Too much of a good thing
Isn’t it bad enough that the National Football League college draft is spread over three days?
In this day and age when mass communication is the lifeblood of just about anything, it is somewhat understandable the NFL chooses to conduct its draft to the largest possible television audience on two networks over a three-day period.
But how many of those viewers who superglue themselves to their TV screens the first two nights are there the third day when rounds four through seven are conducted?
Only the real draft nuts who glom onto every selection for every team as they try and figure out whom their team is going to draft.
Why would anyone be interested in the sixth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers or seventh-round selection of the Jacksonville Jaguars other than fans of those two clubs?
When you get into the final two rounds, players chosen might as well be from a foreign country. That’s how well known they are to a vast majority of those who care.
Now comes word that the league – no, make that Commissioner Roger Goodell – is thinking of adding a fourth televised day of the annual lottery. “We’re looking at a lot of options with respect to the draft to create even more excitement around the draft,” Goodell told Jeff Darlington of NFL.com.
Why stop at four? Why not make it a week-long televised affair with a round a night in prime time? Maybe include dancing card girls, in shorts of course, displaying the pick of each team. Surely, that’ll garner blockbuster ratings, no?
Can’t get enough of Chris Berman, Rich Eisen, Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay and Mike Mayock, you say? Well, we’ve got even more for you.
Ridiculous? Of course. Absurd? Definitely. Out of the question? Should be.
Rather than adding to what is already a spectacle that lasts way too long, maybe Goodell should also look at changing the date of the draft back to the last weekend in April instead of the second weekend in May and cutting it back to two days.
The excuse the league used for moving it back this year was Madison Square Garden had already booked another event for late April. As it turned out, that event was cancelled due to . . . wait . . . wait . . . lack of interest.
Instead of taking the draft on the road, something the National Hockey League has done (starting in 1987) with great success in an effort to connect with the fans, the big, bad NFL buried its head and acquiesced.
OK, we’ll just move the draft to May. That shouldn’t make a difference. The fans won’t care. Two more weeks to talk about it.
Well, two weeks in this case makes a big difference. What should have been taking place this weekend will take place roughly two weeks hence.
Two more weeks to discuss what the Houston Texans will do with the top pick of the draft. Two more weeks of guessing whether Jadeveon Clowney, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel will be that pick.
Two more weeks of, ugh, mock drafts.
Hasn’t enough been hashed and rehashed already with regard to the draft? And now we have another dozen days or so to once again go through what we’ve been discussing since late February.
Do those two extra weeks really make that much of a difference? The TV ratings probably will be strong anyway. That doesn’t make it right. The fans are more than ready for a draft now. As in right now. As in yesterday.
A profootballtalk.com poll reflected the overwhelming objection by the fans to the extra two weeks. More than 96% of the nearly 15,700 fans who voted want the league to switch back to the late April slot. Ninety-six percent!
As for the possibility of adding a fourth day to the draft, profootballtalk.com also put that question to the fans. More than 70% in the early voting said two days was sufficient enough time to conduct the seven rounds.
Today would have been the first day of such a draft.