In Defense of Grades (Or Against Anti-Grade Zealots)

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Aaron at Cheesehead.tv feels very, very strongly that people should not give out grades to evaluate the NFL draft.  He writes:

Why is it that people feel compelled to ‘grade’ the draft less than 24 hours after it’s completion? It is such an amazing exercise in futility, I simply can’t believe people A) Write them and B) Read them.

My favorite is the “I don’t like to give out grades, but if I HAD to…” which is truly the worst of the whole grading phenomenon. Look, you’re wasting time as it is, but at least grab the bull by the horns and declare “THIS IS MY GRADE FOR THE PACKERS DRAFT!”

He goes on to call grades not only “bullshit” but “complete bullshit.”  And then he concludes:

Come on, people. We’re smarter than this. Grades are for the fools at the draft who boo Thompson and the idiots who watch SportsCenter. It’s time to evolve…

Wow.  Everyone has a pet issue, I guess.  Those are some serious feelings about people who give grades for the NFL draft and I’m one of them.  Okay, I didn’t really give grades (plural), but at the end of my lost post on the Packers’ draft I threw on a B+ as a “preliminary grade.”   I don’t know why I did it.  Probably because I have issues dating back to Mrs. Guenther, my fourth grade teacher, who gave me lower grades than I deserved and tinkled an annoying little dinner bell whenever she wanted to quiet the class.

The problem with Aaron’s post is that he never really explains the root of his rage.  He says it’s an “amazing exercise in futility” but doesn’t tell us why.  Is it because we cannot know how these players will perform as professionals?  Isn’t it true that some of the best prospects turn out to be busts and some no-names turn out to be stars?  Doesn’t every draft have a Ryan Leaf and a Donald Driver?

Fair enough.  But then why offer any analysis of the picks at all?  I though Aaron himself had a pretty smart take on things in his post entitled “Day One Thoughts,” where he wrote: “Brian Brohm at pick number 56 is an absolute steal. Brilliant pick, though I’ll admit, my initial thought was that Thompson had just become the guy in your fantasy league who grabs two Top 10 quarterbacks in the first three rounds and then proceeds to tell everyone what good trade-bait one of them will make…”

Help me out here.  You can provide instant evaluation of a pick as “brilliant” and “a steal” and that’s okay, but if you slap a grade on it then it’s an exercise in futility and shows you haven’t evolved?

I understand that giving grades is premature and overly simplistic.  I trust that most of our readers do, too.  But Aaron, if the guys giving grades are just wasting time, what about the guys who write long posts opposing the guys who waste time giving grades?

All of that said, be sure to check out Aaron’s take from the second day of the draft at Radio City Music Hall, where he runs into a guy who has brought his own stopwatch to the draft.  You’ll feel like you’re there with him and it’ll make you want to go next year.  It is a fantastic post.

I give it an “A.”

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2 Responses to “In Defense of Grades (Or Against Anti-Grade Zealots)”

  1. Blog Battle 2: Electric Boogaloo | Cheesehead TV Says:

    […] over at PackerGeeks has taken umbrage with my tirade against the immediate grading of the draft and those that practice […]

  2. Against Anti-Grade Zealots, Part II « packergeeks Says:

    […] Anti-Grade Zealots, Part II Aaron has responded to my post questioning his curious anti-grade fervor. His answer contains lots of words but few new insights. […]

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