Thursday, May 8, 2014

There's A Draft In Here.

       Tonight is the first night of the NFL Draft and let me tell you the best part about that: in four days, people will stop talking about the NFL Draft for about 11 months.  Yes, I realize I am part of the problem and not the solution by pointing that out but it does give me the opportunity to also point out that if as much time, effort, meticulous attention to detail, and just pure man hours were given to any number of this countries' problems as is given to the NFL Draft then every Late April/Early May we could solve a problem a year until there were no problems left.  Drugs, teen pregnancy, financial imbalance, racial injustice - all could be eradicated rather than speculating what kind of tools Johnny Manziel has. I am no social engineer, but I am willing to bet I am closer to correct than wrong with that particular hyperbolic speculation.

The NFL Draft boils down to a few simple things.  Your team will take some players and you have no idea how they will work out.  None.  And you probably won't have any idea for at least three years.   The first round will shake out as follows:  2 or 3 players will be superstar to hall of fame caliber studs, around 20 will have anywhere from serviceable to admirable careers, and about 10 of the players chosen will completely wash out.  That's about it.  The rest of it is all mindless nattering and endless conjecture.  The NFL draft make election coverage look subdued and innocent by comparison. 

Want to know why all the attention paid to the draft is useless?  Ryan Leaf.
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Sure, there are hundreds of busts to choose from but Ryan Leaf encapsulates every possible bust story.  Leaf was a decent college quarterback in a second level conference (he is the second most famous person from Washington State).  But he looked like an NFL QB. The scouts fell in love with him.  He shot up draft charts.  He looks stupendous in workouts.  People actually once argued over whether he or Peyton Manning would be the better franchise quarterback.  There was no one who came out against him.  A tremendous wave of goodwill washed over Ryan Leaf.  No one doubted him, everyone loved him, he had the world at his feet.  And he booted it.  Badly.  He failed miserably as both a football player and as a human being.  I don't think I need to rehash his entire story here, but believe me, no one has ever crashed and burned so spectacularly.  You can see some busts coming a mile away and some sneak up on you.  Ryan Leaf somehow did both.

So while it was once an interesting little distraction during the spring after the furor of baseball returning died down, I now find the NFL draft a colossal waste of time to follow.  It gives people who have no accountability jobs and encourages the sports media to continue the misguided notion that speculating about the games is more fun than the actual games.
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Who knows, your team might draft a game changer of this caliber...

It is that last part that has resulted in me - an absolute sports nutjob - from watching less and less ESPN as the years have gone by to the point where I hardly watch any of it at all, except when actual games are on.  I used to watch SportsCenter all morning when I was at home and now I watch MLB Network and their Quick Pitch show because they actually show highlights of the games.  What a concept.  On the days when I accidentally have it on the worldwide leader, I usually can't change the channel fast enough because all there ever is is people arguing, speculating, some kind of awful cross promotion to a movie, or some kind of tear-jerking human interest story.  Anyway, I have bitched enough.  Wake me up when the Mets actually score a run.

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