The NFL Draft is tonight, well, part of it is tonight, and I have to tell you, that in my near-30 years on this planet this is the least excited I can ever remember being about the draft, and I have to say, it is entirely because the NFL did everything they could to ruin it.
The NFL Draft used to be a fun two days, you’d wake up on Saturday, do whatever you wanted or had to do until noon, then turn on ESPN (if you can believe it, that was the only channel it was on at the time), and hunker down from then until who knows when, because you got to watch three rounds on the first day, not just one.
And that I think sums up the problem with the current state of the NFL Draft, is the NFL has done everything they can to try and make it bigger than it is. To turn it into something more than watching names get put onto a board when a team picks them. Instead of two days, now it’s three, one round on Thursday, two rounds on Friday, and the remaining four on Saturday. It was three on Saturday, then Sunday you put it on and were productive, stopping to watch when it got near your team’s time to pick.
Instead of the Draft being just on ESPN, now it’s on no less than three channels, and probably more. There’s ESPN, NFL Network, FOX, and who knows who else. The NFL has this idea that the Draft is like the Presidential election, and that every person should be tuning in no matter what channel, and that’s entirely stupid. Interest in football is on the decline, so their idea to get more people to watch is…more coverage? How many mock drafts or experts can a person watch before it gets to be too much?
The other issue I have with the Draft is that the Draft itself isn’t even the main event of Draft Season anymore, it’s all the tabloid-like gossip that comes up every day (today’s big story is Josh Allen tweeting like an idiot), and shit like ESPN airing a two-hour mock draft for some reason. A mock draft with no current, actual NFL GMs, just a bunch of bozos sitting around making picks and trades and who knows what else to try and show off how “smart” they are. By the time the Draft actually rolls around, you’re just glad it’s here so you can stop hearing about it.
Now, I get that over the years the NFL Draft grew and exploded in popularity, and that they have been smart to make it a big event for people who actually go to it, turning that city basically into an NFL Draft village with events, games, food, and who knows what else.
But for those of us who are watching at home, it sucks. Imagine if you’re a fan of a team who traded its 1st Round pick under this current draft format, what incentive is there for you to watch tonight? Your team isn’t going to be talked about at all, except for maybe the mention that they were the team that gave whoever the pick.
The NFL Draft is here, but it’s not what it used to be, and honestly, I’m more excited for the NBA and NHL Playoffs.