Footenotes: NFL Free Agency, School Rankings & Everything in Between

Image Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, all. In last week’s edition of Footenotes, I gave my pick-by-pick review of the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs draft, took a deeper look at every current NBA playoff series and ranked Kevin Durant among the greatest scorers in the history of basketball. For the Finals Week edition of Footenotes, I wanted to do strictly a question and answer session. It’s been a while since I’ve opened up the floor for questions and as a result, we got an amazing series of them this week. Without further ado, let’s jump in.

1. Emmanuel Ogbah, how high is his ceiling? Is he a better fit here in KC than CLE?

This offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs sent safety Eric Murray to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for DE Emmanual Ogbah. Because Murray was already on the roster bubble and the Chiefs needed help along the edge after sending both Justin Houston and Dee Ford out of town, this trade was a big one. While Ogbah has just 12.5 sacks in three seasons, he’s 25 years old and is entering a contract year. A good audition in 2019 would go a long way in regards to his impending free agency.

In terms of fit, Ogbah figures to slide right into the rotation at DE in this new Chiefs front four. The addition of Frank Clark significantly decreases the amount of potential playing time Ogbah can receive — unless he can snag a starting spot. A great pass-swatter and solid player overall at the line of scrimmage, it’s up to the former Oklahoma State Cowboy to step up in 2019.

2. How can we better develop talent in Wyandotte County? And ways we could invest back into our communities?

This is perhaps my favorite question sent in since I started doing Footenotes. Wyandotte County is a unique place with a lot of unique people but on a state-wide scale, the potential of the individuals within is often overlooked. To develop talent, you need people to believe in it. That starts with our teachers, coaches, bosses and the like. Parents. Family members. Church groups. Anyone who has an everyday impact on a young person’s life should do their best to affect it in a positive way.

Investing back into our communities doesn’t always have to be monetary. It can be community service. It can be volunteering at animal shelters, hospitals, or schools. It can be taking an hour out of your Sunday to spend time doing something you care about. Everyone has something they wish was better about the place and community they live in. Take a little bit of your daily or weekly effort towards improving that thing. Once you’re in a position to do so, the money can also help.

3. KSHSAA just sanctioned girls high school wrestling for its own separate state event…Thoughts?

First and foremost, I am simply glad that girls are able to wrestle at the high school level in the state of Kansas. That is not something that has always been an activity female athletes were able to compete in. On one hand, sanctioning girls wrestling as its own event at the State Competition levels the playing field for the girls. On the other hand, it doesn’t allow them to compete against boys as they have recently in Kansas. Personally, I am in favor of sanctioning it as its own event.

4. Thoughts on championship teams skipping the White House/going to the White House?

In today’s political climate, regardless of who you’re a supporter of or which party you’re affiliated with, the opportunity to visit the president of the United States at the White House is a great one. With that said, if you’re in disagreement with some of the president’s theories or moral values, I also think it’s okay to politely decline the invitation. As with every event, things can come up and unless it’s required, you are entitled to your right to back out.

5. NFL free agent who will have the biggest impact with his new team?

  • Nick Foles: Changing quarterbacks is always going to cause a shift in a franchise’s morale. In the case of the Jacksonville Jaguars, signing the former Super Bowl champ is a good move.
  • Le’Veon Bell: Adding one of the best running backs in recent history makes the Jets a much more potent offense on paper. That speaks for itself. It could also go a long way in the development of quarterback Sam Darnold as he heads into year 2.
  • Tyrann Mathieu: You know I couldn’t leave the Honey Badger off this list. After safety Eric Berry was held to less than three full games of action the past two seasons, adding one of the most versatile defenders in the entire league will set the tone of the new Chiefs defense.

6. Does Eli Manning survive the season as a starter?

He does. Daniel Jones is simply not ready to play at the NFL level yet and throwing him into the dumpster fire that is the current version of the New York Giants would be a bad move. Allowing Manning to finish out the last year of his contract and retire without further damaging his legacy in the eyes of many gives Jones a much-needed year to sit under a two-time Super Bowl-winning QB.

7. This week is Teacher Appreciation week? Who ya gonna shout out?

  • K-5: Every teacher I had. You all played a critical role in my development as a child!
  • 6-7: Mark Murray at Coronado Middle School. One of the most impactful teachers I’ve ever had.
  • 8-12: Nearly every teacher I had at Sumner Academy. Sumner is one of the greatest high schools not only in the state of Kansas, but in the United States. I grew up at The Academy and still visit at least once a semester. I’ll continue to do so as long as so many wonderful, life-changing people are in that building.

8. 2 Billion dollars so far world wide on Endgame. What am I missing?

I had never seen an Avengers movie before going to watch Endgame. It was still one of the best movies I’ve seen. I do wish I had made an effort to learn some more about the characters involved before heading to the theater but assuming you know more about the series than I do, you’ll think it’s a 10/10 experience.

9. Can you please clarify the jump shot foul (landing space) in the NBA?

I watched some videos on the NBA Video Rulebook, and I now understand the concept of offensive/defensive fouls in regards to jump shooters a lot better. An example of a defensive foul can be found here. In the video, the defending player lands in the same spot as the offensive player, causing the shooter to risk an injury because he doesn’t have a safe space to land. That makes sense.

In videos 2, 3 and 4, the offensive player is attempting to (or does) make contact with his defender in an effort to draw a defensive foul. This contact can be as small as kicking a leg out by half a foot. That also makes sense.

You’ve got to leave the player space to land. Even if he’s landing two feet in front of where he took off (i.e. James Harden), you’re supposed to be called for a foul if you don’t leave him a sufficient landing area. If Harden were to kick his leg out a little bit and you run into him, that’s supposed to be a foul on him. We all know that’s not always how basketball is called, but it’s how things are supposed to be.

10. My wife is Netflix binging. What show would you re-watch episode one all the way through?

Shameless is one of the best shows I’ve watched. I’d recommend it, but it’s not extremely kid-friendly. I don’t have a lot of time to watch Netflix, unfortunately. Definitely going to improve on that this summer.

11. Albert Pujols moved into 3rd all-time in RBI’s…what record in baseball do you see never being broken?

Pete Rose’s hits record is the first thing that comes to mind. Someone would have to be insanely healthy, productive and consistent for a long time in order to break it. Mariano Rivera’s saves record is another one that will be extremely tough to break. Last, but certainly not least, Nolan Ryan’s career strikeouts record seems to be nearly impossible to break. I won’t say any of these will never be broken, but I certainly don’t see a player coming along and doing so for the near future.

12. Will a starting pitcher ever see 3000 K or 300 wins after 2019?

CC Sabathia just recorded his 3000th career strikeout the other night. Behind him on the active leaderboards are Justin Verlander (2766) and Max Scherzer (2511). I think both of those guys will get to 3000. Other than that, Clayton Kershaw likely has the best chance, needing less than 700 more to get there. Health will be a major concern, though.

Wins, on the other hand, will be harder to come by. Verlander is second to Sabathia on the active leaderboard with 209. Needing 91 more, he’d likely have to pitch at an elite level for 6-8 more years to get to 300. If I were a betting man, I’d say he won’t get there.

13. Favorite yard game?

Cornhole FTW!

14. What are your thoughts about ranking high schools state and nationwide?

This question was likely raised as a result of my alma mater, Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, being ranked the top school in Kansas and #55 in the nation. I am not a huge fan of ranking schools due to the simple fact that the kids come from different backgrounds. Not all districts have the same funding as others, etc. and that plays a major role in the education of their students. If there’s a way to incorporate performance relative to income/funding level, then I’d like it a lot more.

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