Friday, April 27, 2007

Raiders Use #1 Pick On Rosie O'Donnell

On Wednesday, Rosie O’Donnell announced that she will not return to The View after her contract expires in June. Today the controversial host’s future plans came into focus. A source close to the Oakland Raiders has confirmed that O’Donnell has agreed to terms to play quarterback for the Raiders. Therefore, Oakland will make Rosie the #1 overall pick in tomorrow’s NFL draft.

The scenario is similar to last year, when the Houston Texans stunned observers by choosing Mario Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young with the first selection. The Raiders had been expected to take LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell in the #1 spot. However, they decided to go with someone else who will bring great size to the position. O’Donnell will become the first female talk-show host to play in the NFL since Kelly Ripa returned punts for the New York Jets.

Draft experts were caught off-guard by the announcement. Most expressed skepticism that a 45-year-old woman with no college football experience could succeed in the NFL. Mel Kiper felt that O’Donnell’s selection would make a mockery of Saturday’s proceedings, remarking, “The NFL Draft is no place for someone who sits around and talks all day.” Expressing agreement were Chris Mortensen, Sean Salisbury, John Clayton, Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Stuart Scott, Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser, Trey Wingo, Sal Paolantonio, Suzy Kolber, and about 1200 other ESPN commentators on hand for the event.

However, O’Donnell may be able to provide immediate help to the Raiders. Oakland had a woeful offense last year, but Rosie is never reluctant to go on the offensive. Inexperienced quarterbacks often lock onto the primary receiver, but O’Donnell is happy to go after numerous targets. She has held her own with Barbara Walters, so she should have no problem beating out Andrew Walter. Among her draft peers, Rosie has a staunch believer in Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. After seeing her face appear on the screen, Quinn called O’Donnell “the greatest offensive mind in football.” Later, Quinn sheepishly admitted that he thought Rosie was Charlie Weis.

O’Donnell should fit in well with the Raiders’ history and culture. She caused nightmares with a sex scene in Nip/Tuck, while Oakland has nightmares of the Tuck Rule. She and the team both embrace conspiracy theories, whether they involve 9/11 or the referees. Her experience on A League Of Their Own was also significant, since she’ll follow the same baseball/football path as Bo Jackson. Additionally, the team’s “Just win, baby” mantra has particular meaning for Rosie. Owner Al Davis recently confirmed that the “baby” in that slogan was adopted by a lesbian couple.

O’Donnell can also relate to Davis by having a highly-publicized feud with a power broker based in New York. Pete Rozelle passed away in 1996, but Rosie’s battles with Donald Trump are continuing. When signing her contract with Oakland, Rosie reportedly remarked, “It’s so nice to be in the NFL. Hey, can someone ask Donald how that USFL thing worked out?” Reached for comment, Trump responded, “I’ve said all along she’s a loser. Well, she’s a Raider, so it’s official.”

Since O’Donnell leaves The View in June, she will be able to report to training camp on time. To ease her transition to the NFL, numerous aspects of Raider home games will temporarily be incorporated into the show. The studio audience will be filled with scary Darth Vader and biker types. During that time, the show will be called The View From The Black Hole. Also, like Raider home games, the show will be blacked out in Oakland.

Interestingly, O’Donnell’s frequent View adversary Elisabeth Hasselbeck may provide a gauge for how successful Rosie’s quarterback stint becomes. Oakland is hoping for the production of Matt Hasselbeck, rather than Tim Hasselbeck. It remains to be seen how successful she’ll be, but one former NFL player is particularly excited about Rosie’s signing. Super Bowl XXX MVP Larry Brown has announced plans to come out of retirement. He proclaimed, “If there’s an O’Donnell at quarterback, I’m there!”