafts., Mel Kiper etc.) has been built around it, sponsored by some of America’s leading companies.
Also: The Seahawks do not have an extensive history of selecting University of Washington football players, and what history they do have is mixed. Seattle has taken just one ex-Husky in the first round, tight end Jerramy Stevens in 2002. Due to a variety of off-field problems, Stevens became one of the greatest drafting disappointments in club history.
If Seattle selects Locker, he will join the following as the only Montlake players drafted by the Seahawks:
The Rotations weekly schedule:
- Monday: That Was The Week That Was A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
- Tuesday: Wayback Machine Sports historian David Eskenazis deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
- Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
- Thursday: Water Cooler Cool Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
- Friday: Top 5 List The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as were concerned.