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The [Thursday] Papers


Marty is right.

"If there's been a north star for the Vikings - especially in the six drafts Spielman has led since he was given the GM title in 2012 -- it's the principle that more picks are better. And in recent years, few teams have been more diligent about stockpiling draft choices than the Vikings," the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says in a report titled: Vikings Find Success In NFL Draft Numbers: Stockpiling Picks Has Made Them Regular Draft Winners.

The Vikings made 58 draft picks from 2012-17, despite receiving only two compensatory choices during that time. They're tied with the Browns for the third-most picks in the draft since 2012, behind only the 49ers (61 picks) and the Seahawks (59).

And while the sheer act of stockpiling picks is no guarantee of success (as the Browns certainly prove), the teams with the best draft performance in recent years have often made their marks by picking plenty of players.

Using Pro Football Reference's Draft Approximate Value metric - which distills a player's longevity and productiveness for his original team into a single number - the Vikings have received the second-most production in the league from their draft picks since 2012, with a total of 430 points.

Only the Rams, whose 51 picks were tied for the eighth-most in the league since 2012, scored higher (470).

Of the 10 teams that made the most picks from 2012-17, six - the Rams, Vikings, Seahawks, Packers, Lions and Redskins - also were among the teams with the highest Draft AV scores.

Only two of the 10 teams that made the most picks (the Browns and 49ers) were among the teams with the lowest Draft AV scores, and only one of the most successful teams - the Jaguars -- was also among the 10 clubs that made the fewest picks.

Spielman has often said he likes to have at least 10 picks in a draft. That's partly to give him collateral for trades, but it's largely because of something he said Tuesday: In a game where success eludes even the best evaluators, it's better to have more chances to play.

Of course there is room for honest debate over draft strategy and philosophy, and every year is different for every team. But clearly, Hoge calling out Bears fans who would like to see a team supposedly (rhetorically, that is, but not really) rebuilding through the draft acquire more picks - especially given the dearth the team has had in the Ryan Pace years - is not cool.


"The success of their first-rounders (Adrian Peterson in 2007, Percy Harvin in 2009) and veteran acquisitions such as [Jared] Allen helped put the Vikings in position to play for the NFC title in 2009, but the roster was left in dire need of young talent after the 2010 season. Since then, the Vikings have only left the draft with fewer than 10 players twice, and they've never selected fewer than eight.

"In recent years, few teams have turned in more draft cards than they have, and few have coaxed more success out of those picks."


Or, as our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman puts it today:

"Consistently good NFL teams trade down in the draft way more than they trade up (Exhibit A is the Patriots' draft record over the past 15 years - they have consistently made moves to increase their number of picks rather than decrease them and that is a big reason they are good year after year after year."


Digg Me Out
"Last month, Digg, an old beloved content aggregation destination, made the sad announcement to its loyal following that it was shutting down its RSS platform, Digg Reader," Cale Guthrie Weissman reports for Fast Company.

Good riddance, aggregators are killing newspapers!

"Multiple sources tell me that Digg, formerly owned by Betaworks, has been sold to the little-known Boston-based ad-tech company BuySellAds."

Made for each other, spammy ad-tech is killing newspapers, even though it's all over our site!

"Most recently, Digg raised a Series C round of funding that was led by Gannett."



Fighting Facebook
"Facebook is up 2.4 percent postmarket after easily topping expectations with its Q1 earnings as ad revenues grew by 50% Y/Y and user growth met expectations," Seeking Alpha reports.

"Daily active users rose 13 percent to 1.45B for March. Monthly active users also rose 13 percent, to 2.2B as of March 31.

"Ad revenues grew by half to $11.795B from a year-ago $7.857B. Of that, mobile ad revenue made up 91%; a year ago mobile ad revenue was 85% of the total."


Facebook is a powerful platform that does a lot of good, including spreading journalism far and wide. It isn't stealing journalism's profits any more than Google is. Use it to your advantage and stop whining.


A fair number of journalists pushed back against this Axios post, but it has a lot of truth to it:

"Facebook and Google execs privately complain about the barrage of critical coverage they face, charging that media companies have a financial incentive to attack them and that media execs are settling scores. They're right."

That's not to say Facebook (or Google) is harmless, because it obviously isn't. Its practices are horrible in many ways. But Facebook's technology and platform can be used for both good and bad. Smart media will harness the power of platforms without wholly depending on them.


Gun Nuts
"The Chicago Police Department has routinely failed to flag people whom it believes may be mentally unfit to legally carry a gun, raising concerns by the city's watchdog that the department has missed out on a critical tool to remove guns from those who pose a threat to public safety, according to a new report issued Wednesday," the Tribune reports.

The oversight is particularly embarrassing for a Police Department constantly harping on the need for stricter gun laws.

The office of city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson conducted the review after receiving a complaint in January 2017 that raised concerns about Chicago police's practice of returning firearms to individuals who had threatened suicide.

Ferguson's report noted that the state Firearm Owners Identification Card Act required the Police Department to notify Illinois State Police within 24 hours of determining a person posed "a clear and present danger."

But the Inspector General's review discovered that only once had that happened in 37 incidents over a recent 3 1/2-year period in which Chicago police confiscated a gun from a person before transporting him to a mental health facility.

What's more, Ferguson's office identified only one other instance between December 2013 and April 2017 in which Chicago police notified state police about a FOID card holder considered to be dangerous.

