By Loren Sanders
I’m on a flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage. Knowing I have only an iPod to accompany the Sky Mall catalog, I felt immense pressure to sleep. Then the flight attendant announced wifi was available on the plane – fantastic – but only until we reached Canadian airspace. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this flight, Canadian airspace is 45 minutes from Minneapolis.
I had to make a quick decision about what to Google… the verdict: James Franklin. Next stop, the most reliable source on the internet, Wikipedia. Because, per Michael Scott, “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information.”
Here’s the kicker: Wikipedia wasn’t sure who I was asking about because it knows seven James Franklins and two additional Jim Franklins. Facing a nine-pronged fork in the road, there was only one choice at 35,000 feet…
Welcome to the Wikipedia Draft, James Franklin Edition (WDJFE). No Rivals, 247 or Scout was used in this draft. The only resource in a Wikipedia Draft is Wikipedia. Given the 45 minutes of American airspace, I saved the Wikipedia pages as pdf documents to reference during the remaining four and a half hours of this draft (please don’t let this last four and a half hours). We’re assuming each James Franklin is in his prime (or his current state if he still appears to be on the way up). The two Jims will be considered compensatory picks, falling after the first round. Draft order was established based on reverse standings from the 2011 SEC rankings, with compensatory picks falling to A&M and Mizzou.
With the first pick in the WDJFE, the Ole Miss Rebel Black Bears select… James Franklin (born 1990), American Football Quarterback. Clearly, this James has the most upside of the group. He can still be anything he likes, but for now, he’s settling for SEC quarterback for the Missouri Tigers. Independence Bowl MVP, Franklin led the Tigers to a 41-24 victory over North Carolina. Wikipedia made no mention of Tennessee’s bowl results against the Tar Heels; as such, this will not be entered into the draft consideration. At 6’2”, 218-225 pounds (depending on where you look on the page), Franklin would be a welcome addition to any SEC roster, even with the March 19, 2012 announcement indicating he would have surgery on his throwing shoulder. [Last update: 21:39, March 19, 2012.]
Logic: Because he resembles an SEC athlete.
With the second pick, the Tennessee Volunteers select… James Franklin (1697-1735), Printer. If you’ve traced your family tree on Ancestry.com all the way back to our founding fathers, you may already know that we’re not talking about any ordinary James Franklin here. This is Ben’s brother. Brother Benjamin was actually indentured to James. I’m pretty sure that makes James like Peyton Manning to Ben’s Tee Martin. James had more talent, but Ben brought home the trophy. Need another reason James the printer would feel at home in the SEC? In 1722, James was imprisoned for four weeks for writing “scandalous libel.” The man organized the “Hell-Fire Club.” It’s no Vanderbilt scooter gang, but it’s nothing to shake a stick at either. [Last update: 2:43, June 2, 2012.]
Logic: Peyton Manning… and because UT refuses to abandon Dooley.
With the third pick, the Kentucky Wildcats select… James Franklin (born 1972), American Football Coach at Vanderbilt University. Based on his Wiki page alone, it’s hard to determine what was/is this Franklin’s prime. The man started all four years at quarterback for East Stroudsburg University, setting seven school records and being named both a National Player of the Week in Sports Illustrated and a Division II Player of the Year nominee in 1995. Then he started coaching. From Kutztown to Roskilde (Danish Football League) to Idaho State to Green Bay to Vanderbilt with several stops between, the man has been around the block. As his Wikipedia page made more mention of Robbie Caldwell, turkey inseminator, than of Franklin’s best qualities (salesmanship, little brother syndrome, and transition lenses), it’s hard to find anything bad about the man other than his losing record in his first year as a head coach. [Last update: 15:22, July 17, 2012.]
Logic: Because he’s not Joker Phillips.
With the fourth pick, the Vanderbilt Commodores select… James Franklin (born 1953), Australian Historian of Ideas and Philosopher. Recipient of the 2005 Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics, Franklin focused his research on structuralist philosophy of mathematics. The man founded the Sydney School in the Philosophy of Mathematics. As you probably already know, in 2008, Franklin established the Australian Database of Indigenous Violence. There’s not a synapse in my brain that believes Franklin wouldn’t have come up with “The Annexation of Puerto Rico” long before Nubie in “The Little Giants.” [Last update: 12:13, May 22, 2012.]
Logic: Because James Franklin could surely fill the Twitter void left by James Franklin, if only by calculating the most efficient use of 140 characters while using number and comma shorthand at an alarming rate.
With the fifth pick, the Mississippi State Bulldogs select… James Franklin (1783-1834), British Naturalist. The man was a British soldier, an authority on geology, and he collected over 200 species of bird and made paintings of them all. Clearly, James puts the emphasis on scholar in the scholar athlete equation. He must have done something right because he was selected as a member of the Royal Society.
*It should be mentioned that the only source for this Wikipedia page is “The History of Indian Mammalogy and Ornithology. Part II Birds.” [Last update: 13:46, April 2, 2012.]
Logic: Because he could probably maneuver the curriculum at State with ease.
With the sixth pick, the Florida Gators select… James Franklin (born circa 1950-1954), American Meteorologist. A graduate of MIT and co-valedictorian of Ransom Everglades School, Franklin is currently the branch chief of the National Hurricane Center. When forecasting Tropical Storm Franklin in 2005, James showcased his wit, commenting, “Franklin – the storm, not the forecaster – has become a little better organized overnight… It is quite possible that little or nothing will be left of Franklin – the storm, not the forecaster – in 2-3 days.” Ever the humorist, in 2009, Franklin quipped about Tropical Depression Ana, “the intensity forecast is complicated by the uncertain existence of an actual tropical cyclone.” Funny, perhaps. Weatherman, definitely. First overall pick, not so much. [Last update: 00:12, May 12, 2012.]
Logic: Florida heard he was a disciple of a meteorologist named Nick Saban.
With the seventh and final pick, the Auburn Tigers select… James Franklin (born 1980), New Zealand Cricketer – Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about cricket. But that just makes the following career highlights that much more impressive: Not only is he a lefty fast bowler, but “Franko” has greatly improved his batting and is now seen as a first class middle order batsman. He got his international experience early, at age 20, thanks to an “injury crisis” in New Zealand. Outside of Peter Petherick, Franklin is the only New Zealander to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. In 2007, James became the only cricketer to take a wicket with his first legitimate ball in a World Cup debut. The Mumbai Indians (yes, they are really the Indians) secured a 3rd place Indian Premier League finish thanks to Franklin’s 17 runs on the first five balls. Surely this talent can translate to a skip-pass-bubble-screen-wildcat package. [Last update: 16:08, May 7, 2012.]
Logic: Because his last contract was for only $100,000… Bargain basement prices.
With the first compensatory pick, the Texas A&M Aggies select… Jim Franklin (born 1943), American Poster Artist – “The Michelangelo of Armadillo Art.” Try to convince me this would not immediately impact an SEC program. [Last update: 23:04, April 30, 2012.]
Logic: Because Armadillo art is huge in Texas.
With the second and final compensatory pick in the WDJFE, the Missouri Tigers select… Jim Franklin (apparently eternal), British Television Director – He has directed such classic television comedies as “Ripping Yarns” and “The Goodies.” [Last update: 5:03, September 14, 2011.]
Logic: Because without the second Jim Franklin, this post would never end.