The NFL Draft is growing in popularity. It’s the single biggest off-season even in the NFL and consistently maintains viewers for two nights and a day. But it needs to change quickly.
Interest in the draft isn’t going to wane any time soon but the NFL is facing mounting backlash over the epic length of its broadcast that sees selections backing up behind the stage as the networks of ESPN and NFL Network ramble on and break for commercial.
Making matters worse by far is the inability of the NFL to keep the selections a complete secret until they are announced. That is not a problem for those who watch the draft on the network alone but those who watch the draft and try to interact with friends and fellow fans inevitably run into those who have to tip the pick.
Perhaps it makes them happy to know they are ruining the draft for others or maybe it’s a matter of selfish pride that they have to be first. During the broadcast on Thursday and Friday I had to stop allowing Tweets from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. His response to the multitude of followers who asked him to stop? “Mute me” he said.
This is not Salguero’s fault honestly. While highly classless if it wasn’t him doing it, it would surely be someone else. The slow churning of selections can be blamed on the networks and the league itself.
While round one is fun to watch when the picks are being announced in a very timely manner the 2nd and 3rd rounds are down right atrocious. The parading of former players and special guests to announce a selection continues to bog down the flow of the draft. Someone must announce who is announcing the pick and then that person announces it. Just read the pick. Why? Because while the NFL is playing the “look how cool we are game” the networks are also playing the “Look how cool we are game” and after enough picks have been shelved in the back, the networks start announcing only three picks at a time before breaking for commercial.
After almost two decades of Direct TV I finally cut the cord as it were. I borrowed a login to watch the draft. The thing is, I didn’t miss much. I didn’t miss the on air self patting of backs and the obvious subtilty of the “experts” tipping the pick as they go to the podium and next year, I may not even bother to watch at all.
Not with social media keeping a much faster pace.