Every year I get really pumped for the NFL Draft for some foolish reason. It's probably because I hope my Bears will finally draft a good player or two, maybe ya know, get a good quarterback for once. Of course that never happens.
Besides my reasons of interest as a die-hard Bears fan though, I have a huge interest as an NFL fan. As annoyed as I get by the ridiculous amount of draft coverage every year, I still get into it at the same time. I guess I have to as a sports fan, because that's all ESPN will let us see from February until now as I warned you about the day after the Super Bowl. So, I know all this useless information about these draft prospects that I shouldn't care much about, but I do because Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have engraved every little tidbit about every fucking prospect projected to go from rounds 1-4 into my head. Therefore, when the Draft comes along, it's my chance to actually apply this pathetic knowledge that I have about these NFL hopefuls, and it sort of feels like a reward(as sad as that sounds).
But... ESPN ruined it for me. The same assholes that wouldn't stop talking about these prospects before the draft, seemingly forgot about the prospects on the only days they should even matter. I started watching the "Day 2" draft coverage this morning at 8 AM, and watched for hours, only to see highlights and quality breakdowns of maybe 10 guys that were drafted today.
If you were unaware, Day 2 of the draft now contains rounds 3-7, so it's a big deal. It's not just the Day 1 picks that matter. Look at all the Pro Bowlers over the last few years, and the major contributors to championship clubs. There's almost as many 3rd rounders making a difference as 1st rounders.
They had a horrible roundtable discussion going on from the ESPN studios, taking Around The Horn host Tony Reali out of his natural habitat, and sitting him next to a handful of sports journalists from around the country to discuss YESTERDAY'S draft selections. One of the journalists was some hick chick with a boys cut. She looked like Anne Heche if she stole Serena Williams' testosterone.
This is all while I just want to see my team make some selections that could make or break the franchise. Many playoff teams are built on Day 2 of the draft, where teams find those gems. It's sort of a big deal, but I guess not as big as talking about the the Day 1 events such as Jaguars reaching for Derrick Harvey for about 6 straight hours. What a crock of shit.
As most of you probably know, the draft is also televised on NFL Network these days. I'm just so used to watching ESPN, that I chose it as the main source for my Draft viewing. However, I caught some of the NFL Network yesterday, and I have to say it's so much better for the serious football fan.
Their main draft analyst Mike Mayock, who also had the most accurate mock draft I've seen, did a fabulous job of breaking down film on just about every prospect selected. They also had other very credible analysts, such as former superstar Marshall Faulk and former coach Steve Mariucci. Rich Eisen is the best host around, and puts the bumbling moron Chris Berman to shame. The NFL Network crew really had a great chemistry. Plus, Deion Sanders interviewing the prospects is nice for a laugh.
But maybe what I enjoyed more than anything else over the ESPN broadcast, was that we actually got to see most the picks announced. That's how it should always be. ESPN used to let us do that. We'd get to see the commissioner or one of his fellow NFL guys go up the podium and say, "With the 35th pick in the 2nd round, the _ select_". It adds a dramatic element to the draft that the simple graphic on the screen doesn't. When they say the position or school before the name is even announced, you'll hear the Jets fans cheer or bitch. It's awesome.
When we got around pick 90 or so, ESPN was so far behind it was just embarrassing. I know when the Bears made a couple selections, I read articles online describing the picks before ESPN even gave them a mention. Around pick 100, they started talking about some prospect that was taken in the 80's, then just gave a quick list for about 10 seconds of the other 10+ guys selected. Thanks for the breakdown guys.
It's just incredible to me that with all this extra technology, and all this extra information we gain each year on these prospects, that the ESPN draft coverage only gets worse each year. It should only be getting better. I just know I'm not going to be witnessing it next year, because I'll be watching on the NFL Network next year and I recommend you football fans do too.