NASHVILLEWelcome to the AtoZ Sports Saturday Social where we rake the dregs of the internet for your weekend entertainment.

Each Saturday, the best and not often brightest social media has to offer will be displayed and categorized here for you to consume. The categories are as follows:

  1. Headline Grab: What carried social media conversation this week
  2. Wake & Take: A take so fried it gives you a contact high
  3. Sweet Justice: Equity, in all things
  4. Follow-Worthy: Someone or something worthy of your timeline
  5. Gone Viral: One video that took the internet by storm

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey re-set the going rate for his position this week. The result in Nashville: immediate questions about Derrick Henry’s value to the Tennessee Titans. Metro Public Health Department officials confirmed 1680 cases of COVID-19 in Nashville/Davidson County, bringing the county’s death toll to 20. I hope each one of you reading this is safe, healthy and in the comfort of your homes.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Headline Grab

McCaffrey broke the running back bank and gave Henry supporters further reason to doubt a long-term extension.

“(Versatility has) never been more important,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah told us on his annual pre-draft conference call this week. “We use the phrase in scouting, we talk about position-less players, and that’s where it’s headed, where you’re not going to be labeling these guys anymore as an offense — some of these guys are receiver or running back, no, they’re offensive weapons.”

Henry might possess the physical traits and athletic ability to play defensive end or linebacker had his football career taken a different trajectory. But, as a running back, No. 22 for Tennessee is anything but position-less.

The NFL’s leading rusher last season is very well defined.

Running backs, according to the NFL’s franchise tag figures, has decreased in value every year since the 2017 offseason. With Henry set to play 2020 on that diminished figure, it helps that GM Jon Robinson gave voice to the idea that the Titans want Henry aroun dlong-term. What that figure turns out to be in reality compared to what Henry and his representation likely projected seem to be growing further a part. The argument against the Heisman Trophy-winner will always be his lack of receiving production compared to his colleagues. An extension stands to earn Henry more than the $10.2M he will make this coming season on the tag if for no other reason than the entire position’s market just inflated thanks to McCaffrey.

Top-of-market salary, though, becomes more unrealistic for Henry with each passing day and every new contract signed.

Wake & Take

Alright, so there is a back story here.

Draft analysts Mel Kiper, Jr. and Daniel Jeremiah of ESPN and the NFL Network respectively hold an annual conference call each year with local NFL media. 180+ reporters, radio hosts, podcasters and the like pile on the line to fire off draft questions at the nation’s foremost experts. Tommy Birch covers Iowa sports for the Des Moines Register and posed a question 28 minutes into said call about a long snapper that may or may not get drafted.

I will be honest, I got annoyed.

There has been one long snapper drafted in each NFL Draft since 2015. I wanted to be fair, so I did my research. So, maybe Iowa State’s Steve Wirtel is actually that guy. Sports are a special kind of wasteland right now during COVID-19 and I completely understand beat writers who are looking for relevant content to write when so little currently exists. What annoyed me is that this call lasted over 2 hours and 15 minutes and long snapper in the first half hour could not have been a bigger waste of everyone’s time.

“I will be honest with you,” Jeremiah said. “I do not have my long snapping notes in front of me at that point in time, so I have one week left to finish my long snapping homework before this draft, but I will gladly grant you a bonus question if you have one.”

So, you wasted everyone else’s time to not get an answer to a question that already had a low percentage chance of panning out. Then, after not being tagged in my tweet, felt obligated to respond to it after a mutual follower sent it your way with a super serious journalist trying to do journalism response. Increased sensitivity during a global pandemic is important and I could certainly use a reminder of that from time to time. All this over a long snapper, though?

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Sweet, Sweet Justice

Tennessee and Florida have long-standing hatred for one another. I have no such hatred for the Sunshine State as a native of Indiana.

The constant ignorance and embarrassment that Florida has handled our current global pandemic with, though, cannot be disputed. What better way to represent that negligence than the re-opening of Jacksonville’s beaches and a governor who cannot figure out the right way to put on his protective mask.

Sweet, sweet justice.

Gone Viral

We could all use some feel good and Twitter does not usually serve as the go-to source. Watch this and try to keep a smile off your face, I dare you.

Follow Worthy: Roy Wood Jr.

I have seen a lot of discussion about what COVID-19 will do for fledging stand-up comics who rely on small venues that cannot currently open to get their names in circulation. While the future on the industry may legitimately be in question, we have the OG’s to rely upon.

Roy Wood Jr. is my favorite follow on social media that I picked up this week. It is frankly an indictment of me that I had not done so sooner. Levity is essential but smart comedy separates the best ones from the pack. Come for the comedy, stay for the sports takes.

Featured Image: Christopher Hanewinckel – USA TODAY Sports.