By: Eric Thomas
The endless run-up to the NFL Draft nearly ruined it this year; the first round will come to a merciful end on Thursday night. I’m usually a draft enthusiast. In years past friends and family have winced when I brought up the draft possibilities, bracing themselves for a long and once sided conversation. They say “Who do you think they’re going to take,” and pretend to be listening for the rest of the conversation.
My love for the draft has been nearly as long as my love for professional football itself. It’s gotten out of hand in the past. I’ve read daily mock drafts, scouting reports, rumors, mock drafts with trade scenarios, combine statistics, and blogs that evaluate the quality of other blogs on the subject of the NFL Draft. During the Draft I’ve stood up off my couch and un-ironically said “Whoa!” when some team makes a trade or selection I wasn’t expecting. Girlfriends usually find something else to do that weekend, and they’re right.
This year has been the worst. The NFL had a scheduling conflict with Radio City Music Hall and they had to move the Draft to early May. The result has been far more devastating that anyone could imagine. The already fetid hype surrounding the rookie selection process has been stretched thin, with football folks unable to adjust to the extra time. I wrote my first draft blog in January, and I’ve submitted SEVEN draft-related blogs for this website (I guess this makes eight). We’ve talked about trading up, trading down, staying at 10, trading Ndamukong Suh, punting, kickers, wide receivers, and defensive secondary schemes. For the first time in history, I’m just ready for it to be over.
Even as I write this I feel fatigued. My fingers are moving, but my eyes are elsewhere. My dog is sleeping next to the front door; I need to clean my house; should probably hit the gym before I go to the dog park; just got an email that I need to take back a library book; “B.O.B.” by Outkast (classic!) just came across my computer’s speakers and I’m nodding my head. I can type without looking at the screen at all and that’s what I’m doing right now. My browser is only a window away, and I could be distracted away at any moment. It’s draft time and I couldn’t care less. This is sad.
The Draft’s late arrival comes because of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The NFL got bumped because the venue had committed to the Rockettes’ high tech Easter spectacular “Heart and Lights.” In an ironic twist, the scheduled show was scrapped, because the technically advanced show was apparently not ready for audiences. People were comparing it to that Spiderman musical—which is something that actually existed somewhere if you can believe it. Someone in the world said, “That Spiderman is pretty awesome, but can there be more songs?” and they weren’t kidding because they made a musical out of it. People bought tickets for a musical about Spiderman. Someone filled out a W-2 because of income received from a musical about Spiderman. I’m getting distracted.
So the NFL got bumped for a show that never happened.
Why couldn’t they switch venues? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell floated the idea in the last few days, with Chicago and Los Angeles more or less willing to sacrifice anything to bring the bloated event into their city. If Radio City Music Hall is so overbooked that they’re willing to bump the NFL for a Rockette show that never happened, why can’t the league take their business elsewhere? Why didn’t they do it this year?
Let’s look at the bright side: the Draft will be over soon, and we will not likely have to endure this next year. Walter Football has already released their first 2015, with the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick! Let me go print that out.