Draft Chatter: Lions less foggy on Janoris Jenkins; Mushnick rants on Nas

Mike Tanier
Shutdown Corner

Anyone who hoped that Ford Field would be transformed into the world's largest bong on autumn Sundays was disappointed by Dave Birkett's report in the Detroit Free Press that the Detroit Lions are not interested in North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Jenkins was arrested twice for marijuana possession before getting kicked off the team at the University of Florida. He has a third arrest on his record (as one veteran beat writer told me during Senior Bowl week, "the kid's been arrested more times than Pretty Boy Floyd") and as Birkett also notes, he has fathered four children by three different women. Holy Antonio-Travis Cromartie-Henry … that makes 12 kids! No wait, it isn't four children each by three different women, it is four total children. At any rate, it's hard to imagine when he squeezed in practice time.

Three of the Lions' draft choices from last year (defensive tackle Nick Fairley, running back Mikel Leshoure and offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath) were arrested for marijuana recently. Add Jenkins to the mix, and the Lions could get a reputation as the NFL's stoners; their recent reputation as the league's cheap shot artists usurped by the New Orleans Saints.

Folks, marijuana abuse is dangerous and illegal, so it would be inappropriate to make lazy pothead jokes, as opposed to all of those "industrious pothead" jokes. So please, nothing on the message board about Matt Millen toking up before every draft in the 2000s or the Lions playing extra  hard in the Thanksgiving game because of the munchies. We claim to be better than that.

Also, there's no truth to the rumor that Phish will perform at the Thanksgiving game, though anyone is preferable to Nickelback.

This year's draft is deep in cornerbacks, and the Lions would be better off grabbing one of the players Birkett mentions, particularly Stephen Gilmore of South Carolina, who is more NFL ready than the inconsistent Jenkins. The Lions appear sold on the idea of making the safer pick. They have until April 20 to change their minds.

Oops, April 26.

Sweet Music: Rapper Nas has never been shy about his feelings toward marijuana (he enjoys it), and he will be part of the NFL draft experience thanks to ESPN. The network has signed Nas to provide music for the Thursday night broadcast: Presumably, he will be called upon to make "ba-ba-bum, ba-ba-bum" sound fresh and hip.

"I know this from experience: every rookie has the chance to become a Hall of Famer," Nas said. Experience? Is Nas in some Hall of Fame we don't know about?

Joining Nas in an effort to distract viewers from the fact that the draft broadcast is little more than a three-hour talk show hosted by some of the planet's most grating personalities is Gary Clark Jr., whose father was an outstanding wide receiver for the Redskins. Wait: Apparently this Clark is not related to that Clark. This Clark is a great guitarist who is often compared to Jimi Hendrix as sociological payback for all the white wide receivers who are compared to Wes Welker. More legitimately, he was helped along by Austin Texas' Clifford Antone, the man responsible for giving the Vaughan brothers their starts in the Austin music scene.

"I have mad respect for Nas and the things he's put out there over the years," Clark said. There's no respect like mad respect. I know that from experience.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post does not have mad respect for ESPN for hiring Nas, but he sure is mad.  "Check out Nas's lyrics on the Internet. I randomly stumbled upon 'Ether.' Even by standard gangsta garbage […] Nas's 'artistry' is sub-human." We won't post any Nas lyrics here: Readers can do their own random stumbling, or they can just accept that rap music contains lots of cuss words and such.

Don't you get all misty-eyed when sports writers (or sports media writers) try to double as music critics? Especially when guys of a certain age weigh in on anything newer and edgier than, say, Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever? We should really stick to what we do best, like ignoring the irony of the fact that we just made a music judgment in the last segment. Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, and those who trash Nas because he uses naughty words are doomed to listen to Nickelback.

What someone really needs to speak out against is the music that is played in Radio City Music Hall before each team's selection during the draft. It's the same obvious songs every year. "Philadelphia Freedom" kicks in before the Eagles select. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" introduces the Seahawks. There's usually some kind of fan vote before the Falcons select, but "Georgia on My Mind" always beats "Oh Atlanta." It's tiresome, though it is probably comforting for people who purchase Jock Rock albums or dismiss nine-time Grammy nominees as having "sub-human" artistry. A little Nas would definitely shake things up, though I agree with Mushnick insofar that I may not want to hear "Ether" at top volume while I am trying to determine the four best pass rushers still on the board as the Steelers get set to pick. All of those f-bombs ringing in my ears could make for some interesting blogging errors.

But if the Lions change their mind and draft Jenkins, Nas should bust loose with his whole mixtape.

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