Monday, March 2, 2009

Life on the Bubble = Michigan Basketball, Life in a Bubble = Ryan Mallett

I didn't see one play of yesterday's Michigan - Wisconsin game, but all that's important right now is the final score of Michigan 55 Wisconsin 60. Let's be honest with ourselves, we really didn't expect the young Wolverines to come out of Madison with a victory. Michigan couldn't beat Wisconsin at Crisler how are they going to beat them on the road? So that leaves one more game in the regular season, a trip to Minnesota next weekend and yes, it's a must win for the NCAA tournament.

In my opinion, Michigan now needs that road win against Minnesota and two wins in the Big Ten Tournament in Indy to get a bid to the "Big Dance". Let's hope John Beilein can work in a couple new plays and motivate the kids with a week off between games.

and now for the rest of the story, (a small little tribute to Paul Harvey who passed away this weekend):

Ryan Mallett is a talented young man and he knows it. He was the second ranked QB out of high school, a 5 star prospect with a rocket arm and a big 6"7 frame. During his freshman year at Michigan he ended up getting more playing time then expected due to a shoulder injury to senior QB Chad Henne. He played well at times in wins over Notre Dame and lousy other times like in a loss to Wisconsin. He was talented but cocky on the field and in football that's usually a good thing (most of the time).

Well, it seems Ryan didn't leave the cockiness on the field and carried it where ever he went. There were countless rumors of him parting while in Ann Arbor and not taking football as seriously as he should. But let's face it, we all did that in college, but none of use were rated one of the best players in the country coming out of high school.

After Lloyd Carr, decided to hang it up, Ryan saw that likes of Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Barwis and saw Rich Rod's spread offense and figured he needed a new place to play. So he jumped ship and docked at Arkansas the new home of Bobby Petrino who had just left his NFL job during the season to coach Razorbacks. Many saw this a dream come true, a 5 star QB going home to an offensive genius for a coach. In fact, Arkansas was so happy with the new combo, they tried to petition the NCAA to see if they could get Ryan eligible right away. Of course they were denied. The case never had a chance.

Fast forward to March 1st, Ryan is being interviewed by the Sporting News, evidently his scout team practices were "legendary" last year, Spring Ball is right around the corner, and the long wait for Ryan to lead the Razorbacks is coming to an end.

But wait! Something happened on the way to the Heisman and the three National Championships. Ryan was being Ryan this past weekend and got into a little bit of trouble:

Fayetteville police arrested Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett on a public intoxication charge early Sunday outside of a nightspot near campus.

The 20-year-old Mallett was booked into the Washington County Jail at 3:47 a.m. after Fayetteville police arrested him on Dickson Street. Mallett was released on bond about an hour later.

“I am very disappointed that Ryan Mallett put himself in a situation that doesn’t reflect positively on him or on our program,” Petrino said. “All members of the Razorback football team have a responsibility to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner on and off the field. While the legal process has not yet taken its course in this matter, Ryan will face internal team disciplinary action for not representing the Razorbacks in a way that is required of our student-athletes.”

You can either be in two camps in this situation. 1) No big deal, it's just a kid being a kid. 2) It is a big deal, he is 20 years old and shouldn't be drinking or at the very least making a scene outside a night club, so that you get arrested.

Here is my take, Ryan needs to be knocked down a few notches. (even his mug shot looks cocky) Yes, he is talented and has a high ceiling but so did another famous Ryan, Ryan Leaf. I hope he learns from this experience and stays low for awhile. Right now Ryan is more hype then results. There will be plenty of pressure on him when the season starts and if he doesn't check himself now the future might be more like Ryan Leaf then Matt Ryan.

Let's hope Mallett picks the right Ryan to mirror his career after.

Update with more details:

According to the report, Shepard noticed that Mallett could not stand up straight, had blood-shot and watery eyes and a heavy odor of intoxicants on his breath. Shepard also detected the faint odor of burnt marijuana coming from Mallett's person. Shepard stated in the report that Mallett's voice was extremely slurred and at times his speech was incoherent.
When asked by Shepard if he had been smoking marijuana, Mallett said that he had not, according to the report. When asked if he had been around those smoking marijuana, Mallett said he had, according to the report.

Shepard stated in the report that Mallett lost his balance and had to step back to regain his composure several times during their conversation. During a field sobriety test in which the officer asked Mallett to follow his moving finger with his eyes, Mallett lost his balance and nearly fell backwards, according to the report.

Shepard said in the report that he told Mallett to call for a ride home. Mallett made several calls but was unable to make contact with anyone. Shepard noticed that Mallett appeared to lose focus during his attempts to make the calls and that he began to stare off into the distance before again attempting to make a call.

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