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I recently researched the NFL draft prospects of San Diego State senior running back Rashaad Penny and was shocked by what I found. One writer thought Penny might be a fifth round pick or lower and criticized his speed and power. Others called him a “fringe player” at best. I watched Penny both last year and this year and I also had season tickets during Marshall Faulk’s three seasons at SDSU. They were both great college running backs, but Faulk was a number two overall NFL draft pick and had a Hall of Fame NFL career. Many people don’t think Penny is in the same conversation as Faulk, but Penny has accomplished some things during his college career that Faulk never did. To make my point that Penny should be a number one pick, let me first recount his accomplishments in college to make my case.
To begin with, Penny was NOT a starting running back until his senior season. That may seem like a knock, but the reason why is because the Aztecs number one back for several seasons was the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher, Donnel Pumphrey. Despite that fact that he was the backup runner to Pumphrey in 2016, Penny still gained over 1,000 rushing while Pumphrey gained over 2,000 yards. No NCAA team had ever had both a 2,000 and 1,000 yard rusher on the same team before. Then this season the Aztecs became the only team to have to have two consecutive 2,000 rushing performances by two different players when Penny rushed for 2,295 yards. In his senior year Penny led the nation in rushing, total yards (2,974), and came in second in touchdowns (28). He won multiple honors for Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week as well as Special Teams POW. More honors have rolled in as he has been named to several All-American teams. Anyone can argue that Penny is not a great running back and I would go toe-to-toe with someone on that. However, if you try to argue that he’s not a great returner, don’t even start. Currently Penny is the co-holder for the most kickoff returns for a touchdown in NCAA history. He has seven overall (two this season) and the first time his head coach, Rocky Long, decided to use him as a punt returner Penny took that one to the house. Twice during his senior season Penny had a game when he scored three different ways. From short distance or 100 yards away, Penny finds a way to get into the end zone.
Penny’s last game in an Aztecs uniform came in the Armed Forces Bowl and he didn’t disappoint. Despite the fact that Army’s national leading running attack chewed up most of the clock, Penny made the most of his few chances. On his first official carry of the game he went 81 yards for a touchdown. After seven touches he broke that bowl game’s rushing record. After ten touches he surpassed over 200 yards rushing for the fifth straight time. On his 14th carry he collected his fourth touchdown of the game. However, one of his best plays was when he didn’t even touch the ball. On a short kickoff Penny’s teammate, Juwan Washington, was returning the kick when Penny flattened one of the Army’s finest with a devastating block. He continued to block another cadet into the end zone as Washington scored. Yeah, he can block.
Did I mention that he also caught two passes for TDs as well? Penny may not be ambidextrous, he just looks like it. In the game against Nevada he took a pitch going to his left, stopped, and started to throw a pass left-handed. The receiver was covered so he decided to run instead (for a TD). In the game against Air Force he was running a crossing route from left to right when his quarterback threw the ball high and behind Penny. He just reached back with his right hand and snared the ball one-handed. Yeah, he has great hands.
I wondered what the knock on Penny was and why he was projected to go so low in the draft. One evaluation didn’t even have him in the top 20 rated backs in college. The argument that most would present is competition. The Mountain West Conference had some teams that were terrible at stopping the run. Penny did play against two PAC-12 teams this season and had over 100 yards against both Arizona State and Stanford. However, in both Aztec losses this season Penny failed to rush for over 100 yards. The two sub-par performances were due to poor blocking as there was also bad pass protection in those games as well. In fact, the Aztecs offensive line was young and inexperienced as only one senior was a starter and he missed several games with an injury. I think that it’s actually a tribute to Penny that he gained over 2,000 yards with such an inexperienced line. One other thing: There were several games when Penny was pulled in the third or fourth quarter because the Aztecs were so far ahead. Coach Long doesn’t care about stats during the games. He just wants to win and keep his number one back fresh for the next game. An example would be the San Jose State game when the Aztecs rushed for over 500 yards as a team. Penny only touched the ball once in the second half, which resulted in a long touchdown run that put him over the 200 yard mark. By that time the Aztecs were ahead by 35 points so there was no need to use Penny any more. If he had got the majority of carries in the second half, he might have rushed for 300, maybe 400 yards or more, and got more Heisman attention.
