Flattland - Official Whining Athlete Week!

Forget the Grammys, the Emmys and the ESPYs - Seahawks.NET presents the First Annual Crybaby Awards! Your host: Trav Flatt...

The 2004 NFL Draft has come and gone, granting Sports Columnists something new to talk about, analyze, and generally beat to death until the training camps come along. The big story of this year’s draft is the “dramatic” trade of Elisha Manning to the Giants for Phillip Rivers. Let us all take a moment to act surprised by this development.

Gasp.

My short take on the entire situation is that Eli Manning wins my award for Most Annoying Crybaby Goober of an NFL Draft. My stance on the Manning boys is roughly equivalent to my stance on, say, goat doots. I know that they exist, but I really don’t want to hear or say much about them. In related news, I would immediately become a fan of any college with the chutzpah to take on the goat doot as their mascot. (“And here are your Gallup State Goat Doots!”)

In my mind, the timing of newsworthy events showed in sharp contrast the insurmountable differences in character between two of the top names in the April 24 news. One of the two names belonged to a distressingly rare type of individual, the truly admirable Pat Tillman. The second, of course, is the insufferably selfish Eli Manning. Tillman gave up a promising NFL career in order to make a trek across the globe in order to put his money and his very life where his mouth was, actually doing something for his convictions instead of exhibiting a few days of pretentious flag-waving before going back to Life as Usual.

Utterly uninspired by a moment of silence in honor of this distressingly unconventional display of integrity, Eli Manning then went on to accept the greatest honor the NFL Draft can bestow on a young football player wearing a look that told the world that someone had just kicked his figurative puppy.

I find it rather sad to realize that my kids are far more likely to spend the next five to ten years growing up far more aware of who Eli Manning is than who Pat Tillman was. It’s innate to the type of individual truly deserving of respect that they spend the least amount of time telling the world about how great they are.

I’m hoping it’s a long time before anyone forgets just how Eli “Goat Doot” Manning came into the league. I’m not, however, upset that athletes like Elisha are out there: They make the Class Acts all the more valuable in their scarcity.

In any event, Manning decided to “do the right thing” despite the buzz that he might refuse to go on stage if selected by the Bolts. Making a Great Sacrifice, Eli trudged reluctantly onto the stage and, shockingly, revealed his right breast to the national television audience.

No, wrong NFL Event. My apologies. What Manning actually did was to hold up a #1 Chargers jersey with the same zeal one might expect to see in a person holding up, say, a deceased marmot. I recognize that many people consider the Poor Eli Extenuating Circumstances angle, but I also recognize that the vast majority of we football fans would give up vital bodily organs for the opportunity to be an undrafted free agent for the league minimum salary begging for a chance to be a third-string backup for, yes, even the Chargers. In light of that, the kid didn’t seem to even acknowledge just how damn good he’s got it.

Time for some image rebuilding, Elisha.

In other Draft Day Whiner news: Tight End Kellen Winslow Jr. obviously did not feel blessed to be taken as the sixth overall pick, instead choosing to bitch about not being selected by the Redskins or the Lions. Winslow is quoted as saying, “They lied to me. They’ll pay for it.” He also said, “They got a guy like Sean Taylor, and we’ll meet soon.” The guy like Sean Taylor, in an amazing coincidence, is Sean Taylor.

The National News, as always, is good to me.

Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, and Crybaby Nominees to trav@spinn.net (If I don’t get nominated, I’m damn sure going to whine about it.)

Trav Flatt writes “Flattland” every Friday for Seahawks.NET.


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