Beyond The Mic, NFL Draft: Stop Talking, Start Drafting
Pushing the draft back to May was a bad idea for several reasons, but the NFL only cares about the bottom dollar.
Roger Goodell claims the draft was moved back from April to May due to Radio City Music Hall being booked by The Rockettes. Since when does a famous dance troupe take precedence over the NFL? It doesn’t.
The truth is, the NFL pushed the draft back to drag out their product a little longer in hopes it would bring in more money. The media outlets who cover the NFL get to keep the Shield at the forefront of their headlines. ESPN, for example, a network that paid the league $15.2 billion in 2011 to broadcast Monday Night Football for the next 10 years, gets to promote their investment front and center. Rather than get moved to the secondary headlines in the draft aftermath, the NFL gets to compete with the NBA and NHL playoffs, simply by having ESPN spew predictions and mock drafts.
One day Johnny Manziel is receiving “serious interest” from the Houston Texans. The next day, they have no interest. Another day it’s the Rams, then the Bucs, and now it’s the Giants at 12th overall. And on and on and on and on and on……………
Do I blame the NFL? No. The owners own it, and they aren’t going to turn down more money. Do I blame ESPN for the coverage? Of course not. The interest in the NFL is at an all-time high and growing.
What about the staff and players? As Robert Klemko eloquently explained in his MMQB piece this morning, the negative effect a later draft has on the rookie’s finances, development, and health is completely overlooked. Does the NFL care? Nope.
As a sportscaster, in theory, I should love it. An extra two weeks of topics and interest. The truth is, I’ve found myself getting completely worn out by the over abundance of draft speculation. In speaking to my fellow co-workers, as well as other hosts around the country, many express the same sentiment.
Believe me, I’m thrilled the draft finally takes place tonight. At the very least, I can talk about actual picks, like who the Saints selected and where Manziel will spend his rookie season. I always enjoy the draft. I’d just prefer if it remained in April. A man can hope, right?
Stop talking. Start drafting.