Now to address some other criticisms of Penny: Speed and power. There have been several times this season when Penny broke into the clear and it was a footrace between him and some defensive back. No matter what kind of angle the defender took, Penny outran him to the end zone. During the entire season Penny was only caught from behind once on an ankle tackle in the last game of the regular season. On one kickoff return I thought he would pause and pick up the blocker that was in front of him, but he simply ran by him and the defenders who were nearby. As for Penny power, after some encouragement from his coaches, Penny started turning opposing players into pancakes as well as dragging a linebacker about ten yards on one play. He’s a bull who can fly and that’s a rare combo.
One of the main reasons I think Penny should be a number one pick is that he answers two needs at the same time. Any team that needs a running back and a kickoff returner can get a two-for-one deal and that makes him extremely valuable. Kick returning seems to be a lost art in the NFL as most teams struggle to get returns to the 25 yard line. Penny could change all that for some team next season.
I’ve seen a lot of football in my time and I’ve seen some great backs. I’ve seen LT play for the Chargers. I’ve seen Faulk play for the Aztecs. Penny is as good as those guys and may even be better because he returns kicks and they didn’t. Anyone who saw Penny’s performance against Nevada this season should be convinced of Penny’s potential greatness and how special he is. In that game he had a 70 yard TD run called back for a penalty. Even without that run Penny finished with over 200 yards rushing, over 400 total yards, two TDs on kick returns and four TDs overall. If Penny isn’t a first round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, then some team is going to get an absolute steal when they draft him. If he’s lucky enough to play for a team with a good offensive line, he could become the NFL’s next offensive rookie of the year.
Moulin Rouge was opened by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler back in 1889. During that time Paris was the hub of creativity and the city was going through the phase people call “one of the best times in Paris”. It is believed that Moulin Rouge was the place where cabaret originated. This seductive dance was done by the show girls who used to live and perform in Moulin Rouge. The interiors of the establishment boast of huge floor to wall mirrors, expensive chandeliers, plush carpets, huge floor for dancing and spectacular showgirls. The environment inside the establishment becomes totally electrifying and ecstatic when the show is on. Even in these digital times Moulin Rouge receives a footfall of 1000 guests per night.
Lido de Paris… the Classier Moulin Rouge
Lido de Paris is probably the most famous establishment after Moulin Rouge. It is situated at Champs-Elysees, one of the most attractive neighborhoods in Paris, particularly in the night. Lido is famous for its dance and musical shows. Every night, it hosts shows where showgirls are dressed up in the most exotic and exquisite costumes. The interior of Lido is also very extravagant and posh, adorned with bright colors and old world decor. The lighting and the sound effects are captivating. The stage and set changes almost about 60 times right in front of the audiences! The oval shape of the hall ensures that everyone has a good view. They also have shows where kids are allowed, but expect nudity in them too, though they don’t look vulgar. Earlier Lido used to be a black tie event but these days they allow you in without it. But they are particular about dressing so dump your denims for the night at Lido.
Au Lapin Agile… The Nimble Rabbit
Adult entertainment just does not cease in romantic Paris! Au Lapin Agile is another vintage joint for cabaret. Many famous people were regular visitors here and we are talking about the likes of Toulouse-Latrec, Modigliani, Utrillo and Picasso. The translation of the name Au Lapin Agile means the nimble rabbit which got its name from a painting where a rabbit is jumping out of a heated pan. During 1905 Pablo Picasso painted a picture which helped in the publicity of the establishment. The name of the painting was ‘At the Lapin Agile’. Well if Adult Activities in Paris are on your mind, then just step in! Did we mention that this place still retains the evidence of eccentric characters of Paris who visited here? They are there in form of names carved in the wooden tables and they did it themselves!
Paradis Latin… Napoleon’s Personal Theatre of Dance
Now we are on to the next Cabaret haunt which is also one of the oldest in the Latin Quarter, so located centrally. Here you would find the shows very intriguing as most of the male and female artists perform completely naked. However the dancing and artistic references are not always filled with sexual innuendos, it is more like an adult circus. Quite a Cool thing to see In Paris for Adults! Paradis Latin was built in 1803 under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. Famous writers like Alexandre Dumas and Balzac were frequent visitors to this place.