The timing of the OIG's report could hardly be more relevant. Rich Miller of Capitol Fax connects the dots to Travis Reinking.


Meanwhile . . .

"Illinois lawmakers bypassed a Wednesday deadline without moving to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's rejection of a measure to create a state gun dealer's license, which means the Republican's veto stands - a victory for gun rights activists on their annual lobby day in Springfield," Chicago Tonight reports.

"But it's not the end of the gun control debate at the statehouse. While Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, did not attempt an override because he said he didn't want to legislators 'to take what for some of them is a very difficult vote' if he wasn't confident there was enough support for it to become law, he immediately filed a new version of the bill (Senate Bill 337)."

Translation: Harmon didn't want to put state senators in swing districts in jeopardy if the bill was just going to go down in the state House anyway, as it looked like it would do.

Still, taking "difficult" votes is in the job description of lawmakers - it's what we pay them to do. Job security isn't. I hate how easily we accept this. It's a difficult vote for the other side too.


"In Illinois the law worked and it worked exactly as it was supposed to," Richard Pearson, Illinois State Rifle Association director, said Wednesday. "It worked in Illinois, but the failure comes in this case with the father."

This is John Kass's tortured argument, too, because curbing access to guns is never the answer. Advocating measures to prevent future slaughters is just a "hard-left" hot take, in Kass's tribal, blinkered world. Stop trying to gut the Bill of Rights! #2A.

"You want 'common sense' gun laws? How about promoting Gun Violence Restraining Order bills in the states?" Kass writes. "A GVRO would allow family members living with a mentally ill person to seek a court order to temporarily seize their guns."

Good idea! Not sure anyone but, well, the NRA and the hard-right would oppose such bills. But what makes Kass think a father who returned guns to Travis Reinking would have gone through the strenuous process it would have taken to get a GVRO on his kid, much less even want to?

"Son, I want you to have these guns back. But also, I'm going to get a restraining order to prevent me from giving you these guns back."

Travis Reinking's father would not have sought such an order, and that is the problem. Kass is content to depend on Reinking's father to protect the public - and blame him when he fails to do so because he has no idea what to do about his son. Many of us are not. And that's not a hard-left hot-take, but a considered, independent, open-minded viewpoint not shaped by the ideological propaganda Kass turns to shape his thoughts in order to squeeze intellectually dishonest arguments through the needle of a newspaper column.


"A large crowd of pro-gun advocates marched from the Bank of Springfield Center to the Capitol on Wednesday for the annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day," the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.

"Organizers for the rally estimated 2,500 people were in attendance. The Secretary of State's office, which oversees the Capitol grounds, estimated the group included 1,000 people."



Journalists shouldn't rely on others for crowd estimates; learn how to do it yourself!


"Kaleb Huddleston, a freshman at Lanphier High School said he felt more American teens support guns than those who support gun control."

Huddleston can feel whatever he wants, but the facts don't support him and the reporting should have shown that.


"Illinois senators Wednesday approved a bill to raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 21," the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.

"The Senate voted 35-20 on Senate Bill 2332, which now goes to the House. The legislation would raise the age to legally buy tobacco to 21 across the state. The Illinois Lung Association said that 24 municipalities in Illinois have already adopted the higher age requirement, including Chicago, Aurora and Evanston. Peoria voted this week to raise the age to buy tobacco there."

Meanwhile, back at the gun rally:

"Other bills they attacked were House Bill 1664, which would create a hotline to tip off police to individuals with possible gun access that could be a danger to others, and HB 1465, which would prohibit ownership of semi-automatic rifles and .50-caliber rifles to anyone under 21 years old.

"When you tell me that nobody's coming for our guns, they just proved it here three weeks ago. We voted on a bill in the Senate that is literal confiscation if you're under the age of 21," said Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia.

Joke's on Anderson, the gun bill was just a distraction so we could come for your cigarettes!


Texting Rahm
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has conducted city business on his private devices and accounts, has agreed to have a digital forensics company collect and preserve information, including text messages, from his personal cellphone," the Tribune reports.

Ewww, somebody's gonna read his texts!


"Emanuel's decision, revealed in an April 11 court filing, comes in response to an ongoing Chicago Tribune lawsuit that accuses the mayor of violating open records laws by failing to produce and preserve e-mails and text messages on his personal accounts in which he discussed public business . . .

"The Tribune has asserted that Emanuel flouted state law by not preserving texts and e-mails about public business on personal accounts.

"The Tribune also noted that Emanuel had failed to turn over a single text message in response to a pair of public records requests filed by its reporters in 2015, despite evidence that the mayor often communicates via text.

"The Tribune on Monday asked Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen M. Pantle to issue an order declaring Emanuel has violated the state's open records act and the Local Records Act relating to the preservation of government records, including e-mails and texts. Pantle took the matter under advisement."

I only hope one day we can read the headline "Rahm Emanuel Found In Contempt."


New on the Beachwood . . .

The One Guy Ryan Pace Better Not Take In The First Round Of Tonight's NFL Draft
If he does, it'll be time to grab the pitchforks and head to Lake Forest.





What A (Wonderful) World.



The Score's Danny Parkins Can't Stay Hydrated.


Ford To Stop Selling Every Car In North America But The Mustang And Focus Active.


30 Years Of The Illinois Butterfly Network.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: How does it work.


Posted on April 26, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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