Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blind Squirrels Do Better

Before reading this post, be sure to re-read this post, and the corresponding comments.

My wife and I were relaxing after the kids went to bed. Sitting in our living room, drinking tea, we looked out the window and saw a squirrel jump into our fenced in back yard and start scurrying around, hunting for something. We have a full walk-out basement, so even though we were in the living room, it was like looking out the second story window. Now, we have a black-walnut tree off the back property line, so in the fall, there are plenty of nuts around (other than the neighbors in back and the members of our household, yours truly foremost). But at this time of year, pretty much nothing. We have been working on some landscaping, however, so we've been doing some digging, replanting, etc. and figured maybe he smelled some roots or something. There are also spots where we used excess dirt to fill in holes made by the prior owners' dog. So there are about a half a dozen round spots of fresh dirt amid the grass. the squirrel is furiously digging through spots of the grass, checks out all the spots we've dug. He keeps going back to the fresh dirt circles over and over, hoping to find something, even thought he already knows there is nothing there. At this point, it was kind of intriguing for three reasons:

1. We were wondering how he would get out, since he had practically fallen in, and I had cut down the small tree he was using to enter and exit the yard (we have a 6' wooden privacy fence. )

2. Wondering if he would actually find anything, or futilely do the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

3. We were tired, and didn't feel like doing anything useful, and figured a squirrel was more entertaining (marginally) than to hear the Democrats arguing with each other in Pennsylvania.

As we sat there watching, he suddenly decided to visit a part of the yard he had not been to -- it was right near our patio -- and in a blink digs down and comes up with the big old black walnut! We were totally shocked that we had been walking right over this walnut and didn't even see it! Floored, totally floored, that he actually found something. Then he did something more puzzling than a bunch of liberals flying individual private jets burning expensive carbon based fuels at an absurdly low efficiency halfway around the world to attend a massive evening concert using enormous amounts of dirty-coal produced electricity in a developing country just to light the place and run the sound equipment to bring attention to how we all need to do more about global warming and carbon emissions. He dug furiously near one of the spots of fresh dirt -- and buried the walnut! Then he went looking for new nuts. He left the yard unsuccessful (via climbing onto wooden posts I haven't taken out yet that used to be part of a teeter-totter, and jumping) and moved to "greener pastures". ROTFLMAO -- Stupid Squirrel. He got rid of a big fat walnut so he could go look for another one, and ended up with nothing. First thing I thought of? Matt Millen.

Gotta love the way my mind works sometimes.

I have often heard the phrase "even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then." Give me a smart blind squirrel any-day! Why? Because squirrels don't use visual cues to find the nuts they have buried and hidden -- they use their sense of smell. Most of the time, the food they find and consume was actually put there by a different squirrel or other animal/source -- sometimes years before. (As a side note, this is how tress and other plants are spread out from where they fall as the buried seeds, if not eaten, grow.)

Main point? -- No vision = enhanced sense of smell = blind squirrels are better at finding nuts.

So please, no one reference a blind squirrel finding a nut as an idiot getting it right through sheer luck. Better to say that you're bound to get at least one or two questions right if you always mark "C" on multiple choice tests (or take 4 WR in the top 10).

What it made me think of next was Roy Williams. The Lions have finally found a nut or two in the draft instead of chasing after the dug-up empty spots of dirt successful teams have left behind (FA, failed picks). And if they trade him, it will be like the squirrel burying the nut and starting over again searching. (proven for draft pick) There is a reason teams are hot to give up a low-first round pick to start in trying to get him -- he is a top 10 (#7) overall pick who turned into a pro-bowler! An early pick, who is preforming great and entering his prime playing years as a WR; considering there is about a 75% chance a player taken at #7 will be a bust or an average player, to me that means Roy is worth at least 2 high-mid first rounders as a pick who worked in his prime. Period. No Less. And that is just replacement cost -- I think he is more valuable to the franchise than that, and will be worth as much or more on the market next season should they decide to trade him rather than retain him at that point.

So I say: don't bury the walnut unless someone is handing you one at least twice as big! And even then think twice -- bigger isn't always better.