Crazy Horse Cabaret… Go Crazy with the Tease
There are cabarets in Paris where you can see stage performances by naked dancers, moving and swaying their body in a classy yet seductive manner nad crazy horse is one of them. The iconic Crazy Horse was opened for the public in 1951. These dances are indeed provocative yet this is one of the most sophisticated cabaret clubs in Paris and well reputed too. Famous celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Dita von Teese have also performed on the dance floor of the Crazy Horse.
Cesar Palace Cabaret
If you want a taste of Paris nightlife then look no beyond the César Palace Cabaret that not only packs some sensual cabaret moves but also mind boggling acrobatic maneuvers. Traditional cancan girls dressed up elegantly perform in the shows here. And that is not all… they top up the wonderment with some super sumptuous three course french meal as well! They host the two hour show that does not let you blink your eyes. Talk of tantalizing, think of César Palace Cabaret!
Tell us you are breathless! Well we have surely given you some extra reasons to make Paris your next destination. I mean romance is passé’, it is time to get naughty!
And just like we had promised, let us take you to the next section that is going to be even more sinful, but in a different way- the French food!
Laudrey Pastry shop… the best macaroons in the entire Paris
Laduree is a famous pastry shop which is famous for selling one of the tastiest and vibrant coloured macaroons in Paris. Yep we are talking Paris Desserts here! Back in 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée had established this small time bakery; sadly the bakery got gutted due to fire after 9 years. It was erected again but this time the shop was full time Pastry shop. Later on a tea shop was also made next to the Laduree store and now if you visit you would be able to enjoy the wonders of both of the stores.
Berthilon.. The Sweet Lovers’ Paradise
Paris is heaven for food lovers but we all know that. The trick is to find the best amongst the best. This is why best way to travel Paris is on foot where you will find a food store or a restaurant within every two steps of your journey. The most well known and famous ice cream parlor and sorbet shop the Berthilon is a treat for all the people who love like it sweet and chilled. This place was opened in 1954. This ice cream parlor serves more than 70 flavors and people swear by the aroma when you step inside the shop. Make sure that you definitely taste the strawberry sorbet here. Berthilon is definitely one of the best places to eat in Paris.
58 Tour Eiffel Tower… offering a larger than life experience
When you are in Paris, going and experiencing the 58 Tour Eiffel Tower has to be on your things to do in Paris. This is a restaurant situated on the first floor of the Eiffel tower. When you sit inside you get a lovely and “as-far-as the eye goes” panoramic view of Trocadero part of the city. The other side of the restaurant shows the interiors of the Eiffel tower’s mesh work. The restaurant serves typical French brasserie food. The restaurant offers a 2 to 3 course style food picnic for lunch. During the evening you can experience the traditional French cuisine inside the restaurant with the lights dimmed and grand view of the city lights coming alive in a distance.
Le Ombres Restaurant… Experience the Fusion of Flavours
If exploring Paris Food Culture is on your wish list then there is no way you can miss Le Ombres Restaurant. This restaurant is famous for its architecture, the beautiful view of Eiffel Tower and the special menu set by Chef Jean-François Oyon, a two starrer Michelin chef. He was announced as the Chef of the year by Le Chef Magazine. So it goes without saying that the food quality in this restaurant is really good and it serves traditional French cuisine with exquisite flavors and ingredients, served like an art on the plate. We bet you can’t have enough of it!
Latelier-des-Chefs-Cooking-School… Go a little French!
LAtelier-des- Chefs-Cooking- School is a famous cooking school in Paris, with its branches in around 14 locations located all over France. Six of the cooking schools are situated in Paris. Guinea fowl with baby gem, peas, mustard and ratte potatoes is a fowl breast recipe that is served with green salad is one of the most loved dishes taught in the school. The other popular delicacies are lamb with minted crushed potatoes, broad beans and wild mushroom sauce, and roasted lamb with fennel puree and potatoes. The chief agenda behind establishing the school was to motivate French students to take up the art of cooking as a career. Recently it has also opened its doors to visitors of different nationalities to learn French style cooking.
How to reach
Paris is very well connected by air from all the major cities in the world.
Where to stay in Paris
Paris has an amazing array of options when it comes to accommodation. Here are our top picks across the budget spectrum, so whether you are on a tight budget or looking for luxurious indulgence we have it all here.Or you many simply type Paris in the nice little hotel search box given here for a complete list of hotels.
So this was the seductive and sinful Paris tour. So what are you waiting for, pack your bag and indulge in some naughty pleasures of life!