Janesville72.5°

If NFL draft attracts, why not a bake sale?

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April 26, 2012

Where will you be at 7 o’clock tonight? Many of you, according to past TV ratings, will be tuned into either ESPN or the NFL Network to watch the NFL Draft.


When ESPN first televised the draft—mainly to fill airtime along with Australian rules football and demolition derbies—then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle questioned the network’s sanity.


“Who in their right mind would watch this mess?” Rozelle probably said back in 1980. Back then, the draft was held in a New York hotel, sort of like a wedding reception.


Over the years, the college football player lottery has grown more than Rozelle or ESPN could have ever imagined.


Now it is a three-day event held at the Radio City Music Hall.


Sometimes I think the NFL could hold a bake sale and ESPN would do a pregame and three-member panel discussion about whether the Browns’ brownies are better than the Bears’ turnovers. And people would invite friends over to watch it.


The NFL Network begins its draft coverage today at 1 p.m. ESPN holds off until 3 p.m. The draft begins at 7 p.m.


And you think the Super Bowl pregame hype is excessive.


If Packer fans want to cheat and just watch when Green Bay picks, the 28th pick should come around by 10 p.m.


I might watch the draft if someone could figure out how to make a betting pool out of it.


Or I might watch it if the NFL draft was anything like the fantasy baseball draft we have. Once a year in March, 11 lunatics and I get together to draft 25-man teams from Major League rosters.


The first four or so rounds are fun. From there it is a grueling marathon in an attempt to fill rosters.


That is not much different than the NFL draft. With Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr. describing the action, the first few picks are tolerable. After that, it becomes a hurricane of 40 times, bench press reps, phrases such as “high upside” and arguments whether the right guard from South Carolina would have been a better pick than left outside linebacker from Fresno State in the fourth round for the Bengals.


And next year, the same teams that usually win will win, and the teams that usually lose will lose, and we’ll have to put up with this stuff again next year with the Colts, Dolphins, Vikings, Bengals or Jaguars deciding who to pick first.


The point is this could be more interesting if the team officials behaved themselves as we, the owners in the Can O’Corn fantasy baseball league, do during our draft.


For example:


Commissioner: With the first pick of the 2012 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford University.


From the crowd of fellow owners: Nice pick, Colts. Spend a lot of time researching that one?


He’s no Peyton Manning.


Colts: Shut up.


Crowd: Who’s next?


Commissioner: The draft order has been on our website for months you morons. Get your head out. Washington is up next.


St. Louis: I thought we were next.


Commissioner: You traded the pick to Washington two weeks ago.


St. Louis: We did? Oh yeah. We didn’t want to draft here anyway.


Washington: We’ll take that quarterback from Baylor. R2D2.


Crowd: Geez, no wonder you stink every year.


Yeah, why don’t you take Albert Haynesworth? That worked out well for you.


Washington: I meant RGIII. Hey, I was out until 5 this morning. I need a cigarette.


Crowd: Smoke break?


Commissioner: We aren’t having a smoke break after two picks. Minnesota, you’re up.


Minnesota: Oh, man. I don’t know whom to take. Let’s see….


Crowd: Minnesota, you got to be kidding! It’s the third pick, my lord. You don’t know who to take?


Minnesota: Hey, I get 15 minutes.


Crowd: Get a new stadium yet, Minny boy?


Why don’t you take a quarterback? Oh, that’s right. You picked one last year. What was his name again?


Minnesota: Ponder. Christian Ponder. He was all right.


Crowd: Yeah, right. That’s why you had so many wins. Hey, did someone order pizza? I’m hungry.


Commissioner: Let’s get through this round first.


Crowd: Who did Minnesota pick?


Minnesota: NOBODY! I’M THINKING….did someone take Andrew Luck?


It really does go on this way. It’s entertaining for an hour or two.


At least it’s more entertaining than what will go on tonight on ESPN and NFL Network.


However, there are at least five million people out there who don’t share that opinion, and ESPN and the NFL Network love every minute of it.



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