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New NFL Draft Format Is…

April 11th, 2010 at 5:05 PM
By Simon Garron-Caine

I can smell it. The stage, the podium, the soon-to-be-NFLers already wearing $50,000 watches as they sit in the green room and mug for the camera, or whisper to momma, or huddle with an agent. We’re done with combine results, All-Star games, pro-days, wild rises and falls on meaningless mock drafts…The NFL Draft is upon us.

That hard to describe pre-draft feeling is palpable: the grinding anticipation, deep-seeded yet subdued, banging deep in your stomach like a drum that gets louder as April 22 nears, simmering anxiety marching to it’s daily beat, growing, intensifying, matched step for step only by the childlike enthusiasm that boils up, threatening to spill over on that beautiful Saturday morning where the tension ultimately releases, exploding into pure exhilaration with the words “The St. Louis Rams are now on the clock.”

But there’s something wrong. There’s something very wrong. Instead of Saturday morning, pajama clad in the privacy of your home; or nestled, beer and sandwich and in hand, in the refuge of a small group of like-minded, football loving draft-aware compadres…the NFL has decided to “improve” the draft by chopping it into three pieces, eradicating a tradition fans have grown fond of.

Round 1 starts at 7:30 on a Thursday night. Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night, and the rest of the draft to be followed up on Saturday. That, my friends, is moronic.

So let’s get this straight. In it’s effort to capitalize on the draft’s recent surge in popularity, the NFL has drastically reconfigured the draft so that it can squeeze maximum dollars from ESPN and advertisers on their own NFL Network,and the result is the absolute destruction of the draft as a social event for fans to cheer, enjoy and rally around together.

Thursday night parties won’t work for a lot of people, and is it even worth it just for 1 round? Friday makes sense for a social gathering, but round 1 has already stolen the show. Don’t even get me started on Saturday’s 4-7, when 9 out of 10 casual fans will have tuned out (but maybe not G101ers).

Look, I understand it’s not the end of the world, but the Phil Mushnick in me finds this set up repugnant. The NFL, knowing full well that we’re all going to tune regardless, has decided once again to make the kinds of decisions that leave us watching four-hour football games loaded with commercials, promos and players standing around doing calisthenics to stay loose during commercial breaks.

This whole thing could have been avoided had they just did rounds 1-3 on Friday. Start it around happy hour, it’s over before midnight (it’s Friday, anyway) and you’ve got a seemingly inconsequential compromise between the NFL’s thirst for Prime Time dollars and the logical protection of the fan’s best interest. But we both know who wins and loses that battle every time, hence the squeezing two days of Prime Time out of the deal.

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125 Responses to “New NFL Draft Format Is…”

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  1.  Samardzija says:

    Totally agree.. Like I said, draft weekend was my christmas and Goodell is the facking grinch..

  2.  Los says:

    I am also disappointed about the draft changes….I’ll miss the old traditions. Anyway, is anyone here considering attending any part of the draft? I will be attending the draft this year (1st round only) for a change.

  3.  12dan.S. says:

    I hate the new schedule… I’ve had the same routine for draft weekend for the past 3-4 years and now they just ruined it lol. My girlfriend is pretty excited that the draft won’t kill a whole weekend of nice weather though… (I haven’t told her that it’s on Friday night yet lol).

  4. Mike BoritsBBWC says:

    1-3 Friday would’ve been better… work Saturday. One thing for sure, we’ll have plenty of time to discuss the first round and the Giants next moves before it starts up again. We’ll see how it goes.

  5.  Dirt says:

    Shouldn’t this same logic move the Super Bowl to a weeknight primetime slot?

    So dumb.

    •  Dirt says:

      On the other hand, the new schedule could allow teams to regroup and reassess between rounds, possibly improving how they draft.

      •  Los says:

        This can lead to an assumption of more trading during the draft.

      • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

        True. It allows teams and staffs to get a breath of fresh air and not get caught up in the frenzy of the moment. It’s one of the ways to combat groupthink.

        • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

          That being said, I highly doubt Goodell or anyone else in charge of making these decisions has any desire to lessen the crippling effects of groupthink.

  6.  jfunk says:

    Yeah, I think that this will kill the draft party as we know it.

    People don’t want to party Thursday night…they gotta work on Friday. And Friday will be anticlimactic for a huge number of people since the only players they’ve ever heard of will already be gone.

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

      Not at my place! I’m grillin’ T-Bones and Beef Back Ribs with some baked beans and my special steak fries. Goodell and his cohorts are conspiring to undermine my industry (butchering) with this new format, but I’m not gonna let it happen!

  7. Matthew Kiernankujo says:

    Speaking of the draft party, I would like to reiterate my entry into the Dominos Contest thing:

    The Giants are cold pizza that you eat the morning after a night of drinking–it does its best work when it’s cold and it sucks up the ticking clock like a belly full of Jameson. It’s a simple, straightforward pie; no need to spend extra money on Peppers (the Julius kind) or whatever the hell an Asomugha is! And, while some used to prefer it to our resident plain-jane quarterback, we sure as hell don’t want any crumbled Roethlisberger on it (lest a similarly intoxicated woman fall victim to its lust).

    We aren’t a Philly Cheesesteak pizza; we aren’t a Texas BBQ pie; and we aren’t a Deep Dish Stimulus Package pizza. We are a plain pizza–classic, reliable and delicious. And our owner’s neice is a f***ing hottie!

  8. Simon Garron-CaineSimonGC says:

    i don’t but that we need to take an entire night off so that the teams can regroup. Running ten minutes of the clock as a buffer between picks 32 and 33 accomplishes the exact same thing..

  9. James DouglasJD_in_Dallas says:

    LMFAO Kujo!!!

    I thought it was hard enough waiting 2 days for it all to happen, now THREE??? They screwed the pooch punt on this one IMHO. Now, I probably won’t be as interested to watch Saturday. Thursday is a must, Friday is very high in the list, but now Saturday will be a day of checking my iPhone to “see what happened” instead of a day spitting in cowpoke fans faces when we pick up a guy like Bradshaw with only a few selections left. I hope they realize how this affects the fans and change it back after it fails miserably this year.

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

      Agreed, man. I am picking up a morning shift on Thursday (outside my normal schedule) so I don’t miss the 1st round. I work 5a-1p on Friday, so that won’t be a problem. But I am not taking off Saturday for the latter portion of the draft. Not worth the $100 I’d lose. I’ll be all on my phone, though. So if anyone cares to text me our picks that day, I’d be much obliged.

  10. Chad EldredChad says:

    The NFL doesn’t need to please any of us here. Whether we like it or not (and clearly most of us don’t) we are still going to watch, as are all hardcore draft fans. Goodell is looking to catch casual fans, broaden the audience, and yes, generate more revenue. It was a good run while it lasted, but unless it’s a total flop it’s likely the way it will be from now on.

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