(I know, I know, have fun with this one guys!)


ClusterFox said...

The problem I have with trading Roy is that, to a certain extent, your WR corp is only as good as your second WR. Most teams have the ability, via shut-down corner or scheme(double coverage), to limit your #1.
I think CJ will be great, but he'd be better when teams have to decide whether to double him or Roy. I don't want another year of Furrey and Mcdonald getting more targets than are playmakers.
I admit that having two upper tier WR is a luxury, And I'm not convinced we can afford it for long, but if we traded Roy we are right back to needing quality WRs. I still believe looking at our team right now, that Roy magnifies the talent of our o-line and RBs by forcing 4 into coverage. If he's gone we need that much more talent upfront as well as in the backfield in order to make this run game work.
If Stanton develops over the next year to the point that we have a playmaker at Qb, Then maybe it will look better next year to cash in Roy's value even if it is less than what maybe available now.

CHIEFGER139 said...

they would have corn growing up all over my yard-the buggers love to plant things.
i think roy is just a luxery player-doesnt touch the ball enough or get open enough to impact a game-moss he takes the ball away from the crowd and then can take it to the house after a catch-roy cant
drops it too much too-id trade him him in a minute cause its doubtful we can afford both him and cj in 2009 anyhow-but hey millen worked hard to get these receivers-why would he give them up??
if he didnt value them highly he wouldnt of got them to begin with.

Anonymous said...

I am sure getting confused about what I think due to all the wise posts all the smart people are sharing. Too much on my brain stress. I am enjoying it so much.
My confusion is: I agree with clusterfox that you need 2 good receivers to make sure one is covered singlely. That was proved 2 season ago. Williams finished with the most yards in the NFL and Furrey led the league in receptions.
Taking it a step farther, CJ could replace RW and you still have a similar duo. That takes care of that problem.
I agree with chiefger139, WR does not touch ball or be involved in enough plays which makes them luxury players. Also in those few plays, our luxury player drops too many passes that kill drives.
If we were talking about almost any other position, I would never want to trade a top player for a chance to get a top player at another position. An OT, OG, DT, DE, LB, DB, all of those positions I would not trade. They are involved more than a WR and I would not trade a proven probowl player.


Anonymous said...

I applaud those football pundits who can make it all the way thru the predraft frenzy.......... I don't know how you do it.

Not seeking to be off the topic of football, but simultaneously the title of this thread "Blind Squirrels Could Do Better," seems approppo to being off the topic of football, so........., please be advised that those preaching from the pulpits informing the congregations that there will be a Rapture sometime in the future are just flat out wrong and lead the flock astray.

Allow me to elaborate.

The doctrine of a Rapture holds that disciples [Christians] will be bodily raptured, caught up to heaven, and this cannot happen for flesh & blood cannot enter heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:50 - Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Rather, resurrected disciples will, upon Christ's return, meet Him in the air when judgments are revealed.

All will be Resurrected, and none will be Raptured, just as Jesus was Resurrected, not Raptured.

Go Lions


JJLions20 said...

I don't advocate burying the one nut you've found. But if some other squirrel comes along with a bucket of nuts, I'm saying you would have to consider the trade.

So what will Millen do. I'll leave you with this quote. "sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you don't"

Anonymous said...

On this topic, let's expound.

Roy is your #1 and Furrey your #2 two years ago.

Last year McDonald is used more than Furrey, and so is CJ.

So if Furrey is still a #2, that must mean we have three #1's. Or a #1 and (2) #1 1/2's. Either way, that's pretty good talent.

I just want to stuff it up the Vikqueens arse. I hate Packers (my sister-in-law is from Green Bay). I hate Bears (my brother lives in Chicago). I hate Vikqueens (co-worker's favorite team).

det---are you doing LIVE draft day coverage???


DetFan1979 said...

Not sure yet. I also play D&D once every 2 weeks -- it is usually in the evening (after the whole house is snoozing), but is in the afternoon on Sunday. Plus I'm helping my kid sis move home from college (she graduates in May) -- from CMU to Lansing. Not likely to be back before the draft starts. All that being said, I will certainly try, so be sure to check in.