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Your guide to watching the Lions preseason Week 3, where a JMMA winner may or may not be crowned



Lions vs. Patriots 7:30 ET 

The starters will play a lot, except for Calvin Johnson. People will overreact because it’s the preseason and they need something to talk about. None of this will make the first two-plus quarters any less boring.

But after, after the starters leave, it’s going to be chaos. The James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (who ever sends me a dollar first) is on the line.

Four candidates remain and only one is guaranteed to receive any significant playing time: Rodney Austin. The rest either won’t play at all or will get in for those five to seven snaps at the end of the game where one team just runs the ball up the middle, a stretch that will be known going forward as “Thaddeus Lewis Time”.

Tyrannous Austin, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen and Ogemdi Nwagbuo can’t win the JMMA during Thaddeus Lewis Time. They’ll have to push over coaches, run out for special teams plays they aren’t a part of and secretly injure some of the guys ahead of them on the depth chart in order to get more playing time.

Those 90 guys on the home sideline aren’t the Lions yet. It’s Week 3 of the preseason. They’re 90 individuals (I hope literally) fighting  for their career.

I’m fired up. Forget about the transactions or visiting Cut City. Let’s just get to the remaining candidates.

No. 16 WR Terrence “Tyrannous” Austin, who I realized I’ve been calling Terrance for the past four weeks. NFL rules state that Austin needs one more double-fist, LAND HO! celebration to cement that as his signature move. Considering he only got 13 offensive snaps last week, he will have to work it into his punt coverage. Do that and he could take the JMMA, especially since he might make the team.

We all know Nwagbuo is getting cut, but I asked MLive’s Kyle Meinke about Saddler-McQueen’s and Tyrannous’ chances. His response:

Almost no chance.

So Meinke’s saying there’s a chance. Austin isn’t in violation of Rule 2. He is, however, in violation of Rule 5, Tyrannous or not.

No. 74 G/C/Mentally unstable Rodney Austin. Somehow, Rodney Austin worked his way into the No. 1 position on the electronic JMMA scoreboard that sits above my bed. He hustles, he might be crazy and he’s going to make the team. What’s not to like?

Sure, the name is slightly boring, but he gets bonus points for having two first names and following in the footsteps of another great two-first-named Rodney that came through the Lions: Rodney Peete. I mean, Rodney is not so bad. It’s got kind of an old school feel, as long as it isn’t shortened to Rod.

If Austin repeats his six-help-up, no-sacks-allowed performance he could win this by a large margin.

If he ever shortens his name to Rod he’s dead to me.

No. 63 DT Jimmy Saddler-McQueen. The Great Meinke has spoken and he has banished Saddler-McQueen. It’s been a long, embarrassing fall from the top, mostly due to a situation he couldn’t control: Justin Bannon signing with the Lions. Saddler-McQueen can still salvage a JMMA win, though. It’s going to take dominance in Thaddeus Lewis Time plus sneaking onto the field to block some kicks and probably adding another hyphen to his last name, but it’s possible.

No. 95 Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Honestly. Nwagbuo is my fall back man. He’s not going to be on the field enough to win the award, but if everybody fails to live up to expectations he’ll get the award. Why? Five reasons.

  1. He was so dominant in that first game I swooned over him for three days.
  2. His name is Ogemdi Nwagbuo. It’s Nigerian and Ogemdi translates to “My time will come.” If he wins the JMMA, it will have arrived.
  3. He, his mom and his three siblings spent three years living in a motel room.
  4. He worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car before he was added to the Chargers’ roster in Week 14 of the 2008 season. He kept the Enterprise job for the rest of that season and the ensuing offseason.
  5. Everyone calls him O.G. GREAT nickname.

The man has everything but the skills. So if it turns out no one has the skills, then I’m giving it to the guy I like the most.

Now let’s play — or not play — some football.

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