Late For Work 7/15: The Autograph Phenomenon – Video Style

Plus NFL teams ranked by their young talent and a look back at last year’s predictions.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, July 15th, 2010 at 9:07 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison
PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

The Autograph Phenomenon – Video Style

We’re heading into Day 3 since the Ravens released their new autograph policy. The topic is still dominating headlines, radio talk shows, blogs and it’s even made national TV sports talk banter.

Most interesting to me was a dialogue on the “autograph phenomenon” from Bob Ryan and Dan Le Betard (filling in for Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon) on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.

Ryan and Le Betard discuss how the phenomenon has grown from “harmless” but “sappy” adults seeking signatures into a big business where grown-ups now buy the work of children to get a signature. The two analysts are interested in seeing if other teams will copy the new Ravens’ policy in the future.

Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun wrote an amusing column about the autograph policy, in which he said, “You would think the Ravens had just banned breathing at McDaniel.”

But perhaps the best way to understand the autograph phenomenon is to experience it visually. Here are a few other videos depicting signature-seeking scenes:

Baltimore Sun: Ravens Fans Seek Autographs (Note Ed Reed encouraging fans to stop pushing at the end of the video).

It’s not an athlete, but 105.7’s Kevin Battle found this video of crowds seeking autographs from Johnny Depp.

Ranking NFL Teams Based On Young Talent

ESPN’s Football Outsiders came up with a different NFL ranking system based on teams’ young talent (25 years or younger) and the clubs’ ability to develop the young talent.

The Ravens came in at No. 4 of all 32 teams.

“Ozzie Newsome is the best general manager in football, and year after year, his drafts deliver promising new players to an organization that seems to have more talent than opportunities,” Football Outsiders’ Bill Barnwell said. “Although the Ravens are known for their defense, it’s the offense that has most of the team’s young talent these days. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice get the headlines at quarterback and running back, respectively, but no team has a pair of young tackles that match up with Michael Oher and Jared Gaither, both 24.

“The problem with the defensive talent might just be getting on the field; the Ravens spent their two second-rounders this year on front seven talent, linebacker Sergio Kindle and massive nose tackle Terrence Cody, but those guys will need to serve their apprenticeships before seeing serious snap totals. One player who might break through this season is corner Lardarius Webb, who is coming off of a torn ACL but should be starting by the end of the season.”

Remember Last Year?

I love it when ESPN’s James Walker takes a trip back down AFC North memory lane where he finds bold fan predictions from the year before that didn’t come close to coming true. One lesson I learn here is not to use multiple exclamation points when trying to prophesy the future…

“Bengals will not win ANYTHING let alone a playoff berth!!!! What a JOKE!!!!! Heck the RAI-DUHS have a better shot at a better record than the Bengals!!!!!!”

“Everyone in the AFC is irrelevant. Steelers rule as usual!!!!!!!!”

“Bold prediction, I know, but I stand by my words: Baltimore Ravens 2009 AFC North Champions!! Maybe [coach John] Harbaugh can get a ring during his second year, too!!!”

“Honestly, I think the Cleveland Browns are going to win it all.”

Quick Hits

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